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Arts and Culture

Be sure to check out Culture Ottawa, the gateway to the latest information about cultural happenings in Ottawa. You may also be interested in visiting Spotlight, an online calendar with information about what's happening in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

Canadian Videogame Awards 

The Canadian Videogame Awards are coming to Ottawa in 2017!  For more information, please visit ottawa2017.ca

Arts programs

The City of Ottawa operates several Arts Centres with arts classes for everyone at all levels of ability. The Nepean Visual Arts Centre, the Nepean Creative Arts Centre and Shenkman Arts Centre, offer specialty arts classes taught by accomplished artists – painters, actors, filmmakers, writers, photographers, musicians - many are offered in custom studio spaces.

Check out the City of Ottawa Recreation eGuide for more information.

Live Entertainment

Interested in the performing arts? Check out the City's theatres and performance venues. There is something for everyone! For performance and box office information, visit each facility directly: Shenkman Arts Centre, Centrepointe Theatre, Arts Court Theatre.

Don't forget about:

  • Student Rush tickets are discounted tickets that are made available for secondary and/or post-secondary students who hold valid student ID cards. Get these tickets the day of the performance, subject to availability.
  • EyeGO is a program that is designed to encourage secondary school students to attend performances in the arts, such as theatre, music, dance, and film. Tickets for qualifying performances cost $5, upon presentation of suitable ID. For more information, visit EyeGO.

Culture Fee Support

Do you need help to pay for a City of Ottawa cultural program? The City of Ottawa offers financial support to ensure that all residents can participate in recreation and culture programs and activities offered by the City, regardless of their ability to pay.

Ask for a Hand in Hand application form at your local recreation or cultural facility or any City of Ottawa Client Service Centre. Applicants will be asked to provide proof of financial need. 

Recreation

Check out Spotlight, an online calendar with information about what's happening in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Whether you are interested in festivals and fairs, special events, sports, the outdoors, dance, and arts and culture, you will find it there!

Recreation Programs

Looking to register for a recreation or sports program or fitness class?  

  • Browse through the City's Recreation eGuide, which provides a list of courses and drop-in opportunities in swimming, specialized aquatic programs, basketball, and other sports, for all ages and skills levels.
  • Search JOIN Ottawa to find, view and register for a wide range of recreational programs and activities.
  • Fitness memberships are available at a variety of facilities through the city.

Drop-in Activities

The City of Ottawa operates many indoor and outdoor facilities that offer drop-in activities.

  • Indoor or outdoor public swimming is always popular!
  • The city's beaches are the place to be in the summer. Did you know you can rent volleyball nets?
  • Did you know that the City of Ottawa provides both permanent and seasonal skateboard parks across the city?
  • Whether you want to enjoy a pickup game with friends or want to practice your lay-up, check out the list of seasonal basketball courts throughout the city.
  • Take advantage of the city's municipal tennis courts!
  • If you prefer skating, check out indoor public skating or join the winter fun at one of Ottawa's 250+ outdoor public-skating rinks!

Sport Leagues

Did you know there are women's only leagues for many team sports? Join a beach volleyball, ball hockey, basketball, soccer and softball women's team.

Looking for fun in the sun? Consider joining the Beach Volleyball co-ed or men's leagues (recreational or competitive) at one of the city's beaches.

For additional information on sport leagues, email gws-ffs@ottawa.ca or call 613-580-2854.

Cycling Education

The City of Ottawa offers cycling education courses to improve both the confidence and ability to ride safely in traffic in both the urban and rural environments. For more information, call 613-580-2854, or e-mail cycling@ottawa.ca.

Special Needs Programming

The City of Ottawa is committed to supporting youth with a disability in participating in recreation programs. The City has an intake process, leisure counseling and program referral to support youth in finding the best program options. Visit Special Needs to learn more about the intake process and connect with the Coordinator, Special Needs in your geographic area of the city.

Recreation Fee Support

Do you need help to pay for a City of Ottawa recreation program? The City of Ottawa offers financial support to ensure that all residents can participate in recreation and culture programs and activities offered by the City, regardless of their ability to pay.

Ask for a Hand in Hand application form at your local recreation or cultural facility or any City of Ottawa Client Service Centre. Applicants will be asked to provide proof of financial need.

Library

The Ottawa Public Library has a lot to offer for teens and young adults! In addition to books, Teen Services invites you to get involved through youth volunteer opportunities, to sign up for a teen activity or to participate in contests, book reviews and more.

For general information about branches and hours of operation, visit Ottawa Public Library.

Youth Leadership

The City of Ottawa offers a full range of leadership programs for youth 13 and up. These programs are available in Central, East, South and West Ottawa. Note that there is a registration cost for all leadership programs.

Leadership Programs for Youth

Leadership Foundations

This two week program is aimed at 13 year olds and focuses on having fun while providing participants with an introduction to leadership styles, team building and communication skills.

Leadership in Action

This two or three week program is aimed at 14 year olds and focuses on leadership development, team building, enhanced communication skills, first aid training ('Basic first aid' certificate) and valuable work experience in a recreation setting.

Advanced Leadership Program (ALP)

This three or four week program is aimed at youth 15 years and up and focuses on valuable pre-employment skills, hands on work experience in recreation (qualifies for the 40+ hours of community service), certification in High Five: Principle of Healthy Child Development, Standard First aid, CPR, and defibrillator training. Participants will receive a certificate from the Mayor in a City Hall ceremony.

For more information on all youth leadership programs, visit: Youth Leadership Programs.

Aquatic Leadership and Certification

Aquatic leadership programs can lead to recreation career opportunities as a lifeguard or swimming instructor. The City of Ottawa aquatics team offers a progression of certification courses that provides you with the required qualifications to meet your goals, including:

  • RC Water Safety Instructor
  • LSS Lifesaving Instructor
  • National Lifeguard Service
  • AED (Automated external defibrillator)
  • Oxygen Therapy (O2 or Airway Management)

A complete list of certification courses is included in the Certification section of the Specialty Swimming eGuide.

Camp FFIT – Female Firefighters in Training

The City of Ottawa – in partnership with Fire Service Women of Ontario (a non-profit association of women in career and volunteer fire departments in Ontario) – presents a unique opportunity to give young women a taste of what it’s like to be a firefighter.

CAMP FFIT offers:

  • Basic Firefighting
  • Team building
  • Use of SCBA – Self Contained Breathing Apparatus
  • Basics of Pump/Ladder operations
  • Fitness and Nutrition Information
  • Aerial ladder climb
  • Auto Extrication
  • Basics of technical rescue

To qualify you must:

  • Be 15 to19 years of age
  • Be in good physical condition
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Complete an application form
  • Agree to follow all rules and regulations
  • Participate in all activities and classes
  • Must possess a valid OHIP or Provincial Health Insurance Card.
All CAMP FFIT Activities and Evolutions will be led by qualified members of Ottawa Fire Services.

Camp FFIT is designed to educate young women about the career of fire fighting. They will have an opportunity to perform many tasks, including, but not limited to, search and rescue, aerial ladder climb, auto extrication, forcible entry, catching hydrants and high rise operations; as well as wearing full PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) and fighting simulated kitchen and car fires.

Participants will have an opportunity to speak to men and women of the Career and Part time Ottawa Fire Services, as well as firefighters from neighbouring communities and students who have graduated from the Pre-Service Fire Fighter Programs at Algonquin College and La Cité collégiale. 

All participants require steel toe boots to take part in all fire ground activities.

Camp Instruction will be offered in English. 

Application and contact information

For additional information please contact campffit@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424 x 29621.