Statement from Catherine McKenney on unwavering support for festivals

Mayoral candidate Catherine McKenney released the following statement on their support for festivals in Ottawa.

October 20, 2022 (OTTAWA) — Festivals animate our city. They are a big part of what makes Ottawa a thriving and fun city for visitors and residents alike.

In response to festivals being in the news, community organizations have been calling for clarification from mayoral candidates. 

I am proud to reiterate my long standing and ongoing support for festivals.

As Mayor, I will take Arts and Culture out of the Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services Department so that we recognize the unique impact and contributions of arts and culture in the city.

I will also develop a new arts and culture master plan where the city and community will have joint ownership of the plan—reporting on it regularly.

This summer, people were thrilled to once again be able to take part in outdoor concerts, festivals, museums, galleries, and so much more.

Festivals build community — especially for those like Capital Pride and le Festival Franco-Ontarien that provide a celebration for a specific community. As your Mayor, I will understand the importance of festivals

We know that this sector also positively impacts Ottawa’s neighbourhoods and communities, including small businesses, and it is a key driver for tourism.

Beyond being entertaining, arts, culture, festivals and heritage have a very real financial impact on our city. The Ottawa cultural GDP is $3.4 billion. Yes, billion.

We need to ensure Ottawa’s artists, and the producers, groups, and organizations that engage and support cultural workers continue to thrive and evolve here.


Catherine McKenney is running for Mayor to make Ottawa the greenest, healthiest, and most connected city in Canada. For more information visit

Media contact

Heather Badenoch, [email protected] or 613-518-3170.