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Heritage Day 2023

Join us on Tuesday, February 21st at 12:00 pm for a Heritage Day celebration back at Ottawa City Hall!

Celebrate Heritage Day with the theme Recovering and Connecting Ottawa’s Heritage – Stronger Together.

Recognizing the unique and unprecedented events of the past few years; the COVID 19 pandemic exacerbated division and distance, pushing our communities further apart. However, it was our heritage and cultural organizations that 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.

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 12PM for you to ask questions and plan your next visit!

Proclamation recipient – Heritage Ottawa

This year, Mayor Sutcliffe will recognize the importance of the theme Recovering and Connecting Ottawa’s Heritage – Stronger Together  by offering the proclamation to Heritage Ottawa who is committed to advocating for the preservation of Ottawa’s unique built heritage and cultural landscapes, while also connecting the public with in-person and virtual lecture series’ and promoting Ottawa’s rich and diverse heritage in their walking tours. 

Recognized as Ottawa’s largest organization dedicated to the protection and stewardship of Ottawa’s built heritage and cultural places, Heritage Ottawa encourages engagement and investment in the protection and enhancement of our city’s heritage for the benefit of today’s generations and of tomorrow.

Throughout the pandemic, Heritage Ottawa remained steadfast in its advocacy efforts, keeping the heritage community connected and informed to better protect Ottawa’s heritage. As our city began to transition back to in-person programming, Heritage Ottawa continued to present virtual lectures and events, while also inviting the public back to their in-person neighbourhood walking tours. Their tours and lectures span Ottawa’s diverse communities and include French language programming for Ottawa’s francophone population. You need only explore their ‘50 Years | 50 Stories’ online series to see how Heritage Ottawa has been integral in keeping Ottawa’s heritage community connected for over 50 years.

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

Image credit: Heritage Ottawa

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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 mainstreets 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 artefacts 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 Capital Heritage Connexion in partnership with the City of Ottawa Cultural and Heritage Programs and Spaces Branch and embrace, explore and enjoy your heritage places and experiences in Canada’s Capital during Heritage Week February 21 to 27, 2022 and throughout the year!

Check out photos and videos from past Heritage Days below:

Heritage Day 2021

In addition, in order to recognize the tenacity and true grit exhibited by Capital Heritage Connexion Members during these COVID challenged times at Heritage Day 2021, we gathered a collection of their Stories of Resiliency

View Photos (Heritage Day 2020)

View Photos (Heritage Day 2019)

View Photos (Heritage Day 2018)

View Photos (Heritage Day 2017)

View Photos (Heritage Day 2016)