Your Guide to Ottawa’s 2015 Summer Music Festivals

Real Estate Sales Representative with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Brokerage

Your Guide to Ottawa’s 2015 Summer Music Festivals: From jazz and blues to classical and folk

Why is Ottawa such a great place to live and to consider buying a home?

As a Realtor with more than 30 years of experience, I can give my clients who are new to the city many reasons why so many people love calling Ottawa home.

As we head into summer, if you are out and about the city, you’re likely to come across one of those reasons: Ottawa’s wonderful summer music festivals, which attract thousands of people every year and offer something for every taste.

If you like rock, blues, jazz, classical, folk or you enjoy sampling it all, our summer festivals offer first-class lineups and star performers that would be the envy of larger cities.  

It is not unusual to meet patrons at the city’s festivals who have travelled to Ottawa specifically to attend the festivals. Often, you’ll hear these visitors telling local residents how lucky we are to live in the city where this great music is available every year.

So mark your calendars for these events, for your own interest or for friends or relatives who will be visiting and looking for something to do. The festivals offer multiple performances every day, at sites that include Lebreton Flats, Confederation Park, Lansdowne Park, the National Arts Centre, the National Gallery and some of Ottawa’s beautiful churches. They all offer a range of ticket options, including festival passes for those who want to hear a lot of music and individual tickets if you want to only hear a few concerts.

Here are some of the Ottawa festivals coming our way in the summer of 2015:


TD Ottawa Jazz Festival

When and Where: June 18 to July 1. Sites include Confederation Park, the National Arts Centre and the Rideau Centre.

Details and Highlights: The jazz festival presents dozens of performances over two weeks. Sites include beautiful Confederation Park, on Elgin Street at Laurier Avenue, where you can sit on a blanket on the lawn and enjoy an evening of music under the stars. Performers this year include saxophonist Branford Marsalis (performing in the National Arts Centre’s intimate Studio space); trumpeter Chris Botti; gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama; Pink Martini; Bruce Cockburn; Huey Lewis and the News; the Steve Miller Band; pianist Renee Rosnes; South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim and his trio; and the Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra with Ingrid Jensen.  

For more information:


RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest

When and Where: July 8 to 19, Lebreton Flats.

Details and Highlights: This festival, one of North America’s largest, attracts crowds of thousands to hear performances on multiple stages on Lebreton Flats in the area around the Canadian War Museum. Performers this year include rapper Iggy Azalea; rapper Kanye West; Lynyrd Skynyrd; country star Keith Urban; the Tragically Hip; Deep Purple; and Randy Bachman.

For more information:


Music and Beyond

When and Where: July 4 to 17. Venues include Ottawa churches, the National Gallery, the Rideau Canal and the University of Ottawa.

Details and highlights: Now in its sixth year, this classical music and multi-disciplinary festival presents 75 classical music concerts and events, and explores links between music and other art forms, including dance, theatre, visual art and film.  For example, at a full-evening event at the National Gallery July 8, you can stroll through the Gallery to look at the art and hear musicians performing music that has a connection to the art on display in that area.

Performers at this year’s festival include the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Grammy-winning classical guitarist Jason Vieaux, the Vienna Piano Trio, Canadian mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta, Ottawa countertenor Daniel Taylor and the Theatre of Early Music and Germany’s Auryn Quartet. A July 9 concert hosted by Supreme Court Justice Beverley McLachlin will explore links between music and law, including stories of composers’ legal problems through history.  The festival’s closing concert, at Dominion-Chalmers Church, will present a concert of circus-inspired music and performances by Montreal’s Cirque Fantastic.

For more information:


Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival

When and Where: July 23 to Aug. 6, at venues that include Ottawa churches, the National Arts Centre and museums.

Details and Highlights: The festival presents 100 concerts and events, focusing on chamber music, the intimate art form featuring a small group of musicians, although the festival occasionally presents larger ensembles, such as the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. This year’s performers include violinist Augustin Dumay; pianist Andre Laplante; violinist Alexandre Da Costa; jazz pianist David Braid; and the Afiara Quartet.  

The festival opens this year at Dominion-Chalmers Church with a performance by the Canadian National Brass Project, an ensemble made up of brass players from orchestras across Canada.  A highlight of this year’s festival is special programming exploring the influential string quartets of Haydn, with performers including the St. Lawrence String Quartet.

For more information:



When and Where: Sept. 16 to 20, Lansdowne Park. The festival’s main performance area will be the Great Lawn, next to the football stadium. The festival will also use other buildings on the Lansdowne grounds.

Details and Highlights: Formerly known as the Ottawa Folk Festival, this event has been re-named CityFolk for 2015. It’s also been given a new home at Lansdowne Park, re-locating after four years at Hog’s Back Park. The lineup of performers is to be announced, so keep an eye on the website for more details.

For more information:


If you’re new to Ottawa or are thinking of moving to our great City, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me through my website, or call my office at 613-788-2556. Nancy Benson –Keller Williams Ottawa Realty, Ottawa, Ontario

Comments (2)

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Lots to look forward to...I always like to attend Summerfest if I can too!

May 23, 2015 11:36 PM
Michael Dagner
Brokers Guild Classic - Denver, CO
Your Denver Homes Realty Expert

Hi Nancy, sounds like a lot of good music and fun for all.   Hope you get to go to all - enjoy!

May 24, 2015 01:54 PM