With Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations kicking off this year, the capital city of Ottawa, Ontario, is transforming its cultural and entertainment offerings to entice meeting groups. Ottawa’s more than 90 annual festivals—such as Winterlude, Canadian Tulip Festival and Canada Day celebrations—are already draws for visitors, making it a year-round destination.
Many of the city’s cultural institutions will unveil renovations throughout the year, says Michael Crockatt, president and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. Canadian Museum of History, one of the city’s most popular attractions, will unveil its Canadian History Hall including a new permanent exhibition featuring 15,000 years of history. “Hosting an event for your group among the museum’s totem poles is an unforgettably Canadian experience,” says Crockatt.
Canada Museum of Nature will add a new gallery, while Canada Science and Technology Museum will reopen after a $156 million expansion. The National Arts Centre will be transformed with a new street-side facade, while the city’s Arts Court is undergoing a $100 million redevelopment to add more space for events and exhibitions.
Alt Hotel Ottawa opened in spring 2016, and Andaz Ottawa Byward Market, the first Andaz property in Canada, debuted in September. Hotel Le Germain will open a new property, while the historic Lord Elgin Hotel is updating all rooms this year.
“Ottawa is ready to showcase itself to the world,” says Crockatt, noting he’s proud his city hosted One Young World, a global forum for young leaders, held for the first time in Canada in fall 2016.