From a cowboy hoedown to music festivals and cultural celebrations, a wide variety of exciting events take place across Canada every year, attracting visitors from all over the world.

But what are the best Canadian events you can visit, and where do they take place? It doesn’t matter which season you plan to visit or what your interests are; there are festivals to suit everyone.

Read on to help you quickly find an event that interests you or to help you discover what events are taking place around the time you plan to book flights to Canada. You can click on a month from the list below to jump down to that section and see what events are on during that time of year:

The best Canada Events in 2024/25

January 2024

The Toronto Light Festival
Image credit: Destination Toronto. Toronto Light Festival.

New Year’s Day

Date: 1 January 2024

Location: Across Canada

Canada is one of the world’s best places to celebrate the New Year because of its unique New Year events. For example, Québec City celebrates New Year’s with live music, a fireworks display, and illuminated historic buildings. In Whitehorse in the Yukon, you can begin the New Year by seeing the Northern Lights as December to February offer the longest hours of darkness, while Niagara Falls’ New Year’s Eve events are the most famous as the region’s concert and other attractions draw in over 50,000 people. In addition, the likes of Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver all organise eye-catching firework displays.

ALSO READ: The top 10 places to celebrate New Year in Canada

Polar Bear Swim

Date: 1 January 2024

Location: Across Canada

Need an idea for an extra cool way to start the New Year? You can wear a crazy costume, jump into the freezing waters and join in on the festivities after the event. Polar Bear Swims are widespread across Canada, but the oldest started in Vancouver at English Bay Beach, which has grown from around 10 swimmers to over 2,500 and features a 100-yard swim race. Another popular place to watch or participate in the swims is Sydney.

Bagel Day

Date: 15 January 2024

Location: Across Canada

National Bagel Day is a hugely popular event in Canada, and these rounds of dough can be found just about anywhere: coffee shops, supermarkets and bakeries. Some traditions of National Bagel Day that you should take note of are:

  • Eat a bagel – Head to a local bakery, choose your topping and see what makes them such a popular treat in Canada.
  • Bake a bagel – It is common for Canadians to bake their bagels at home.
  • Give a bagel – Many Canadian will make bagels and give them to family and friends on National Bagel Day.

Victoria Whisky Festival

Date: 18-21 January 2024

Location: Victoria, British Columbia

This will be the 19th edition of the Victoria Whisky Festival, and the event is constantly growing, with last year’s festival seeing 50 distilleries from 11 countries attend. There are lots of tasting opportunities and as well as the drink there are lots of foods you can enjoy. Kathryn Burrington, a travel photographer and blogger who runs the Travel with Kat site, says she found one of her favourite meals in Victoria: “From the street food by the Inner Harbour to the chicken with green onion waffles and maple honey at North 48 on Langley Street, everything I ate in Victoria was superb, with the latter being one of my all-time favourite meals. It was that good.”

SnowDays Festival

Date: 17-28 January 2024

Location: Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta

Banff and Lake Louise come alive every January as the yearly SnowDays Festival comes to town. Downtown Banff transforms into winter galleries with giant snow sculptures on display and an ice carving competition. Artists from around the world come to participate, and during the festival, you can explore ice castles and ice bars and watch the masters at work.

Winterlicious

Date: 26 January - 8 February 2024

Location: Toronto, Ontario

You will travel the world with your taste buds by attending the Winterlicious festival, one of Toronto’s most famous culinary events. More than 220 of the city’s restaurants offer three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus starting from $20 for lunch and $25 for dinner (doesn’t include drinks).

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February 2024

Groundhog Day

Date: 2 February 2024

Location: Across Canada

Legend has it that if a groundhog emerges from its burrow, it can forecast the weather for the coming weeks. If it’s cloudy and the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow, it will stay outside, and that means that the worst of winter is over, while if it’s a sunny day and the groundhog sees its shadow, it will go back to sleep for six more weeks. Some of the best places to celebrate this event include Wiarton, Winnipeg, Kleinburg, Cape Breton Island and Shubenacadie in Nova Scotia.

