Winter in Canada sees some of the country's biggest and most popular festivals and events.
Winters in Canada are an inescapable reality and a major contributor to the country's national identity and character. Canada may be cold between November and March but that doesn't mean we Canadians stay indoors.
Every year, beginning on the last weekend of January and continuing for the the next two weeks (17 days in total), Quebec City is alive with sub-zero merri-making. The world's largest winter carnival, the Québec Winter Carnival, has been a highlight on the Quebec event calendar since 1894 and been giving Quebeckers and thousands of visitors a reason to celebrate during the cold, snowy winters.
Photo of the Rideau Canal, Ottawa, courtesy City of Ottawa
Winterlude is an annual winter celebration in Canada's capital city held over the first three weekends of February. Most Winterlude activities are free and outdoors and include skating on the world's largest skating rink - the Rideau Canal - snow sculpture contests, concerts and more.
From the beginning of November until the first week of January, the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights is a spectacular lightshow that includes an illuminated 5-km route of lighted displays, fireworks over the falls and more, including concerts and children's performances.
For more than 40 years, Toronto has kicked off the holiday season by launching a month-long series of free events, including concerts, ice-skating and the illumination of Nathan Phillips Square and giant Christmas tree with 100,000 festive lights.
Montreal Highlights Festival
The Montreal High Lights Festival is on its way to becoming one of the most popular winter festivals in Canada. The festival that goes 10 days from the end of February to the beginning of March has three focuses: Arts & Culture, Celebration of Light, and Culinary.
The food and drink aspect of the festival is a huge draw and is in fact the largest culinary celebration in Canada. More than 750,000 people attended the event last year.
For two weeks from the end of January through February, Toronto is abuzz with food, free entertainment and cultural events
Photo courtesy Festival du Voyageur
Festival du Voyageur celebrates this Manitoban area's fur-trade era and French-Canadian heritage. Snow sculptures, dog-sledding, skating and plenty of delicious food and drink highlight the week-long February festival.
Since Calgary hosted 1988 Winter Olympics, the city has taken advantage of the renovated and new venues by holding a winter festival for two weeks every February. Plenty of family-friendly activities, music and food to fight the winter blues.