Ottawa's Johnathan Lockhart of The Cowguys performs at the 2012 Ottawa International Busker Festival of Sparks Street. Photo by Glen Gower.
Ottawa's Johnathan Lockhart of The Cowguys performs at the 2012 Ottawa International Busker Festival on Sparks Street. Photo by Glen Gower.

Ottawa Busker Festival - July 31-August 4, 2014

Ottawa's annual Busker Festival (aka Buskerfest) takes place from July 31-August 4, 2014 on the Sparks Street Mall in downtown Ottawa. This free,family favourite event is will feature six performance areas including a local stage, face painting, henna tattoos, balloon artists, and much more. This year’s performers come from Australia, California, Great Britain, and Canada.

Festival Schedule (2013)

The festival takes place along Ottawa's Sparks Street, the pedestrian mall between Elgin Street and Kent Street. Shows run continuously starting at 11:00am and continue into the evening. Make sure you bring some loonies & toonies (or even five's or ten's) for the performers! There are set performance times for certain locations, but there will also be unscheduled performances popping up along the street and in surrounding areas. Performer bios are here...

  • Friday - starts at 11:00am, last show starts at 10:00pm
  • Saturday - starts at 11:00am, last show starts at 10:00pm
  • Sunday - starts at 11:00am, last show starts at 10:00pm
  • Monday - starts at 11:00am, last show starts at 6:00pm
  • Full Schedule PDF

Road Closures (2013)

  • Thursday & Friday, 6pm-12am: Metcalfe Street closed between Sparks & Wellington.
  • Saturday, Sunday & Monday, 10am-12am: Metcalfe Street and O'Connor Street closed between Sparks & Wellington.

Where to park

  • It'll be busy, but World Exchange at Metcalfe & Queen has free parking on the weekend. (Entrance from Metcalfe.)
  • There's also the parking lot under 240 Sparks. Entrance is on Queen Street between Bank and Kent.
  • There are lots of parking lots around downtown, just remember to pay! Try using ParkMe to find a spot.
  • Another great option is to take the bus. OC Transpo's Transitway runs on Albert and Slater, just a couple blocks from Sparks Street.

Recommended Links & More info

About Sparks Street Mall

Sparks Street Mall is a pedestrian street (no cars allowed!) located one block south of Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa. The street spans five full city blocks (map), and is lined by restaurants, shops, museums, and more. It's also home to CBC Ottawa's tv and radio studios.

Local buskers




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