Canada’s birthday party happens here!
Everyone knows that the best place to be on Canada Day is Canada’s Capital Region. But just as we do something special for friends entering a new decade, this year’s festivities will be extra exciting. Turning 150 is a milestone worth celebrating!
This year, the party doesn’t start and stop on July 1. Far from it! Celebrations will take place over the entire weekend, from June 30 to July 2, at three locations. So get ready to have some serious fun!
To help you navigate the Canada Day crowds, catch all your favourite artists, and enjoy a spectacular day (or three!), we’ve prepared this handy summary of what’s going on where. First and foremost, we should point out that it’s all FREE!! That’s always a good thing. Also, the three sites are SICK (in the positive sense)! Here they are.
Parliament Hill: Party Central. This is the site of the main stage, where dozens of artists will perform. It’s also the location to see notable Canadians and the official ceremonies. It’s going to be packed!
Major’s Hill Park: A beautiful green space within walking distance of the downtown core’s main attractions. The park offers stunning views of Parliament Hill, the Ottawa Locks, the Ottawa River and Gatineau. This is the family site par excellence. Be sure to drop by the Outaouais Tourism tent—we’ll be presenting our new 360-degree virtual reality video!
Canadian Museum of History: For the second year as an official Canada Day site, the Museum is standing in for Jacques Cartier Park, which is occupied by MosaïCanada this summer. It’s a popular location for festivals and events of all kinds.
Here’s what’s on over the weekend:
Friday, June 30 – Day 1: Get into the party spirit!
Parliament Hill: Nothing on today, as organizers prepare for the massive celebrations tomorrow!
Major’s Hill Park: Buskers, games and dance demonstrations, spotlight on Indigenous artists, and an evening show featuring Jonathan Painchaud and Moon vs. Sun, with Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace.
Canadian Museum of History: There will be inflatable games, and some live wild animals to meet. At 5:30 p.m., enjoy a performance by a choir of Syrian refugee children living in Canada. Later in the evening, participate in the Silent Battle of the DJs: put on your headphones, pick your DJ and dance your heart out!
For a complete schedule of what’s happening on June 30, click here!
Saturday, July 1 – Day 2: The big day!
Parliament Hill: After the opening ceremonies, the Snowbirds will zoom through the sky over Canada’s capital. If you’re a fan of the Royal Family, you’ll be pleased to know that Prince Charles and Princess Camilla will be there! Later on, watch the Canada Day Evening Show on the main stage, with performances by top-notch talent including Alessia Cara, Cirque du Soleil, Marie-Mai, Walk Off The Earth, Lisa LeBlanc, Louis‑Jean Cormier, Serena Ryder, Gordon Lightfoot and more.
Major’s Hill Park: The family fun continues, with a VIA Rail miniature train for the little ones and the 25th annual Great Canadian Chicken BBQ. In the evening, enjoy performances by Ruth B, Laurence Nerbonne, Mother Mother and DJ Rise Ashen.
Canadian Museum of History: Besides all the on-site special activities, you can visit the Museum for free, including the brand new Canadian History Hall, opening today. Woohoo! In the evening, take in a lively performance by The Souljazz Orchestra and The Lost Fingers.
Here’s something worth noting: admission to all national museums is free on July 1!
The traditional Canada Day fireworks show will start at 11 p.m. and will last 20 minutes and 17 seconds (20:17 – get it? 😉). This year, pyrotechnic effects will launch from five different sites and will be accompanied by music. Where to get the best view? From behind the Museum of History, of course!
Complete July 1 schedule? Check it out!
Sunday, July 2 – Day 3: Still going strong!
Parliament Hill: It’s WE Day Canada! Head for the Hill to enjoy performances by Nelly Furtado, Marc Dupré, the Barenaked Ladies, Hedley, Les Trois Accords, Alex Nevsky and The Tenors, and speeches by Roméo Dallaire, Alexandre Despatie, Chris Hadfield, Rick Hansen, Chantal Petitclerc, PK Subban and more.
Major’s Hill Park: All-day family activities.
Canadian Museum of History: Explore the mini aerial course, the climbing wall and the creative zone and get up close to some live wild critters.
For a detailed schedule of the last day of celebrations, just click here.
All set? Downtown will be hopping! Don’t forget that MosaïCanada 150 is also opening in Jacques Cartier Park, and on July 2, the Table agroalimentaire de l'Outaouais invites you to take a stroll along Gourmet Alley right in front of the Maison du tourisme. Meet local producer and enjoy the buskers! A great reason to forget your lunch!
Many downtown streets will be closed for the Canada Day celebrations. A free shuttle bus will run between the Canadian Museum of History and Major’s Hill Park from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on July 1. It’s probably best to leave the car at home this weekend. Happy Canada Day! 😊