Officially known as the Canadian Tulip Festival (or in french, Le Festival Canadien de Tulipes Ottawa-Gatineau), this year’s event takes place in Ottawa from May 4-21, 2012. Millions of tulips will blossom again, creating an exotic mosaic of colour and beauty in Ottawa and Gatineau. This is the 60th edition of the annual festival.
News & notes for 2012
• The 60th edition of the Ottawa Tulip Festival runs from May 4-21, 2012.
• The main Festival events will take place in the Byward Market, Little Italy, Chinatown and other popular, core business areas.
• Highlights of this year’s festival include the Great Canadian Tulip Treasure Hunt, a Mad Hatter Tea Party on Mother’s Day, the International Pavilion, a kick-off party on May 4th and a Commemorative 60th anniversary Garden Party for the international community at “Blue Gables”, a former residence of the Dutch Royals in Canada during the Second World War. More info…
• FIREWORKS: There are fireworks on Sunday May 20 and Monday May 21 at Dow’s Lake / Queen Juliana Park.
• Read more: Canadian Tulip Festival outlines commemorative 2012 program
• For more info you can call the Tulip Hotline at 1 800 66-TULIP or visit the official web site at www.tulipfestival.ca
• See also: OttawaStart Blog: Tulip Festival
• May 3: Historic tribute to the Canada-Dutch relationship on the 60th Anniversary of the Tulip Festival
In a rare historic display, a squadron of vintage aircraft will fly from Gatineau in a commemorative airborne parade over the National Capital on Sunday May 13th starting at 1:30pm.
• May 3: Embrace inspires activities, from heritage to nightlife
The Canadian Tulip Festival today announced additional programming for 2012 themed around its new logo, called “Embrace”, designed by artist Laura Brown-Breetvelt.
April 27: Possible road closures near Commissioners Park over the next three weekends for the tulips in bloom
Traffic management activities will be in place near Commissioners Park over the next three weekends, April 28-29 and May 4-5, 11-12, 2012.Depending on the pedestrian traffic flow, from 10 am to 5 pm
• April 17: Early season tulips are blooming
The tulip season has begun with its early bloomers ready to amaze residents and visitors. As the official gardener of Canada’s Capital, the National Capital Commission (NCC) invites the public to take in the colourful displays of tulips found throughout the region.
• It all kicks off Friday, May 4th, with a commemorative Gala Reception at Restaurant Eighteen in the Market to honour those who have been part of the Festival through the years, followed by “Embrace the Night” – a party for the public which starts at The Side Door and will cascade to other locations through the night.
• Electrik Tulipe finale to the “Embrace the Night” series, Friday, May 18th, at the CE Centre. “Electrik Tulipe” will feature some of the hottest, most sought after DJs and producers on the world stage today, with world renowned DJ and member of the globe’s hottest electronic music sensation “The Swedish House Mafia” Steve Angello and Dutch DJ/producer Nicky Romero alongside Size Records DJ Third Party, surprise lighting and pyrotechnic effects. More info…
• On May 13, a squadron of vintage aircraft will fly from Gatineau in a commemorative airborne parade over the National Capital starting at 1:30pm. It’s part of a tribute to the Canada-Dutch relationship on the 60th Anniversary of the Tulip Festival.
• Capital Sounds – Music will be a major theme, and the popular Capital Sounds program will be back showcasing hot young local bands in all participating business areas – in the streets, on patios and in restaurants.
• Animation in the streets – Visitors will find unusual busker entertainment as well as special events including a return of the enormously popular Mad Hatter Tea Party first introduced at Festival 2011 for Mother’s Day.
• The International Pavilion – featuring the arts, crafts, music and dance of many countries, one of the most loved attractions of the Festival, with more participating countries than ever – a chance to “come to the Capital and visit the world.”
• An International Garden Party – a commemorative event for the international community at Blue Gables, a former residence of the Dutch Royals in Canada during the Second World War
• Tulip-themed art and workshops – in all participating business areas, featuring local artists and lessons in how-to paint, all inspired by the Tulip as subject.
• A tulip-themed photography contest – honouring the legacy of Malak Karsh, who inspired the founding of the Festival with his world famous photos of tulips in the National Capital.
• The Great Canadian Tulip Treasure Hunt – first introduced at the 2011 edition to great public response, and back for 2012 bigger than ever with 60 great prizes to be won in recognition of the 60th Anniversary.
• Celebridée – a celebration of ideas – returns under the direction of one of Canada’s well known international poets, exploring “ideas in poetry and prose”.
• A commemorative review in digital media – a restrospective of the Tulip Festival throughout the years commencing with the work of Malak Karsh.
• Fireworks – There are fireworks on Sunday May 20 and Monday May 21 at Dow’s Lake / Queen Juliana Park.
• Victoria Day Festival – not officially part of Tulip Festival, but it’s right at Queen Juliana Park. midway rides; petting zoo; food, drink, and dessert concessions; buskers; children’s activities; and live musical performances. Info here.
Address / Location
• We’ve had several emails from readers and tourists looking for a Tulip Festival address to plug into their GPS.
Although the Tulip Festival takes place at several location, the biggest and best tulip display is at Queen Juliana Park. Address: 870 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5S8.
• The closest intersection is Carling Avenue and Preston Street.
There is some paid parking available across from the Dow’s Lake Pavilion. There’s limited on-street parking nearby, including on the north side of Carling Avenue.
• You could also take the O-Train to the Carling Avenue station, about a 5-minute walk from Queen Juliana Park. OC Transpo bus routes 6, 85, 101, 102, 118 also stop nearby.
Did you know?
• Ottawa’s tulip tradition started after the Second World War. The Dutch government and royal family donated over 100,000 tulip bulbs to Canada as a “thank you” for the generosity and help of Canadians during the war. Each year, the Dutch royal family still sends 20,000 bulbs to Canada.Read more…
• The Ottawa Tulip Festival is the largest tulip festival in the world.