New Expo for the festival community launched in Ottawa

Launch of the Festival Season

John Brooman, Councillor Chernushenko, Minister Naqvi, Mayor Watson and Carole Anne Piccinin.

A new event was announced at the annual Ottawa Festivals Launch of the Festival Season Wednesday at Lansdowne Park. Set to take place in the Aberdeen Pavilion on November 20, 2015, the one-day Ottawa Festivals Pitchfest + Expo is designed to bring business leaders, festivals and event producers together.

Ottawa will be the hub of domestic and international attention during the celebration of Canadian Confederation. The City is hosting a number of blockbuster events and the annual festival, special events and fair community will be a crucial part of this banner year.

Executive Director Carole Anne Piccinin says the Pitchfest + Expo will help Ottawa position itself for the approaching whirlwind of events during 2017.

“Canada’s 150th celebration affords the Capital Region a tremendous opportunity to showcase all that we have to offer,” said Piccinin. “And we at Ottawa Festivals have answered Mayor Jim Watson’s strong call to action for the business and festival communities to create partnerships ahead of the celebrations.”

Speaking to a gathered crowd at the Launch of the Festival Season today in the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park, Mayor Watson said Festivals are crucial for the City.

“Because of your ingenuity and creativity we really have become a city of festivals,” said Watson. “We are very proud of festivals and the festival network that coordinates and attracts so many hundreds of thousands of people. We give sincere thanks for your efforts… and tying in with 2017, we have a blank slate. We need your input to make it bigger, better and more Canadian.”

This was a theme echoed by Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi.

“Ottawa Festivals does incredible work in continuing to help promote festivals,” said Naqvi. “Ottawa is one of the most dynamic jurisdictions in Canada and around the world festivals define us as a city. Wherever you go people remember us for our festivals.”

Pitchfest + Expo Highlights

  • Expo – Event industry suppliers, vendors and business partners
  • Presentations on creating event spectacles through innovative partnerships
  • Partnership Lounge – where potential projects can be discussed and negotiated
  • CoffeeTalk sessions presented by Festival House – casual event themed discussions with your peers
  • Some of the hippest local food, beverages, artists and artisans

Who should attend?

Business leaders, tourism industry associations, venues, event consultants, event producers and planners, artists/artisans, marketing agencies, conference centres, government leaders, industry suppliers.

How to get involved?

Call Ottawa Festivals Business Development and Event Coordinator Joe Holubowich at 613-233-1086 x 113 or e-mail [email protected]


Omar Hopkinson, aka Oms painted the energy in the room focusing on the bridges between the business and festival community heading towards 2017 and Canada’s 150th birthday.

The Moonfruits kick off the Launch of the Festival Season and Expo. Alex and Kaitlin were the first acts announced for Marvest a new festival showcasing local music as part of the upcoming CityFolk festival to be held at Lansdowne Park in September.

Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson join Capital Ward Councillor David Chernushenko and Ottawa Festivals Board Chair John Brooman for a ceremonial flower planting to mark the budding seeds of partnership between the festival and business communities.


Thank you to the Launch of the Festival Season partners: