ByWard Market is a district in Lower Town located east of the government and business district, surrounding the market buildings and open-air market on George, York, ByWard and William streets. The district is bordered on the west by Sussex Drive and Mackenzie Avenue, on the east by Cumberland Street, it stretches northwards to Cathcart Street. The name refers to the old'By Ward' of the City of Ottawa; the district comprises the main commercial part of the historic Lower Town area of Ottawa. According to the Canada 2011 Census, the population of the area was 3,063; the market itself is regulated by a City of Ottawa municipal services corporation named Marchés d'Ottawa Markets, which operates the smaller west-end Parkdale Market. The corporation is run by a nine member board of directors; the market building is open year-round, open-air stalls are operated in the warmer months offering fresh produce and flowers. Traditionally, the ByWard Market area has been a focal point for Ottawa's French and Irish communities.
The large Catholic community supported Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the largest and oldest Roman Catholic churches in Ottawa. The shape of the cathedral was taken into account in the design of the National Gallery of Canada, built across Sussex Drive; the ByWard Market has been an area of fluid change, adapting to the cosmopolitan nature of downtown Ottawa, as well as trends in Canadian society as a whole. A multitude of restaurants and specialty food stores have sprouted around the market area, making this neighbourhood one of the liveliest in Ottawa outside of normal business hours. A four-block area around the market provides the most dense concentration of eating places and nightclubs in the National Capital Region; the areas beyond this zone offer boutiques and restaurants in abundance, are frequented by a considerable number of buskers. Having acquired a reputation as the city's premier bar district, Byward Market is thronged at night with university students and other young adults. Over the years the city has developed a series of five small, human-scale, open air courtyards east of Sussex Drive, stretching from Saint Patrick Street to George Street.
These cobblestone courtyards are filled with flowers, park benches and sculptures. Several of the houses surrounding them are historic buildings. At the other extreme on the west side of Sussex Drive is the United States Embassy; the building's design, by noted architect David Childs, was somewhat controversial in Ottawa. Others complained; the neighbourhood is today markedly heterogeneous, being visited by a mix of young professionals, many families and some homeless people. At one time, the area had a serious prostitution problem, remedied by a controversial rerouting of traffic through much of the residential area; the area is English-speaking but there exists a significant francophone population as well. The Market is located in close proximity to the downtown, to the Rideau Centre shopping mall, to Parliament Hill and to a number of foreign embassies. In 1826, Lieutenant Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers was sent from England to oversee the construction of the Rideau canal system, designed to connect the Ottawa River to Kingston, on the St. Lawrence River.
It was out of this massive project that the small community of Bytown grew into a flourishing commercial and economic centre. Colonel By prepared plans for two village sites: one on the west side of the Rideau canal, known as Upper Town; the land was surveyed. Both villages were divided into building lots; the Village of Lower Town was bounded by the Rideau River and Sussex and Rideau Streets. This town plan included an area designated as a commercial section within the block bounded by George, Sussex and King Streets. Lt.-Col By designed George and York Streets 132 feet wide in order to leave room for a proposed market building and courthouse, to leave room for the flow of the By Wash. Most of the Lower Town site was covered with swampland. Excess water from the canal was released through a sluice gate; this became known as the By Wash and emptied into the Rideau River. From the beginning Bytown was divided, not only physically by the canal but ethnically and economically. Upper Town was settled by officers and professionals, most of whom were Protestants and Anglicans of English or Scottish descent.
On the other hand, Lower Town was settled by labourers who had come to Bytown seeking employment during the building of the canal. These inhabitants were Catholic Irish immigrants and French Canadians. In 1827, the two towns were connected along Rideau Street by Sappers Bridge, which spanned the canal. In 1827, Colonel By used 160 pounds of revenue from property rents to build a market building with a courthouse behind it on George Street; this was the original market building, large for the time, constructed of timber with dovetailed corners, a veranda on each side, an attached weighing machine. This building served both as a centre for market activities, as a public hall for political and religious meetings. In the 1830s, Lower Town enjoyed a period of rapid commercial growth. Stores of every description, hotels and industrial buildings sprang up all ar
Canadian Museum of History
The Canadian Museum of History is Canada's national museum of human history. It is located in the Hull area of Gatineau, directly across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario; the museum's primary purpose is to collect, study and present material objects that illuminate the human history of Canada and the cultural diversity of its people. The Canadian Museum of Civilization, the name of the museum was changed in 2013 to the Canadian Museum of History; the Museum of History's permanent galleries explore Canada's 20,000 years of human history and a program of special exhibitions expands on Canadian themes and explore other cultures and civilizations and present. The museum is a major research institution, its staff includes leading experts in Canadian history, archaeology and folk culture. The museum organizing traveling exhibits. With roots stretching back to 1856, the museum is one of North America's oldest cultural institutions, it is home to the Canadian Children's Museum. It used to be the home of the Canadian Postal Museum.
The Museum of History is managed by the Canadian Museum of History Corporation, a federal Crown Corporation, responsible for the Canadian War Museum, the Children's Museum and the Virtual Museum of New France. The museum is a member of the Canadian Museums Association; the museum is affiliated with: Canadian Museums Association, Canadian Heritage Information Network, Virtual Museum of Canada. The museum has three permanent exhibition galleries: the Grand Hall, the First Peoples Hall, the Canadian History Hall; the museum operates a movie theatre, a children's museum and special exhibit galleries. The Grand Hall on the building's first level is the museum's architectural centrepiece, it features a wall of windows 112 m wide by 15 m high, framing a view of the Ottawa River and Parliament Hill. On the opposite wall is a colour photograph of similar size, it is believed to be the largest colour photograph in the world. The picture provides a backdrop for a dozen towering totem poles and recreations of six Pacific Coast Aboriginal house facades connected by a boardwalk.
The homes were made by First Nations artisans using large cedar timbers imported from the Pacific Northwest. The grouping of these totem poles, combined with others in the Grand Hall, is said to be the largest indoor display of totem poles in the world; the Grand Hall houses the original plaster pattern for the Spirit of Haida Gwaii, by Haida artist Bill Reid, his largest and most complex sculpture. The pattern was used to cast the bronze sculpture displayed outside the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D. C. Located at the end of the Grand Hall, by the river, is a 19 m diameter dome. On the dome is the 418 m2 abstract painting known as Morning Star; the painting, by First Nation artist Alex Janvier a Dene Suline artist, with the assistance of his son Dean, was completed in four months in 1993. On the Museum's first level, this permanent exhibition narrates the history and accomplishments of Canada's Aboriginal peoples from their original habitation of North America to the present day, it explores the diversity of the First Peoples, their interactions with the land, their on-going contributions to society.
The Hall is the result of a groundbreaking, intensive collaboration that occurred between museum curators and First Peoples representatives during the planning stages. Chronicling 20,000 years of history, the hall is separated into three larger zones: "An Aboriginal Presence" looks at Aboriginal cultural diversity and prehistoric settlement of North America. Included are traditional stories about creation and other phenomena told by Aboriginal people such as Mi'kmaq Hereditary Chief Stephen Augustine who recounts the beginning of the world in the Creation Stories Theatre film. "An Ancient Bond with the Land" examines the relationship between Aboriginal Peoples and the natural world. "Arrival of Strangers - The Last 500 Years" examines Aboriginal history from the time of European contact to today. It examines early relations, the Métis, the clash of Christianity and Aboriginal beliefs, intergovernmental relations, the introduction of a wage economy, post-World War II political and legal affirmation and civil rights.
It features a ten-minute video about sustaining Aboriginal culture, introduces visitors to Native art. The Canadian History Hall is a permanent gallery dedicated to Canadian history that encompasses both the third and fourth floors of the museum home to the Canada Hall and the Canadian Personalities Hall and meant to be more comprehensive and engaging than its precursors, it opened on July 2017, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation. World's oldest hockey stick, known as the Moffat stick The Queen's Beasts The museum was designed by Douglas Cardinal, a famous Aboriginal architect educated at the University of British Columbia and the University of Texas at Austin; the museum complex consists of two wings, the public and curatorial wings, surrounded by a series of plazas connected by a grand staircase. Naturalized park areas connect the museum and its plazas to the Ottawa River and nearby Jacques Cartier Park; the museum was founded in 1856 as the display hall for the Geological Survey of Canada, accumulating not only minerals, but biological specimens, historical and ethnological artifacts.
