In just under a month’s time, Ottawa will be a city in bloom. This year’s Canadian Tulip Festival is scheduled to run for 18 days, from May 1 to May 18, and there are plenty of new additions to the hugely popular event.

There’ll be more activity and locations along the Tulip Route — at Festival Plaza outside City Hall and at Lansdowne Park by Queen Elizabeth Drive — in addition to the traditional activity sites at Major’s Hill Park and at Commissioner’s Park, and Dows Lake.

Major’s Hill Park will host an all-new event, the Circus School and Vintage Carnival. Presented in association with Carnivale Lune Bleue, the Circus School will run for 18 days and give young people and adults alike the opportunity to learn circus skills such as juggling, stilt walking, trapeze techniques, trampoline skills and much more. There’ll also be free live performances every half hour, and vintage rides will include a 1917 Ferris wheel.

Major’s Hill Park will also feature a Green Tulip Showcase, part of the Festival’s new Green Tulip Initiative. The Showcase is a display area that presents green alternatives, both big and small, from different energy sources to simple choices individuals can make in their daily lives.

The festival is also promoting greener transit alternatives this year, including the opportunity to rent bikes. Bike rental stations will be set up along the Tulip Route, and bike parking will be available at all park sites.

The International Pavilion, which last year drew record crowds, expands this year to 25 participating countries and will be located at Lansdowne Park.

Celebridée, the festival’s celebration of ideas, will again be staged in the beautiful Mirror Tent from Belgium, which was a new and very popular venue last year, will this year be located at Festival Plaza in front of City Hall.

The lineup of speakers, leading artists and cutting-edge commentators, including Rick Mercer, Margaret Atwood, Sister Helen Prejean, Angela Davis, Lawrence Greenspon, Daniel Taylor, Martha Henry and Jessica Holmes.

The Mirror Tent will also host the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe for the duration of the Festival with a total of 23 performances.

For more information, visit and

Latest From ...