The second weekend of August brings us some high-profile festivals that have been part of the Ottawa scene for many years. Check out this list and start making plans for an awesome weekend! There are lots of things to do in Ottawa!
1. Greek Festival
Great food and shows showcasing Greek culture and heritage. There will be live Greek music, traditional dances, the famous Zorba show, the very popular Multicultural Night featuring various dance groups from the Ottawa region, and tours inside their beautiful church. FREE.
When: Aug 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 19, and 20
Where: 1315 Prince of Wales Drive.
2. The Great India Festival
This festival showcases spectacular performances of music, dance and performing art shows. Also, Indian food from different regions, workshops in yoga, meditation, and wellness. Tickets: $10.
When: Aug 10-13. Fri 6-10pm; Sat and Sun 11am to 10pm.
Where: City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave W.
3. Halal Ribfest
Indulge in the best Halal, from juicy ribs and barbecues to innovative street food. There will be live performances, a popup market, competitions and prizes and giveaways. Tickets from $9.93.
When: Aug 11-13
Where: Lansdowne Park, 450 Queen Elizabeth Dr.
4. Grand Feux du Casino Lac Leamy
An international competition of fireworks launched from boats on the Ottawa River. PAID. Your ticket gives you access to seating, culinary offerings, and multimedia entertainment on the grounds of the Canadian Museum of History. People on the other side of the river can also enjoy the spectacle for free from Major’s Hill Park and other locations on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9:15pm.
When: Aug 2-19.
Where: Canadian Museum of History, Laurier St, Gatineau
5. House of Paint
This festival of Hip Hop is celebrating its 20 years in 2023. The main event will be on Saturday and there will be dance battles, DJs, graffiti, art, poetry slam, market, food and drinks. FREE.
When: Aug 11-13. (Main event Aug 12)
Where: Dumbar Bridge in Brewer Park, 210 Hopewell Ave.
6. Navan Fair
This is a huge agricultural fair offering concerts, a midway, horse shows, alpaca show, cattle show, sheep show, antique tractors exhibition, a baby show (baby beauty pageant), demolition derbies and much more! Tickets: $5, $10, $15. Children 5 and under enter for free.
When: Aug 10-13
Where: 1279 Colonial Road, Navan.
7. Ooh Music Fest
The flyest festival is back at the ByWard Market with the grill, beats, fresh vintage vendors, local designers, sneakerheads, hype performers and DJ’s.
When: Saturday Aug 12 from 12pm to 8pm
Where: 6 York Street.
8. Capital Pop Up Cinema
Watch your favourite movie under the stars: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Bring your folding chair. Pets welcome. FREE.
When: Friday Aug 11, 8:30pm aprox.
Where: Churchill Seniors Recreation Centre, 345 Richmond Road, Westboro.
9. 613 Flea
150 vendors featuring eclectic goods, handmade, antiques, vintage clothing, great food and more. FREE. Saturday Aug 12 from 10am to 4pm at Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne Park, 1000 Exhibition Way. Details: @613flea
10. Summer in the city Craft Market
Over 40 local vendors and artists on site. Free workshop. Saturday Aug 12 from 10:30am to 3pm at Glebe Community Centre, 175 Third Avenue.
11. The Chef’s Table 2023
This multi-weekend event will once again showcase world-class chefs, great live music, and a table alongside the Rideau Canal, on the terrace of the NAC’s 1 Elgin Restaurant. PAID. August 10-12 at 1 Elgin St, Ottawa.
12. Pump Day
Join the Bytown Fire Brigade on this special day full of free activities for the whole family. Come see Ottawa’s largest collection of antique fire trucks and firefighting apparatus on display and watch a live pumping demonstration. FREE. August 12 at 2880 Sheffield Road, Ottawa.
13. Rythm Culture Fest
Prepare to immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Caribbean culture, featuring captivating live performances by both local and international artists, folk dances, captivating stories, delectable ethnic cuisine, traditional games, and much more. PAID. August 12-13. At Clark Fields Park. 93 Houlahan St, Nepean.
14. Ottawa Titans vs New York Boulders
Cheer on Ottawa’s baseball team and enjoy a Country Night and a post-game fireworks show! Friday, August 11 at 5pm. At Ottawa Stadium, 300 Coventry Road.