It was founded in Montreal, was moved to Ottawa in 1881. In 1910, upon recommendation from Franz Boas, the anthropologist-linguist Edward Sapir was appointed as the first anthropo
Architecture of Ottawa
The architecture of Ottawa is most marked by the city's role as the national capital of Canada. This gives the city a number of monumental structures designed to represent the federal government and the nation, it means that as a city dominated by government bureaucrats, much of its architecture tends to be formalistic and functional. However, the city is marked by Romantic and Picturesque styles of architecture such as the Parliament Building's gothic revival architecture. While the political capital, Ottawa has always been influenced from the larger cities of Toronto and Montreal; this has held true in architecture, over its history Ottawa has followed the prevailing architectural trends popular in Canada and North America. The city is thus a mix of different styles, varying based on what era a building or neighbourhood was constructed in. While founded in the early nineteenth century, few buildings survive from that era and the vast majority of the city's structures date from the twentieth century.
Much of the downtown was greatly transformed in the 1960s and 1970s, the swath of suburbs that surround the city date from this period. The general stereotype of Ottawa architecture is that it unambitious. Urban design consultant Trevor Boddy said that "with the relative extremes of poverty and wealth removed here, along with the vital concentrations of immigrant cultures which denote most Canadian cities, Ottawa seemed to me to represent only the hollow norm, the vacant centre.". Ottawa Citizen architecture critic Rhys Phillips has echoed these concerns, saying that Ottawa "looks like some tired little Prairie town on its last legs." Unlike several other national capitals, such as Paris and Washington, D. C. Ottawa was never built to a master plan. However, several commissions have played a role in determining the shape of the city. Colonel By envisioned building several grand boulevards but the difficulties of expropriation and demolition prevented this from happening. In the late 1880s, Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier developed a 50-year vision of the city's future development and created the Ottawa Improvement Commission.
The early years of the OIC under the direction of Montreal-born architect Frederick Todd saw the removal of industry along the canal, the definition of Patterson Creek and the transfer of Rockcliffe Park to the federal government. In 1913, Sir Robert Borden appointed the Sir Henry Holt Commission, the first to state the need for a national capital region and the removal of railway lines from the downtown core. Twenty years the Federal District Commission and Prime Minister Mackenzie King urged the federal government to acquire land, which led to the creation of Confederation Square. In 1939, King invited Jacques Gréber to create a master plan for the city; this plan proposed new parkways along the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers, included the idea for the Greenbelt, urged the need for a ceremonial route to Parliament but the plan was not approved until 1951 by the government of Louis St. Laurent. Gréber's Plan has been implemented and still affects the city today. In 1958, the National Capital Commission replaced the Federal District Commission.
As a federal agency, the NCC worked along with the many individual municipal governments on the Ontario and Quebec sides in planning and designing the city. It acquired the lands for the Greenbelt and in the 1960s it removed the railway tracks from downtown, making rail travel less accessible, but opening the Rideau Canal as a scenic tourist destination; the NCC continues to have a major role in planning and does have a long range plan for how to showcase the region as a national capital, but has limited legitimacy as an unelected bureaucracy. The streets of central Ottawa follow a grid pattern, but it is disrupted by the Rideau River and Rideau Canal, ensuring that few streets in most of the older neighbourhoods are long. Outside of the core, the roads follow the modern standard of large avenues forming a grid, interspersed with a network of crescents and cul-de-sacs which create low-traffic, suburban neighbourhoods; the Queensway, a major highway, crosses all of the city from east to west, going just south of downtown.
