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Bytown Museum/ Ottawa Locks Dows Lake Pavilion

Dows Lake Pavilion

* Please make a selection, from the menu above, for detailed day-by-day programming information.



Ongoing Activities

Director’s Cut Claymation Stop Motion Animation Daily Workshops
  • Saturday 11:00am – 6:00pm and Sunday 11:00am – 2:00pm

  • The Director's Cut is the first mobile film and imaging studio dedicated to children. Providing the opportunity for kids of all ages to experiment with digital film and imaging software to create stop motion animation. The workshops introduce children to the fun of self-created animated shorts.

  • The workshops will happen every hour on the hour from 11-6pm Saturday August 4th, and 11-2 Sunday August 5th. Signing up for these workshops is quick and easy. or visit the Director’s Cut tent onsite at the festival.

  • Each participant will be able to create an animation using one of three mediums, paper, clay, or superimposed images. Each animation will have the Rideau Canal as a background, and give children the opportunity to create their own short involving the canal! There are only a limited amount of spots – so sign up on line to guarantee your spot today!

Liquid Skills
  • All weekend

  • The cost for the tour/clinic is $39.99 + HST and there is a 40 percentage discount with purchase of the Rideau Canal Festival Passport! That's only $27.11 total after tax with a Passport! Payment can be made by cash before the start of your clinic. You can also choose to pay by email bank transfer to for the total before the start of your clinic.

  • Liquid Skills Kayak & SUP School – Offering Stand Up Paddle Boarding tours on the amazing Rideau Canal. No experience necessary and a choice between our Classic Rideau Canal Tour or Liquid Skills SUPFIT class. Both are 1hr long and both are guided. The tour is designed for people of all ages and levels of fitness to get out on the canal and experience how fun and easy it is to Stand Up Paddle Board. The SUPFIT class is designed for people who would like to try our Liquid Skills fitness program while on a SUP. SUPFIT combines a combination of exercises, stretching, yoga and paddling of course. We have had rave reviews with our LS SUPFIT classes.

  • Master the water with presentations by Liquid Skills, a leader in flatwater, whitewater kayak & stand up paddle instruction. Liquid Skills’ top notch Canadian certified athletes, will be presenting daily demos of rollovers, stand up paddle boarding and 45 minute kayak tours of the area. They also will be offering giveaways at their booth along with expert advice.

Ottawa Art Gallery Art Tent
  • Saturday 12:00pm – 7:00pm and Sunday 11:00am – 2:00pm

  • The Ottawa Art Gallery is proud to be hosting a complimentary arts and crafts event for children under 12. Participating children will make a craft to take away with them, or kids can opt into building an ongoing structure throughout the festival!

Robotics Workshop
  • Saturday 11:00am – 6:00pm and Sunday 11:00am – 2:00pm

  • Run by the Ottawa Robotics Academy, this daily ongoing event will have children and adults alike playing with robots! Demonstrations feature Ottawa robots performing a variety of maneuvers and ‘tricks’, such as moving, stopping, changing direction, responding to sound, stopping before hitting a wall, following a curved line and much more.

  • Two working robots will be on display, each capable of performing unique tasks. Older children, aged 9 and up, will be able to help program the robot to perform a specific task then watch the robot perform the task that they programmed.

Hula Hoop Workshops
  • Saturday 11:00am – 5:00pm and Sunday 11:00am – 2:00pm

  • Put on by the Mini Cirque Company, this one of a kind feature will be ongoing throughout the festival for families to enjoy. Learn to hula hoop like a professional, and enjoy Mimi Cirque’s roaming animation throughout the festival grounds. Twirling hoops around all parts of their body, these hoopers fuse circus skill and urban dance. Entertaining with dynamic energy, elaborate skill and tricks!

Kaliandrews Dance Company demos
  • Saturday 11:00am – 6:00pm and Sunday 11:00am – 2:00pm

  • Kaliandrews Dance Company specializes in Acrobatics and Circus Arts, as well as Stunting, Tumbling, Contortion and Aerial Arts. KADC has been training students in Ottawa for several years and was the first studio in the city to bring advanced acrobatics, aerials and contortion- and they are bringing these unique skills to the festival!

  • The Company will be set up with a demo area of mats and a tumble track. Children will have the opportunity to try their moves on the tumble track like the pros! Along with performing demos on going, look forward to two on stage performances!

Makin Faces Face Painting
  • Saturday 11:00am – 5:00pm and Sunday 11:00am – 2:00pm

  • Face painters will be on the site to add a touch of colour to children attending our festival! Free style real artists these face painters can take any image desired by a child and put it on them! Don’t look for a reference book just let them tap into your child’s imagination and go wild!

Rideau Canal´s 180th Birthday Party Team
  • A birthday team with from the local group Orbital Talent will have cupcakes, balloons, stilt walking, penny farthing bicycle riding and more will animate the entire area with this roaming instant birthday party! With a special happy birthday wish for all the attendees of the 180th Birthday Bash of the Rideau Canal

  • Saturday 11:00am – 5:00pm and Sunday 11:00am – 2:00pm

  • ADAM THE ECCENTRIC

  • Adam toured with Cirque Festival for four years as the lead clown where he created, performed and directed his own routines. You can expect a high level of interaction and fun. It´s his goal to engage and entertain as many people as possible.

Dows Lake Stage
  • For details, please click here to see the scheduled activities on Saturday.

The Lois McClure 1862 Canal Schooner Exhibit
  • All weekend

  • Schooner Lois McClure will be docked and offering free tours of her vessel at Dows Lake. This vessel is owned and operated by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and will be touring the canal to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

Pirate Adventures
  • Saturday Evening and Sunday 11:00am – 2:00pm

  • Ahoy Matey! Pirate Adventures on the Rideau is back! This unique, unforgettable experience for the entire family, aboard a pirate ship is a must-see at the festival. You can expect games, pirate training, face paint and other activities.

  • Take a mini adventure cruise for 45 minutes on the pirate ship departing from Dow’s Lake on a first come first served basis. Hurry aboard mate!

  • Also you can see the pirate ship as part of the Festival of Lights and Flotilla.