Centretown Movies is a community film festival that takes place in Dundonald Park on Fridays and Saturday nights at 9pm in July and August. Proceeds from the festival’s pay-what-you-can concession and admission go towards funding the festival through Centretown Movies or the night’s sponsor.
This year sponsors include Capital Pride, Community Addictions Peer Support Association (CAPSA), PSAC, Developments in Literacy (DIL) Canada, and Birling Skateboard Shop. Friday screenings are presented by a local sponsor and Saturday screenings are hosted by Centretown Movies. Before each screening, a local artist and/or community organization will be hosting performances and engaging activities.
2019 Centretown Movies schedule
- Friday, July 19: Love, Simon presented by Capital Pride
- Saturday, July 20: Moana presented by Centretown Movies
- Friday, July 26: Inside Out presented by CAPSA
- Saturday, July 27: Indian Jones and the Last Crusade presented by Centretown Movies
- Friday, August 2: How to Train Your Dragon presented by DIL Canada
- Saturday, August 3: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off presented by Centretown Movies (rescheduled to August 24)
- Friday, August 9: Grind presented by Birling Skateboard Shop (rescheduled to August 23)
- Saturday, August 10: Notting Hill presented by Centretown Movies
- Friday, August 16: Made in Dagenham presented by PSAC
- Saturday, August 17: Jaws presented by Centretown Movies
- Saturday, August 23: Grind presented by Birling Skateboard Shop
- Sunday, August 24: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off presented by Centretown Movies
Centretown Movies is a volunteer-driven project, run by a steering committee and one paid employee whose position is funded by Canada Summer Jobs and Centretown Community Health Centre. Ahead of the festival’s 2019 launch on Friday, July 19, we reached the team via email to learn more.
Apt613: It’s very impressive that the festival has been running for 19 years. How did it start?
The festival started in 2001 with the goal of revitalizing underused urban space in downtown Ottawa. It was founded primarily by a grant from the Trillium Foundation. The festival moved to Dundonald Park in 2006 where it remains to this day; previous locations include the old Technical High School field, in a vacant lot at the corner of Bank and Slater and on Sparks Street.
Does the event run rain or shine? What’s the best place for people to check if it’s still on?
If it is raining, we postpone the screening for one of our raindates, which are scheduled for the 23rd and the 24th of August. Follow us on Instagram (@centretownmovies) and Twitter (@CTMovies), or join our Facebook group (Centretown Movies) to stay up to date on the festival.
Do you have a particular fond memory you could share from one of the evenings?
“I was new in Centretown and felt a bit lonely. Movies in the Park gave me a destination on Friday and Saturday evenings. It was great to be surrounded by lots of people, enjoy a summer evening and watch a new movie… all in that glorious park. It was part of me making Centretown my home.”— Steering Committee member Ann Speak
You’ve said that the festival was created by the community, for the community. Can you speak to some of the positive impacts the festival has had on the community?
“It allows the community to come together in a safe location that is family friendly. Dundonald Park has really improved in the last 10 years and I am convinced that community events like this help in this regard.” —Steering Committee member Jennifer McKinley
“I think the positive impact it’s had is to change the communities perspective and engagement with the park. I think before it started, the park was a little rougher and not used a lot. But the movie nights, along with other events in the park, have helped the community reclaim the park for more positive activities.”—Steering Committee President Dan Desnoyers
Grab your blanket or lawn chair and snag a spot on the lawn at Dundonald Park (512 Somerset Street West, between Bay and Lyon) to enjoy an outdoor movie this summer. Movies will be presented in English with French subtitles when available The park is wheelchair accessible. For more about Centretown Movies, visit their website or follow on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.