Everything you need to know about the day of your convocation ceremony.

Convocation ceremony

Shaw Centre
Canada Hall
55 Colonel By Drive

Directions from uOttawa to the Shaw Centre
Shaw Centre at night.

What you need to know

Live streaming

Each Convocation ceremony will be streamed on YouTube. To view, go to the University of Ottawa YouTube channel shortly before the ceremony is slated to begin.


Avoid traffic and parking. Take Light Rail Transit (LRT) – Rideau Station

The nearest parking is in a two-storey underground garage off-campus connected to the Rideau Centre, with entrances on Daly Avenue and Nicholas Street. Regular rates apply.

Alternatively, parking in the University’s Brooks, Desmarais and Mann garages (June 8 to 12 inclusive) and all outdoor parking lots (Sunday, June 8 only) is free during Convocation. If you park at the University, allow 10 to 15 minutes to walk to the Shaw Centre.

There is paid outdoor parking at 100 Marie Curie, as well as time-limited street parking in the neighbourhood.

When and what to expect when you arrive

To ensure the ceremony stays on schedule, we ask that you arrive at the Shaw Centre at least 90 minutes in advance of the ceremony start time. When you arrive, you will be directed to Canada Hall 303, where you will be given your personal identification ticket, your robe and your hood.

Late arrivals

If you do not arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the start of your Convocation ceremony, you may not be able to sit with the other graduates receiving the same degree as you.

Personal identification ticket

To make the Convocation experience as simple and pleasant as possible, each student is given an identification card upon arrival backstage. You must wear your card both before and during your ceremony.

Coat check

Although you can use the coat check at the Shaw Centre, we highly recommend that you do not bring any large bags or similar objects. If you do bring a large item, you will need to leave it at the coat check on the first floor. The University of Ottawa is not responsible for items left in Canada Hall.

Important instructions

As is often the case for this type of event, there are a few instructions to follow.

Here’s what’s allowed on the third floor of the Shaw Centre during the ceremony:

  • Bags no larger than 35cm x 35cm x 15.25cm (small handbags, shoulderbags, etc.) 
  • Your phone
  • Your water bottle
  • Professional photography equipment

Here’s what is not allowed on the third floor of the Shaw Centre during the ceremony:

  • Any backpack or sports bag, regardless of size. These bags must be placed in consignment on the Shaw Centre’s first floor. 
  • Any banners, flags or signs that could block the view of any participants.


The University of Ottawa residences offer comfortable accommodation for graduates and their guests during the spring convocation period. For more information, please visit the residences website.


Flower bouquets will be sold at the Shaw Centre on the day of Convocation.

Frames and rings

The Alumni Relation Office will be selling official University rings and diploma frames on the day of Convocation.


At the Shaw Centre Convocation ceremony

The University of Ottawa Alumni Association and PhotoGrad are pleased to provide a professional portrait service at Convocation so that new alumni can memorialize this important milestone.

Professional photographers will take your photo when you’re backstage.They will also be on hand to take photos with your family and friends at a photo booth in the lobby before and after each ceremony.

After Convocation, you’ll be able to purchase your photos through the PhotoGrad website. Photos will remain confidential and only be accessible by entering your student number. Your personal photos will never be shared or used for promotional purposes. For more information, email PhotoGrad.

During the ceremony, members of the audience can take pictures at any time from their seats. They can also approach the rope at the front when the graduates are called up.

Graduation photos in a studio

Prior to the Convocation ceremony, your student federation may contact you with details about graduation photo packages. If you do not hear from your student federation and would like to make an appointment to have graduation photos taken, or for more information, you can contact Portraits Now in the University Centre (613-232-1165) or another photographer who provides a similar service.

Photo and video disclaimer

The University of Ottawa’s convocation ceremonies are live streamed for family and friends who are unable to attend in person and are also archived and available online for future viewing. Photographs, videos and audio recordings of each ceremony may be produced during or after the event and may include your recognizable image. By participating in this event, you therefore consent to being photographed, videotaped and audio-taped and you authorize the University to use any of these recordings for its activities and events, as well as for its print and electronic promotional material, including on the internet via the University website or other social media websites. Personal information obtained at the event is collected in accordance with the University of Ottawa Act, S.O. 1965, C.137.

Accessibility and special assistance

Special assistance for students and guests

The Shaw Centre is wheelchair accessible. A wheelchair ramp is installed to ensure accessibility for all students going up on the stage. There will be someone backstage to assist students with their special needs. If you require special assistance or wish to make special arrangements for the Convocation ceremony, please email [email protected], at least two weeks prior to the ceremony date. If you need a sign language interpreter, please notify us three weeks in advance.

Honorary doctorates

Honorary doctorates are special academic distinctions awarded to individuals whose personal and professional achievements over the years have made an invaluable contribution to the University, to their discipline or to society at large.

For more information on how recipients are chosen, what recipients receive and how to nominate someone for an honorary doctorate, please visit the Honorary Doctorates website.