OTTAWA Sign – Community Lighting Program

Installed in December 2019, the OTTAWA sign is located at York Street Plaza in the ByWard Market and is a popular, year-round attraction for residents and visitors alike. The sign features programmable LED lighting and is illuminated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The sign is currently programmed to showcase a variety of seasonal themes, including: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Valentine’s Day, Canada Day, Halloween, Remembrance Day, Holiday Season and New Year’s Eve.

In response to ongoing community-based requests for illumination, the City of Ottawa is launching the Community Lighting Program. Starting today, local charities, nonprofits, and other eligible organizations can apply to illuminate the sign to celebrate their causes, events and campaigns.

The application deadline for all 2021 illumination requests by Ottawa-Based Causes, Campaigns, Festivals and Events is May 17th at 5:00 pm. Applications and deadlines for requests for Winter/Spring 2022 illuminations will be made available in Fall 2021.

Applications for Ottawa-Based Professional and Elite, Semi-Professional and Amateur Sports Achievements may be submitted throughout the year.

The Community Lighting Program for the OTTAWA sign aims to provide an interactive and memorable experience, support Ottawa-based not-for-profit and charitable causes; celebrate Ottawa-based events and achievements and promote development of Ottawa's tourism sector.

Applicants may request one-day, multiple day and full week illuminations. A selection of twenty-five standard illumination colours is available.

To be considered eligible, all requests must reflect a position of objectivity and non-partisanship, and be committed to representations that are:

× Non-religious;

× Apolitical and non-diplomatic;

× Free of discrimination, hatred, violence and/or racism; and

× Of benefit to the wider community.

Illumination requests must also adhere to all relevant City of Ottawa policies and bylaws and will be evaluated by City staff to ensure eligibility and compliance.

The fee for standard illuminations is being waived in 2021 as a result of COVID-19 in support of the tourism sector and the City’s not-for-profit organizations, with the exception of fees levied for highly customized and last-minute requests. More general fees may be levied in the future.

Application forms, eligibility guidelines and submission information are available on

The application period will remain open until May 17th, 2021. City of Ottawa staff will evaluate each request based on a first-come, first-served basis, in accordance with the eligibility requirements. Successful applicants will be notified in early June, with illuminations set to begin in late June.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected] 

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Address: 110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1