Maple sugar, local music and great food on the menu for the 39th Vanier Sugar Festival!

Published on 26.02.2024

OTTAWA, February 26, 2024 – The Vanier Museopark today announced that the 39th edition of the Sugar Festival will run from March 18 to 24, 2024 at Richelieu Park (300 Des Pères-Blancs Ave.) in Ottawa. As the flagship event of the Museopark public program, the Sugar Festival celebrates the maple sugar season’s traditions while giving visitors the chance to reconnect with or learn about the artisanal craft of maple syrup production.

“The Museopark is tremendously proud to keep the maple sugar traditions alive in Vanier with its Festival,” pointed out Vanier Museopark Executive Director Madeleine Meilleur. “This will be the first actual maple sugar season at the new Vanier Sugar Shack. We can’t wait to share our first batch of syrup with the neighbourhood.”


Help us keep the Festival free for everyone!

“The Sugar Festival is a community event, and the Vanier Museopark relies on grants from every government level,” indicated Ms. Meilleur. “It is our fervent wish to keep offering our friends in Vanier, Ottawa and surrounding areas, as well as tourists, an inclusive Festival, to which access and the countless children’s activities are free for everyone. Inflation and the pandemic have driven costs up everywhere, and the Festival is no exception. That is why we keep looking for new ways for the community to contribute because, with its help, we will be able to keep access to the Vanier Sugar Festival free.”

This year, the Museopark is innovating and giving festivalgoers the opportunity to show their loyalty in style: toques with the Sugar Festival logo are already being sold through the Museopark website. They come with or without pompoms, and cost $40 (tax included).

Get your toque here:

There are two other fundraising campaigns for the Sugar Festival: Soup(e) Splash (a culinary competition involving the creation of a soup whose main ingredient is maple syrup) and the traditional maple sugar meals. All profits from ticket sales go towards funding the Festival’s numerous activities.


Vanier Sugar Festival program overview (#fds2024)

The Sugar Festival is a culinary and cultural event for kids and adults encompassing different activities offering something for everyone: traditional sugar shack meals, musical performances by local artists, a petting zoo, lumberjack contests, inflatable structures, a space dedicated to First Nations Peoples, and much more. It is also an opportunity to enjoy some delicious maple taffy!


Some of the activities you will find this year:

Monday, March 18, 2024, from 5:30 to 9 p.m.: 17th edition of Soup(e) Splash, a friendly culinary competition where Ottawa’s best kitchens face off to create a soup where the main ingredient is maple syrup. So far, Coconut Lagoon, Le St-Laurent, Fraser Café, Prova Bar & Kitchen, Chef Phil Cameron Fine Dining Experience and Play food + wine, last year’s panel’s favourite, have confirmed their participation in this gastronomic fundraiser!

  • LOCATION: Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre, Kiwanis Hall (300 Des Pères-Blancs Ave.)
  • Tickets ($40) are available at
  • The members of the 17th edition of Soup(e) Splash panel are as follows:
    • The Honourable Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier.
    • Claude Andréa Bonny, host, Tout Savoir (Rogers TV).
    • Fabienne Lajoie, lawyer, Emond Harnden, and member of the Vanier Museopark Board of Directors.
    • Aurélien Legué, executive chef, Carleton University.
    • Wise Atangana, musician, author, composer, performer and motivational speaker.


Wednesday, March 20, and Thursday, March 21, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: School days. Schools from across the greater Ottawa area are invited to take part in several fun activities that help children discover the different sugar shack traditions through six stations, and to attend a unique musical performance. All spots are already taken.


Friday, March 22, 2024, starting at 5 p.m.: Dinner and dancing to olden days sounds! On the heels of the resounding success of last year’s Festival’s Soirée canadienne, Louis Racine et les Pourquoi Pas will be back at the Centre Pauline-Charron for an evening of dancing featuring traditional music and square dancing.

  • LOCATION: Centre Pauline-Charron (164 Jeanne-Mance St.)
  • Cost: $15 per person. All profits go to the Centre Pauline-Charron.
  • Get your tickets online through the Centre Pauline-Charron:


Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24, 2024, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Families and everyone. Join in the festivities all weekend-long, and enjoy the artisan craft of maple syrup production at its best! Activities for families and friends to enjoy together.

