Wandering around Ottawa and Gatineau, you may have already spotted one of the surest signs of spring in the region. Close to one million tulips have been planted for the 66th Canadian Tulip Festival, kicking off Friday May 11 and continuing until Monday May 21. Special events include dancing, brunch, a film premiere, Victoria Day fireworks and more.
In 1945, the Netherlands sent 100,000 tulips bulb to the capital as a sign of appreciation and gratitude for the role Canada played in the liberation of the Netherlands. The Canadian Tulip Festival has been celebrating the tulip, an international symbol of friendship and peace, since 1953. Since that time, the festival has grown, with even more tulips, events, and activities. The tulip has even been named Ottawa’s official flower.
The theme for this year’s Canadian Tulip Festival is A World of Tulips. In support of this theme, the National Capital Commission will showcase the World Friendship tulip. Wondering what it’ll look like? Keep an eye out for a mid-season tulip with a soft creamy yellow colour.
The NCC has a map to help you find all the best spots to enjoy the tulips, while the four key venues offer four distinctive experiences for visitors. With over 30 different sites, there are plenty of options to enjoy the tulips. Malak’s Bed, located along the river behind the Canadian Museum of History, offers a stunning view of Parliament Hill while paying homage to photographer Malak Karsh.
Commissioners Park and Dows Lake
Commissioners Park has almost a quarter million tulips, representing 60 different varieties. The tulip beds have been carefully designed by NCC architects to combine tulips of different colours and sizes. After visiting the flower beds, wander up Preston Street and enjoy the sights, sounds, and restaurants of Little Italy. Don’t miss the fireworks on Sunday May 2o!
Enjoy the arts and culture of the Tulip Festival at Lansdowne Park. On Friday May 18, party with the Peptides at a #Petal #Pedal Tulip Party at an Amsterdam themed, bicycle inspired party.
Walk the Tulip Trail between Ottawa and Gatineau as you take in the Garden Promenade. On Friday May 11, the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa will launch the SPAO Centre Gallery with the exhibition CANADIANA – Selections from the Art Bank Collection.