It was built in the 1960s over former railway tracks, thus did not entail the same urban destruction as expressways in other cities. There are five road bridges, one rail bridge, crossing over the Ottawa River, four of which are in the downtown area, ensuring that much of the interprovincial traffic, including many large trucks, pass through the centre of town. Several planning decisions have played an important role in the development of Ottawa and its architecture. One long standing rule that had a great effect on the downtown core, was a prohibition on buildings being taller than the 92 meter tall Peace Tower, it was instituted to prevent the Parliament Buildings from being dwarfed by more modern structures. While today there are a number of taller buildings, Ottawa's central business district still does not have the towering buildings found in most other North American cities, instead having a considerable number of mid-sized towers. Ottawa is home to a large Greenbelt circling the entire urban core.
It was created as an attempt to encourage density, with mixed success. The Greenbelt has remained intact, but Ottawa's newest suburbs such as Kanata and Orleans have jumped over the belt; the Greenbelt is becoming a wide avenue of green between two developed areas. Prior to amalgamation in 2000 the region was divided into several communities each with its own planning guidelines and the suburbs have distinct characters. Kanata is notable as developer Bill Teron's att
The Rideau Canal known unofficially as the Rideau Waterway, connects Canada's capital city of Ottawa, Ontario, to Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River at Kingston, Ontario. It is 202 kilometres in length; the name Rideau, French for "curtain", is derived from the curtain-like appearance of the Rideau River's twin waterfalls where they join the Ottawa River. The canal system uses sections of two rivers, the Rideau and the Cataraqui, as well as several lakes; the Rideau Canal is operated by Parks Canada. The canal was opened in 1832 as a precaution in case of war with the United States, it remains in use today for pleasure boating, with most of its original structures intact, operated by Parks Canada. The locks on the system open for navigation in close in mid-October, it is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America, in 2007 it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The construction of the Rideau Canal was a preventive military measure undertaken after a report that during the War of 1812 the United States had intended to invade the British colony of Upper Canada via the St. Lawrence River, which would have severed the lifeline between Montreal and Kingston.
The British built a number of other canals as well as a number of forts to impede and deter any future American invasions of Canadian territory. The initial purpose of the Rideau Canal was military, as it was intended to provide a secure supply and communications route between Montreal and the British naval base in Kingston. Westward from Montreal, travel would proceed along the Ottawa River to Bytown southwest via the canal to Kingston and out into Lake Ontario; the objective was to bypass the stretch of the St. Lawrence bordering New York; the canal served a commercial purpose. The Rideau Canal was easier to navigate than the St. Lawrence River because of the series of rapids between Montreal and Kingston; as a result, the Rideau Canal became a busy commercial artery from Montreal to the Great Lakes. However, by 1849, the rapids of the St. Lawrence had been tamed by a series of locks, commercial shippers were quick to switch to this more direct route; the construction of the canal was supervised by Lieutenant-Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers.
Private contractors such as future sugar refining entrepreneur John Redpath, Thomas McKay, Robert Drummond, Thomas Phillips, Andrew White and others were responsible for much of the construction, the majority of the actual work was done by thousands of Irish and French-Canadian labourers. Colonel John By decided to create a slackwater canal system instead of constructing new channels; this was a better approach as it required fewer workers, was more cost effective, would have been easier to build. The canal work started in the fall of 1826, it was completed by the spring of 1832; the first full steamboat transit of the canal was done by Robert Drummond's steamboat, leaving Kingston on May 22, 1832 with Colonel By and family on board, arriving in Bytown on May 29, 1832. The final cost of the canal's construction was £822,804 by the time all the costs, including land acquisitions costs, were accounted for. Given the unexpected cost overruns, John By was recalled to London and was retired with no accolades or recognition for his tremendous accomplishment.
Once the canal was constructed, no further military engagements took place between Canada and the United States. Although the Rideau Canal never had to be used as a military supply route, it played a pivotal role in the early development of Canada. Prior to the locks being completed on the St. Lawrence in the late 1840s, the Rideau served as the main travel route for immigrants heading westward into Upper Canada and for heavy goods from Canada's hinterland heading east to Montreal. Tens of thousands of immigrants from the British Isles travelled the Rideau in this period. Hundreds of barge loads of goods were shipped each year along the Rideau, allowing Montreal to compete commercially in the 1830s and 40s with New York as a major North American port. In 1841, for instance, there were 19 steamboats, 3 self-propelled barges and 157 unpowered or tow barges using the Rideau Canal; as many as one thousand of the workers died from other diseases and accidents. Most deaths were from disease, principally complications from malaria, endemic in Ontario within the range of the Anopheles mosquito, other diseases of the day.
