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Rural events and attractions

2018 Food Aid and Mayor’s Rural Expo – Friday, June 1

Come out for a fundraiser BBQ cooked by THE WORKS, and discover what rural Ottawa has to offer!

Friday, June 1, 2018
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West

The Ottawa Food Bank and City of Ottawa are pleased to present Food Aid and the Mayor’s Rural Expo. This exciting annual event brings together an important BBQ fundraiser with the flavour and uniqueness of rural Ottawa within the City’s core area.

The two events came together in 2013, when the Mayor’s Rural Expo was first introduced as part of the Food Aid event. Mayor Jim Watson and the Executive Director of the Ottawa Food Bank saw an opportunity to combine Food Aid, which promotes and features locally grown beef, with a one-of-a-kind rural tradeshow.

According to Mayor Jim Watson, “this event supports a worthy community cause, while providing an opportunity to showcase rural farms, businesses and attractions within the downtown core. I encourage those in the area to come out for lunch, enjoy the music from Ottawa’s New Country 94 and visit the rural vendors on site that day.” 

Event Schedule:

  • Food Aid BBQ, hosted by THE WORKS (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
  • The cost of the BBQ lunch is $10 and includes a burger, side and drink (debit, credit or cash will be accepted)
  • Music provided by New Country 94
  • Celebrity cow milking competition
  • Rural tradeshow starting at 10 a.m., featuring farmers, businesses and organizations promoting unique goods and services. Booths will be located at Marion Dewar Plaza and inside City Hall at Jean Pigott Place

Last year the event raised $106,000 in support of Food Aid; a program run by the Ottawa Food Bank to purchase and process beef from local farmers. Beef adds nutritious protein to the diets of families requiring this support while boosting the domestic market for cattle. Below are some facts about the program, which has been in place since 2005. Averages are determined from the last 20 cows purchased/processed.

  • 2,035 cows purchased or donated to date
  • 656 pounds (average hung weight per cow)
  • 385 pounds (average quantity of ground beef per cow)
  • 901,265 pounds (average quantity of ground beef distributed to date)
  • $704,058 (total processing charges paid to date)
  • $1,669 (average cost of one cow at livestock barn)

“We are proud that our Food Aid BBQ is in its 14th year and that the community continues to come together to help us provide nutrient-rich protein to people in need,” says Michael Maidment, Executive Director, Ottawa Food Bank. “This event is always a great day where rural and urban groups come together to help people in need while having some fun along the way.”

Those unable to attend can still donate to the Ottawa Food Bank by visiting .

For more information about the event contact the City’s Rural Affairs Office at 613-580-2424 extension 27815.

Rural event guidelines

Does your event qualify?

To be eligible, an event should:

  • Be organized by a not-for-profit community group or association.
  • Have a strong agricultural or rural focus and/or be primarily directed at residents of rural Ottawa.

Events may include fairs, festivals, leisure activities, fundraisers, public meetings or cultural and recreational events.

Rural special event resources

Find out more about planning a special event in your community.