By Chris Lackner
Flowers, art, food, live performances, wine, craft beer — and weekend floral fireworks? Talk about planting the seeds for a great party. The city is in full bloom during this celebration of the historic ties forged between Canada and the Netherlands during the Second World War.
We got the insider’s scoop from Laura Brown Breetvelt, Executive and Artistic Director of the Canadian Tulip Festival (May 12-23):
Q: What makes the festival special?
A: The Canadian Tulip Festival is the longest running festival that provides one of the highest economic impacts in the National Capital Region, and continues to brand the City of Ottawa internationally with the celebration of the Tulip Legacy — a special legacy that inspires and celebrates international friendship and the history of the World War 2 liberation.
Q: What will surprise visitors about the festival?
A: This year, we are launching our first ever whimsical Indoor Tulip and Sculpture Garden inside the iconic Aberdeen Pavilion located at Lansdowne Park, Ottawa’s newest hot spot. We are celebrating the Tulip Legacy with international art displays, artisan displays, family programs, and live entertainment in a themed garden space that will feast everyone’s eyes and provide a weatherproof solution in case of rainy weather in May.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most this year?
A: Along with our exciting events this year at the Aberdeen Pavilion, we are particularly excited for the festival’s launch the evening of May 12. The evening will feature our first Indoor Tulip & Sculpture Garden and Ottawa Festival’s 20th anniversary celebration — recognizing the success of their 100-member strong festival, special event and fair network. The evening of the launch will also feature live entertainment on our International Friendship Stage and a spectacular fireworks display at Lansdowne Park.
Where’s Local Wisdom: The National Capital Commission plants nearly one million tulips around the city; rent bikes, hit the trails, and play the tulip version of I Spy. Or take a stroll from Aberdeen to explore The Glebe, one of Ottawa’s trendiest neighbourhoods for shopping and dining.