Happy summer, everyone!

As a Realtor who has been helping clients buy and sell properties in Ottawa for more than 30 years, I often work with buyers who have recently been transferred and are new to the city. I love telling them about the many wonderful attractions and features our region offers at all times of the year.

In the summer months, when many people are taking some time from work and looking for things to do, there are a huge number of performances, exhibits, street fairs and superb music festivals with international star performers.

To give you some ideas, here are just a few of the events happening in our region in July and August. For many more options, check the excellent website of Ottawa Tourism, which includes blogs on fun activities around town and a calendar of events, with links for more information. It’s a great resource for visitors and residents of the area. www.ottawatourism.ca


July 3-Aug. 30: Full-Moon Yoga: Ever tried yoga in the moonlight? The city of Ottawa and local yoga studios present free hour-long yoga sessions at night, on the lawn at Lansdowne Park. Open to all experience levels, whether you’re new to yoga or a veteran. Bring a mat, a water bottle, and some yoga-loving friends. July 3 at 9 p.m. Organizers recommend arriving early to set up. Other dates and times: Aug. 1, at 8:30 p.m.; Aug. 30 at 8 p.m. www.tdplace.ca/event/full-moon-yoga-at-lansdowne-park/

July 4-17: Music and Beyond. This popular festival, created and programmed to help make classical music accessible to all audiences, presents concerts by renowned musicians from across Canada and around the world. Venues include the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre on Cooper Street. Performers this year include the Canadian Brass, renowned British composer and conductor John Rutter, pianist Janina Fialkowska, the orchestra Les Violons du Roy and the San Francisco-based vocal ensemble, Chanticleer. www.musicandbeyond.ca

July 5-6:  National Arts Centre Orchestra plays Gershwin. Alexander Shelley conducts the NACO with pianist Matthew Whitaker as soloist in Gershwin’s beloved classic, “Rhapsody in Blue.”  Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” is also on the bill, with music by Joan Tower, Leonard Bernstein and Jessie Montgomery. 8 p.m., NAC Southam Hall. Tickets start at $15. www.nac-cna.ca/en/event/34173

July 5-9 and July 12-16: Ottawa Equestrian Tournaments, Wesley Clover Parks. Some of my longtime clients know that when I’m not helping clients buy or sell homes, my other passion is equestrian show jumping. I’ve participated successfully in events in Canada and the U.S. So, this world-class event at Ottawa’s beautiful Wesley Clover Parks is close to my heart, as it’s one of the premier show jumping competition series in Canada.

Summer Tournament 1 is from July 5 to 9. Summer Tournament 2 is from July 12 to 16. Fans of equestrian events will also be interested in the Major League Show Jumping (MLSJ) event at the Parks, presented by North America’s professional equestrian sports league, Aug. 23-27. Wesley Clover Parks is at 401 Corkstown Rd., about 15 minutes west of Bayshore Shopping Centre.   www.ottawaequestriantournaments.com

July 6-16: RBC Ottawa Bluesfest.  Presented at LeBreton Flats Park, this annual festival attracts big crowds to hear concerts by star performers and a range of musical styles. The 2023 edition is scheduled to include performances by Shania Twain (July 6); Robert Plant and Alison Kraus (July 8) Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters (July 12), Mumford and Sons (July 13) and many others. www.ottawabluesfest.ca

July 7-Sept. 4: Northern Lights Sound and Light Show. In the final summer for this event, see a free 30-minute multi-media show presented against the backdrop of the Parliament Buildings, Thursdays to Mondays, weather permitting. The show offers an audiovisual journey through Canadian history, with music and narration in English and French. It presents stories that “showcase the foundations of our nation, innovation, exploration, valour, and the pride and vision of a people.” Presentations start at 10 p.m. in July; 9:30 p.m. in August and 9 p.m. in September. www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/sound-light-show.html

July 8: 613flea, Lansdowne Park. Love to browse a great flea market? This huge market is held monthly at Lansdowne Park. More than 140 vendors offer items that change each month but often include crafts, hand-baked goods, vintage clothing, records, and vintage collectible items like retro telephones and home decor. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission. Other summer dates include July 22, Aug. 12, Aug. 19, and Sept. 2. www.613flea.ca


Continuing through Aug. 20: A Major Exhibition of Canadian Women Artists: The National Gallery of Canada, one of Ottawa’s gems, presents “Uninvited: Canadian Women Artists in the Modern Moment.” This exhibition features nearly 200 works, including painting, photos, sculpture, beadwork, and weaving, to present “a cross-country snapshot of female creativity during the dynamic interwar period.” www.gallery.ca

Aug. 2-19: Fireworks displays, Les Grands Feux du Casino Lac-Leamy:  On Wednesdays and Saturdays for the first three weeks of August, on the grounds of the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, curl up on a blanket and enjoy brilliant fireworks displays. The evenings start with family activities, with food vendors, colourful walkways, costumed performers, and digital displays, followed by fireworks launched from a platform on the Ottawa River, directly below the museum. This year’s dates are Aug. 2, 5, 9, 12, 16 and 19. Tickets and information:  www.feux.qc.ca/en/home

Aug. 4-7: Ottawa International Busker Fest: In its 27th season on car-free Sparks Street, this colourful festival presents performances by buskers from around the world, including fire breathers, acrobats, contortionists, clowns, jugglers, and magicians. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated for the performers.  www.ottawabuskerfestival.com

Aug. 11-20: Ottawa Garden Festival.  This festival puts the spotlight on more than 75 public gardens in and around the Ottawa area. The website includes directions for self-guided tours. Activities include yoga at the National Gallery of Canada’s Sunken Garden Aug. 13 and 20 (registration required) and an Aug. 18 workshop on growing food in your backyard. Sites in the festival include the Experimental Farm, Vincent Massey Park and the Fletcher Wildlife Garden. www.gardensottawa.ca

Aug. 31-Sept. 4: Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival. See dozens of brightly-coloured hot-air balloons of all shapes and sizes floating through the sky, day and night. The event includes concerts, fireworks, and amusement rides. Presented at Gatineau’s Parc de la Baie, about 15 minutes from downtown Ottawa. www.montgolfieresgatineau.com/en/

If you’re considering selling or buying property in Ottawa, I’d love to chat and tell you about the current market and conditions in your area of the city. You can read more about me and the services I offer at www.nancybenson.com. Feel free to give me a call, at 613-747-4747.