Ottawa en Lumière 2015: Your Guide to the Best Winter Festival in Canada

Ottawa en Lumière, one of the best winter festivals in Ottawa
January 30, 2015

Ottawa en Lumière 2015: Your Guide to the Best Winter Festival in Canada

Not a huge fan of winter in Ottawa? Well next month, there’s a festival coming that might just change your mind. Ottawa en Lumière, packed with live concerts, foodie events, art installations and the all-night revelry of Nuit Blanche takes Winter merriment to a whole new level with a twist of unmistakably Francophone panache. Here are some of the coolest events and exhibits you have to see during Ottawa en Lumière 2015.


The Free Outdoor Site and the RBC Stage

As is customary, the family-friendly outdoor site at Ottawa en Lumiere in front of Place des Festivals is admission-free. There are vendors on site with food trucks and booths, waiting to serve up delicious classics like Poutine, Smoked Meat, and Burgers as well as new school fusion favorites that include Banh Mi sandwiches, Fish Tacos, and other cool concoctions. Chocolatiers will be offering up their famous hot chocolate, and an amazing light show illminates the sky at night, glinting off snowflakes as they drift down and add to the ambiance. There are art exhibits for all to enjoy, as well as tons of great stuff for younger kids during the day and early evening such as face painting and games.


Musical Acts

Performances take place from 11AM each day of the festival at various venues throughout Ottawa. Highly-anticipated acts include The Tragically Hip, Bryan Adams, Dan Mangan and Blacksmith, Hayden, Hotel Morphée, Mara Tremblay and so many more. There are also plenty of classical evenings planned for the festival that feature the Orchestre Symphonique de Ottawa, Orchestre Metropolitain, and McGill University’s Orchestras. Or step back in time with the musical stylings of Forever Plaid, Gospel Fever, Legends of Soul, and a 60s Tribute show.


Dance Groups and Theatre

Dance groups at Ottawa en Lumière 2015 have exciting plans to wow crowds with thought-provoking performances that are moving and beautiful. Louise Bedard Danse, Soiree Flamenca, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Milonga Show, and Danse K Par K have evocative and powerful recitals showing most nights of the festival, and there are numerous plays of critical acclaim for those who are more interested in live theater. Again, performance venues vary but include everything from intimate theatres to open-air shows (bundle up!)


Food Affairs

The Fine Dining Program for the festival is an amazing list of tastings with renowned sommeliers, dinners and lunches with some of Canada and the World’s greatest or up and coming chefs, and dessert events that will have your mouth watering as you walk through the door. The events are extremely intimate and held within restaurants in the Downtown core of Ottawa. Every year, Ottawa en Lumiere and the chefs like to pick out some locations to inspire a portion of the cuisine on each day of the festival. 2015 is the year of Switzerland, Washington, DC, Launadiere, and of course, Ottawa itself.. The gastronomy events have very flexible pricing with meals and dinners ranging from very extravagant to quite affordable, so absolutely everyone can try something.


Nuit Blanche a Ottawa

February 28th, Nuit Blanche a Ottawa will light up the skies and set the night ablaze with live music performances, live art, historical exhibits, gallery showings, collections, and street shows the continue until the wee hours. This event is a world wide concept that happens in over 15 different nations at different times of year. Art installations and displays happen from sunset until sunrise, and the program for this fun-filled evening of drink, food, art, and fun will be released a few weeks before, so stay tuned for more details about the musical acts and noted artists and performers.


If you happen to be in Ottawa or even in driving distance in February, this is one festival you won’t want to miss. And the winter weather shouldn’t be a deterrent, with so many venues lending their cozy space for the festival. Take time out between February 19th and March 1st this year to explore downtown Ottawa, and witness some of the most compelling culture in the city. Winter’s never been done like this, and Ottawa sure knows how to do it!


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