Heritage Day

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Celebrate Heritage Day! February 21, 2023

We are excited to celebrate Heritage Day with the theme ‘Recovering and Connecting Ottawa’s Heritage – Stronger Together’. This theme recognizes the unique and unprecedented events of the past few years and that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated division and distance. However, our heritage and cultural organizations kept us connected and strong, by persevering and showcasing the value of heritage to forge a way forward together.

Our heritage communities were flexible in providing opportunities for connection suited to the comfort needs of each individual. From online lectures, to in-person walking tours and the new hybrid experiences that made heritage accessible to all, Ottawa’s heritage community came together to give Ottawa a healing platform and space to recover.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023
12:00 pm
In person at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave.

The Heritage Showcase

Come explore the many heritage organizations and groups that make Ottawa’s heritage community like no other! Local historical societies, museums and other associate groups will be set up in Jean Pigott Hall before and after the Heritage Day ceremony at 12 pm for you to ask questions and plan your next visit! 

Why celebrate Heritage Day?

Why celebrate Heritage Day? Canada’s collective story is told through our special places, whether they are historic buildings or sites, archives, libraries, museums, commercial main streets or districts, places of faith, industrial areas, or natural or cultural landscapes.

Our shared heritage and histories in all forms has the power to bring people together and create a sense of belonging. Gathering places like town squares, and pow wow grounds, and cultural objects such as artefacts, regalia and family memorabilia are tangible touchstones with the past that can root us in place and nourish the spirit. Intangible heritage – languages, traditional rituals, music, dance, storytelling and more – is at the heart of family and community.

Heritage Day is also a chance to recognize the contributions of the many dedicated staff and volunteers promoting heritage conservation and educating the public about our city’s history. Gathering places like museums, and cultural objects such as artifacts and memorabilia are tangible touchstones with the past that can root us in place and nourish the spirit; and intangible heritage – such as traditions, storytelling and more – is at the heart of family and community.

In celebration of our past and our future, we encourage all – young and old, deeply rooted or new to Canada and its Capital – to visit heritage destinations, cultural landscapes and centres, and connect with traditional knowledge keepers, educators, parents and grandparents to experience heritage on Heritage Day and beyond. Find out how heritage is being celebrated in your community; and learn about services offered by local heritage organizations, public programs and special initiatives, as well as professional development and volunteer opportunities.

Join the Cultural and Heritage Programs and Spaces Branch in partnership with the Capital Heritage Connexion , and embrace, explore and enjoy your heritage places and experiences in Canada’s Capital during Heritage Week February 21 to 27 and throughout the year!

Proclamation recipient - 2023

Heritage Ottawa is an award-winning organization that champions the preservation of our city’s wonderful heritage buildings, historic neighbourhoods, and distinctive cultural places through advocacy and awareness-raising programs. 

Despite COVID-related challenges, Heritage Ottawa kept its activities and programs alive, pivoting to online delivery models and finding ways to support in-person activities safely. 

Over the past 55 years, Heritage Ottawa has intervened on behalf of hundreds of heritage properties — at both the municipal and federal levels — to defend worthy places at risk of demolition or inappropriate intervention. Places like the Aberdeen Pavilion, Old Registry Office, Château Laurier Hotel, Central Experimental Farm, Alexandra Bridge, former St. Brigid's Church, and various properties in the city’s 21 Heritage Conservation Districts. This commitment to saving places that matter is evidence of the organization’s dedication to the protection and stewardship of Ottawa's built heritage and history. 

Heritage Ottawa also has a solid track record of delivering programs that promote awareness, understanding and appreciation of our heritage , such as conducting walking tours and lectures, and organizing forums. A regular quarterly Newsletter, bilingual website and monthly E-Bulletins raise awareness about heritage issues in the city. 

Remarkably, this is all achieved by a formidable, volunteer-driven team.

To learn more about Heritage Ottawa and sign-up to receive heritage updates, visit: www.heritageottawa.org.