Annie Pootoogook Park to host a new arts festival

Mary-Margaret Annab

Spring is in the air and it’s time to get outside!

MASC is thrilled to be partnering with Action Sandy Hill, Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, Sandy Hill Community Centre, the City of Ottawa, Councillor Mathieu Fleury, and the Canadian Tulip Festival to present Awesome Arts in the Park in Annie Pootoogook Park on May 21 and 22, a free event open to the whole community.

The all-ages weekend festival will include workshops, visual art, dance, music, and drama, as well as performances for all ages, with a focus on Indigenous artists and their work. Annie Pootoogook was an Inuk artist known for her evocative pen and coloured pencil drawings reflecting her life and community. The park was renamed in her honour in 2021, and MASC is excited to bring new programming to this wonderful outdoor space. Local vendors will be selling artwork, jewelry, and other handmade goods, with refreshments available on both days.

This programming is a continuation of MASC’s Awesome Arts en folie, a bilingual, annual program and festival that brings free arts programming to diverse communities in Ottawa, led by professional MASC artists. This year’s Festival Awesome Arts en folie took place on April 14 at the Ottawa Art Gallery, and featured works from École élémentaire publique Francojeunesse, Viscount Alexander Public School, York Street Public School, École  élémentaire catholique Sainte-Anne, Christie Lake Kids, Strathcona Heights, Boys and Girls Club Ottawa, and the Riverside Park Community Association.

With this spring festival, MASC hopes to reach even more of the community and continue sharing Awesome Arts programming year-round.

“MASC has a long and fruitful history with the Sandy Hill/Strathcona Heights community, as we have worked together to bring Awesome Arts to the neighbourhood for the past 10 years,” says Jessica Ruano, Community Program Director for MASC. “Participants look forward to seeing the artists come back every year; they have grown up with us. We always try to listen to what the community wants, and we’ve been hearing that they want more arts-based activities throughout the year. So we decided to organize another festival!”

For more information, visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @masconline.