Accidents were rare for a project of this size. Inquests were held for each accidental death; the men and children who died were buried in local cemeteries, either burial grounds set up near work sites or existing local cemeteries. Funerals were held for the workers and the graves marked with wooden markers; some of the dead remain unidentified. Memorials have been erected along the canal route, most the Celtic Cross memorials in Ottawa and Chaffeys Lock; the first memorial on the Rideau Canal acknowledging deaths among the labour force was erected in 1993 by the Kingston and District Labour Council and the Ontario Heritage Foundation at Kingston Mills. Three canal era cemeteries are open to the public today: Chaffey's Cemetery and Memory Wall at Chaffey's Lock—this cemetery was used from 1825 to the late 19th century.
Canada Science and Technology Museum
The Canada Science and Technology Museum is located in Ottawa, Canada, on St. Laurent Boulevard, to the south of the Queensway; the role of the museum is to help the public to understand the technological and scientific history of Canada and the ongoing relationships between science and Canadian society. The National Museum of Science and Technology was established in 1967 as a Centennial project by the Canadian Government. In October 1966 the government appointed David McCurdy Baird as the first director of the museum, he found and arranged the purchase of a large former bakery on St. Laurent Boulevard with truck bays and high ceilings; the government had an aeronautical collection and a collection of railroad artifacts, within a few months these were installed in the building. A collection of farm equipment from Massey Ferguson arrived soon after. In 2001, the museum began looking for a new location to move to, citing a lack of space and accessibility; the desire for more scenic surroundings was a factor, as the museum is surrounded by warehouses and strip malls.
Four locations were considered: the western section of LeBreton Flats, on the Rockcliffe Parkway next to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, in Jacques Cartier Park on Rue Laurier, a site on Rue Montcalm. In 2006, Conservative cabinet minister and MP for Pontiac Lawrence Cannon put his support behind the Jacques Cartier Park option. During routine maintenance on a leaky roof in September 2014, workers discovered that the roof was in danger of collapse and that mould was spreading from the building's south wall; the museum closed to visitors, the staff offered to lend out some of the exhibits to other museums while renovation and repairs were made to the building. Most of the original building was demolished, leaving only the "crazy kitchen" and the hall of trains. $80 million was spent to create a modern replacement on the same site. The museum reopened on November 17, 2017; the main museum building on St Laurent Boulevard houses a number of permanent displays, as well as temporary exhibits of the museum's collection and visiting exhibitions.
The most famous of these exhibitions is the crazy kitchen, a room, built on a tilted surface, thus causing gravity to pull visitors towards the wall, but has all its furniture nailed to the floor so they won't fall, thus creating the illusion that the room is on an ordinary, flat surface. This competing information confuses visitors' brains. Artifact Alley, which runs diagonally across the building, displays about 700 historical objects at any one time; the Ingenium storage facility, located at 1867 St. Laurent Blvd, it includes more than over 268,000 artifacts, such as a prototype for the Bombardier Innovia ART 100, a driverless rail car, an Iron Lung once used at the Ottawa Civic Hospital, the FIU-301, the Ontario Provincial Police's first Unmanned Aerial vehicle; the museum is operated by Ingenium, a Crown corporation that reports to the Department of Canadian Heritage, responsible for preserving and protecting Canada's scientific and technical heritage. The Corporation has a staff of about 275 and is responsible for three museums: the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum and the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.
