What to Do in Ottawa: Weekend Preview July 21-23

What to Do in Ottawa: Weekend Preview July 21-23

Finally! That hot summer weather we’ve been waiting for! It’s expected to be in the mid-20s this weekend, sunny, and everything you could ask for on a July weekend. If you don’t have plans to unwind at the cottage, relax in the backyard, or recharge at the beach, here’s a preview of what’s going down this weekend in the Ottawa area:


CANADA SCENE is a celebration of the artists, musician, filmers, and dancers who inspire us, challenge us, and bring us together as a nation. This year’s event, running since June 15 at the various locations throughout the city, wraps up this weekend. Find a list of free events here, including Inuit Performing Arts daily at 11am at the NAC (presented in English and Inuktitut),  large-scale art installations at Endless Landscape in Gatineau’s La Fonderie, and Bust-a-Groove dance show, daily at 11am in the NAC’s new atrium. See all show times and pricing info on the NAC’s site.

Capital Ukrainian Festival

Celebrate Ottawa’s diversity and enjoy some tasty grub at the Capital Ukrainian Festival, hosted at the Ukrainian Catholic Shrine off Heron Road and Prince of Wales Drive. Enjoy singing, dancing, and live music, including everything from classical stylings to progressive “Ukrainian turbofolk.” Get a taste of traditional Ukrainain food, like perogies, cabbage rolls, borshsh, and even pampushky (Ukrainian donuts). Got drinks on the mind? Try the signature cocktail made with Zirkova Vodka, or sip on a Lvivske 1715 pilsner. Learn about Ukrainian culture through a series of workshops, including embroidery, beadwork, egg painting, and much more (please note: registration is required for workshops.

Ottawa Lebanese Festival

We’re not done yet! The Ottawa Lebanese Festival also takes place this weekend at the St. Elias Centre, across from Mooney’s Bay. Bring the kids to enjoy the family midway (ride bracelets $25 each). Indulge in tasty Lebanese delights, like hummus, tabouli, falafel, and shawarma. Check out Middle Eastern music and dance performances on the main stage. Learn about the country of Lebanon and take a virtual tour at the Travel Lebanon booth. With raffles, entertainment, rides, games, and much more, you’ll definitely want to check it out!

Fortissimo: Beating Retreat Ceremony

Planning a trip to see Parliament Hill this weekend? Don’t miss Fortissimo on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7 PM on the hill. The performance by massed military bands and special guests is based on evening routines carried out by soldiers throughout history. Featured performers this year include the Ceremonial Guard and bands of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Air Force Band, Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, Royal Canadian Artillery, and special guests from the German Wachbatallion. Prepare for ceremonial cannon and rifle fire. Visit the Canadian Army website for more details.

Dow’s Lake Garden Party

There’s no party like a garden party! Whether you’re an avid gardener or just want a fun place to take the kids this weekend, there’s something for everyone at the Dow’s Lake Garden Party on Saturday and Sunday. Kids will love facepainting, plush pony rides, and giant games. Take a break from the heat to enjoy a special garden menu and cocktails at Dow’s Lake restaurants. NCC’s Landscape Architect will be giving guided walking tours of Commissioners Park, while gardening ace Ed Lawrence guides visitors through the Dominion Arboretum. Finish it off with nightly fireworks and a surprise you’ll only find if you attend.

Have a fantastic weekend!

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