All city events

Find information on all events hosted by the city. Stay updated by following the city events team on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, or by subscribing to our monthly newsletter.

Spring/Summer 2022

Art Market (May-August)

Art Market features artists, crafters, and makers from Waterloo and surrounding area selling outside at the Waterloo Public Square.

The market runs 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

  • May 27
  • June 24
  • July 29
  • August 26

Additional Art Markets will be held at Open Streets (June 11) and Canada Day (July 1).

Campfire (May-October)

Bring a blanket or your favourite hoodie and head uptown!  Gather around the campfire in the Square with friends and neighbours for local music,, games and more. Second Wednesday of the month from May-August from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.

  • May 11: Onion Honey
  • June 8: Pilot Project
  • July 13: Tanya Rivero
  • August 10: Clarissa Diokno
  • October 12 (Halloween edition): I, The Mountain

Night Lights: a Pop-Up Performance Series (May-August)

From May to August, come enjoy Night Lights, a series of small pop-up shows featuring different events such as concerts, movies, performances, and more. This event will move around to different locations in the City throughout the summer and will be announced here.

May 19: Salsa in the Square

Location & Time: Uptown Public Square from 7pm-11pm

Head to the Uptown Public Square for beginner dance lessons beginning at 7pm and music and dancing from 7:30pm-11pm, led by the Underdog Dance Corporation. This event is free, no registration needed and all ages and abilities are welcome!

Monday June 13th, 2022: Uptown Flamenco

Location & Time: Uptown Public Square from 7pm-9pm

During this interactive evening of flamenco, Claudia & Julian (a.k.a. “Calú” and “Jules”) will animate Waterloo Square with live flamenco demos, performances and how-to sessions. Come at 7pm and 8pm to watch their sets, in which Claudia sings traditional flamenco songs and performs percussive flamenco footwork, with Julian accompanying her on guitar and playing intermittent solos. After the 7pm set,  you’ll learn how to clap flamenco rhythms and yell "Olé". After the 8pm set, you’ll learn some basic flamenco steps that you can do at any flamenco party. You can also clap along and do braceo and floreo (arm and hand movements) while sitting down as well. All you need for this event are your "palmas" (hands) and comfy shoes.

Claudia & Julian are also the founders of the Grand River Flamenco Fest (previously known as the KW Flamenco Fest), which will be held this summer from July 20th to August 1st.

June 16: Twilight Family Forest Walk & Activities around the Fire

Location & Time: Waterloo Public Library, Eastside Branch from 7pm-9pm

Join us at the brand new WPL Eastside Branch where you will create your very own lanterns that will guide you on a forest walk through the beautiful trails. We will finish the night off with campfire songs and a story time around a fire in the new outdoor Nature Space. All ages are welcome!

July 21: Interactive Drumming Presentation & Garden Games

Location & Time: Waterloo Public Library, John M Harper Branch / 7pm-9pm

Join master drummer, storyteller and motivational speaker Babarinde Williams, as he brings communities together through the making of music and drumming. Audience members will learn to play unique beats on drums and other percussion instruments with the addition of singing, chanting and story-telling. This interactive and engaging presentation is presented with over 80 drums and percussion instruments (Note: Please bring your own drum if you own one). The drumming workshop will have limited space and a registration link will be provided soon.

The night will also be accompanied with garden games, storytelling around the fire and a KW favourite food truck.

August 18: A Pop Up Picnic

Location & Time: Waterloo Public Library, McCormick Branch from 7pm-9pm

Bring your family and friends and join us for a final sunset community picnic to help celebrate the summer and enjoy the last few weeks of nice weather. There will be food trucks, live music, crafts, games, and more. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs and/or blankets and join in on the festivities!

Movies In The Park (May-September)

Hosted in Waterloo Park near the Bandshell, bring a blanket and watch movies on the big outdoor screen! Movie titles TBA.

  • May 6: Jumanji (1995)
  • June 3
  • July 7
  • July 21
  • August 4
  • August 18

Movies In The Parking Lot (April 29 & October 28)

Waterloo's own pop-up drive in is back! Register online for your spot and pull up for the two drive-in movies this year. Movie titles and registration TBA.

