All city events

Find information on all events hosted by the city's Arts and Creative Industries team. Stay updated by following the city events team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or by subscribing to What's Happening Waterloo, our monthly newsletter.

Please be aware that dates and event offerings are subject to change. We will update this webpage as soon as possible to reflect changes, but it's best to check Create Waterloo on social media for the most up-to-date information.

For other city-run and community-run events, visit the Community Events Calendar.


On this page

  1. City events in Summer 2024
  2. City events in Fall 2024
  3. City events in Winter 2025
  4. Year round city programming
  5. Past city programming
  6. Information on how to plan your own event

Spring and Summer 2024

Movies In The Parking Lot

Waterloo's own pop-up drive in is back! This event has limited space and spots are on a first come first served basis. Attendees can arrive anytime after 7:30 p.m. and movies will begin after the sun sets. Location to be announced.

  • May 16: The Princess Bride (1987)

Art Market (May to August)

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

The market runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with live music from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

  • May 31: Anat Hector 
    • Celebration in the Square featuring speeches, live music, the unveiling of the fountain, complimentary beverages and ice cream!
  • July 26: Something Wilde
  • August 30: TBA

Additional Art Markets will be held at Open Streets (June 15) and the July 1st Community Picnic.

Applications to be a vendor at the Art Markets are now closed.

Campfire (May to August)

Bring a blanket or your favourite hoodie and head uptown! Gather around the campfire in Waterloo Public Square with friends and neighbours for local music, games, and more. Happening on select Wednesdays throughout May to August from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • May 8: Sammy Duke & Gerima Harvey
  • May 22: Clarissa Diokno & Caleb Khuu
  • June 5: XpressionZ (cancelled due to weather)
  • June 19: Melody Bijou & Saff the Sapphic (cancelled due to weather)
  • July 10: Hyness (cancelled due to weather)
  • July 24: JamNetwork
  • August 7: Melody Bijou & Saff the Sapphic
  • August 28: Hyness

Movies In The Park (June to August)

Hosted in Waterloo Park near the Bandshell, bring a blanket and watch movies on the big outdoor screen! Movies begin at sundown. Movie titles to be announced.

  • June 13: Migration (cancelled due to weather)
  • June 27: Legally Blonde
  • July 11*: Kung Fu Panda 4
  • July 25*: Monsters Inc.
  • August 8*: Jaws
  • August 15*: Trolls Band Together

Movie nights marked with an asterisk * are brought to you in partnership with Princess Cinemas and The Beat Goes On and in support of the Waterloo Region Food Bank. If possible, please consider bringing a non-perishable food item to donate on these dates.

Open Streets (June 15)

Open Streets returns to the streets in uptown Waterloo! Join us on Saturday, June 15 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. for a fun-filled day that will take over Willis Way and Waterloo Public Square.

  • Watch live performances from KW Breakers
  • Browse through the Art Market with over 20 local vendors
  • Play giant games and Ball Run Factory with Agnes Makes
  • Have your caricature drawn by local artist Aoe Girard
  • Enjoy community booths, music and more!

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 seven years by partnering with local Indigenous artists who create and install original art pieces on the surface of Waterloo Public Square. These artworks serve as a visual reminder of the territory and land on which the city was founded.

For 2024, Maddie Resmer, of Western Sky Designs, created a mural based on the Algonquin word “ànikobidigàn”. Watch Maddie's video to learn about the significance of this years mural design and their recognition of the day.

Artist Statement: “ànikobidigàn” means both ancestor and descendant, but its literal translation is “they are strung together”. In Anishinàbeg culture, we walk in a good way when we live our lives in ways that equally honour those who’ve come before us as well as those who will come after. It is through finding balance and connection to the rest of creation that we best honour those who have loved us into being, and those who will one day call out to us in the stars. Intentionally so, the design can be interpreted in many ways - as the start of life, as the end, or as somewhere in between. No matter where we are, we can find peace in knowing that the ànikobidigàn are always holding our spirits close. This piece is dedicated to Nimàmà (my Mother), Gabwe-Mikinàk Kwe; my best friend in this world and in the next."

July 1 Community Picnic (July 1)

Spend the afternoon in Waterloo Park with local artists, food trucks, giant games and a spectacular LED drone show that will light up the sky. The event runs from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

View more information on our web page.

Day of Play (August 10)

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

Fall 2024

Movies In The Parking Lot

Waterloo's own pop-up drive in is back! This event has limited space and spots are on a first come first served basis. Attendees can arrive anytime after 7:30pm and movies will begin after the sun sets. Location to be announced.

  • October 3: movies title TBA
Lumen (September 21)

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.

Want to be a food truck at Lumen? Applications for expressions of interest are open until August 20, 2024 at 5 p.m.

Winter 2025

New Year's Eve (December 31)

A family-friendly celebration in Waterloo Public Square. Enjoy ice skating, music, crafts and hot cider! The event runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Skate Night Date Night (Wednesdays in January and February)

Bring your own ice skates and head to Waterloo Public Square every Wednesday in January and February from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to skate along to the amazing tunes spun live by our onsite DJ at the uptown rink! Warm up with a hot drink from Hissing Goose Coffee Roasters who will be on site every night as well.

Skate Nights themes will be announced closer to the dates.

Winterloo (January 25)

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 closer to the date.

World Poetry Month (April)

This social media project features the work of literary artists and their poems on the City of Waterloo’s Arts and Creative Industries teams social media pages, Create Waterloo, throughout the month.

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. In 2023, an additional nine artists painted picnic tables in three more neighbourhood parks throughout Waterloo.

 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
  • West Wind Park: Isabelle Boucher, Denise Derbez, Hilary Wright
  • Old Post Park: Shannon Stehr, Jillian Belkwell, Tanner Van Vliet
  • Brighton Park: Ella Dowhaniuk, Kat Herden, Elizabeth Campbell
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!


Trail Mix is currently being updated. Stay tuned for updates.

 

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 September 2023)

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 2023 artists: Alex Bray, Anna Buhr, Aoe Girard, Asli Alin, Boris Biberdzic, Buuchau Chau, Caitlin Durbin, Casey Pisula, Christina Vogiatzis, Conan Stark, Donia Liu Neekman, Ellie Anglin, faki kuano, Hope Flynn, Jenny Hu, Kim Collins, Laura Zikovic, Madeline Belford, Maeve Hind, Natalie V. Bochenska, Onie Tam, Simone Cotrell, Soroush Dabiri, 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), 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 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. 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.


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.