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Events and Festivals in Canada

Calgary Stampede in the city of Calgary in Alberta Province

The Calgary Stampede

Get ready to scream "Yeh-haw!" at the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth" and biggest event of the Canadian calendar held annually in the mid-July. The Calgary Stampede, unique to the city of Calgary in Alberta Province, is a traditional agricultural fair with the world's largest rodeo, chuckwagon racing, exhibitions, parades, shows and concerts attracting some two million visitors each year from all over Canada, the USA and around the world. This 10-day event is a wonderful preservation of western heritage celebrating classic cowboy values and traditions. Prepare yourself for lots of entertainment, laughter and plenty of cheering!


Vancouver's Celebration of Light

Held between the end of July and the beginning of August (two weeks) is the largest annual event of the British Columbia province called the Celebration of Light. This stunning summer event which lights up Vancouver city's skyline consists in a competition of themed firework displays choreographed to music. Join the crowds of over 1 million spectators and marvel at the starry night sky with loved ones and friends.


Canadian Western Agribition

November in Regina, Saskatchewan province sees Canada's premier international livestock show take place at the Canadian Western Agribition event. Some of the finest livestock of North America are featured in this show and marketplace such as head of cattle, purebred beef cattle, horses, bison and sheep. On offer are a ton of entertainment prospects such as Canadian National Shows, light and draft horse events, the new Ranch Rodeo, grain and forage exhibits, the International Stock Dog Trails, Agri-Ed Showcase and Rodeo Cabarets. The Canadian Western Agribition event is a total child-pleaser but generally offers some light-hearted fun for all ages.


Montreal Jazz Festival

If you happen to be in Montreal, Québec province, during the months of June/July and are a jazz enthusiast, the annual Montreal Jazz Festival is most definitely for you! It offers an amazing opportunity to listen to some 3000 jazz artists from dozens of countries perform in hundreds of indoor and outdoor concerts, small jazz clubs in addition to the concert halls of Place des Arts. For ten days, major roads are closed off for outdoor concerts and stages are put up so that downtown Montreal can come alive with the sound of music. Almost three-quarters of all the concerts are free making the Montreal Jazz Festival an even more attractive event featuring plenty of fresh new talent. This extraordinary event holds the 2004 World Record for the largest jazz event across the globe and also contributed to the soaring success of artists like Diana Krall and Norah Jones.


Celtic Colours International Festival

Listen to fiddlers fiddle and pipers pipe during this celebration of the connections between the island of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia province and its Nordic neighbours - Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Shetland. The Celtic Colours International Festival is a magical event based on music, dancing, tradition and culture consisting also in workshops, lectures, exhibits, outdoor activities, farmers markets and plenty more things related to Celtic culture. Held annually in mid-October, Cape Breton's nine day event is the largest Celtic celebration of its kind in North America so if you have Celtic ties yourself, this event should be more than appealing!



The Winterlude festival is an entertaining annual event that celebrates the winter season with an array of icy outdoor activities set in the nation's capital of Ottawa in Ontario province. Held during three weekends in the month of February, Winterlude features the largest public skating rink in the world at Rideau Canal Skateway; skating displays, huge ice sculpture competitions, an ice playground, musical concerts, and plenty of activities for children and the family.


Edmonton Folk Music Festival

Since 1980, the four-day Edmonton Folk Music Festival which takes place during the month of August in Gallagher Park, has been entertaining the crowds of Edmonton in the province of Alberta. Inviting both spectators as well as performers, the Edmonton Festival showcases traditional and contemporary folk music of a variety of genres from Celtic to country, blues, bluegrass, gospel, roots, soul, and worldbeat. Expect to enjoy special performances, concerts and jamming sessions by well-known music artists also. In past festivals, performers have included Joni Mitchell, David Gray, Van Morrison, Norah Jones, Stan Rogers, Great Big Sea and The Blind Boys of Alabama.


Just for Laughs

Everybody loves a good giggle just as much as the next person and the Just for Laughs June festival is the world's largest international comedy festival guaranteed to have you in fits of laughter! Held in the city of Montreal, Québec province, Just for Laughs brings together some of the funniest people in the world and fresh talent looking for a break in their careers. The festival features gala performances with plenty of stand-up comedy, theatre, open-air shows, short comedic films and so much more. Performances are held throughout the city in theatres as well as nightclubs and even on the streets by the "New Vaudevillians" who perform both vocal and visual acts. This is a great event in a great city, and not to be missed!


Québec Winter Carnival

Most would not associate Québec City with carnivals and parades but during 17 days, mainly during the end of January and mid-February, Québec's capital city hosts the world's largest winter carnival featuring an amusement park where you can perform fun activities like skiing, snowboarding, snow rafting, snow sledding, dog-sledding, ice canoeing, and ice sculpting. Other attractions include two night parades, a day parade, dance and music shows. The Québec Winter Carnival is a fantastic event for families and provides enough entertainment and adventure for an entire winter holiday.


Toronto International Film Festival

It's not as grand as the Cannes film festival in France, but it's certainly the next best thing as it gains more and more prestige with each year. The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), in Ontario province, showcases hundreds of films from countries all over the world across dozens of screens in downtown Toronto during the month of September. A huge selection of some of the best international and Hollywood films made their first premiere at TIFF with many going on to receive important nominations as well as wins at glamorous events such as the Oscars or the Academy Awards. Some of the most notable movies that premiered at this festival include Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler, 127 Hours, Precious, Black Swan and The King's Speech. This public event which begins on the first Monday of September and lasting eleven days is attended by hundreds of thousands of those passionate about movies each year along with high-profile celebrities. Don't miss out on the action whatever you do!

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