Discover Ottawa – Ottawa Music City

Without a doubt Ottawa is one of Canada’s best running cities. But did you know that Ottawa also has one of the country’s best live music scenes? It’s true!

From Ottawa Bluesfest, ranked as one of North America’s top music events, to world-class performances at the National Arts Centre, to dozens of small music clubs frequented by local and touring musicians, the Ottawa area is alive with music every night of the week.

Here’s a few tips on how to track down some great music when you’re here for race weekend.

First things first, if you’re visiting Ottawa on May 23rd and 24th, you’ll be too early for Bluesfest, which takes place in July. But if you’re looking for a blues fix, you won’t have to go far. Just check out the Rainbow Bistro, a 30-year old blues club in the heart of the Byward Market.

If rock and roll is what you’re after, it’s only a short walk from the Rainbow to Zaphod Beeblebrox, a legendary Ottawa club that has seen hundreds of now famous musicians perform. Or for one of Ottawa’s coolest new rock ‘n’ roll experiences, head to The House of Targ, which features not only lots of great underground rock bands but also the biggest selection of vintage pinball machines around (and perogies!).

A 20-minute drive into Quebec will bring you to the picturesque town of Wakefield and the Blacksheep Inn, one of many Canadian musicians’ all-time favourite places to perform, while Ottawa’s Chinatown neighbourhood is home to small, intimate venues like Pressed, Raw Sugar and the Daily Grind where you can find a wide range of great music (and great food).

And that’s only scratching the surface. For extensive music listings and information check out the blogs and to find out about what is happening in the National Capital Region during your stay.

And before we forget, Run Ottawa will also be bringing you live local music to you on race day. From bands along the marathon course, to a Celebration Stage at City Hall, which last year featured artists like Jim Bryson and Hawksley Workman, live music keeps Ottawa running!