This summer, a vacation doesn’t require travelling far, and it won’t cost the Earth. Celebrate one of Ottawa’s favourite historical and cultural landmarks and resources at the zero-footprint Rideau Canal Festival.
The festival, which earned the title of Ontario’s best new festival when it kicked off last year, runs from July 31 to Aug. 3 and celebrates the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation of the Rideau Canal.
While many events leave overflowing garbage cans and litter in their wake, this festival — aptly entitled Aim for Zero Footprint this year — has an eco-conscience. The first-ever zero footprint festival purchases carbon credits to offset any environmental impact and encourages people to bike or walk to events and to bring food and beverages in reusable containers.
All weekend, featured activities also include an ecosphere environmental fair with more than 100 exhibitors, to be held at Confederation Park; a green speakers series featuring speakers to inspire the public to embark on the road to real change in their everyday lives, and the Enbridge Buy Local Barbecue Challenge.
A highlight this year includes the collaboration with the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival for the Musical Breeze Parade of Bicycles. The parade is an outdoor musical and cycling event in which participants encounter a series of mini concerts and assist in music-making by observing posted instructions to create sounds and make music. It takes place on Aug. 1 at 1 p.m. at Lansdowne Park, and ends at City Hall.
The Adopt-A-Metre program is also returning, offering people the chance to adopt a piece of the Rideau Canal for $20. The donation will help to offset carbon emissions.
For more, go to www.rideaucanalfestival.ca.