15. Fanaticcon Ottawa
A pop culture event hosting vendors and exhibitors dealing with toys, comics, games and entertainment.
Come see celebrity guests perform. Sunday Aug 13 at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre from 11am to 5pm. $15 general admission, cash at door only. Kids 12 and under free.
16. Asinabka Film & Media Arts Festival
5-day long film and arts festival. August 8-13 Different locations depending on the date. All tickets depend on the event happening on that date. Purchases on the official Asinabka website.
17. Bollywood Fusion Fireworks Boat Party
3-Hours of Cruising, Licensed bar, pro photographer and more! Saturday Aug 12 from 9pm to 12:30am. Tickets starting at $25 online. Located at 1 Canal Lane.
18. Salsa Sundays
Head to Byward Market for Salsa lessons and social dancing every Sunday of August. No partner required. All ages. FREE. Aug 13 at 3pm at George Street Plaza. Details: @ottawamarkets
19. Feeling of Free. NAC Summer Programming 2023
Al Qahwa: This concert will showcase uplifting and energetic music with North African and Arabic rhythms and melodies interpreted with the spirit of jazz. Wednesday Aug 16 at 12pm at Atrium O’Brien, 1 Elgin St. FREE.
20. Shakespeare in the Park
A Company of Fools opened its 2023 season with Hamlet, bigger and better than ever. They will be touring over 40 parks in Ottawa and beyond. Shows start at 7pm and last 90 minutes.
Wednesday Aug 9: Owl Park (Hunt Club)
Thursday Aug 10: Metcalfe Fair Grounds (Metcalfe)
Friday Aug 11: Hintonburg Park (Hintonburg), Saturday Aug 12: Raven Park (Carlington)
Pay what you can. Suggested donation $20.
21. Hintonburg Blooms Flower Market
Featuring the loveliest blooms from Ottawa’s favourite sustainable growers. Sunday Aug 12 from 10am to 2pm. At Sommerset Square.
22. Planet Fitness. Free Gym Passes for Teens
FREE gym passes for teens ages 14 to 19 at both Planet Fitness sites in the city. Sign up online or on site. From now until August 30th.
23. Metcalfe Farmers’ Market
Farm fresh produce, baking, furniture, honey, meats, preserves, locally roasted coffee, locally blended loose leaf tea, wood crafts, clothing, takeaway food, jewelry, artisan work, wines, beers, spirits, home décor and so much more. FREE. Every Saturday. 9:00am – 1:00pm. May 13 – October 14. Metcalfe Fairgrounds, 2821 8th Line Rd, Metcalfe.
24. Salsa at City Hall
This popular event takes place every Wednesday on the Rink of Dreams or inside City Hall in case of bad weather. No partner required! All ages. FREE. Wednesdays from July 12 until August 30. 6-7:15pm Salsa beginners; 7:15-8pm Bachata, Kizomba or Zouk class beginners; 8-11pm Social dancing. At City Hall, 110 Laurier St W. Details: on Facebook
25. Lansdowne Summer Arts Showcase 2023
Every Thursday enjoy a free musical spectacle at Lansdowne Park. This Thursday Ottawa Story Tellers will hit the stage. Some seating available, you can bring your own chair. At dusk, at around 8:30pm, head to the great lawn to enjoy an outdoor movie screening. This Thursday Aug 10: A Knight’s Tale.
When: Thursday Aug 10 from 6:30pm to 8pm.
Where: Aberdeen Square, Lansdowne
Details: on Facebook
26. Ottawa Street Fashion
Strut downtown in your finest fit and appreciate fashion alongside with photographers, models and local businesses. Sunday Aug 13 at 3pm at William St in Byward Market.
27. The Heart of Art: Pooja Pawaskar’s ‘Why’ in Focus”
Prepare to be captivated as François Mittins and Pooja Pawaskar invite you to witness their collaboration—a docu short that showcases Pooja’s artistic practice and thought process. A small viewing party will be held at Studio 2020. Tickets $10. Friday Aug 11 from 6 pm to 8pm at Studio 20/20, 299 Bank St. Details at Eventbrite.
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