Ottawa is the place to be for fun summer festivals! Check out a sample of great events:
The RBC Bluesfest (July 4–14) kicks off the fun with its 25th anniversary year! Don’t let the name fool you—from the Killers to the Backstreet Boys, from Alexisonfire to Eric Church, Jessie Reyez, and lots more, audiences have an real mix of music to enjoy. Bluesfest also overlaps its dates (and maybe even some of its audience) with Music and Beyond (July 4–18), an exploration of classical music with live performances at eclectic venues across Ottawa. Music and Beyond celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
The world-renowned Ottawa Chamberfest (July 25–August 8) celebrates its 25th anniversary with a wide variety of performances, many of which are hosted in churches. This year, enjoy performances by Janina Fialkowska, the Art of Time Ensemble, Canadian Brass, Angela Hewitt, and many more!
The Ottawa Busker Festival on Sparks Street takes place August 2–5. Unorthodox entertainment by street performers from around the world includes comics, jugglers, acrobats and stunts. Free admission but donations appreciated.
The annual Capital Pride Festival takes place August 18–25 and features many community events and the popular parade on the final day.
Cirque du Soleil brings the stunning, nostalgic story of Alegria to Zibi this summer (August 2–September 1).
The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival (August 29–September 2) fills the sky with colourful balloons, while a number of exciting shows take place as well.
The CityFolk festival takes place at Lansdowne Park September 12–15. This year’s lineup includes Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, the Strumbellas, Leon Bridges, and more.
The Ottawa International Animation Festival presents screenings of cutting-edge and thoughtful animation films (September 25–29).
More eclectic summer festivals in and around Ottawa include the Canadian Stone Carving Festival (July 19–21), Glengarry Highland Games (August 2–3), Perth Garlic Festival (August 10–11), Twist Fibre Festival (August 14–18), St-Albert Cheese Curd Festival (August 14–18), Nostalgia Music Festival (August 21–24) and many others.