All city events

The City of Waterloo will be hosting in-person arts and culture events for 2021/2022, when permitted by public health guidelines and in support of physical distancing guidelines.

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.

Winter 2021/2022

New Year's Eve (December 31) - CANCELLED

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

Cancelled due to Public Health guidelines and for the safety of our community.

Skate Night Date Night - Skating Through the Decades (February)

Come join a free public ice skate every in Waterloo Public Square Thursday night in February. Skate along to the tunes played by our on-site DJ as we work our way through the decades. Participants must bring their own skates and are encouraged to dress in theme.

February 3: 50s & 60s

February 10: 70s & 80s

February 17: 90s & 2000s

February 24: 2010s-Present

Winterloo (January 29)

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

Join us on January 29, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. for winter activities. Discover the magic of Winterloo 2022.

Winter Art Exhibit in Waterloo Park (December 2021 - April 2022)

Create Waterloo is please to present the pilot program to animate the Eby Farmstead in Waterloo Park with art during the winter months. Artists were invited to submit to an open call competition. Installations were installed in December 2021 and will remain in place until April 2022. 

A Google Map detailing the location of each installation has been created for your use.

Heartbeat by Aoe Girard

This project uses fabric and cotton ribbon to weave together an image of a heart. The installation is also surrounded by colourful circles in different sizes to show the rhythm of a happy heartbeat. The bells add an additional sound element signalling happiness are the sound echoes in the wind.

Artist Bio:

Aoe Girard is an artist, illustrator and graphic designer. She loves to work on different kinds of art with the goal of being a person who makes the world happy. She believes that all art is beautiful and that the most important part is when her art creates happiness that grows and bridges the gap between art and society.

For illustrations, she likes using different techniques including pencil, pencil color, marker, watercolor, oil, acrylic, pastel, ink and digitally. Her illustrations focus on the power of nature specifically children, women, flowers, trees and animals. Her work has been shown in children's picture books, magazines and product designs.

Aoe Girard also likes painting with watercolor, acrylic and oil. Her paintings have been showcased in local art galleries, restaurants, cafes and outdoors.

Hibercation by Asli Aslin

Hibercation is comprised of three colourful murals that pose the question: what do the animals do on vacation? Each of these whimsical illustrations feature a pair of animals and examines where they are now and how they are spending their time during the winter before returning their “work place” in the spring.

Artist Bio:

Asli Aslin is a multidisciplinary artist traversing disciplines of drawing, painting, installation and photography who holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. She has been commissioned to create public art in Canada and Europe and her work has been featured in a number of galleries throughout Toronto and abroad. Asli lives and works in Toronto.

The Picnic by Colin Boyd Shafer

The Picnic is a photo series captured in 2013 that features park-goers in London, England. After long, cold, and gloomy winters, Londoners, much like people in Waterloo, flock to parks – they seem to bloom with colour like the very flowers that surround them. This observation inspired this feel-good portrait series that shows the city’s residents enjoying themselves outdoors – eating, resting, playing, and laughing.

Taken from above, these intimate portraits provide the viewer with an unusual perspective into peoples’ interactions in urban green spaces. Shafer invites Waterloo Park visitors to reflect on how their lives have been enriched by public parks, and why protecting these spaces is so crucial to the health of any city.

The artist gratefully acknowledges the support of Wesmount Signs & Printing.

Artist Bio: 

Colin Boyd Shafer is an award-winning documentary photographer living in downtown

Kitchener. Previous award-winning projects include Cosmopolis Toronto (photographing someone from every country of the world who now calls Toronto home) and INTERLOVE (portraits of interfaith love in Ontario).

 #hopeandhealingcanada by Tracey-Mae Chambers

 #hopeandhealingcanada is a series of site specific art installations created with red yarn.  Métis artist Tracey-Mae Chambers uses large knit and crochet pieces to illustrate connection between people and their environment. The artist also uses the work to promote dialogue questioning the connection between Indigenous, Inuit and Métis peoples and settlers.

Decolonizing public spaces is always on the mind of the artist as she creates across Canada.  

Artist Bio: 

I grew up as a stranger to my own story; adopted and re-named, grafted into a new family tree. The discovery in adulthood of my Metis heritage was a revelation that set me on a path of discovery. I often work in the powerful tradition of the vessel as metaphor for individuals; we fill and re-fill ourselves throughout life to create our own story. My developing story as an Indigenous heritage woman and her quest for harmony with the natural world.  I am a proud member of the Métis Nation of Ontario. My ancestors are from the Drummond Island community. 

Nature not only inspires my forms but provides the substance of my sculptures. Working in beeswax as a sculptural medium is a concept I have developed based on the tradition of encaustic painting. This special medium is wonderfully pliable and responsive when heated and results in a finished object with a delicate scent and a soft, magical, tactile quality that results in a resilient art piece.

See more of Tracey-Mae Chambers work on her website.

Stillness by Trevor Waurechen
Stillness is a work composed of three illuminated soft sculptures. These fabric works, shaped like cocoons, will hang from tree branches within the animal enclosures of Eby Farmstead. Internal lights within the forms will pulse and glow, each at a different rate.

These forms are imbued of several layers of representation. A cocoon is a place of gestation, and, by extension, a symbol of home, comfort, protection, family, security. After nearly two years of pandemic imposed gestation, separated from our professional and social networks, we are all currently anxious to emerge back into the worlds from which we have been disconnected. “Home” has taken on a changed definition in this time, as well. It has doubled as a place of work for many. Home has even become, in some cases, a kind of trap, or symbol of isolation.

This gestation has been a shared experience, transcending race, gender, culture, and politics. Stillness stands as a reminder of our sameness, a call to reject the othering of people whose identities differ in some ways from our own. The form of a cocoon resembles the human heart, and the pulsing lights of this work further represent this correlation, drawing to mind a heartbeat, or the rhythm of one’s breath.

Artist Bio:

Trevor Waurechen’s professional artistic practice began with commercial art, after graduating from the Ontario College of Art & Design's illustration program. With more than a decade’s experience in that field, his focus shifted to the more personally-driven disciplines of cartooning and fine art. With a foundation in printmaking, this work is often driven by the principles learned from that practice, including a simplification of form, reduction of detail, subtractive methods of creation, and an emphasis on layering, pattern and repetition.

 

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

Stay tuned for information on how to apply to be a vendor.

Campfire (May-August)

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. First Wednesday of the month from May-August from 7:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. Artists TBA.

  • May 11
  • June 8
  • July 13
  • August 10
  • October 12 (Halloween edition)

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.

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
  • June 3
  • July 8
  • August 5
  • September 2

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 Days (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. 

Canada Day (July 1)

The City of Waterloo will be commemorating Canada Day on July 1, 2022. More information to come. 

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!

 

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

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 2021 artists: Anneliese AlonsoAshley GuenetteAugust SwinsonCynthia MatthewsHolly KurmisJackie LevittJax RulaJenna Kessler, Jennifer Lynn Cutting-Roy, Jonah Kamphorst, Julie Lacey, Kaliska Gibson, Katelyn Dunstall, Kitahna Roy, Lee AngoldLucy Bilson, Melika Hashemi, Margarita KuznetsovaNancy Pengnik harronNikolina KupcevicPeter SchachtSalma NasreldinTrisha Abe

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.