Ottawa 2017 events for May

Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, is pleased to provide details for events in May to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in the nation’s capital.

Here’s what is planned:


May – July

Illunaata is Inuktitut for “all together”. In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Ottawa School of Art and its partners are bringing Canadian colours and imagery to our neighbourhoods through a series of murals spread across Centretown, Lowertown, Blackburn Hamlet and the ByWard Market. Three murals will be created for Ottawa Housing Community residences in their respective neighbourhoods and one larger mural will be created by Inuit Youth from Cape Dorset. Murals will be painted from May 2017 to July 2017.

Part of the Arts, Culture & Heritage Program. Presented in collaboration with the Ottawa School of Art, the Ottawa Community Housing and the Embassy of Imagination.



Horticulture Building at Lansdowne

Embassies, high commissions and international partners will highlight their culture with a series of world-class events at Lansdowne Park.

Poland              May 3

Mexico             May 5-7

Haiti                  May 17

Cuba                May 19

Guyana             May 21

Serbia               May 22

Africa Day         May 24

Ethiopia            May 28



May 6, 11 am – 12:45 pm

Great Canadian Theatre Company

Award winning Propeller Dance Company celebrates dance and humanity in bold new ways that contribute to changing society’s perceptions of performance, dance and diverse expressions.
Propeller Dance’s integrated approach and contemporary style makes for an exciting line-up that combines dance, creativity and inclusion for people with and without disability (rather, people of all abilities). Projects range from professional dance-theatre productions, to participatory events for the whole family.

Taking place in a mix of outdoor, site-specific and theatre venues, this wonderfully atypical series provides a fitting opportunity to experience Propeller’s strength as a professional performance company and community connector. Artists of all abilities are celebrated as creators, performers and co-collaborators of innovative new artworks. Come and participate in the Power of Possibility!

EveryBODY Dances Moving Sculpture: Join or watch 50 dancers as they move from GCTC (corner of Holland & Wellington) to Somerset Square (corner of Wellington & Somerset). Directed by Shara Weaver. Arrive at 10:30 am if you want to join the sculpture!

Free admission, with donations appreciated to support Propeller Dance Company.

Part of the Arts, Culture & Heritage Program. Presented in collaboration with Propeller Dance.



May 6, 2 pm – 5 pm, Centrepointe Theatre

May 20, 2 pm – 4:30 pm, Saint Paul University (Auditorium)

A series of Canadian documentaries that feature artistic, cultural, political and historical issues all sharing a common thread: the changing landscape and diversity of the City of Ottawa. Each film program includes a post-screening discussion with filmmakers and invited guests.

Ottawans on the Move will be held May 6 at Centrepointe Theatre and will look at ways that residents and visitors have and continue to move around and within the city — for work, health and recreation.

Ottawa Roots and Visions will take place May 20 at Saint Paul University and will touch on the remarkable contributions made by an Ottawa family business with immigrant roots and a renowned indigenous architect whose iconic designs have shaped the national capital.

Free admission, with donations appreciated to support One World Arts.

Part of the Arts, Culture & Heritage Program. Presented in collaboration with One World Arts.



May 13

First Tour: 11:30 am to 5:00 pm (English only) — Sold out

Second Tour: 12:45 pm to 6:15 pm (Bilingual) — Sold out

This adventure takes participants on a delightful 4-stop tour in rural Ottawa to learn about wild edibles, medicinal plants, maple syrup and honey.

Stop #1 – The Herb Garden

Discover seasonal edible plants and foraging practices during a short forest walk with host Amber Westfall, Herbalist and owner of Wild Garden. Savour the first tour tastes while listening to a local folk band inside the 200-year-old picturesque barn.

Stop #2 – Gees Bees Honey Company

Learn from Matt and Marianne Gee, who will explain the history of beekeeping and the many medicinal and culinary uses for honey, while you get up close to a beehive to see how the honey is made, all while enjoying honey and wax samples.

Stop #3 – Lip Balm Workshop with Radical Homestead

Convert your recent learning on bees and their products into a tangible product of your own.  Enjoy a multi-media presentation while snacking on a unique flavour of ice cream made especially for this tour.

