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Performing Arts



National Arts Center

53 Elgin St., at Confederation Square


Canadian and international musical, dance, and theater artists:  including the resident National Arts Center (NAC) Orchestra  perform at this elaborate center.   The building, created by architect Fred Lebensold, is made of three interlocking hexagons beside the Rideau Canal, its terraces giving excellent views of Parliament Hill and the Ottawa River.


There are three auditoriums:

the European-style Opera, seating 2,300

the 950-seat Theatre, with its innovative apron stage

and the 350-seat Studio, employed for experimental works.


The National Arts Center Orchestra 


Guided tours are available.

performs in seven or eight main concert series per year. The center also offers classic and modern drama in English and French.

For reservations, call Ticketmaster at 613/ 755-1111 or visit the NAC box office Monday to Saturday noon to 9pm and Sunday and holidays when performances are scheduled noon to curtain time.


NAC Marketing and Communications Department

 Box 1534, Station B, Ottawa, ON K1P 5W1


Offers a free monthly Calendar of NAC Events.


Great Canadian Theatre Company

910 Gladstone Ave. 


presents contemporary drama and comedy with Canadian themes September to May.






Casino de Hull

1 boulevard du Casino


Daily 11AM - 3AM

At the Casino de Hull, a world-class gaming facility, visitors can try their luck at the gaming tables and slot machines.


The Ottawa Senators (Hockey)


20min from downtown, bus #183.

one of the youngest teams in the National Hockey League ( their predecessors won a string of Stanley Cups earlier in this century) and currently play at the new 18,500-capacity Corel Center, 1000 Palladium Drive, Kanata (1-800-444-SENS)

Tickets :call Ticketmaster 613/755-1166.



The Ottawa Lynx


a farm team (minor league) of the Montréal Expos, play at the Ottawa Stadium, Coventry Rd The season runs from mid-April to late September.



Ottawa Intrepid play at Lansdowne Park

1015 Bank (bus #7 or #1) or the Terry Fox Stadium

Riverside Drive (bus #96).

Tickets :call Ticketmaster 613/755-1166.







On weekends in February, it's Winterlude  613/239-5000

an extravaganza with parades, ice-sculpture competitions, fireworks, speed skating, snowshoe races, ice boating, curling, and more. One offbeat contest is the bed race on the frozen canal, while the most exciting event may be the harness racing on ice.




Ottawa's biggest event is the Canadian Tulip Festival  888/465-1867

for about 2 weeks in mid-May, when the city is ablaze with 200 varieties of tulips enlivening public buildings, monuments, embassies, homes, and driveways. (Among the best viewing points is Dow's Lake.) The festival began in 1945, when the Netherlands sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Canada in appreciation of the role Canadian troops played in liberating Holland. Festival events include fireworks, concerts, parades, and a flotilla on the canal.


R.C.M.P. Musical Ride Sunset Ceremony 

613/ 993-3751

with outdoor evening performances of music and horsemanship, including jumping and dressage, as well the ride itself.


National Capital Air Show in late May 





National Capital Dragon Boat Race Festival in late June 




Children's Festival 


In early June, the Canadian Museum of Nature holds this extravaganza of dance, mime, puppetry, and music.


Festival Franco-Ontarien


In late June, a 5-day celebration of Francophone Canada, featuring classical and other musical concerts, fashion shows, street performers, games and competitions, crafts, and French cuisine.



Canada Day 

800/ 465-1867

On July 1, Canadians flock to the city to celebrate a huge birthday party with many kinds of entertainment, including fireworks.


Ottawa International Jazz Festival 


For 10 days in mid-July, the city is filled with the mainstream and cutting-edge sounds of local, national, and international artists giving more than 125 performances at more than 20 venues.


Ottawa Chamber Music Festival 


North America's largest chamber music festival, with 74 concerts in the city's churches. It lasts  2 weeks.



Central Canada Exhibition 


10-days in mid- to late August.


Billings Estate Museum

2100 Cabot St 


Annual Heritage trades fair. Blacksmiths, quilters, cooks and others will demonstrate their crafts, and sell items.: Special historical tours will be offered; tea will be served on the lawn. Local artists will display their work. Daily (except Mondays and Saturdays): Tea will be served under a large striped marquee in the gardens. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.




Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival 


On Labor Day weekend, scores of brilliantly colored balloons fill the skies over Ottawa, while on the ground, people flock to musical events and midway rides.



In the months of December and January, Parliament Hill, Confederation Boulevard and the downtown area are ablaze with a dazzling display of lights forming a symbolic link of similar Christmas Lights displays in other provincial and territorial capitals, as part of the National Capital Commission's "Christmas Lights Across Canada" program.











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