From the snow-capped mountains of Quebec to the lush green landscapes in Calgary, Canada is a stunning destination year round. It is also home to numerous world class festivals, from the soothing tunes of Montreal’s famous jazz festival to the star-studded films on display in Toronto, there certainly is something for everyone. Take your Canadian holiday to the next level with one of these five life-changing festivals.
The Montreal International Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of music that attracts over 100,000 attendees. The world’s largest jazz festival features 1,000 concerts showcasing 3,000 artists from 30 countries across the world. From morning til evening, the tunes linger, ranging from intimate concerts to open-air arenas. The festival takes place in the Canadian summer (our winter) across 11 days – get in early to snag tickets and pack a French-English dictionary.
Often dubbed ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,’ the Calgary Stampede is one of the biggest rodeos in the world. Don your best western outfit and join the lively crowds for a show to remember. You will see thousands of horses and cowboys with bull riding battles, chuckwagon races, steer wrestling and more. Adding to the festive atmosphere are the dozens of food stalls, rides and live music acts. Just don’t miss the spectacular Grandstand Show and remember to pick up a cowboy souvenir from the Stampede Market.
Have the chance to hang among the stars at the Toronto International Film Festival every year in September. Be the first to see Hollywood releases, rub shoulders with celebs and discover emerging talent. Choose from hundreds of films ranging from award-winning movies to documentaries or animated films. Typically the festival presents 372 feature films, 146 world premieres across 11 days. Just be sure to bring along your autograph book as you never know who you may run into.
Experience fresh snowfall and oodles of fantastic activities at the annual Quebec Winter Carnival. The world’s largest winter celebration rolls on for 17 wonderful days, complete with canoe races, ice sculptures and carriage rides. Be wowed at the International Ice Sculpture contest, ride a traditional dogsled or enjoy tasty Canadian treats like warm maple taffy. To make your winter wonderland adventure complete, why not stay in one of the city’s famous ice hotels. Just make sure you pack wisely and be prepared for sub-zero temperatures.
In September, Vancouver comes together to celebrate all things theatre with the Vancouver International Fringe Festival. Over 11 days, attendees can enjoy 700 performances guaranteed to showcase talent with an informal atmosphere. The festival employs a unique ‘everyone is welcome’ mantra, allowing talent to be selected at random, ranging from novice to veteran. It is a fantastic opportunity to see upcoming talent alongside seasoned professionals with a series of captivating performances across the city’s best venues.
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