Summertime in Ottawa is the perfect time to experience the region’s vibrant culture and community! The Capital City comes alive with vivid colour each August as spectacular fireworks and hot air balloons take to the sky, lightshows illuminate Canada’s most iconic building and the Rainbow Flag takes flight with pride. Learn about these cultural and colourful events taking place only in Ottawa this August.
Grands Feux du Casino Lac-Leamy
Every year, the annual Grands Feux du Casino Lac-Leamy provides a dazzling experience as fireworks light up the night sky. The 26th edition of the firework competition is sure to impress! Located at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, along the Ottawa River, you’ll be immersed in colours from around the world.
Taking place August 2, 5, 9, 12, 16 and 19, 2023, the likes of Italy, South Africa, Philippines, and Ukraine will set off fireworks against the backdrop of Parliament Hill! A ticket to Grands Feux du Casino Lac-Leamy gets you access to the festival grounds, the option to select one of two meal offerings, artistic performances, digital and multimedia art installations and more. Get your tickets before it’s too late!
Northern Lights — Parliament Hill Sound and Light Show
This unforgettable, free lightshow offers a visual and auditory experience like no other. From July 7-September 4, 2023, every Thursday to Monday, you can
You’ll learn inspiring Canadian stories about the foundations of Canada, innovation, exploration and more. Set to an original score of lively music, the Northern Lights is a truly unique experience for the whole family! Don’t miss your last chance to see this iconic illumination of Parliament Hill before it comes to an end on September 4!
Show start times vary depending on sunset times.
In Ottawa, the third week of August each year celebrates Capital Pride! Join the 2SLGBTQ+ community in celebrations of colourful pride across the city including the official Pride parade and special performances and events held at unique indoor and outdoor venues across Ottawa. You can experience a Capital Pride Pageant, parade, youth art exhibit, trivia night, flag raising, human rights panel, drag show extravaganza and so much more!
Many Capital Pride events are free, so get your friends and family together and show off your rainbow of colours with pride and support this August 19-27.
Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival
From August 31-September 4, 2023 enjoy the colourful Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival. With incredible hot air balloon rides, fireworks, an amusement park, yoga classes and live music by the likes of Ne-Yo, Matt Lang and more, it's a summertime experience for the whole family like no other.
With eight different flight times over five days, there will be plenty of opportunities to experience the magic of hot air balloons. See the Ottawa-Gatineau region like never before by taking a ride or look up to see their vivid colours dotting the sky.
Enjoy even more of what Canada’s Capital City has to offer with the brand new Visit Ottawa Pass! Save big on six can’t-miss attractions with a one-day or three-day pass that’s delivered directly to your smartphone (no app required).