21 events you won’t want to miss this weekend in Ottawa

Bundle up and get out of your house this weekend as there are plenty of things to do in Ottawa! Did you know that Winterlude was created in the seventies to encourage people to stop hibernating and have some winter fun? Let’s have a look at this list of events!

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1. Winterlude

The 45th edition of Winterlude, one of the two most popular festivals in Ottawa, starts this Friday with lots of events and activities in various venues in Ottawa and Gatineau. Visit the Snowflake Kingdom at Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau, take a stroll on Sparks St to see beautiful ice sculptures, and enjoy many exhibits and activities at the Byward Market.
When: Feb 3 to 20.
Where: Various venues
Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/winterlude.html

2. RCMP Musical Ride Open House and Food Drive

Visit the RCMP stables and have a selfie with a Mountie and the beautiful jet-black Musical Ride horses! FREE.
When: Sat Feb 4 from 10am to 3pm.
Where: 1 Sandridge Road.
Details: Check out: https://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/musical-ride/musical-ride-open-house

3. Winterlude Pow Wow

Experience a mini–Pow Wow or opening ceremony. There will be dancers of many styles and ages. FREE.
When: Sun Feb 5 from 11am to 4pm.
Where: Canadian Museum of History, 100 Laurier St, Gatineau.
Details: historymuseum.ca

4. Asinabka Festival

Enjoy indigenous films from the circumpolar North with outdoor screenings in a theatre made of snow! DJ and VJ performances after screenings, ice bar with hot drinks and snacks, fire pits to stay warm. FREE.
When: Friday Feb 3, Sat Feb 4 (outdoors) and Sun Feb 5 (indoors) from 6pm to 9pm.
Where: Lansdowne Park and Beandigen Cafe
Details: https://asinabkafestival.org/

5. Shiverfest

Manotick will be celebrating its winter festival with many activities for the whole family such as a pancake breakfast, a magic show, horse-drawn sleigh rides, a scavenger hunt, a skating exhibition and much more. FREE admission. Some activities required pre-registration.
When: Friday Feb 3 (6pm-9pm) and Saturday Feb 4 (7:30am-10pm)
Where: Various venues
Details: https://www.manotickvca.org/shiverfest

6. Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival

Enjoy two days of performances by Sarah Neufeld, Fraser Hollins and The Phoenix, OKAN, Felicity Williams / PURDY, and other artists. Tickets from $25.
When: Sat Feb 3 and Sun Feb 4
Where: Arts Court, 2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa
Details: https://ottawajazzfestival.com/

7. Bouge Bouge 5KM

A unique indoor 5K run through the corridors of Rideau Centre and Shaw Centre.
When: Sunday Feb 5 from 7am to 11am
Where: 55 Colonel By Dr, K1N 9J2
Details: bougebouge.com

8. Ice Dragon Boat Concerts

The Ice Dragon Boat races were cancelled but not the free indoor concerts scheduled. Friday Feb 3, 4 and 5. At The Rainbow starting at 8pm. 76 Murray St. Check out: https://www.icedragonboat.ca/liveattherainbow/

9. Valentine’s Barket

A wide variety of gifts and treats featured by amazing vendors. Come and get a pic with your pooch. FREE admission. Sunday February 5 from 11am to 5pm at Beacon Hill Craft Club, 2200 De Montreal Road, Unit C1, Gloucester.

10. Bank of Canada Winterlude weekend

Family Day Weekend: see (and touch) unusual currency, build a piggy bank, learn what’s a need, and what’s a want. FREE. Saturday Feb 4 and Sunday Feb 5. Where: 30 Bank St. Details: bankofcanadamuseum.ca

11. Fringe. Ottawa Freedom Convoy Photo Exhibition

The latest photo exhibition by photographer Paul Ozzello. Jan 26 to Feb 9. At Art+ Gallery, 531 Sussex Drive. FREE.

12. Black History Month

Movie night: The woman king  –  La femme roi. Thursday Feb 2, 6pm-11pm. At Scotiabank Theatre, 2385 City Park Drive, K1J 1G1. Tickets from $5. Check out Eventbrite.

13. Afro Ethnicity

Music, poetry, live performance, appetizers. Sunday Feb 5, 7pm-10pm. At 101 Clarence St. Tickets from $40. Check out Eventbrite.

14. Drag on Ice

Sunday Feb 5: At Vanier. Optimiste Park Ice Rink, from 11am to 2pm. At Lansdowne Park Ice Rink, from 4pm to 7pm. FREE.

15. Capital Hoops Classic

This is a classic basketball match between UOttawa Gee Gees vs Carleton Ravens. The men’s and women’s teams will face off this Friday Feb 3 starting at 6pm. At TD Place. Tickets from $25.

16. Public Skating at Rideau Hall

The historic skating rink at Rideau Hall, which dates back 1872, will be open to the public every weekend until March 5. FREE. No reservation required. No parking. Parking allowed on adjacent streets.
When: Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5pm. (weather permitting)
Details: gg.ca

17. Musical Evenings at Casino Lac Leamy

Bar 7 at Casino Lac Leamy is launching its musical evenings with a multimedia screen, and live performances, from Thursdays to Saturdays. FREE.
When: Thursday Feb 2 (Latin Fiesta) at 8:30pm Andy Rubal. Friday Feb 3 “StereoTypes”, and Saturday Feb 4 ‘This side up’ at 9:30pm.
Where: 1, Boulevard du Casino, Gatineau, QC J8Y 6W3.
Details: https://casinos.lotoquebec.com/en/lacleamy/explore/bars/bar-7

18. Farmers’ Winter Market

The Farmers’ market is back for the winter season every Sunday until April 30. Fresh vegetables and fruit, meat, baked goods, spirits, crafts and more. FREE.
When: Sundays from 10am to 3pm.
Where: Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne Park. 1000 Exhibition Way.

19. Ice skating at the Rink of Dreams

Grab your skates and head to the most popular ice-skating rink in Ottawa for some winter fun! FREE. You can rent skates there!
When: Everyday from 9am to 11pm
Where: 110 Laurier Ave West.

20. Owl Rendez-Vous

Watch live owls in a special outdoor exhibition. At the Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St, from Dec 14 to April 3, 2024.

21. Exhibition: Uramado AR, the awakening of the Tanukis

Uramado is a treasure hunt route in augmented reality. It tells the story of Tanukis which are spirits of the forest from Japanese mythology. The participants are invited to download the free app Uramado AR, Tanukis awake ( on IOS and Android ) to start this treasure hunt. FREE.
When: Mon to Fri from 9am to 12pm; and 2pm-4pm until April 30.
Where: Alliance Française Ottawa, 352 MacLaren St.
Details: https://www.af.ca/ottawa/details-de-levenement/?eventId=578#/


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