The museum is affiliated with: Canadian Museums Association, Canadian Heritage Information Network, Virtual Museum of Canada. Canadian university scientific research organizations Canadian industrial research and development organizations Technological and industrial history of Canada Natural scientific research in Canada Canada lunar sample displays Invention in Canada Official website CSTM Origins: A History of the Canada Science and Technology Museum Canada Science and Technology Museum at Google Cultural Institute
Horaceville is a historic site located on the Ottawa River in eastern Ontario, Canada. The site remained the property of the heirs of Hamnett Kirkes Pinhey until the 1970s, when the property was sold to the township. Today, The 88-acre heritage site is owned and operated by the City of Ottawa and Pinhey's home serves as a museum; the museum is open May 14 through August 31, Wednesdays to Sundays, 11 am to 5 pm. This location is known as Pinhey's Point Historic Site; the property was designated by the City of Ottawa under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act as having cultural heritage value or interest. A bronze plaque erected on the site by the Ontario Heritage Foundation describes the property's history: "Hamnet Kirkes Pinhey 1784 - 1857 - A merchant and ship owner in his native England, Pinhey came to Upper Canada in 1820. For his services as King's messenger during the Napoleonic Wars, he received a 1000 acres land grant on the Ottawa River. Within a decade he had built up an estate. In addition to a manor house and barns, it included a store and church.
Pinhey took a leading part in district affairs. He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1847, served as Warden of the Dalhousie District, as the first Warden of Carleton County. Horaceville remained in family hands until 1959 when it was purchased by the National Capital Commission." The site, a popular destination for boaters and picnics, consists of 88 acres of park land, a nearly 200-year-old stone manor house, two barns, scenic views of the River and several stone ruins. The manor house acts as a historic house museum with temporary exhibits; the City of Ottawa offers multiple programs for families throughout its operating season as well as some programs in the off-season. The park itself is open year-round. Admission to the museum is by donation; the venue can be rented for anniversaries, or any other special celebration. Hamnett Kirkes Pinhey, an English merchant, petitioned Lord Bathurst, Colonial Secretary at the time, for land in Canada as reward for his service in the British Army and received a 1000-acre land grant for service in the Napoleonic Wars.
He retired from business, left England and travelled to Upper Canada around 1820. On his lands in March Township, a settlement once divided between military gentlemen along the shore and Irish immigrants farther inland, he built a grist mill, homes for employees. On the hill overlooking the sheltered harbor of Pinhey's Point, he built a small two storey log house covered in clapboard. There were seven small cannons facing the river. Pinhey, who continued to prosper as a politician and insurance broker, named the estate, after his oldest son Horace. Horace was to be the heir to the estate, in accordance with British aristocratic tradition; the Horaceville estate Hamnett Kirkes Pinhey built, which consisted of several stone and log structures, is now known as Pinhey's Point Historic Site. The site includes 88 acres of farmers’ fields and parkland, the manor house, several ruins. Pinhey built a large stone manor house on top of the hill in three different stages, in a symmetrical Georgian fashion.
The stone house, completed 1822–1825, consisted of a large parlour and three small bedrooms on the second floor. An addition, completed in 1841, consisted of the Grand Entrance with a staircase leading upstairs, the original dining room, the master bedroom over the front entrance and a second central hall kitchen wing for Mrs. Pinhey. By 1941, Horace Pinhey and his wife had moved into the log house with his wife. A south wing addition, completed in 1848–1849, consisted of Hamnett's Library, the pantry, the drawing room, several family bedrooms and a second floor indoor privy. A placard interprets the unusual second-floor privy, as Hamnett's Sanctum Sanctorum. Although a stone facade was applied to the front of Horaceville, where it faced the Ottawa River, faux finishes were applied on the less visible walls. To give the appearance of more expensive woods, painted grain patterns were applied to plain pine floors and doors. In addition to the house, Pinhey built a grist mill, St. Mary's Church on the site.
Although the first service in the church was held on October 7, 1827, it was not consecrated until 1834 due to a dispute about the church's location with the ruling bishop at the time. There are three historic buildings: the barn and the turkey barn. Other buildings on the site included powder magazine and St. Mary's Church; the construction of the church began on 1825 and the first service was held on October 7, 1827. The opening featured a seven gun salute from the cannons; the building of the church on this site was opposed by the bishop of Quebec, who felt that the church should be built further inland. Though Pinhey donated part of his land and the labour costs, the bishop still refused to consecrate the church; the site remained the property of Pinhey's heirs until Miss Ruth Pinhey died in 1971. The Pinhey's Point Foundation was established in 1980 to preserve and develop the estate as a historic site and recreation area; the City of Ottawa and the Pinhey's Point Foundation interprets the history of the estate, The Pinhey family and Township of March/City of Kanata.