  • April 29: The Mummy (1999)
  • October 28

Public Art and Historical Uptown Waterloo Walking Tour (June 9, July 21, August 25)

 Have you looked at some of the public art in uptown Waterloo and wanted to know more about the piece, the artist, or how it came to be in Waterloo? Join us on a walking tour of uptown as we learn about the public art collection. As part of the Year of Public Art, the City of Waterloo Museum and Arts & Culture have joined up for a Public Art and historical walking tour. This tour will feature several works in the City of Waterloo's collection.

Tours will be offered on the following dates:

  • June 9, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
  • July 21, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
  • August 25, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are free and registration is required.

Open Streets (June 11)

Open Streets returns to the streets in uptown Waterloo in 2022. Join us in June for a fun-filled day that will take over Willis Way. Watch live performances and mural painting, browse through the art market, and join in on the fun and games.

National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21)

On June 21, Waterloo will celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day. This day recognizes the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples of Canada. An original art piece on the surface of Waterloo Public Square will be installed as a visual reminder of the territory and land on which our city was founded. 

July 1 Community Picnic (July 1)

The City of Waterloo will be commemorating Canada Day on July 1, 2022 in Waterloo Park with a community picnic, artist showcase and food trucks.

More information to come. 

Apply to have a community booth at this event

Apply to bring your food truck to this event

Day of Play (August 6)

Come have a Day of Play! Located along the Waterloo Park Promenade, there will be activities, games, adventures, and more. A day of non-stop fun for everyone!

Fall 2022

Lumen (September 24)
Lumen is an annual, free, all-ages festival that is open to the public and run by the City of Waterloo’s Arts and Culture team (Create Waterloo). The event features the work of artists as they explore the interplay of light, art, and technology in installations located throughout uptown Waterloo.

More information to come.

Winter 2023

New Year's Eve (December 31)

Family-friendly celebration in Waterloo Public Square. Skating, music, crafts and food. From 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Winterloo (Date to be announced)

Winterloo is an annual, free festival for all ages that hosts winter-themed activities in uptown Waterloo.

Year-Round Programming

Trail Mix - Local Trails & Local Artists

Trail Mix is an auditory accompaniment for Waterloo trails. 

  • Step #1: Select your favourite local Waterloo trail
  • Step #2: Strap on some hiking shoes/boots
  • Step #3: Find the hidden QR codes along the trail
  • Step #4: Use your phones camera to scan the QR code
  • Step #5: Put on your headphones and listen to the Trail Mix!


Right now, the Trail Mix pilot project is only featured on the Forwell, Walter Bean Grand River, and Spur Line/Laurel Trail.

 

Trail Mix #1

Forwell Trail (University Ave - Manulife/King Street): Google Map Link

Featured artists: Eiyn SofYoung PilotRich BurnettElsa JayneJoJo WorthingtonChrista MercyBlankie 

 

Trail Mix #2

*Updated January 2022*
Walter Bean Grand River Trail (Park Rd/Grey Silo - Grand River Drive): Google Map Link

Featured artists: Avalon Bridger, Mary-Catherine Pazzano, A Short Walk to Pluto, Italian Sunsets Waterstreet Blues Band, A Weekend at Ramonas, Rob Witherspoon, Luke Cyrus Hunter, Erik Mohr, Ella Latta Suazo

 

Trail Mix #3

Spur Line / Laurel Trail (University Ave - Victoria Street): Google Map Link

Featured artists: NEFEQuinton BarnsMary Abdel-Malek NeilJuneytThe Clefs of MoherGrace SheeleRichard GarveyLogan StaatsJoni Nehrita12 Mile IslandCaluJules

 

Are you an artist that wants to be featured on a Trail Mix? Sign up to be on the Artist Roster.

Uptown Tunes

Scan the QR code featured on the kiosk or the trailer in the Waterloo Public Square. The playlist features local artists and will be changed multiple times throughout the year.

Now playing: Volume 2 (updated January 2022)

Featured artists: Tanya Rivero, Gareth Bush, Kennen, The MacQueens

 

Waterloo Park Art Walk (updated March 2022)

The Waterloo Park Art Walk is an outdoor exhibit that stretches though Waterloo Park from Caroline Street to Seagram Drive. 

The Art Walk features the work of 24 local artists selected by a jury to be part of the program. Each of the 24 pieces makes reference to the nature, scenery, and/or landscape of the park. 

