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Canadian Tulip Festival

Thursday, May 12- Monday, May 23

Known as the largest celebration of its kind, the 71st annual Canadian Tulip Festival is set to take the nation’s capital by storm with its display of over 300,000 flowers by Dow’s Lake.

Even if tulips aren’t your thing, you can still soak in your fair share of Dutch culture, flower arrangement workshops, and fireworks.


Tulips at Commissioner’s Park in 2014. Photo: CC, Saffron Blaze

Ottawa Comic Con (EY Centre)

Friday, May 13- Sunday, May 15

Featured guests include Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars), Carl Weathers (Rocky), Eliza Dushku (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), John de Lancie (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), and many more.


Local cosplayers posing at Ottawa Comic Con in 2014. Photo: CC, Pikawil.

Ottawa Fringe Festival

Wednesday, June 15- Saturday, June 25

If Bluesfest is too mainstream for your taste, check out Ottawa’s biggest platform for celebrating alternative theatre, music, and contemporary dance.


Many Fringe Festival events take place around the Arts Court Building. Photo: CC, Dickpenn.

Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival (Mooney’s Bay)

Thursday, June 23-Sunday, June 26

Come for the awesome dragon boat races, stay for the free music, with headliners like July Talk, Mother Mother, Alvvays, and A Tribe Called Red.


Mooney’s Bay Park. Photo: CC, Lezumbalaberenjena.

TD Ottawa Jazz Festival (Confederation Park)

Thursday, June 23- Sunday, July 3

Featuring musical acts such as Kamasi Washington, Sarah McLachlan, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Stacey Kent, and many more.


Kamasi Washington performing at BRIC JazzFest Marathon in 2015. Photo: CC, Steven Pisano.

Canada Day

Friday, July 1

We all should know what Canada Day is like in the nation’s capital. But if you don’t it’s basically a second St. Patrick’s Day, but on steroids.

Plus, this year it falls on a Friday. What more could you ask for?


Canada Day in Ottawa in 2011. Photo: CC, Derek Hatfield.

RBC Bluesfest (LeBreton Flats) 

Thursday, July 7-Sunday, July 17

Featuring musical acts such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Duran Duran, Future, Billy Idol, Alessia Cara, Nelly, Jeff Ross, and many more.


Bluesfest crowds in 2011. Photo: CC, Mike Gifford.

Ottawa International Buskerfest (Sparks Street)

Thursday, July 28-Monday, August 1

Busking is an art form—don’t let anybody tell you different. In fact, some of these street performances—including clowns, jugglers, and acrobats—are downright jaw dropping.

Admission is also free, so there really isn’t anything stopping you from participating in the 25th anniversary of this amazing show.


Local buskers performing on Sparks Street. Photo: CC, Jamez42.