Arguably one of Ottawa’s largest neighbourhood festivals, Westfest returns today, longer, bigger and with more music than before.


Celebrating its fifth anniversary with a five-day celebration, Westboro’s festival also features visual art, theatre, literary readings, dance, spoken word, and performance art.


More than 150,000 people are expected to attend the festival, which runs through Sunday, said the event’s founder and producer, Elaina Martin.


Although there’s something for everyone, live musical performances on two main stages will be the event’s highlight.


“To mark the anniversary, we’re celebrating Canadian aboriginal women in music, and headlining that is Buffy Sainte-Marie,” said Martin.

Sainte-Marie takes to the stage Saturday night.

Other musical highlights include Joel Plaskett Emergency on Friday night and Lynn Miles and Sue Foley on Ottawa Night, held on Sunday.

“You can’t get any more local and any bigger than that,” Martin said.

In addition to music, Saturday’s performances include the Canadian School of Dance, the percussion group BOOM!, theatre group Company of Fools, the Success Lion Dance Troupe and percussion-based musician Dr. Lee.

Sunday’s performances include stilt performers Notorious Long Legs, street dance crew Canadian Floor Masters and the Svitanok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble.

The festival is held on Richmond Road between Golden and McRae Avenues. The event is free.