The Pinhey's Point Foundation owned and maintained the property from 1983–1990, when it was conveyed to the City of Kanata. Since Kanata amalgated in 2001, the City of Ottawa has owned and maintained the site and has been responsible for the special events, programs
Ottawa Bluesfest is an annual outdoor music festival that takes place each July in downtown Ottawa, Canada. While the festival's lineup focused on blues music at its inception, it has showcased mainstream pop and rock acts in recent years. Bluesfest has become the second largest in North America. Since its inception, the festival has been managed by executive and artistic director Mark Monahan; the organization manages CityFolk Festival and the Ontario Festival of Small Halls. In 2002, Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest won the Best Event Award from the Ottawa Tourism and Convention Authority and in 2003 the organization received the Keeping the Blues Alive award for arts education from the Memphis Blues Foundation. Mark Monahan is a past recipient of the Toronto Blues Society's Blues with a Feeling award. In December 2011, Bluesfest reached a five-year sponsorship deal with RBC Royal Bank to ensure its financial stability. Henceforth, the event will be known as RBC Bluesfest; the festival was first held in 1994 at Majors Hill Park with the performance of Clarence Clemons, attracting 5,000 spectators.
The following year the festival attracted larger crowds with entertainers like John Hiatt and Buddy Guy. In 1996, 25,000 fans attended Bluesfest to see Los Lobos and others, it was that the Mitel corporation became the first major sponsor of the event. In 1997, the festival was moved to Confederation Park to provide more space for the increasing number of fans to see musicians such as Dr. John and Little Feat. In 1998, over 80,000 people showed up for the festival. Bell Mobility and CIBC Wood Gundy joined the list of sponsors. In 1999, the festival was moved to LeBreton Flats. Bluesfest became a registered charitable organization while attracting over 95,000 fans; the Royal Canadian Mint became a sponsor. Cisco Systems became the Bluesfest Title Sponsor in 2001, while the Ottawa Citizen and the National Post became Presenting Sponsors. In 2002, Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest moved to Festival Plaza in 200,000 fans. In 2003, the festival expanded to eight stages to celebrate its tenth anniversary with 220,000 people in attendance.
2005 saw the festival further diversify its offerings, reaching out to a younger audience as well as those interested in more than just blues. The 2006 edition saw continued growth with increased crowds and the move of the MBNA stage to Lisgar Collegiate Institute to provide more capacity. In 2007, Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest relocated to LeBreton Flats Park, a move from the site at Festival Plaza the previous year; the new site offered five stages around the Canadian War Museum. The stage set-up featured twin main stages akin to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, which allowed audiences to transfer between headlining acts; the festival continues to be held in July annually for 9–12 days. Headliners such as B. B King and the Dixie Chicks, Blake Shelton and Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters attracting 300,000 attendees each year. Along with showcasing international musical talent, Bluesfest is a non-profit charitable organization with year-round music education initiatives such as Blues in the Schools, Be in the Band, the Bluesfest School of Music and Art, augmenting a focus on developing local artists in the Ottawa region.
On July 17, 2011, just 20 minutes into Cheap Trick’s set, a thunderstorm blew through the festival area. The band and crew narrowly escaped the collapse of the stage's 50-ton roof, it fell away from the audience and landed on the band's truck, parked alongside the back of the stage, breaking the fall and allowing everyone about 30 seconds to escape. Robin Zander was released from hospital the same day. During preparations for the 2018 festival, a pair of killdeer was found nesting on some cobblestones, which help camouflage the eggs, it was right. Killdeer and their nesting grounds are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act. With permission from Environment and Climate Change Canada, help from the Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary, the nest was moved 25 meters, one meter at a time, to a protected area behind the stage site, stage construction was allowed to continue after a 12-hour delay, it marked a first for successful killdeer nest relocation. List of festivals in Ottawa List of festivals in Canada Music of Canada List of blues festivals List of folk festivals RBC Bluesfest official website Ottawa Festivals website