Events in Ottawa: May 2017

Events in Ottawa: May 2017

As the warm weather returns to Canada’s Capital, more activities and events become available for tourists and residents alike. Ottawa is known for a fascinating array of festivals, performances, concerts, and other events, and this May is no different. Here are some of the biggest events taking place in Ottawa this month.

Ottawa ComicCon: May 12-14, 2017

Enormously popular among Ottawa’s ever-growing population of pop-culture aficionados, Ottawa ComicCon is a hugely successful annual gathering of celebrities including artists, actors, musicians, cosplayers, directors, and even world-famous props and artwork from various forms of media including television, films, video games, and comics.

This year features megastars such as Matthew Lewis from the Harry Potter film series, visionary director George A. Romero, and even the iconic 1966 Batmobile. Attendees can purchase photo ops and autographs with their favourite celebrities, and the convention hosts several panel discussions and Q&A sessions, merchandise stands, activities and games, and even The Masquerade, an event used to show off costume making by talented attendees, featuring awards for the most impressive creations.

Canadian Tulip Festival: May 12-22, 2017

Always one to draw in huge crowds and a sure sign that the warm weather has at last returned, the Canadian Tulip Festival is a welcome sight by visitors and residents. Stunningly manicured gardens of over a million tulips, in all sorts of cheerful and vibrant colours, blossom to life and inspire the nation. This world-famous festival celebrating the beloved tulip takes over Ottawa’s public areas, and several events are held as part of the festival including fireworks on Victoria Day, the Lansdowne Park Tulip Gallery, and art projects in the ByWard Market featuring tulip giveaways, break dancers, and live musical performances. Ottawa’s Model A car club is holding a “show and tell” display and procession of vintage automobiles from 1928-1931 as a salute to the festival’s heritage. Special tours are available as well, which travel along the Rideau Canal and around Dow’s Lake before passing downtown and Parliament Hill.

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend: May 27-28, 2017

Drawing tens of thousands of participants and spectators every year, the annual Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is Canada’s most famous and popular multi-day running event. Competing in several challenging races including Canada’s largest marathon, almost 50,000 participants will explore Ottawa along pre-designated routes through city streets. Street festivities featuring food, live music, and celebrity appearances are common, and children’s marathons are also available to inspire youth from all over. Be sure to register and follow proper guidelines if you’re interested in running this year.

All in all, there’s something in Ottawa this month for everyone. Whether you’re eager to rub nostalgic shoulders with sci-fi stars, get energized with exciting marathons, discover outdoor art exhibitions, or simply tiptoe through the tulips, Canada’s Capital has a diverse range of fascinating events on offer this May.

To discover more events this month, visit the Ottawa Tourism event schedule.


Born and raised in Ottawa, Ann is a writer and amateur wine expert. She loves trying out the latest pubs and restaurants around town, unless "The Bachelor" is on. Don't bug her when "The Bachelor" is on.

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