Tap into your sweet side at the Vanier Sugar Festival

By Manor Park Chronicle

This season, Vanier Museopark have acquired brightly-coloured buckets with which to collect the sap that will ultimately become sweet, succulent maple syrup. Photo: Doug Banks

The Vanier Sugar Festival is back again this year and will take place from March 18 to 24 at Richelieu Park. Free admission.

This gourmet and cultural event brings together people of all ages and backgrounds thanks to various activities:

  • sugar shack meals and maple taffy,
  • musical performances from several local artists,
  • a petting farm,
  • lumberjack skills competition,
  • inflatable bouncers,
  • a space dedicated to the First Nations,
  • many other surprises!

Last year’s edition was the first one since the pandemic, and it successfully brought the community together to enjoy the sugar season and its traditions.

Thanks to our partners, we were able to create an experience where young and old alike were able to (re)discover this 39-year-old neighbourhood festival.

Overview of the 2024 Sugar Festival

Monday, March 18, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.: 17th Annual Soup(e) Splash. A friendly culinary competition where Ottawa restaurants compete to create the best maple syrup-based soup.

Location: Kiwanis Hall at the Richelieu-Vanier Centre,300 des Pères-Blancs Ave. Tickets are on sale through the Museopark’s website.

Wednesday, March 20 and Thursday, March 21, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: School Days. Schools in the greater Ottawa area are invited to experience and learn the traditions around the sugar season through a series of fun activities and original musical performances. Fully booked.

Friday, March 22, 5 p.m.: Dinner & Dance to the sounds of traditional music! Accompany your meal with an evening of dancing where traditional musicians Louis Racine and his band will perform.

Location: Centre Pauline-Charron, 164 Jeanne-Mance St. Tickets will be on sale through the Centre Pauline-Charron online box office: www.lecpc.ca

Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Family and public days. All weekend long, come celebrate the sugar season and enjoy the traditions of artisanal maple syrup production at its best! Activities for everyone with great sugar shack meals for the foodies!

Location: Richelieu Park and Vanier Sugar Shack, 300 and 320 des Pères-Blancs Ave.

Sunday, March 24, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.: 5 km race. Rideau-Vanier Coun. Stéphanie Plante is inviting people from her ward to run or walk through the streets of Vanier. Registration details to be provided soon.

Help us keep the festival free

To help us keep this landmark event for the Museopark and the Vanier community free for all, we are raising money through specially designed Sugar Festival beanies. Our two styles will be available for sale shortly at museoparc.ca. Sale price is $40, and all profits go towards financing the Sugar Festival! Be stylish and get yours to support your festival!

If you are interested in volunteering for the festival, please email us at benevoles@museoparc.ca. We are looking for 100 volunteers to help with numerous tasks during the seven days of the festival.

For all the details about the festival, visit our website. We hope to see many of you at the 39th edition of the Vanier Sugar Festival!

This article was written by Annick Normand, communications and marketing manager for Vanier Museopark.

The festival features a lumberjack skills competition, including working the two-person saw. The Museopark Volunteers Team, lead by Nicolas Crombez (on the left) show spectators how it’s done during the 2023 festival. Photo provided by Vanier Museopark