Stittsville’s first sweet, ooey, gooey Butter Tart Festival arrives on September 24

Did you know that Butter Tarts are quintessentially Canadian? But of course there is always the history. It is said that butter tarts came about through the King’s Daughters (filles du roi), young French women sent to Quebec in the 17th century, sponsored by sponsored by King Louis XIV to increase the population of ‘New France’ (Canada). The women were resourceful bakers creating the forerunner of the butter tart, a sugar pie with baking ingredients like maple sugar and dried fruit. One of the earliest published recipes is from Barrie, Ontario by the Women’s Auxiliary in the Royal Victoria Hospital Cookbook of 1900 and because of this Ontarians like to proudly say that butter tarts are Ontario’s. They were also very common in pioneer cooking, when women had dairy, eggs, flour, lard and brown sugar then put it all together into a humble tart to feed farmhands during the haying season, family and visitors year-round.

Butter tarts will be available to taste and for sale at Stittsville’s first Butter Tart Festival Market on September 24th at Village Square Park. If you like them with or without raisins or with a firm or runny filling (elbow lickers), you’ll find your perfect butter tart.

Butter tarts are close to everyone’s heart and we wanted to know more about this first for Stittsville, so Stittsville Central caught up with Mandy Faulkner and Dan Viens, owners of Stittsville Market at the Barn, and the hosts of the inaugural Festival. With excitement, Mandy and Dan told us, “We wanted to do something special for Stittsville. Over the past 2 seasons however. due to COVID, we weren’t able to bring our visions of a fun festival like this to life. Butter tart festivals are quite popular in other parts of the province, but we’ve never had one here, so we thought it would be a really fun event for the community. And who doesn’t love butter tarts!

There will be three categories of butter tarts to be judged as follows: Judge’s – Best Traditional; Judge’s Best Unique and the Signature – judged by the People’s Choice. (More on that later.)

Three enthusiastic judges have been chosen as the aficionados of butter tart tasting and have taken up the gooey challenge to discover the best butter tart. The judges are: Jon Martin, owner of Maverick’s Donuts Stittsville; Carleton Riding MPP, Goldie Ghamari; and Scott Phelan, Stittsville’s 2022 Citizen of the Year.

When asked about prizes for the coveted winning butter tart, Mandy shared, “We do have prizes for the winners in each category. But really aren’t bragging rights for best butter tart the best prize?!“.

And here is how you can win – just enter! Anyone is eligible, you can be a home baker, amateur or professional. The deadline to enter your favourite butter tart to the contest is Thursday, September 22nd and to help you along, here is a link to the Butter Tart Festival application form.

And it is not only butter tarts taking centre stage, there will be local artisans, a local artist, Guido Correa, is exhibiting his artwork inside the Barn, live music will be playing throughout the day, tree saplings to give away and tulip bulbs available for purchase. Also, a number of Indigenous makers, some of which will have orange t-shirts available for sale in recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30. We will also have soup and sandwiches from Wiches Cauldron and ice cream from Holmespun Ice Cream

How to take part in the People’s Choice voting. Each people’s choice ticket purchased gets you one vote for your favorite butter tart and a chance at fantastic door prizes from local businesses including:

Voting tickets can be pre-purchased for a discounted cost or can be purchased on site during the Festival. if you pre-purchase by e-transfer to tickets will be available for pick-up at the Festival. Pre-purchase ticket prices are 3 for $10 or 6 for $18. (Please ensure you name and phone number are included in the comments section of your e-transfer. The password to use is ‘buttertart”.

And not only that, a silent auction will be held at the Festival to bid on a snow removal contract donated by Kodiak Snow Blowing and Lawncare (available to Stittsville and Kanata residents only)!

All profits from the sale of the People’s Choice tickets and from the silent auction will be donated to a local indigenous charity organization.

Mandy and Dan emphasized that, “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our local business community who have stepped up in support of this event and donated some amazing prizes and silent auction items”.

  • ALM Construction
  • Kodiak Snow Removal
  • Holmespun Ice Cream
  • Hamster Wheel Bike Repair
  • FitPix Photography
  • KAOS Athletics
  • Carol Traversy, Coldwell Banker First Ottawa Realty
  • All Things Natural

We are thrilled to be able to bring a Butter Tart Festival and Market to Stittsville and look forward to a successful day with great food, sweet treats, and incredible community spirit. Hopefully this will become the first of an incredible annual event,” added an enthusiastic Mandy.

Come out and celebrate this first-time ‘sweet’ Butter Tart Festival in Stittsville from 10:00am – 3:00pm at Village Square Park. We can hardly wait to sink our sweet tooth into a tart or two!


4 thoughts on “Stittsville’s first sweet, ooey, gooey Butter Tart Festival arrives on September 24”

Leave a Reply