Your handy guide to summer food events

Ottawa’s first pop-up Harvest Noir picnic attracted almost 800 people dressed in their finest black last fall outside the Canadian Museum of Civilization. This year, organizers on Sept. 30 hope to almost double the turnout at an as-yet-undisclosed location in downtown Ottawa. Photo by Ron Eade, The Ottawa Citizen.

Yes indeed, Ottawa is Festival City — and no less so with any number of good food and drink events planned in the city and environs through summer and into September.

Calendars ready? Here are some timely choices of what’s coming up.

17th annual Ottawa Valley Midsummer Herbfest

Where: The Herb Garden, 3840 Old Almonte Rd., Almonte

When: July 29, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Phone: 613-256-0228

Tickets: Advance $4 single, $12 family; at the door $5 single, $15 family. Parking $2.


What’s on: Garden tours, demonstrations and food, including the popular chef cook-off at 11 a.m. with sommelier host Susan Desjardins of Savvy Company. Check out what’s new in herbs, artisan cheeses, healthy cuisine and nutrition. More than 100 ventors offering herbal, eco-friendly and healthy living products and services. Educational seminars, music, food court, garden tours, wild herb walk, story telling, face painting and dance presentations.

National Capital Craft Beer Week

Where: Main stage at Marion Dewar Plaza, Ottawa city hall; various other venues as indicated on website.

When: Aug. 10 to 18 (Main events at Marion Dewar Plaza on Aug. 17 and 18 from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.)

Phone: 613-590-2496

Tickets: Day pass $15; limited number two-day passes before Aug. 3 at $20; age 18 and under, free admission. Food and beer tastings, souveniers extra.


What’s on: Entertainment, keynote speakers, brewmasters forums and presentations, home brewing competition and lots of food and drink to celebrate the nation’s growing interest in craft beer.

15th annual Perth Lions Garlic Festival

Where: Perth Fairgrounds

When: Aug. 11, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Phone: 613-267-5322; toll-free 1-877-268-2833

Tickets: $5 adults, children under 12 free. Food and refreshments extra.


What’s on: More than 70 garlic growers, artisans and food vendors with cooking demonstrations, guest speakers, tastings, musical and other entertainment all dedicated to the “stinking rose.” No pets, please.

13th annual Carp Farmers’ Market Garlic Festival

Where: Carp Fairgrounds, 3790 Carp Rd., Carp

When: Aug. 11 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Aug. 12 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Phone: 613-786-1010

Tickets: Free


What’s on: About 30 outdoor vendors will be selling many different varieties of garlic, while others will have garlic products including spreads, dressings, baskets and pottery garlic holders. Garlis tasting, cooking demonstrations, seminars on garlic cultivation, garlic braiding.

37th annual Greekfest

Where: Greek Community Centre, 1315 Prince of Wales Dr.

When: Aug 15 to 26; opening times vary from noon on weekends to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Phone: 613-225-8106 ext. 234 or 221

Tickets: Admission free; free parking/shuttle service from various locations. Food prepared on-site and drink extra.


What’s on: A complete 12-day family cultural extravaganza with cooking demonstrations, dance performances, tours, music, seminars, Greek language lessons, travel videos, olive oil tasting at the Hellenic Community Centre.

Savour Ottawa 2nd Annual Harvest Table

Where: Ottawa Farmers’ Market, Brewer Park

When: Aug. 19, noon to 2 p.m.

Phone: 613-699-6850 ext. 13

Tickets: $60, and $75 for VIP ‘Cream of the Crop’ including guided tour of farmer’s market


What’s on: Celebrate Ottawa’s harvest and culinary talent with a five-course luncheon served family style with area farmers and chefs using products from at least a dozen growers and artisin food producers.

Summer Harvest Garden Party

Where: Ottawa Humane Society, 245 West Hunt Club Rd.

When: Aug. 26, 2 to 5 p.m.

