Heritage Day at City Hall celebrates diversity - February 20

Crowd attending the Heritage Day Celebration at Ottawa City Hall in 2023.

Local heritage groups will come together at City Hall on February 20, 2024, to celebrate Heritage Day from noon to 2 pm with the theme “Diversity of heritage – recognizing the past and celebrating the future”. 

We are proud to welcome the Capital Heritage Connexion(link is external), and our heritage and history communities that preserve, promote and celebrate significant historic, architectural, natural and scenic heritage in the region. Visit the Heritage Showcase to learn more about our local history and the people and organizations that protect and enhance our city’s heritage for our benefit and for future generations. 

As the nation’s capital, Ottawa is a diverse and dynamic city that stands on unceded Anishinabe Algonquin territory. With English and French as official languages, we are an important centre of Franco-Ontarian culture and a destination of choice for immigrants the world over. We are a multilingual and multicultural city and home to a diversity of equity-deserving and immigrant communities. 

This year, Mayor Sutcliffe will recognize the importance of diversity in heritage by presenting the proclamation to Black History Ottawa(link is external), an organization that promotes research and public programs to build knowledge and appreciation of the achievements of Canadians of African descent. 

Our memories and achievements, as well as traumas and difficulties of the past, continue to shape our future and highlight the importance of commemoration to acknowledge the legacies of our diverse community. A year ago, Ottawa City Council passed a motion to pause the Commemorative Naming Program to allow for a full program and policy review. This will align initiatives with a new overarching Municipal Commemoration Policy that will guide commemorative programs and activities in our city. 

The review of the Commemorative Naming Policy for Municipal Streets, Parks and Facilities included extensive public engagement to strengthen our approach to commemoration and establish the foundation for a more equitable and inclusive process, one that reflects the diversity and values of the City of Ottawa. 

Over 350 streets, parks and facilities across Ottawa bear the names of individuals who made extraordinary contributions to the city and its residents. Their stories help us to recognize the contributions of many diverse communities that influence our culture and history. Heritage Day is an opportunity to celebrate this diversity, and the cultural organizations that play a key role in keeping us informed and connected as we recognize the past and celebrate the future. 

What can YOU do to celebrate? 

Ottawa has a rich history and is home to many fascinating museums and historic sites for everyone to enjoy. You can learn more about these sites by visiting ottawa.ca, and by visiting the Heritage Showcase during Heritage Day celebrations. 

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