As is the case every year Ottawa is the place to be for the nation's birthday. On July 1, hundreds of thousands of people celebrate Canada Day in Ottawa with concerts, picnics, fireworks, street performances, and other activities.
This year Canada Day's main sites are Parliament Hill, Major's Hill Park, Jacques-Cartier Park, and Confederation Park.
This guide is provided courtesy of the NCC. Use the links below to find the information you need. Hope we'll see you on the hill.
Choose from these Ottawa Canada Day Events info:
July 1 Schedule of Events
- 9 am — Carillon Concert
- 9:30 am — Flag Raising Ceremony
- 10 am — Changing of the Guard Ceremony
- Noon to 1:30 pm — Canada Day Noon Show (Broadcast Live)
The Canada Day Noon Show combines ceremony and the arts. The event begins with the inspection of the guard and the 21-gun salute. The focus then turns to the main stage for cultural performances from across Canada and Canada Day speeches by dignitaries.
- 2 pm to 5 pm — Various Street Performers
Relax on the lawns of Parliament while strolling buskers and drummers entertain.
- 7:30 pm to 10 pm — Canada Day Evening Show (Broadcast Live)
The Canada Day Evening Show includes a variety of performances by Canadian artists. Enjoy the fun and sing along with great Canadian musicians.
- 10 pm — Fireworks
The celebrations reach a grand finale with fireworks that can be seen over the Parliament Buildings.
10 pm (approx.)
The best views are from Jacques-Cartier Park and the Canadian Museum of Civilization (both in Gatineau), as well as Major's Hill Park (in Ottawa), Victoria Island, and along the Ottawa River.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
9 am to 6 pm
Free admission to the museum “castle” on Canada Day! Discover weird and wonderful creatures in the amazing “Extreme Mammals” exhibition. Be dazzled by the beautiful minerals in the Vale Earth Gallery. Visit the popular dinosaurs, mammals, birds and creepy crawlies. Chat with friendly educators and enjoy hands-on activities.
10 am to 5 pm Visit the “1812 on Tour” kiosk presented by Parks Canada, and learn about a significant chapter in Canada’s history
10 am to 6 pm Discover our Canadian cultural heritage through these municipalities that are integrating arts and culture into community life.
10 am to 6 pm For 50 years, the Canadian Coast Guard has been a symbol of service and security.
11 am to 5 pm Enjoy authentic programs of First Nations drumming and dancing, traditional Aboriginal cuisine, children' craft making, and storytelling in a teepee.
5:30 pm Burundi Ramesha Drums
10 am to 4 pm Enjoy a free exhibition about Ottawa’s history and the building of the Rideau Canal on the ground floor.
9 am to 5 pm The Canada Aviation and Space Museum is among the best places to celebrate Canada Day with your family.
6 pm to 8 pm B-boys and B-girls engage in stiff competition in the second Canada Day championship. Hosted by Luca "Lazy Legz" Patuelli.
A one-hour edition of the evening show will be televised on CBC and Radio-Canada at 9 pm local (11:05 AT/11:30 NT), with special programs on ARTV and Espace Musique.
10 am to 5 pm Round ’em up, and bring ’em in! This phenomenal team of professional makeup artists will transform faces into works of art.
The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages invites you to join thousands of Canadians on Parliament Hill to celebrate Canada’s 145th birthday. The theme for the Noon Show is “Celebrating the Heritage of 1812.”
Noon to 6 pm Rideau Street between Sussex Drive and Dalhousie Street
9 am to 5 pm June 30 to July 2 A fun-filled day of games, activities, and ice cream making — and tasting!
9 am to 8 pm Take advantage of free admission to the museum to visit our special summer exhibitions
9 am to 5 pm Free general admission to the museum “castle” on Canada Day!
9 am Take in a truly unique musical experience — the 53-bell carillon of the Peace Tower.
CBC Songwriter Circle with performances by Ash Koley (Man.), Simon Walls (Que.), Beth Moore (Ont.)* and Deon Blyan* (Alta.).
10 am to 5 pm Howdy Canadians! Use your imagination help create a beautiful chalk art gallery on the pavement.
10 am A pageantry of marching music and military drills, performed by the Governor General’s Foot Guards.
Noon and 4:30 pm Come and meet the cheerleaders from Collège Saint-Joseph de Hull, who will reveal some of the secrets behind their acrobatics.
Chicken Corner — Cooking Demonstrations Pick up some delicious cooking tips in Chicken Corner, behind the Fairmont Chateau Laurier!
10:45 am, 12:45 pm and 2:45 pm Fesso, the professional stunt clown, will charm you with his circus skills, comedy and juggling acts.
