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.


On this page

  1. City Events in Winter 2023
  2. City Events in Spring/Summer 2023
  3. City Events in Fall 2023
  4. Year Round City Programming
  5. Past City Programming
  6. Information on how to plan your own event

Winter 2023

New Year's Eve (December 31) - CANCELLED

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

Due to the weather, the rink in Waterloo Public Square is closed. This means our New Years Eve event has been cancelled. We hope you have a safe and happy new year and we can’t wait to see you all in 2023!

Skate Night Date Night (Wednesdays in January and February)

Skate along to the amazing tunes spun by DJ King Kadeem in the uptown rink every Wednesday in January and February from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

Each night will highlight a different decade of music.

  • January 4: 50s - cancelled
  • January 11: 60s
  • January 18: 70s
  • January 25: 80s - cancelled
  • February 1: 80s
  • February 8: 90s
  • February 15: 2000s
  • February 22: 2010/20s

Waterloo Park Winter Art Exhibit

Two exhibits will be on display during the Winter months in Waterloo Park at the Eby Farmstead.

See Hear Speak by Paul Robels

Presented in partnership with STEPS Public Art.

A barrel full of monkeys is popping up in Waterloo for Winterloo… Don’t miss out or you’ll get caught red-handed!

Created by artist Paul Robles, the curved forms will lead you through a snake-like path and make you wonder, what are the monkeys building? Why are their hands red? Are they ghosts of a pre-pandemic social scene?

See Hear Speak was conceived of during the pandemic and is intended to interrupt the quiet of a once thriving gathering place. It is an oddity calling for attention, conjuring a magnetic contradiction that highlights and denies the human experience of contact, folly, and closeness. The playful shapes are layered with monkeys and meaning to suggest team bonding exercises, sporty cheer(leaders), religious divination, and even fraternity hazing.  Echoing society’s current unease, the title invokes the proverb of the Three Wise Monkeys and how the threat of isolation and despair can lead to compulsive diversion.

After debuting at Winterloo, the installation will move to the Eby Farmstead in Waterloo Park.

See Hear Speak was originally commissioned by the Winnipeg Arts Council through Winnipeg’s Public Art Program.

About the artist

Filipino born Winnipeg artist Paul Robles is known for his intricate cut paper works. He combines delicate craft with animist familiars, folklore, ghosts, and grief to explore psychological and emotional states. Recently, Robles has begun to incorporate sculptural elements into his work.

DREAM BEACONS by Jonah Kamphorst, Ryan Webber, and Jackie Levitt

In the winter, many local animals have a long, deep sleep. What do they dream about as they hibernate the winter away? 

These Dream Beacons are metaphorically ‘powered’ by the dreams of sleeping creatures. How many of the animal silhouettes can you identify on their sides? 

 

Winterloo (January 28)

Winterloo is an annual, free festival for all ages that hosts winter-themed activities in uptown Waterloo. More information will be available on the Winterloo website January 2023.

World Poetry Day (March 21)

The City of Waterloo is inviting artists to respond to an open call to participate in World Poetry Day.

This social media project will feature the work of 5 literary artists and their poems on the City of Waterloo’s Arts and Culture teams social media pages, Create Waterloo, throughout the week of March 20, 2023. Artists are invited to submit up to two (2) poems for consideration. Poems can be new, existing, or previously published or performed.

Selected poems will be promoted along with an ‘Artist Spotlight’ where artists will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and discuss their work in video format.

Deadline to submit your poem(s) is Wednesday, February 8, 2023 by 5 p.m.

This is a paid opportunity. Application and more information.

Spring/Summer 2023

Movies In The Parking Lot (April 28 & October 19)

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 28
  • October 19

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 26
  • July 28
  • August 25

Additional Art Markets will be held at Open Streets (June 10) and the July 1st Community Picnic (July 1).

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. Second Wednesday of the month from May-August from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

  • May 10
  • June 14
  • July 12
  • August 9

Neighbourhood Campfires (May-August)

We're bringing Campfire to different neighbourhoods across Waterloo! Join us around the fire as we listen to a local musician and play some giant games. Locations TBA.

  • May 3
  • June 7
  • July 5
  • August 2

Movies In The Park (June-August)

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

  • June 15
  • June 29
  • July 13
  • July 27
  • August 10
  • August 24

Open Streets (June 10)

Open Streets returns to the streets in uptown Waterloo in 2023. 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. The event runs 10:00 A.M to 4:00 P.M. 

National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21)

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. This day recognizes the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples, communities and nations. The City of Waterloo has been marking this occasion for the past six years by partnering with artist Luke Swinson who creates and installs an original art piece on the surface of the Waterloo Public Square. This artwork serves 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, 2023 in Waterloo Park with a community picnic, artist showcase and food trucks.

View more information on our web page.

Day of Play (August 12)

Come have a Day of Play Saturday, August 12 in Waterloo Park!
Located along the Waterloo Park Promenade (near the animal pen area) from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. there will be activities, games, adventures, and more. A day of non-stop fun for everyone!

Fall 2023

Lumen (September 23)
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.

Lumen 2022 Festival website

Year Round Programming

Neighbourhood Picnic Tables

City of Waterloo invites the public to come enjoy these creative, unique, and vibrant picnic tables featured in the Neighbourhood  Picnic Table Program.

In 2021, in partnership with the City of Waterloo's Neighbourhoods team, Create Waterloo commissioned 18 local artists to create custom artwork on picnic tables located in one of six community gardens throughout Waterloo. In 2022, another 12 tables were added to the collection in four new neighbourhood parks.

 View each picnic table and its location on our online map.

  • Heasley Park: Sharon Ye, Tara Nix, Kate Short
  • Pinebrook Park: Lupita Guerrero, Lucy Lan, Christie Shen
  • Haida Park: Kate Hernden, Esther Slevinsky, Chrissy Kuiack
  • Patchwork Community Gardens EMS Site: Chanel Leong, William August Swinson, Baz Kanold
  • St. Moritz Park: Ekaterina Abesheva, Kavita Saini, Mayah Moosajee
  • Sundew Park: Moumita Rowchowdhury, Aoe Girard, Tara Cooper
  • Laurelwood Park: Jason Panda, Danielle Petti, Esther Slevinsky
  • Roselea Park: Ashley Guenette, Aoe Girard, Madeline Belford
  • Glen Acres Park: Tanner van Vliet, Kate Short, Lori Zenker
  • Anndale Park: Sophie Corbett, Kat Hernden, Donia Liu Neekman
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 Worthington, Christa Mercy, Blankie 

 

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

 


 

Planning Your Own Event?

For information on how to host your own event at a City facility such as the Waterloo Public Square or Waterloo Park, begin by reviewing the How To Plan an Event page and also the Event Planning Form.