Stop #4 – Maple Syrup with Aster Lane Edibles

Learn the details of maple tree production and unique properties of maple sap, all while sampling it through the different stages of production.  Owner Telsing Andrews will conduct a tour of her plant nursery and seed production facility, offering inspiration for your own gardens.

Part of the Agri 150 series.



May 17 – December 31

Fifteen locations

Appreciate Ottawa’s rich and diverse history through original artwork, archival and original photos and colourful stories in unique mini-kiosks at key intersections and corners throughout the city telling stories relating to the local community. These will form “destination” points, enhancing the attraction of the immediate vicinity, drawing attention to its historical and cultural significance, and bringing value to local and national history we will be celebrating in 2017.

Part of the Arts, Culture & Heritage Program. Presented in collaboration with the Workers’ History Museum.



May 20 – September 4, noon – 8 pm

ByWard Market

This aesthetic artistic installation of 41 sea containers will be transformed into an ephemeral entertainment locale featuring FREE special exhibits and performing arts events showcasing Canadian culture and Canada’s provinces and territories all summer long.

Inspiration Village will be open daily from noon to 8 p.m. (until 10 p.m. on Canada Day) with exhibits, demonstrations and performances. Among the many activities, visitors will be able to:

  • step inside a sound studio and share stories about Canada and their vision for the future of our country;
  • enjoy culinary demonstrations showcasing Canadian food culture from across the nation;
  • dress-up in Canadian-themed costumes and props at the Inspiration Village Photo Booth;
  • take a guided virtual tour of Parks Canada’s natural and cultural treasures from coast-to-coast-to coast;
  • express their creativity and imagine the next great Canadian invention at the Build A Nation Station;
  • take their photo in cut-outs of polar bears and beluga whales;
  • take-in live dance, musical and artistic performances representing all provinces and territories as well as local up and coming artists and previews of Ottawa area festivals;
  • discover and connect with the incredible diversity of land, history and awe-inspiring places to explore and experience in Canada;
  • and much, much more!

The list of activities and daily performances on the main stage will be available in mid-May.




May 26, 6pm – 10 pm (English) — Sold out

June 9, 6pm – 10 pm (French) Tickets
Quai des Artistes dock: across from 799 Jacques-Cartier, Gatineau

This farm to table experience, prepared by renowned local chef Michael Blackie and his team, will feature a unique 12-course tasting menu that tells the story of taboo and illegal food and drink over 150 years in Canada.

All food on the boat will in fact be legal and will highlight regional products from Savour Ottawa and Croquez l’Outaouais. Chef Blackie and Emcee/Comedian Denis Grignon will take guests on a culinary excursion that invites questions on our food culture, with stories that shed light on why certain foods were banned or taboo over the years, and our present-day food landscape.

This exceptional gastronomical experience will take place aboard the Ottawa River Queen and includes live jazz music by the Petr Cancura band who will perform Canadian favourites from over the decades.

Part of Agri 150. Presented in collaboration with Ottawa Boat Cruise.



Celebrate everything that is great about our country through these local celebrations.

May 13

Canada’s 150th Birthday Bash – Celebrating Harmony in Cultures

Hunt Club Riverside Park Community Centre (McCarthy Park)

May 20

Fiesta de la Primavera

ByWard Market

May 22

Carlington Family Fun Day

Alexander Park

May 27

2017 Kanata-Carleton Cultural Festival

Earl of March High School & Sandwell Green Park

Complete schedule online at, including recurring festivals and museum exhibits with enhanced programming for Canada’s 150th anniversary.


Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-caliber experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.

Ottawa 2017 thanks its lead partner CIBC, premier partner Bell, the Government of Ontario ( #ontario150) and the Government of Canada ( #canada150) for their contributions in helping to deliver twelve full months of bold events, immersive experiences and all-out celebrations.


Photos for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017:[email protected]/

Videos for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017:

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Stay informed on plans for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the capital. Visit, follow us on Twitter @2017ottawa (#Ottawa2017) and on Facebook.

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Media information:

Ottawa 2017

Denise LeBlanc – Manager, Media Relations

[email protected]