Canada is diverse and vast, and the festivals that we celebrate reflect this. From a cowboy hoe-down to sophisticated cultural events, Canadian festivals and events attract visitors worldwide.
1. Vancouver Symphony of Fire, VancouverThe largest fireworks competition in the world is held over several nights every summer in Vancouver.
2. The Calgary Stampede, CalgaryDon your cowboy hat and spurs and head on over to The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. Each year, more than one million people visit Calgary to partake in this 10-day party held every July.
The city of Calgary featrues good old fashioned hospitality combined with cultural diversity. Drive an hour out of town, and you're in the heart of the Canadian Rockies where a world of outdoor adventure awaits.
3. Edmonton Folk Festival, EdmontonFrom its humble beginning in 1980, the Edmonton Festival has grown to be one of the world's premier folk festivals. Held each August, the festival's lineup is always outstanding and ticket prices reasonable.
4. Toronto International Film Festival, TorontoThe Toronto International Film Festivals is one of the leading film festivals in the world, ranking closely with Cannes and Sundance. Films such as Hotel Rwanda, American Beauty, and The Big Chill made their premieres at this prominent star-studded event held each September.
5. Winterlude, OttawaCanadians celebrate sub-zero temperatures and waist-high snowdrifts by staging great winter festivals, such as Ottawa's Winterlude. For the first three weekend's every February, the nation's capital puts on a winter festival that features ice-skating on the world's longest rink, ice sculptures, a snow playground, concerts and more.
6. Canada Day Celebrations, July 1st, Ottawa & CanadawideJuly 1st celebrations in Canada are akin to the July 4th festivities in the US. Marking Canada's birth as a country, July 1st sees Canadians donning their red and white attire and whooping it up with fireworks and lots of that good Canadian beer. The celebration is nationwide, but Ottawa will show you a particularly good time.
7. Montreal Jazz Fest, MontrealEvery June/July, the Montreal International Jazz Festival offers about 500 concerts, of which three-quarters are free of charge, and hosts about 2000 musicians from over 20 countries. About 2 million visitors visit an event that has become THE international jazz rendez-vous and a laboratory for the creation of new talent, most recently contributing to the successes of artists such as Diana Krall and Norah Jones. (text courtesy Montreal Jazz Fest website)
Today, the Quebec Winter Carnival is the biggest winter carnival in the world and is celebrated annually at the end of January until mid-February. No sense in fighting the cold -- embrace and celebrate it.