All city events

The City of Waterloo will be hosting in-person arts and culture events for 2021, 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.

Current Programming

Lumen Lite - September 25

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

More information available on our Lumen Lite webpage. 

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

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

Featured artists: Tragedy Anne, Rufus John, Transstar, Mandippal, Sons of Shanley, STEVEDAVE, Preetam Sengupta, JP SUNGA, Alysha Brilla, Jenna Kessler

 

Trail Mix #3

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

Featured artists: NEFE, Quinton Barns, Mary Abdel-Malek Neil, Juneyt, The Clefs of Moher, Grace Sheele, Richard Garvey, Logan Staats, Joni Nehrita, 12 Mile Island, CaluJules

 

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 1

Featured artists: Sam Nabi, B.U.D, Saffron A, sin cola, Jessie T, Paige Warner, Blueprint Magazine

 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 who were 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. The project is available for viewing through 2021.

Participating artists: Anneliese AlonsoAshley GuenetteAugust SwinsonCynthia MatthewsHolly KurmisJackie LevittJax RulaJenna Kessler, Jennifer Lynn Cutting-Roy, Jonah KamphorstJulie LaceyKaliska GibsonKatelyn Dunstall, Kitahna Roy, Lee AngoldLucy Bilson, Melika Hashemi, Margarita KuznetsovaNancy Pengnik harronNikolina KupcevicPeter SchachtSalma NasreldinTrisha Abe

Winter 2021 Past Programming

Create 31

Challenge yourself to 31 minutes of creativity for 31 days. Take the Create 31 challenge with your community, friends, and family by following along on Instagram @create_waterloo.

Create 31 requires no particular skill level. Simply spend 31 minutes per day engaging in a prompt delivered by Waterloo local artists, influencers, businesses, and political representatives. Starting January 1st, prompts will be posted on Instagram. Follow along and use the hashtag #create31 to share the creativity you unfold.

People of all ages can participate but those under 12 may need a hand. Stay motivated and inspired around your home this winter.

Prompts have started! Head to @create_waterloo on Instagram to get started. To find out more information about Create 31 visit create31.ca

New Year's Eve

There will be no New Year’s Eve celebrations in uptown Waterloo this year, but there is still fun to be had. If you're walking uptown, enjoy curated holiday playlists, or watch augmented reality fireworks from wherever you are.

Uptown Holiday Playlist

While walking uptown, enjoy a curated playlist of holiday tunes by local artists. QR codes are posted on the kiosk by the tree in Waterloo Public Square, or on the trailer on the north side of The Shops. Local artists featured on the playlist include Elsa Jayne, I, The Mountain, Tim Moher, Itamar Danziger, and Natassja Debra.

Virtual Fireworks

Stay safe at home with virtual fireworks that can be seen from wherever you are.

The City of Waterloo has partnered with Snap’d KW to to host an augmented reality fireworks display. The show will be visible to those who download the free Snap’d HUB app onto their mobile device. Hold your device up to the sky and view the fireworks show from wherever you are. From now until December 28 enjoy a “Virtual Snowfall” effect in the app, and then on New Year’s Eve open the app to do a virtual countdown and watch the fireworks. Residents can download the free app on a mobile device from the Google Play store or the App Store. Once downloaded, select “Holiday Fun & Fireworks” under Events.

Winterloo (January 23 to 31)

Winterloo is an annual, free festival for all ages that is open to the public and run by the City of Waterloo’s arts and culture team, Create Waterloo. Traditionally hosting winter-themed activities in uptown Waterloo, this year, the festival is adapted to accommodate for the safety procedures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Break away from the winter blues with indoor and outdoor winter-themed activities. This year, Winterloo lets you choose your own adventure with things to see and do on your own schedule. Check out all the fun and exciting things around Waterloo, at home, and online below.

Visit WinterlooFestival.ca for more information.

 

Spring 2021 Past Programming

Soap Opera: All Around the (virtual) Square (March)

All Around the Square is an improvisational soap-opera drama inspired by classic radio dramas. Performances are script-free, socially-distanced, and completely improvised. The cast from KWLT are performing together virtually each week during the series and episodes will be released as they are created.

Filmed in vignettes, episodes will be released each Wednesday and are created through improv, influenced by the viewer’s ideas. Viewers are encouraged to join in on social media before each episode airs to share words and ideas that will guide the next episode.

Episodes released March 10, 17, 24, and 31.

 

Visit the Soap Opera webpage for more information.

Community Happiness Project (March-June)

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.

National Indigenous Peoples Days (June 21)

Monday, June 21, 2021 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. City of Waterloo has been marking the occasion annually for the past five years, and for the last four years we have partnered with artist Luke Swinson who has created and installed an original art piece on the surface of Waterloo Public Square. This artwork serves as a visual reminder of the territory and land on which our city was founded.

This year, artists Alanah Astehtsi Otsistohkwa (Morningstar) Jewell and Luke Swinson have partnered to create a new piece that will be installed on the surface of Waterloo Public Square. Both Jewell and Swinson created a video to discuss their work and the meaning behind the piece.

About the artists:

Alanah Astehtsi Otsistohkwa (Morningstar) Jewell is a mixed French-First Nations artist, and is Bear Clan from Oneida Nation of the Thames. She is an illustrator, painter and muralist, and organizes local Indigenous Art Markets through @IAmKitchener on Instagram. Her passion is promoting Indigenous art and culture in urban areas.

Outside of creating, she is also the Parks Engagement Associate for the City of Kitchener, where she works to Indigenize urban parks and open spaces

Luke Swinson is a visual artist with Anishinaabe roots from Kitchener, Ontario. A member of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, Luke’s work reflects his desire to better understand and reclaim his Indigenous culture. He seeks to promote cultural education and preservation through his art projects.

 

Summer 2021 Past Programming

Canada Day (July - all month)

This year, the City of Waterloo commemorated Canada Day with a series of art installations. Seven temporary art installations were featured in public spaces throughout Waterloo during the month of July.

 

More information available on our Canada Day webpage.

 Art Market (July 30 and August 27)

Art Market features artists, crafters, and makers from Waterloo and surrounding area selling outside at the Visitor and Heritage Information Centre located at 10 Father David Bauer Drive.

The market runs 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Attendees must wear masks and follow physical distancing guidelines.

  • July 30
  • August 27

Movies in the Park-ing Lot (June to September)

We know we're used to Movies in the Park, but let's try the Parking Lot this summer. It's a pop-up drive-in! This is a free event is brought to you by Create Waterloo, Princess Cinemas and the Beat Goes On. Register by following the links below. Space is limited.

  • June 24 - The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
  • July 10 - Wonder Woman 1984
  • July 17 - The Wizard of Oz
  • August 6 - Twister
  • August 14 - Stand By Me
  • August 19 - Raya & The Last Dragon
  • August 28 - Godzilla Vs. Kong
  • September 2 - Scream

 

Concessions can be ordered from Princess Cinemas.

 Patio Lanterns: An Outdoor Concert Series (July - September)

Featuring local musicians, these free concerts will be outdoors and ticketed. 

 

  • July 22: Blankie
  • July 29: Transstar
  • August 5: Sons of Shanley
  • August 12: Ashwyn Singh
  • August 19: Elsa Jayne
  • September 2: Treephones
  • September 9: Tragedy Ann
  • September 10: Elaquent
  • September 16: Clarissa Diokno