Discover the capital during Congress 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

By Erika Hansen, Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost, University of Ottawa

There is no shortage of things to see and do in Ottawa, whether it’s your first time in the nation’s capital or a repeat visit. To help you decide what to do in your spare time during Congress, we have compiled a list of some of our favourite activities on our What’s on in Ottawa page. See what piques your interest, be it touring the iconic Parliament buildings, visiting a local brewery, or urban rafting on the Ottawa River! Don’t forget that, as a Congress attendee, you are entitled to discounted visits to certain attractions, tours and restaurants through the Delegate Insider Badge program.

The University of Ottawa and the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences have partnered to offer attendees a program of cultural activities in both French and English, reflecting the University’s commitment to living, working and studying in both languages. In fact, the University of Ottawa carries the distinction of being the largest bilingual (English-French) university in the world.

For those who wish to take advantage of Ottawa’s historic attractions, a walking tour of the Rideau Canal — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — will be led by the University’s own chief archivist on June 1 (French) and June 2 (English). We are also proud to announce that an exclusive tour of the Library and Archives Canada Preservation Centre is being offered on June 1 (English) and June 2 (French). This tour will give you a behind-the-scenes look at Canada’s documentary heritage and preservation efforts.

The campus will be alive with the sounds of music throughout Congress. On May 30, we will celebrate the Francophonie with a Franco-Ontarian concert featuring the energetic acts of YAO, Improtéine and Big Balade. On June 2, the University hosts the Cobra du Mandingue troupe, which will give a dynamic dance and music performance inspired by West African culture. The party continues on June 4, when the Aboriginal Experiences dance group will put on an interactive show comprised of stirring songs and a fabulous mix of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal dances.

You are also invited to #HackCongress on June 1, a non-competitive Hackfest hosted by the University of Ottawa library which will include project presentations and crash courses on different tools used to hack research data.

Finally, you can round out your Ottawa experience with an epicurean adventure. Join us for a culinary tour of the Byward Market to discover delicious local produce and dishes.

For further information on what to do in Ottawa, check out For details on the activities listed above, contact Erika Hansen at

Image credit (top to bottom): Aboriginal Experiences, University of OttawauOttawa Library


Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2015