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City’s festival season gets underway

From festivals feting spring flowers to fleet-footed runners and from Greekfest to Bluesfest to Westfest...

From festivals feting spring flowers to fleet-footed runners and from Greekfest to Bluesfest to Westfest, Ottawa’s festival season has something to offer everyone.

With 43 festivals of every description, Ottawa Festivals kicked off the beginning of festival season at city hall yesterday.

Ottawa has the largest number of festivals per capital in North America, said John Brooman, Ottawa Festivals board member and the executive director for June’s Dragon Boat Festival.

“We have a relatively small city with a large number of festivals,” he said. “This is an opportunity for us to let the general public know about the festivals for the coming season.”

Because Ottawa is a multicultural city, it “really lends itself to different kinds of festivals,” Brooman said, adding a large variety of events can introduce people to new ideas and interests.

“I think we’re seeing programming throughout the festival season that would be the envy of any city in the world,” said Ottawa Festivals president Julian Armour, adding there’s an “enormous economic impact” of the festivals.

There’s no question festivals are good for the city, said Westfest founder Elaina Martin, noting Westfest started as a one-day festival five years ago, and has since grown to a five days.

“Visitors and residents alike to get to experience arts and culture,” she said. “Ottawa residents don’t need to plan a vacation, because there’s always something going on.”

tracey.tong@metronews.ca

 
 
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