Ottawa for culture lovers

Ottawa for culture lovers

Canada's capital is home to a host of year-round cultural events and some of the country's most awe-inspiring museums. Prepare to be inspired!

On the museum trail
Start your cultural tour of the city with a spot of history and heritage. Ottawa is home to no fewer than 29 museums, 12 of which are renowned national museums. The Canadian Museum of History, formerly known as the Canadian Museum of Civilization, plunges visitors into a fascinating journey through ten centuries of Canadian history. The Canadian Museum of Nature and the Canadian War Museum also offer some wonderful opportunities to get closer to the country and its culture. The National Gallery of Canada is home to a diverse range of major art collections comprising everything from sculpture and prints to paintings and photography. Louise Bourgeois's famous giant spider rises up over the museum's entrance. This majestic bronze statue ushers visitors in through the doors of one of Canada's oldest cultural establishments.
To the beat of the festival scene
Ottawa remains the unrivalled champion of festivals. Like Montreal and Toronto, the capital hosts a huge array of events throughout the year. The Ottawa Jazz Festival is just one of its unmissable events. The festival was founded in 1980 by musicians from the region, and has managed to hold on to the refreshing spontaneity of its early days ever since. Off-the-cuff gigs regularly pop up when night falls, and the world's biggest names readily flock here to play to the crowds. Other renowned cultural highlights include the Canadian Tulip Festival and the Canada Day celebrations that hold a special, symbolic place in the hearts of Ottawa locals.
A slice of history on Parliament Hill
As Ottawa's political and cultural epicentre, Parliament Hill is a symbol of the city. Every summer morning, you can watch the traditional changing of the guard ceremony. Soak up the thoroughly British atmosphere that lingers over the Hill and learn more about late 19th century parliamentary life. Explore the Centre Block, home to the Senate foyer, the Library of Parliament and the Commons chamber. Take a moment to marvel at the Peace Tower's beautiful clock tower. In winter, the Hill's historic buildings are decked out in thousands of twinkling lights to celebrate the festive season. And to finish off the day with an artistic flourish, don't forget to check the jam-packed line-up of performances on show at the Astrolabe Theatre!
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