Phone: 613-725-3166

Tickets: $125


What’s on: More than 14 top Ottawa chefs, caterers, food purveyors serve and pour their best at this annual humane society fundraiser, in memory of the late National Arts Centre executive chef Kurt Waldele. Wines by Colaneri Estates Winery, Niagara.

3rd annual Fiore Gourmande Outaouais-Eastern Ontario

Where: Lefaivre Community Centre, Hawkesbury, also at Montebello Marina, Quebec

When: Aug. 26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Phone: Quebec 819-281-7676; Ontario 613-675-4661 or 1-800-667-6307 ext. 8103

Tickets: Free admission; tasting tickets extra. Free parking and pedestrian ferry access to events on both sides of Ottawa River.


What’s on: Discover the culinary expertise of growers, artisans and food processors on both sides of the Ottawa River with food and drink tastings, cooking demonstrations and a public market featuring local food products. Face painting, play structures, theatre and workshops for children

Urban Agriculture Bike Tour, Community Garden Network

Where: Meet at parking lot Saint Paul University

When: Aug. 26, 1 to 5 p.m.

Phone: 613-699-6850 ext. 12

Tickets: Free; $5 donation suggested to Ottawa Food Bank


What’s on: A 12-km bike tour of centrally located community gardens. Locally grown snacks provided. Rain or shine; no registration required.

10th annual Lumière

Where: Brookstreet Hotel, 525 Legget Dr.

When: Sept. 12, 6 to 10 p.m.

Phone: 613-271-1800 for reservations

Tickets: $125 before July 31; $150 after. Groups 10 or more $100 each


What’s on: An evening of fine four-diamond food and wines with live jazz music, live and silent auctions to benefit Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, culiminating with a fireworks show over the Marshes golf course.

Arboretum Festival

Where: On the grounds of Arts Court and Ottawa Jail Hostel

When: Sept. 15

Tickets: T.B.A.


What’s on: A new festival showcasing local music, visual art and food with some two-dozen acts and an impressive lineup of restaurants, local brewers and art galleries. As space is limited, guest restaurants will be staged on different shifts, so check the website for serving schedules.

Feast of Fields

Where: Canadian Agriculture Museum, Central Experimental Farm

When: Sept. 16, noon to 4 p.m.

Phone: 613-244-4000

Tickets: $70 until Aug. 31 ($35 tax receipt given); $80 Sept. 1 and after ($35 tax receipt).


What’s on: Now in its 16th year, this popular annual fundraiser for Canadian Organic Growers, Ottawa Chapter, pairs 20 organic farmers with as many talented chefs to create a unique gourmet feast ranging from sliders to savoury soups, fresh fruit, salads and more.

2nd annual Harvest Noir pop-up picnic

Where: Secret location in downtown Ottawa

When: Sept. 30, 4 p.m. to midnight.

Tickets: $53 online, although discounts are available for table captains and their groups.


What’s on: An elegant “dress your best in black” local harvest celebration with a secret picnic in a public place in downtown Ottawa, announced to attendees by email just four hours before the event. Bring your own picnic baskets and elegant tableware (no disposable plastic) and enjoy the ambiance, then join a parade to an indoor venue for a DJ dance party. Last year the event at the Canadian Museum of Civilization attracted almost 800 people; this year organizers hope for 1,400.

4th annual Beau’s Oktoberfest

Where: Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds, 92 Main St. W., Vankleek Hill

When: Sept. 28, 4 to 11 p.m., Sept. 29, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sept. 30 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Phone: 613-678-2799, or toll-free 1-866-585-2337

Tickets: Early bird online Aug. 9 at $18 day pass; $45 for three-day pass. Age 18 or under $5. Bus transport to and from Ottawa available at extra charge when booking tickets.


What’s on: The region’s most animated thrtee-day Bavarian festival celebrating craft beer, local food and independent musicians with more than 20 Eastern Ontario restaurants serving unique culinary creations. Sample nine different Beau’s beers, most created esxclusively for the festival, as well as unique casks from various craft brewers across Ontario and Quebec.

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