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Program by Site

ART Market

July 28 - August 1

Visitors to the Rideau Canal Festival can find unique art creations in the Art Market located at Confederation Park.

Original pieces from Canal ART artists and other local artists are available for purchase.

Check our Daily Schedule for more information.

Bicycle Chic Fashion Show 

July 31 at 2pm and 4pm (45min per show)
Col By Fountain at Confederation Park 

2 shows only!  

A Bicycle Chic Fashion Show highlighting the latest in bicycling fashion and accessories from local retailers and designers. 

Festival visitors can check out the fun fashions and cool bikes being shown off around the Col By Fountain’s circular catwalk.  Models are an amusing collection of business people, family and high profile community members.   

Discover the local designers and companies who promote active lifestyle, sustainable living and environmental consciousness. 


Bravo EST Gallery

July 28 - August 1

This year the Rideau Canal Festival has embraced the arts! To complement our new Canal ART exhibit, 36 art pieces from Bravo EST will be displayed in Confederation Park to create a walking gallery.

Bravo EST was established in 1991, and is French Ontario's only arts service organization in visual and media arts There are 120 members from all major regions of the province.

Check our Daily Schedule for more information.

Canal ART Gallery Tours

July 28 - August 1 at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm

Canal ART is an exciting new element to the festival. To give the visitors a better understanding of the exhibits, Canal ART

Gallery Tours are available to all Festival visitors.

For more information about the artists and their work visit our Canal ART webpage.

Canal Bikes

July 28 - August 1 from 10am - 5pm

Free with a Festival Passport

Inspired by the European experience of bikes for public use, the Rideau Canal Festival is offering visitors Canal Bikes for only $5.00/hr!  

20 Bikes are available at the Canal Bike Kiosk in Confederation Park. Don’t miss this great opportunity to experience the Rideau Canal World Heritage by bicycle!  

Children's Celebration of World Heritage

July 29 from 10am - 3pm

The Rideau Canal Festival will inspire children to love and appreciate World Heritage Sites with our Children's Celebration of World Heritage.

Activities include musical programming and interactive workshops and activities. Kids of all ages can also join in on Ottawa’s first World Heritage Sites Parade.  

Children's Animation

July 30-Aug 1 starting at 11am

The Rideau Canal Festival Roaming Children’s Animation in Confederation Park is jam packed with fun!

Kids can take part in magic, dancing, juggling, face painting, balloon animals and singing! Plus there are a few other surprises to keep kids hopping!

Colonel By Bistro

July 28 - August 1

Visitors of the Rideau Canal Festival can relax at our Col By Bistro in Confederation Park and Bytown Museum/ Ottawa Locks site. Enjoy a variety of tasty food from local vendors. There’s even a licensed bar serving Kichesippi Beer, our offical beer of the festival! 

All our food vendors are part of our Aim-for-Zero initiative so you can love the food and be kind to the earth!

And who knows Colonel By himself might drop in!

Connecting Children with World Heritage

July 28 - August 1

The Rideau Canal Festival is proud to offer Connecting Children to World Heritage. This program encourages children to celebrate heritage in an environmentally friendly way. 

Under the direction of artist and art educator, Monique Martin, children and their families are invited to 2 different activities that provide an opportunity to explore the significance of the Rideau Canal while celebrating Parks Canada’s 100th Anniversary.

Check our Daily Schedule for more information.

Environmental Poles

Participants will decorate 100 Environmental poles with environmental messages and artwork. Participants will be able to draw using various mediums, paint and/or collage onto the poles. The 100 environmental poles will evolve throughout the festival weekend. The 100 poles mark the 100th anniversary of Parks Canada and will be installed in Confederation Park.

Energy Ottawa Ecosphere Environmental Fair

July 30 - August 1

Throughout the festival, visitors will find lots of information on greener living at the Energy Ottawa Ecosphere Environmental Fair.

Entirely dedicated to sustainable development, this fair features many innovations in recycling, fair and organic trade, water conservation and renewable energies.  Visitors can also purchase organic and local products.            

