Ottawa is blessed with a wide range of cultural venues to offer its visitors. There are several excellent art galleries, such as the one at Carlton University in the St. Patrick’s Building, the Karsh-Masson Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada (fine arts museum). The City Hall also has an impressive art selection, free and open daily for public viewing.

There are too many museums in Ottawa to list them all, but a few that are unique and worth a visit are the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Aviation Museum, the Royal Canadian Mint and the Bank of Canada Currency Museum.

There are numerous performance centers throughout the city for drama and music; the most established is the National Arts Centre, which offers both French and English theatre, dance, and a variety of festivals and special events. See their website ( to see an events calendar or to buy tickets.

Ottawa, being the administrative capital of Canada, also known as Canada's Festival Capital, as it hosts many of the country’s big annual festivals including the largest chamber music festival in the world, largest dragon boat festival in Canada, one of Rolling Stones' top 10 music festivals in North America (Ottawa Bluesfest) and one of Canada's permeire jazz festivals.

During Winterlude, one of Ottawa’s main tourist attractions, the Rideau Canal is turned into the world's largest skating rink, snow and ice sculpture competitions are held, musical concerts are staged at numerous sites around the city, and parks in Ottawa and Gatineau are transformed into snow playgrounds, ice lounges and skating areas.