Canada Day 2017: What's happening in the core of the capital and on Parliament Hill

For Canadians looking for the ultimate party to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday on July 1, Parliament Hill — and nearby venues — will be the national hotspot.

Parliament Hill, Major's Hill Park, Canadian Museum of History official venues for Canada Day

Fireworks light up the sky red behind the Peace Tower during Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill on Friday, July 1, 2016 in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

For Canadians looking for the ultimate party to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday on July 1, Parliament Hill — and nearby venues — will be the national hotspot.

Live music, cultural demonstrations, and historical workshops will be happening all day at Parliament Hill, Major's Hill Park, and across the river at the Canadian Museum of History.

The day-long celebrations will build to a spectacular climax with a 20-minute "pyromusical" fireworks show at 11 p.m. ET that promises to be the largest ever presented in the National Capital Region for Canada Day.

Canada Day festivities will take place at three main sites: Parliament Hill, Major's Hill Park, and the Canadian Museum of History. (Google Maps)

Parliament Hill

Celebrations on the Hill begin at 9 a.m. with musical performances, featuring a carillon concert from the bells of the Peace Tower. The lineup for the rest of the day includes:

  • An opening celebration beginning at 11:40 a.m. featuring Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Governor General David Johnston, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, performances by Buffy Sainte-Marie, Bono and The Edge of U2, Walk off the Earth, Patrick Watson and more, and an air show.
  • A citizenship ceremony at 1:30 p.m.
  • The Canada Day Evening Show featuring performances by Gordon Lightfoot, Serena Ryder, Dean Brody, Alessia Cara, Kinnie Starr, and more, beginning at 8:30 p.m.
Gordon Lightfoot will join an eclectic lineup of performers at the Canada Day concert on Parliament Hill. (Getty Images)

Major's Hill Park

Major's Hill Park will be open at 9 a.m. with performances, demonstrations, and exhibits happening at kiosks and stages throughout the park focusing on Canadian culture, heritage, and sports.

Musicians will be performing live throughout the day, before a headlining showcase on the main stage beginning at 6:15 p.m. featuring Canadian musicians Ruth B, Laurence Nerbonne, and Mother Mother.

Singer/songwriter Ruth B will perform at Major's Hill Park on Canada Day. (Cathy Irving/CBC)

Canadian Museum of History

The museum in Gatineau, Que., will be open to the public all day with live entertainment and family activities. The new permanent Canadian History Hall will officially open for the first time to mark Canada Day. Live music gets underway at 11 a.m., featuring evening headline sets by The Souljazz Orchestra and The Lost Fingers.

Ottawa's Souljazz Orchestra will play at the Canadian Museum of History on Canada Day. (Brian Goldschmied/Souljazz Orchestra)

Jacques-Cartier Park

The largest horticultural event in Canada is being launched on June 30. Mosaïcanada 150 is a spectacular exhibit of sculptures created from plants and flowers. The main entrance is at the corner of rue Laurier and rue Saint-Étienne in Gatineau, and the viewing route it almost a kilometre long.


The annual fireworks show gets underway at 11 p.m. and is being billed as "the largest pyrotechnic show ever presented in the Capital region" as part of Canada Day celebrations.

Fireworks will be launched from five different locations including Nepean Point and along Confederation Boulevard. The show will feature:

  • 15,000 individual fireworks set off around Confederation Boulevard.

  • 150 x 200-300 mm calibre aerial shells.

  • 150 x 50-mm maroons.

  • 150 x 75-mm maroons.

The synchronized performance of fireworks and music will last just over 20 minutes.