Festival Industry Impact Research

The Impact of Festivals, Special Events and Fairs in Canada’s Festival Capital

The Ottawa Festival Network (OFN) is pleased to present a new pilot baseline study on the impact of festivals, special events and fairs in Canada’s Festival Capital. We gratefully acknowledge the support of Ottawa Tourism and the City of Ottawa to enable us to undertake this study.

This study is a first step towards capturing tangible evidence to provide a holistic view of the industry’s impact on the economy, employment and the community as a whole, and is the first-of-its-kind study for Ottawa’s festival industry. It provides a benchmark for repeatable and continued measurement to fulfill OFN’s research mandate and will also provide a baseline for a more in-depth impact study that will take a look at the economic, social and cultural impacts of Ottawa’s festival industry.


The study demonstrates that annual festivals, special events and fairs have tremendous beneficial economic, social and cultural impacts on quality of life and prosperity in Canada’s Capital Region, which includes:

  • Festivals, special events and fairs accounted for more than $222.6 million total spending ($141.2 million direct and $81.4 indirect and induced) generated by activities at just 37 of the annual events that take place in Ottawa
  • Tourists attending annual festivals, special events and fairs spent $122,479,756 during their visit
  • The tourism industry benefits from an estimated 234K room nights, 104K peak rooms and more than 968K visitor days
  • Spending generated by visitors, organizers and sponsors, supported 68,798 jobs,  generating $63 million in personal income and more than $33 million in taxes to the three levels of government
  • Festivals provide an important venue for local artists, groups and performers, with 33 events reporting that 1628 of a total of 4366 artists employed were local
  • More than 16,632 volunteers dedicate over 310,000 hours with an economic equivalent of $8.3 million