To all of you who have attended Glowfair in the past, you’re in luck, because Glowfair 2016 will be here soon! This will be the third annual festival and over the years it has only gotten bigger and better. With its colourful lights, booming energy, and rad music line-up, the Glowfair festival has managed to successfully capture the upbeat downtown nightlife of Ottawa citizens. It will continue this trend in June 2016.

glowfair festival 2016
Glowfair Festival. Photograph by Finnsquare

On June 17th and 18th Glowfair 2016 will take place in one of the many downtown cores of Ottawa. This event will shut down nine blocks of Bank from Slater to James Street in order to get the whole city bumpin’! Festival events will begin at 6pm and end at 11:30pm on Friday the 17th, and will go from 10am to 11:30pm on Saturday the 18th. Every single block has a different theme, which makes Glowfair unlike any other block party that Ottawa has ever seen. It’s also a free event for everyone in Ottawa (tourists included).

Glowfair 2016 will be presenting two stages – Morguard Mainstage (at Snider Plaza between Slater and Laurier) and the Soundboard DJ Stage (which runs from Laurier to Gloucester).  Morguard MainStage will be the main venue for musical entertainment both evenings. There is even a Glow Bar. There Glowfairers who are of age can enjoy a drink with their friends and dance to their favourite beats. Morguard Mainstage will also be holding the ever popular ‘Silent Disco’ where attendees wear headphones instead of listening to music over a large scale sound system.  The ‘Silent Disco’ begins at Midnight and runs until 2am both nights. As a result of popular demand, this stage will allow for over two times the amount of people to fit on its dance floor in comparison to last year. The disco will be offering up 2000 headsets to groovers and movers alike for a deposit fee of $20.

The existence of Morguard Mainstage does not diminish the importance of the Soundboard DJ Stage. This stage will be cranking popular song mixes for both days, so if you like to close your eyes and get lost in a trance, this stage is definitely for you. ‘Live From Glowfair’, the third of nine themed blocks (between Slater and Laurier) will be hosted by JUMP-FM as their best DJs blast the newest and most popular hits. This summer there will be many featured artists including 2016 Juno Award Winner Keys N Krates, Juno Award-nominated musician and producer DJ Rise Ashen and Toronto’s very own Dragonette. The talents chosen for Glowfair 2016’s lineup are all-Canadian and provide the festival with a distinctive vibe. At Glowfair there is music for everyone.

Not only does Glowfair 2016 promise a rad music selection, but several other art forms will be present at this festival as well. Other block themes at Glowfair 2016 include:

Art Chaos (Gilmour to James): This block showcases local artistic talent. It also showcases while different works of art in an outdoor gallery. For those of you that stop by Art Chaos there will even be a collaborative community art piece that everyone is allowed to take part in! (I got to test out the test collaborative art piece at Glowfair’s press release last week, I can’t give any details away but it’s definitely worth stopping by)!

Glowfit (Cooper to Somerset): Glowfit gives a whole other meaning to taking part in an active and healthy lifestyle. Glowfit will be holding its most popular event Glow Yoga, which will be run by Ottawa’s very own Nigel Walker! Walker has taught at Pure Yoga and Elevate and is sure to get the blood pumping and energy flowing! Glowfit will also be featuring Glow bowling, family yoga, a belly dancing flash mob, and an aerial silks presentation by Aearial Antics that will take place on the  Saturday evening.

Kid’s Zone (Nepean to Lisgar to Cooper): Kid’s Zone is two streets of fun for the entire family. There will be a telescope to view the night-sky, an interactive Lite-Brite board, and much more.

Legacy (Gloucester to Nepean): Legacy Block gives another meaning to Ottawa’s history while giving an insider’s guide to Bank Street’s past. This block will feature stories of Ottawa being told alongside Lost Ottawa photographs. This block will even feature snow Taffy and sidewalk chalk!

Enchanted Forest (Somerset to Maclaren): The Enchanted Forest presents itself as a dazzling place – trees overhanging with sparkling lights create a beautiful wonderland where palm readers, face painting, and fortune-tellers reside.

Bizarre Bazaar (MacLaren to Gilmour): This block is filled with all types of oddities! Along with amazing antics performed by Chris Pilsworth, a local magician, it will also feature Ottawa International Animation Festival films on the Saturday evening. You’re in for one heck of a surprise!

During the Glowfair 2016 press release this past week, Christine Leadman, Executive Director of the Bank Street BIA, Glowfair’s title sponsor made it clear that Glowfair has always generated an amazing response from the Ottawa community. The presence of Glowfair has put Bank Street back on the map. The event shines an amazing light on the area, while showcasing the liveliness of the community at the same time.

Glowfair Festival. Photograph by Finnsquare
Glowfair Festival. Photograph by Finnsquare

Glowfair attracts Ottawa’s millennial demographic. At least 28% of its participants last year were between the ages of 18-24 and 23% between the ages of 25-34. Every part of Ottawa is beautiful, but there is a lot more to it than Parliament. Having the ability to create an event like this, and seeing it generate such an amazing turnout (over 45,000 attendees last summer alone), is a direct representation of the diversity and uniqueness of the community of Ottawa. If you’re interested in supporting Ottawa’s community, and love lights, music, art or just having a great time, then you should definitely head out to Glowfair 2016 and find a block where you belong!