This yearly show called “Northern Lights” represents the fire which took place in the month of February of 1916, destroying the central building of the Canadian Parliament.
This new version of the show was first organised in 2015.
This half hour presentation includes striking light effects, breathtaking image projections and a rich mosaic of words and music that tell the story of Canada through the magic of sounds and lights.
Over the past 25 years, Ottawa summer nights have captured the interest of the public with these light and sound shows. I read that the latest edition, last year, drew a record number of people and apparently it was viewed by more than one million viewers. It is a must-see attraction and a perfect activity for a summer evening in Canada's Capital Region.
Those who visit (or live in) Ottawa have the opportunity to enjoy it for a couple of months as the show it is not a one-time thing but, rather, it runs from July until September in the adjoining spaces of Parliament Hill.
This event is a free bilingual show (let us remember that Canada has two official languages which are French and English), combining sounds and a light effects to create a thematic and exciting journey through the history of Canada, presented with spectacular details on the buildings of the Parliament.
In total, almost twenty different projectors work together to form a seamless image on the front facade of the central building, creating a visual experience in High Definition.
This year, the narrative is developed through five thematic ‘books’: Foundations of the Nation, The Force of Association, Discovery and Adventure, Courage and Pride and Vision.
The show is presented every night after dusk.
Parliament Hill is not only the seat of the government. It is also a cultural site and a community center with activities that take place in a truly incredible setting. You can, for example, do yoga here and, during the summer, every Wednesday at lunch time, hundreds of people in yoga pants flood the hill with their yoga mats to sit and stretch in front of the iconic buildings.
It is also possible to visit the historic Peace Tower and enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the city as well as to see the Changing of the Guard before heading inside the building to take a guided tour.
An elevator reaches the top of the clock tower and probably the highlight of this view is to watch the evening show of lights, sounds and colours from here. One can also enjoy it by sitting on the large lawn in front of the Parliament, in complete darkness, and it is very exciting even when it gets cold.
The background voice is that of a narrator who recalls in English and French the highlights of the Canadian history presented, accompanied by lights.
Parliament Hill normally celebrates creativity, pride and culinary excellence as well as winemaking from the countless cities and communities of Ontario year-round. Ontario proudly organizes excellent music festivals and welcomes talented and established artists on sites that celebrate festivals throughout the province and it offers a rich and colorful mosaic of local artists and sites with live music shows. From summer light festivals to the delights of sweet maple products in spring and wine and blueberry festivals in autumn or winter sports, there are always ongoing activities in Ontario not just our beautiful light shows.