  • LOCATION: Richelieu Park and Vanier Sugar Shack (300 and 320 Des Pères-Blancs Ave.)
    • Maple sugar sampling in the Vanier Sugar Shack ($).
    • Free musical performances by local and up-and-coming artists throughout the day.
    • Traditional maple sugar meals served under a big top ($). Tickets will be sold at the Festival site under several small tents. Mobile payments, credit cards and cash are accepted.
    • Inflatable games, face painting for kids, and indoor activities for toddlers presented by Early ON! and HIPPY.
    • Petting zoo and pony rides with Countryside Petting Farm ($).
    • Axe throwing with LumberJaxe.
    • Artefact demonstrations by Makatew Workshops.
    • Book sale at the Vanier branch of the Ottawa Public Library.
    • Lumberjack skills competition (on Sunday, March 24, at 1 p.m.).
  • NEW:
    • In collaboration with DeSerres and visual artist Max Black, collective art works will be created throughout the Festival. These involve archival photos of the Museopark that will be transformed into large size paint by numbers. Festivalgoers will be invited to leave a trace of their passage at the 2024 Sugar Festival!
    • A biergarten will be set up, where festivalgoers can sample a variety of beers by the Festival’s official brewery, Orléans Brewing Co., including their famous Maple Ale ($).
    • A selection of Starbucks coffees and hot chocolates ($).


Sunday, March 24, from 9 to 11 a.m.: 5 km race, open to everyone. Rideau-Vanier councillor Stéphanie Plante, will join in the Festival’s activities, and invite people to run or walk through the streets of Vanier and the Beechwood cemetery. Profits go to the Vanier Museopark.


A musical program highlighting local talent

The Vanier Museopark is proud to team up this year, once again, with the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC) for the 2024 Sugar Festival’s musical programming. “The Ottawa Music Industry Coalition is very excited to once again team up with the Vanier Museopark to animate the 39th edition of the Sugar Festival,” announced OMIC Executive Director Melanie Brulée. “Ottawa abounds in exceptional talent, and we can’t wait to highlight those outstanding artists in order to share the magic of music with the community. This year, festivalgoers will get to immerse themselves in an unforgettable cultural experience!”

Many of the artists who performed at the last Sugar Festival have gained recognition on the musical scene over the past year. In particular, Rats d’Swompe (series of shows at the Epcot Centre, Groupe de l’année and Export Ontario at the Trille Or 2023 gala), Mimi O’Bomsawin (folk/country/trad artist at the Trille Or 2023 gala, recipient of the Prix Alliance internationale Festival Changez Dair,), and Moonfruits (recipient of the Prix Alliance Ouest Réseau des grands espaces – RGE), to mention just a few.

The Festival is an ideal place to discover the region’s Francophone, francophile and Indigenous talents. “The 39th Vanier Sugar Festival musical program is a treat for the eyes and ears. It offers something for everyone,” indicated Ms. Meilleur. “We are proud of the renown the Festival has acquired over the years, and of the performance venue it provides for these talented Ottawa artists. We are thrilled to have our festivalgoers discover them, enabling us to fulfill our mandate for spreading Francophone culture in Ontario.” Stay tuned for the unveiling over the coming weeks on the Vanier Museopark’s social media.

The Vanier Museopark points out that the 2024 Sugar Festival owes its existence to its partners’ generous financial contributions. It is deeply grateful to the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Arts Council, the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario, the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition and Collège La Cité.

Come sweeten your palate with us at the 2024 Sugar Festival! Visit the Vanier Museopark website for the latest information or to volunteer.


About the Vanier Museopark

The Vanier Museopark is a non-profit organization located in the heart of Vanier, a popular neighbourhood near downtown Ottawa. It celebrates the rich heritage and history of its community. Through its exhibits, talks, workshops, school programs and interpretive tours, the Vanier Museopark allows curious people of all ages – and all cultures – to discover and learn about the habits and customs of the local francophonie. It is the only French-language museum in Ottawa and one of the few Canadian museums outside Quebec devoted entirely to the French-speaking communities. The Vanier Museopark also operates an authentic sugar shack in the heart of an urban sugar bush, the only one of its kinds in the world. It also hosts the Sugar Festival, a family-friendly annual event that promotes the culture of maple syrup as well as Franco-Ontarian and Indigenous artists. Proud of its roots, the Vanier Museopark has been anchored in the community since 2004.

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For additional information, visuals or interviews, please contact:

Annick Normand
Manager, Communications and Marketing, Vanier Museopark

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