10 am to 6 pm Mark your mark on a giant mural of Canada! Help transform the mural into a colourful work of art. For 6- to 12-year-olds.
10 am to 6 pm Games for families and groups — guaranteed fun for young and old!
11:15 am, 12:45 pm, 2:15 pm and 3:45 pm Throw on your cowboy boots, and join line dance leader Dave Western in a western dancing celebration!
10 am to 5 pm Hats off to our cowboys! Be creative, and design your very own cowboy hat, horseshoe or handkerchief — or mosey on home with your own sheriff star badge!
Come and celebrate Canada Day at the Currency Museum! Fun activities for the whole family, in a relaxed setting.
10 am to 5 pm Create your own Canada Day souvenir with recycled jeans.
6 pm to 10:45 pm 2012 Cultural Capitals of Canada Show with Calgary artist Deon Blyan and Niagara region artist, Beth Moore*
10 am to 6 pm Enter a world of transformation! Step inside the minibus — and leave with a completely changed appearance.
Celebrate Calgary with renowned fancy dancer Sandra Crazy Bull. Learn the dance moves to Calgary’s Cultural Capital theme song and first number one international hit “Sweet City Woman.”
8:30 pm In the shadows of twilight, watch as balls of fire and flaming rings illuminate the sky. Skilled fire weavers heat things up and amaze the crowd.
9:30 am Join us as we mark the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Coast Guard and the War of 1812 bicentennial!
Featuring interpretative panels and multimedia elements, this unique exhibit inspires and educates visitors of all ages about Canada’s national honours, their recipients and their stories.
10 am to 6 pm Keep your eye out for the silver mechanical cowboy. His moves are sure to rustle up an audience!
2 pm Great Canadian Oath Procession With Burundi Ramesha Drums
Great Canadian Oath! (Reaffirmation Ceremony) Show your patriotism! Reaffirm yourself as a proud Canadian.
11:30 am and 2:30 pm This type of dance originated with Black miners in South Africa as a form of non-verbal communication.
10:45 am, 1 pm, 3:15 pm and 5:30 pm Learn how to twirl a hula hoop around every part of your body! This workshop combines circus arts and urban dance.
10 am to 6 pm Gigantic structures with an obstacle course, a maze and a giant slide.
10 am to 5 pm Take part in the creation of an impressive Canadian collaborative artistic project with a Canadian artist. Don’t miss the evening illumination!
10 am to 6 pm Enter the musical world of percussion — with Junk Funk Percussion, the group that turns trash into musical treasure.
10:30 am to 5 pm Join roping expert Eric Maisonneuve, as he wrangles up some fun with a lasso workshop. Lasso demonstration on the Giddy-Up Stage at 3:30 pm.
9:30 pm to 4:30 pm Mackenzie King Estate is having a party and you’re invited! On July 1, come celebrate Canada Day with a giant birthday cake, music, games for the kids, guided tours of the museum and grounds, and more!
10 am to 5 pm Live broadcast from Major’s Hill Park.
10 am to 6 pm Run, jump, climb and crawl along the ground. Are you up for the challenge? Try this obstacle course, and test your skills. For 6- to 12-year-olds.
4 pm to 5 pm Enjoy the skill and panache, and experience the charm and richness of various cultures through rhythm and dance.
Celebrate Canada Day with free admission to see your favourite Canadian artists. Join a Docent’s Choice talk in English at 11:15 am or 1:15 pm
All day • Beaches at Meech, Philippe and La Pêche lakes, Gatineau Park • Vincent Massey Park, Ottawa
10 am to 5 pm Live broadcast from Major’s Hill Park.
Canada’s best up-and-coming indie bands — free today, courtesy of the Ottawa Jazz Festival Inc.
10:30 pm (after the fireworks) Rajveer Singh is a 21-year-old dreaming of a professional hockey career.
9 pm While going through his own personal tragedy, Bachir Lazhar, is hired as a substitute in an elementary school after the abrupt death of one of the teachers.
Celebrate Canada Day on the beautiful grounds of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, right beside the Ottawa River, in Gatineau.
10 am to 5 pm Challenge your hopping skills, with these inflatable horse bouncer balls inside a hay bale riding ring. Guaranteed fun and laughter for all ages!
The best views are from Jacques-Cartier Park and the Canadian Museum of Civilization (both in Gatineau), as well as Major's Hill Park (in Ottawa) and along the Ottawa River. This thunderous pyrotechnics show soars over the Ottawa River, beginning at 10 pm.
10 am to 5 pm The President’s Choice®BBQTOWN sizzles on the PlazaBridge, dishing out great food and fun!
10 am to 5 pm Join the Ice Cream Shop Party at Major’s Hill Park, and sample delicious President’s Choice® ice cream.