Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are pleased to reveal details about the design and program partners for Inspiration Village.

A core site for Ottawa 2017 programming from May 20 to September 4, this ephemeral entertainment locale on York Street will be the site of a succession of FREE special exhibits and performing arts events showcasing Canadian culture and Canada’s provinces and territories.

The edgy-looking hub is being built out of 41 sea containers transformed into an aesthetic artistic installation. See the video:

As this summer destination takes shape, a first glimpse was offered today at the artistic renderings and the following programming partners were announced:

Algonquin College Mini TFO
Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec National Arts Centre’s Canada Scene
Bell Media Ontario 150
ByWard Market Ottawa Festivals
Canada Science and Technology Museum Ottawa Mission
Canadian Museum of History Ottawa School of Art
Canadian War Museum Parks Canada
Carleton University RCMP
CIBC Rent Frock Repeat
Destination Cape Breton Tale of a Town
Destination Nunavut Tourism Prince Edward Island
La Cité Travel Manitoba
Manitoba Mukluks World Wildlife Fund

Inspiration Village will be open daily from noon to 8 p.m. (until 10 p.m. on Canada Day) with exhibits, demonstrations and performances. Among the many activities, visitors will be able to:

  • step inside a sound studio and share stories about Canada and their vision for the future of our country;
  • enjoy culinary demonstrations showcasing Canadian food culture from across the nation;
  • dress-up in Canadian-themed costumes and props at the Inspiration Village Photo Booth;
  • take a guided virtual tour of Parks Canada’s natural and cultural treasures from coast-to-coast-to coast;
  • express their creativity and imagine the next great Canadian invention at the Build A Nation Station;
  • take their photo in cut-outs of polar bears and beluga whales;
  • take-in live dance, musical and artistic performances representing all provinces and territories as well as local up and coming artists and previews of Ottawa area festivals;
  • discover and connect with the incredible diversity of land, history and awe-inspiring places to explore and experience in Canada;
  • and much, much more!

The full list of activities and daily performances on the main stage will be available in mid-May.

The public spaces of Inspiration Village will remain open and accessible 24-hours. The site will serve as a gathering place to meet up with friends, to enjoy the sights and sounds of the area, to sit back and enjoy programmed entertainment, to pick up lunch/dinner or coffee/tea in the ByWard Market and to enjoy the outdoor seating areas.

Inspiration Village by the numbers

5071     Weight (lbs) of an empty 20’ sea container
880       Hours the event is open over 15-weeks, from May 20 to September 4
440       Hours of stage and common area programming
110       Consecutive days the event is open
41         Sea containers on York Street
28         Days it will take to load-in and construct
28         Staff required to operate the exhibits
24/7      Days each week the common areas are open to the public
15         Weeks the event is open to the public
8          Hours the event is open each day
1          VERY BIG EVENT!


“Inspiration Village will animate the ByWard Market like never before, and will be a gathering point for the millions of visitors who will come to Ottawa this summer. It will showcase the beauty of Canada’s regions and the diversity of Ottawa 2017 partners while entertaining and educating passersby about the people and places that make this country so great,” said Mayor Jim Watson.

“The Ottawa 2017 Inspiration Village will offer Ottawans and visitors alike a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Canada 150. I encourage everyone to attend the diverse artistic events being held in the ByWard Market, one of the city’s historic neighbourhoods,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

“What sets Canada and Ontario apart is our rich cultural diversity and inclusive spirit.   Inspiration Village is an eco-friendly and innovative way to share with our families and the rest of the world what makes this country such a great place to live, work and visit. We are proud to be part of Inspiration Village with our Ontario150 sea container to help mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation.  This is a great opportunity to remind ourselves how much we, as Ontarians, have to be proud of living in Canada’s largest province and the incredible things we can accomplish when we come together,” said the Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture & Sport.

“Canada’s rich and diverse culture and heritage are the building blocks of our great nation. We are incredibly proud to help bring this showcase of creative talent and expression of shared pride to Ottawa 2017 celebrations,” said Monique Giroux, Vice-President, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, CIBC.

“One of Ottawa 2017’s goals is to foster a better appreciation and understanding of the cultural diversity we find across our country by creating new meeting places for interaction. Through transforming our city with creative urban design, we will emerge from Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations with a greater sense of pride for reimaging our public spaces. Our appreciation to the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada for suggesting that York Street would make an ideal new public space,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau.

Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-caliber experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.

Ottawa 2017 thanks its lead partner CIBC, premier partner Bell, the Government of Ontario ( #ontario150) and the Government of Canada ( #canada150) for their contributions in helping to deliver twelve full months of bold events, immersive experiences and all-out celebrations.

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Stay informed on plans for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the capital. Visit, follow us on Twitter @2017ottawa (#Ottawa2017) and on Facebook.