By Jacob Hoytema –
There may still be a few weeks left in August, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to look forward to Tastes of Wellington West, one of the neighbourhood’s signature end-of-summer event. The festival, which is hosted by the Wellington West BIA, celebrates its ninth iteration on September 16.
The daylong event is meant as a way to showcase the many small businesses, shops, and restaurants in the neighbourhood. According to Zachary Dayler, the Executive Director of the Wellington West BIA, it’s also an opportunity for businesses to connect with residents — “to give back, to say thanks — think of it as a big customer appreciation,” Zachary says.
It also being Canada’s 150th birthday, this is a big year for Ottawa, and Zachary adds that he hopes tourists and residents from across the city will come by and rediscover the charms of Wellington Village and Hintonburg.
One of the earliest events for this year’s Tastes will be a morning yoga session, hosted by PranaShanti Yoga. That event will take place in Somerset Square, and will be open to yoga practitioners of all levels. PranaShanti’s Amanda Zan Meyl says that the session will be similar in form to their weekly summer classes in Parkdale Park, and will be fit even for someone who has never tried yoga before.
One of the festival’s most visible participants will be Community Supported Art, or CS Art for short. The group is not an artists’ group or collective, but rather a subscription and promotion system, where patrons can purchase subscriptions for art before a work is produced — similar in function to a farm share, says CS Art founder, Megan Piercey Monafu.
“I’m glad we’re able to showcase the artists that have been active in the Wellington West area… it’s nice to showcase them in their own community,” says Megan.
CS Art will be presenting a number of artists at the festival, many of whom will present pieces that festival-goers can participate in: Hintonburg’s Brenda Dunn will host an interactive story-building activity; artist Sally Lee Sheeks will lead a participatory mural; and THUNK!theatre will create a “recipe of the neighbourhood” with residents’ input, to find out what makes up the Wellington West community. Additionally, Ottawa-based speed-painter, Allan André, will paint a canvas live on the street.
This year’s festival will also have some treats for local craft beer enthusiasts. In a new event this year, Parkdale Park will be home to a brewery market for the day. Additionally, a bus from brewery touring company, Brew Donkey, will be on hand to highlight the area’s many craft beer venues.
This year’s Tastes will also mark the return of the popular “window scrabble” game. In the week leading up to festival day, stores and businesses across the community will display words in their windows, which can then be filled into a downloadable game card and entered into a draw for gift cards that can be spent around Wellington West.
More information about Tastes of Wellington West can be found online at