Participating 2022 artists: Alison Postma, Angela Grasse, Aoe Girard, Ashley Guenette, Cheryl-Ann Hills, Chris Winterson, Cindy Matthews, Dan Gee, Ekaterina Abasheva, Jackie Partridge, Jesse Matas, Jonathan Munz, Margarita Kuznetsova, Megan Skelton, Natali Baird, Nicholas Rees, Nicole Ensing, Poorvi Jain, Robin Crank, Roslyn Ramsay, Sara Nieto, Sherry Czekus, Tami Martin, and Tanner van Vliet

Past Programming

Lumen Lite

A physically distanced festival where light, art & tech meet two metres apart.

More information available on our Lumen Lite webpage. 

The Community Happiness Project

The Community Happiness Project connected community members by sharing messages of hope, positivity, welcoming, and connectivity from participants across Waterloo. Messages were submitted online or through our Kindness Phone Hotline and then placed on signs throughout the city with QR codes for people to listen to the messages.

 

The signs have now been taken down, but you can still listen to the messages and see the accompanying artwork for each sound.

 World Poetry Day (March 21)

Five poems in five days.

In honour of World Poetry Day (Monday March 21, 2022), the City of Waterloo invited artists to respond to an open call to participate in Create Waterloo's World Poetry Day social media project.

This project features the work of five local literary artists and their poems being promoted on the City of Waterloo’s Arts and Culture team’s social media pages, Create Waterloo, throughout the week of March 21, 2022. In addition to their poems, the selected artists also participated in an Artist Spotlight video where they had the opportunity to introduce themselves and discuss their work.

See the social media posts on Create Waterloo's Instagram account.

 

Mothers and Languages by Seemab Zahra
You are an amalgam of dust particles

From Mazar Sharif,
Ashes from Ganga,
Clay from Multan,
Mixed with the water of Chenab and Ravi


You carry the love from all these places,
And the languages your great
Grandmothers taught your great


Grand-aunts


While Rabab makes you ecstatic,
Waris Shah's Heer makes you sad.
Lighting a chiragh at Shah Sham's tomb
Becomes your best memory


You never knew what you were
Until you became a mother
And passed on all the love and languages
You carry to your daughters
Who will ultimately become mothers
To pass on all the love and languages
To their great


Grand-daughters.

Differently-Abled by Benjamin Weber

Oh really?

So I'm not depressed then,
I'm just "differently happy?"
And I'm not anxious,
I'm just "differently hopeful?"


And you call those payments "free money?"
As if they are a reward for me "choice"
To be unemployed and lonely?


And I don't even have a mental illness,
But merely a "mental health issue?"
Which sounds like something
Psychology Today
might publish.


I'll start calling it that
When you start referring to cancer
As a "cell growth issue."


And my meds, you say,
They're hurting me?
Big Pharma is exploiting me?
All I need is a little fresh air?


And if my abundance of neurodiversity
Would drive me to kill myslef,
Would you acknowledge my death,
Or just claim I was "differently alive?"


I'm disabled
And I'm working through it.

Crocuses by Claris Lam

Crocuses emerge,

silent signs of spring confirm
winter receding
into greenery, singing
with joy at new beginnings.

Walnuts: love story from the Iron Horse Trail by Fern

On the trail by my house

There are walnuts taking their clothes off
Scattering their valuables
Across the ground
Green fleshiness
Turns to brown
As the rains come


On the trail by my house
Sun licks up the moisture from
Sumac leaves
And peaks through
Making eyes at lake
Kissing dew
The last summer sweat


On the trail by my house
Wind whispers sweet somethings
In the treetops
Into the beds
Of birds
Telling their secrets
Keeping their word.

The Names of the Trees by Rae Crossman

I am teaching my children
the names of trees


white pine
basswood
cherry


the shape of leaves
the feel of bark


beech
hickory
balsam


how roots hold firm
how seeds set forth and travel


hazel
sycamore
alder


the way birds live in their branches
the way their branches live in my heart


mulberry
sumac
mountain ash


I am teaching my children
the rising of sap
the bursting of green
the touching of sky

 

maple
tamarack
spruce


I am teaching my children
the falling to ground
the falling apart


willow
walnut
elm


the way seedlings root on nurse logs
the way saplings reach for light


hemlock
cedar
fir


I am teaching my children
to grow after I'm gone


poplar
chestnut
oak


I am teaching my children
to teach their children
the names of trees