See how you can reduce your environmental footprint and join in on our Aim-for-Zero footprint commitment.

Click here for more information.

For a list the Exhibitors click here

Guided Heritage Bicycle Tours

July 30 at 1pm and July 31 at 1:30pm
Departing from Confederation Park

Get all the fascinating facts about the Rideau Canal on Guided Heritage Bicycle Tours.

Rideau Canal Festival visitors can rent a Canal Bike or use their own.  The entire tour goes from Confederation Park to Pretoria Bridge (5.8 km) and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Self Guided Heritage Bicycle Tours

July 28 - August 1

Self Guided Heritage Bicycle Tours offers you 4 self-guided tours of Ottawa’s World Heritage Site.

Tours ranges from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. So jump on a Canal Bike and ride at your own pace.

Tour #1

Confederation Park to Pretoria Bridge: 5.8 kms/ 30 mins

Tour #2

Confederation Park to Dows Lake Pavilion: 13.2 kms/ 1 hour

Tour #3

Confederation Park to Dows Lake, Little Italy, Chinatown, Museum of Nature

Tour #4

Confederation Park to Mooney’s Bay: 19.6 kms/ 1hr 30 mins
See Info Kiosk at Confederation Park for more details.

Check our Daily Schedule for more information.

Hydro Ottawa Aim-for-Zero Centre

July 28 - August 1

By participating in the Aim-for-Zero program, the Rideau Canal Festival continues to lower its carbon emissions every year.

Now everyone can know their environmental footprint.  Visit the Hydro Ottawa Zero Centre and check out the environment calculator and other fun “living green” activities.

Check our Daily Schedule for more information.

Recycl'art de Montpelier Gallery

July 28 - August 1

Recycl’art de Montpellier is an annual event in Quebec, where all art works are created from recycled materials and features over 50 artists.

This year the Rideau Canal Festival is happy to bring Recycl’art de Montpellier to Confederation Park so festival visitors can see it up close!

Walk about amazing creations from artists Jacques Charbonneau, Melodie Coutou, Pascal Demonsand, Jordane,and Sylvie Pronovost. You’ll see recycling done in a whole new way!

Check our Daily Schedule for more information.

Rideau Canal Song Sing-Along

August 1 at 3pm

Join in the world record attempt to be the largest choir singing Robin Averill’s “The Rideau Canal Song”.  The choir will feature Robin performing and will be lead by Honorary Choirmaster, Max Keeping.

The Rideau Canal is one of 911 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the only one in Ontario.  To represent and honour these sites we need 911 singers to join in our Rideau Canal Festival Choir and help set the record.

This once-in-a-lifetime event will show the world our pride for the Rideau Canal and the contribution it makes to our lives. 

See you (and hear you!) at the World Heritage Stage.

UN International Youth Year Concerts

July 28  from 3pm - 10pm 

This is the year of the youth, declared by the UN and the Rideau Canal Festival is celebrating with our UN International - Youth Year Concert.

Starting at 3pm, Fresh Beat DJs will be spinning house music and local bands Riot Police and White Wires are taking over the World Heritage Stage.

Click here for more information.

World Heritage Concerts

July 28 - August 1

The Rideau Canal Festival presents the World Heritage Concerts! In its festival debut, this main stage has something for everyone. 

The Festival’s opening ceremonies take place at the World Heritage Stage July 28 at 11:30 with Robin Averill singing the Rideau Canal Song.

Other highlights of this main stage include: Fresh Beat, a house music show marking UNESCO’s International Youth Year; Puffin Productions; local bands Silver Creek, Searson, Jackson Miles Music, Herringbone, a Rideau Canal Song Sing-Along and much more.

Every evening the World Heritage Stage will feature music honouring the Builders of the Canal, specifically the French, Scottish, Irish and Native Canadians.

Ottawa Art Gallery Activities

July 30 from 11:00am to 6:30pm

The OAG will be offering free art experiences and creative opportunities for festival-goers on a drop-in basis. Leave your mark and let your art be seen! Using stencils, festival goers will have fun exploring their creative side by filling their world with multiple masterpieces!