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Photo by Robert Fairchild, from the Apt613 flickr pool.

Weekend Roundup: Goodbye and good riddance, 2016

By Krista Zeman on December 29, 2016

Well, Ottawans, the final weekend of 2016 is upon us. And the city does not disappoint. Here is your guide to NYE 2016-2017.

Warm-Up Festivities

downloadStart the weekend off right by competing in House of Targ’s free pinball tournament on Thursday night.

Give the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum a hand on Friday as they bake cookies for the Ottawa Mission to bring in the new year.

Or maybe it’s finally time to take in one of the handful of art exhibitions that are closing with the year’s end. Head down to L.A. Pai Gallery for their 29th Annual Contemporary Canadian Jewellery Exhibition, or make your way over to Cube to enjoy their annual show, Great Big Smalls XII.

NYE Proper

Sesquicentennials and comic strips and bagpipes, oh my! The fireworks of 2017.

You may have heard that Canada turns 150 in 2017. This NYE ushers in not only a new year, but a whole year of sesquicentennial celebrations. Head down to City Hall in the early evening, grab a free hot dog, hot chocolate or coffee, and watch as the Ottawa 2017 cauldron lights up.

Parliament Hill, Major’s Hill Park and the Canadian Museum of History host not one, but two fireworks displays to mark the arrival of 2017. The first is at 20:17, the second at Auld Lang Syne. Check out live music on the Hill, and a range of festivities at the Museum of History.

Fireworks will also erupt at midnight at Rick Chiarelli’s Alcohol-Free Family New Year’s Eve party at Ben Franklin Place. This year’s theme is Comic Strips and Cartoon Bits.

Perhaps you prefer to call NYE “Hogmanay”, and do it the Scottish way. The Scottish Society has got you covered with kilts, bagpipes and fireworks at Lansdowne. Free admission to their 5th annual Hogmanay Celebration.

Comedy and theatrical entertainment

15094405_1228134953933107_5404406469388625998_nLaugh your way into 2017 with YukYuk’s NYE special show featuring Derek Seguin, or head down to the Gladstone Theatre for Paul Hutcheson’s NYE, featuring comedians Pierre Brault, Christel Bartlese and burlesque sensation Sharon Nowlan.

Take your cheering voice over to Fatboys as it hosts the Third Annual Burlesque New Years Eve with Capital Tease. Dress to impress.

Feasts and festive drinks

Head over to the Andaz for its Copper Goes Gold 2017 celebration, complete with oyster bar, cocktails, and spectacular views of the fireworks.

Prefer a beer pairing with your dinner? Clover and Dominion City team up to bring you Brew Year’s Eve.

Minotaure offers up all-you-can-eat poutine, Funk-a-Tron 5000 and bubbles at midnight.

10fourteen’s fourth annual neighbourhood social returns, as they offer their space as your living room in Hintonburg. They’ll have apps on hand. You bring the rest.

Many more restaurants in Ottawa have special NYE menus on offer. Check in with your favourite one to see what they have in store.

Musical feasts

The Blacksheep Inn hosts a NYE extravaganza with Monday I Retire, Blast From The Sun, and Harea Band. They’ve booked a party bus to take you from the Museum of Nature to Wakefield, and back to the Rideau Centre.

Over at the Rainbow Bistro, the Tony D Band throws a Just Like Auld Times NYE party.

DJs and dance parties

Here’s a short list of dance parties in the city, organized alphabetically by venue. Note that many events require advance tickets, so be sure to check the sites to make sure you don’t miss out!

  • 15326049_1540156425998778_7246168773692699097_oBabylon: invites you to jump into the Delorean and dance through the decades at its Beat the Clock: A NYE Event.
  • Bar Robo: hosts Kitchen Party NYE Edn. – 2017 is going to be OK.
  • Barrymore’s: features catered food, at least 5 decades of music, and a countdown to 2017 for its NYE party.
  • Glebe Community Association: is home to Rahims & Luc’s 8th New Year’s Eve Mix Dance Bash, a Social Mix Dance party all night long.
  • House of Targ: teams up with Ottawa Ska Syndicate and Ashtwon Brewing to throw the SKA NYE Free-Play Party.
  • Kinki: features DJs Jon Deck, Mario Larochel and Sheldon Selekta Shellz Williams.
  • Lowertown Brewery: plays host to Escape Manor’s Masquerade 2017 NYE party, beginning with a masqueraded cocktail reception and ending with a masquerade video dance party.
  • Zaphod’s: offers champagne and party favours at its No Hassle NYE

The Cool-Down

15392884_997931000318507_2283884006350163287_oIf you’re just not ready for the party to end, Aunt Thelma’s & Chico’s Hip Hop Brunch on Sunday may be exactly what you need.

Perhaps you’re looking for something a little more low-key to ease into your first Sunday of 2017. The Bytowne is celebrating the best in Canadian cinema with free showings in the months leading to the Confederation’s sesquicentennial. It all starts on January 1st with La Grande Séduction.

It could also be a great day — your last chance, in fact —  to catch Kinky Boots at the NAC.


Remember that there’s free OC Transpo service throughout the city on NYE from 4:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. Have fun, stay safe, and see you in 2017!


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