Ottawa 2017 invests in boosting festivals in the nation’s capital during sesquicentennial celebrations

Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, announced today an investment of $250,000 in a new program that will be stewarded by Ottawa Festivals to boost local festivals during the celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday in the nation’s capital and for years to come.

The funds will be used to mount a multi-faceted, lasting marketing and outreach campaign which will promote Ottawa’s more than 100 festivals to the millions of visitors expected in the region next year.

“The Ottawa 2017 celebrations present a wonderful opportunity to highlight the best of our city to millions of Canadians and visitors from around the world,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “This program will ensure that the Ottawa 2017 celebrations economically benefit the festivals that have been drawing hundreds of thousands of tourists to Ottawa every year, further strengthening the industry and making it more sustainable for the future.”

The program will be managed by Ottawa Festivals, in partnership with Ottawa 2017. The not-for-profit service organization is dedicated to providing support, presenting a united voice, and creating an effective networking environment for festivals, special events and fairs in Canada’s Capital Region, and is this year celebrating its 20th anniversary.

“We have a dynamic and engaged festival industry in Ottawa and we’re pleased to help steward this one-time funding to shine a bigger spotlight on their amazing work,” said Carole Anne Piccinin, Executive Director of Ottawa Festivals. “By bringing added visibility to area festivals, we’re boosting the positive and tremendous impact that the festival industry has on the local economy, our region’s vitality, and our way of life.”

The program will, among other marketing initiatives, create a Festival Ambassador program, where information about festivals will be shared with residents and visitors through fun interactions and programming during the peak tourist season in 2017. This includes virtual ambassadors, who will create relevant and engaging digital content year-round about Ottawa festivals, leaving a lasting legacy of information, images and videos for promotion in future years.

The announcement was held at Lansdowne Park, a new, additional site this year for the Canadian Tulip Festival, one of Ottawa’s oldest festivals, and the location for tonight’s kick-off fireworks for the renowned celebration.

“In my role as Chair of the International Festival and Events Association, I have seen how festivals play a central role in enhancing the vibrancy of cities and in strengthening the social fabric of a community,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau. “Ottawa 2017 celebrations will be complimentary to recurring festivals and events in the capital, enabling our city to offer a full year of dynamic programming and building the potential of these cultural assets beyond 2017.”

Canada’s 150th celebrations will 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.

Photos for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017:

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]