About Us Overview

Founded in 1996, as a not-for-profit membership-based service organization, Ottawa Festivals delivers and participates in programs and initiatives that help build a stronger festival, special event and fair industry that contributes to positive socioeconomic impacts within Canada’s Capital Region.

Canada’s Festival Capital – festivals, special events and fairs add vibrancy to the city; animate our historic neighbourhoods and cultural institutions; create an environment for learning and understanding; provide venues for local artists while making the arts more accessible to residents; and help brand Canada’s Capital Region as a world-class tourism destination.

A diverse industry, our membership includes organizations involved in arts and culture, heritage, agriculture, community groups, and sport in addition to service providers who support festival organizers.


Ottawa Festivals is a not-for-profit service organization dedicated to providing support, presenting a united voice, and creating an effective networking environment for festivals, special events, and fairs to operate more effectively and contribute to the socioeconomic prosperity of Canada’s Capital Region.


Founded in response to festival organizers, members of council and tourism industry leaders who recognized the need for Ottawa’s events to be carefully scheduled, properly planned and effectively promoted, our goals are built on four fundamental pillars required for industry success:

  • Industry. Deliver programs and initiatives that contribute to building stronger and more sustainable festivals, special events and fairs;
  • Communications. Raise the profile and awareness of festivals, special events, and fairs in Canada’s Capital Region and advocate, as a cohesive group, on issues affecting industry stakeholders;
  • Best Practices. Gather and disseminate information and present learning opportunities which aid in the development of festivals, special events, and fairs and provide a communication link between event organizers; and
  • Community. Engage in collaborative, community-minded initiatives that leverage the benefits of the festival industry to provide positive outcomes for the industry, other stakeholders and the community as a whole. 

We Believe in:

  • People – the lifeblood of the industry
  • Promoting  standards of excellence within the industry
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Being open and responsive to our membership’s needs
  • Collaboration with other community stakeholders for the benefit of all
  • Being creative and looking for innovative ways to deliver beneficial programs
  • Leveraging our membership’s combined influence  to advance the entire industry