Québec Winter Carnival

Date: 25 January - 11 February 2024

Location: Québec City, Québec

This will be the 70th anniversary of the Québec Winter Carnival, and since its formation, it has become of the world’s largest winter carnivals. You can enjoy night parades, snow sculptures, an ice canoe race, shows, an ice skating rink, silent discos, and a snow bath!

Winterlude

Date: 2-19 February 2024

Location: Ottawa, Ontario

The Winterlude festival celebrates all the joys that Canadian winters bring. The free annual event has indoor and outdoor activities across the city. You can skate on the world-famous Rideau Canal Skateway, marvel at stunning ice sculptures on Sparks Street, or head to Jacques-Cartier Park and try tube sliding, skiing and snowboarding.

Chinese New Year

Date: 10 February 2024

Location: Across Canada

The largest celebrations for Chinese New Year in Canada are in Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal. You will find some eateries serving iconic Chinese foods to celebrate, parades taking place, and shops dressing up their windows to commemorate the day.

National Flag of Canada Day

Date: 15 February 2024

Location: Across Canada

Commemorating the official birth of the Maple Leaf Flag in 1965, the National Flag of Canada Day sees Canadians celebrate by wearing red and white. In some years, special events are held, such as the “One in a Million National Flag Challenge”, which saw a million flags distributed ahead of the day in 1997 so that people could display them.

Family Day, Islander Day, Nova Scotia Heritage Day, Louis Riel Day

Date: 19 February 2024

Location: British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island (Islander Day), Nova Scotia (Nova Scotia Heritage Day), Manitoba (Louis Riel Day)

Family Day celebrates the importance of families and family life to people and their communities, while the same holiday has different names in other provinces. For example, in Manitoba, it’s called Louis Riel Day in honour of Louis Riel, the Métis leader who led the fight to maintain aboriginal rights. In Prince Edward Island, it’s called Islander Day, and Nova Scotia Heritage Day honours a different person from the province from year-to-year.

Yukon Heritage Day

Date: 23 February 2024

Location: Yukon

This is an annual holiday for Canadians in the Yukon, and the best way to celebrate the day is to visit the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. This is held in Whitehorse and has lots of activities you can watch, such as a queen contest, an air show, dog races, snow sculptures, a fiddle contest and performances from dancers and musicians. The day aims to show what the Yukon is all about!

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March 2024

Commonwealth Day

Date: 11 March 2024

Location: Across Canada

Celebrated across the Commonwealth in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Americas, the Pacific and Europe, the Commonwealth Day often sees flag parades, dances and church services across Canada.

St Patricks Day

Date: 17 March 2024

Location: Across Canada

St. Patricks Day is celebrated across Canada with several events planned. Some of the most significant events are held in Toronto, where you can attend the iconic St Patrick’s Parade (19 March), Montréal which also has a parade and is the longest-running of its kind in Canada; Ottawa has its own Irish Festival, and Vancouver plays host to the CelticFest St. Patrick’s Festival (11-18 March).

Pacific Rim Whale Festival

Date: 16-24 March 2024

Location: Tofino, Ucluelet and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in British Columbia

The Pacific Rim Whale Festival is an annual event that celebrates the return of the migrating Pacific Gray whales to the coastal waters of Tofino, Ucluelet and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and kicks off whale watching season. As part of the festival, you can take part in sea kayaking tours, paddle boarding lessons, and hikes and see art displays around the theme of the sea and whales.

Tofino is a place highly recommended by British lifestyle and travel blogger Alicia from Go Live Explore. She told us: “Tofino is one of my favourite places to visit in British Columbia.

“Tofino is a beautiful coastal town surrounded by ocean, rainforest, infinite wildlife, and so much natural beauty. You can go surfing, hiking, whale watching, bear watching, storm watching, kayaking, camping or fishing.”

Vancouver International Auto Show

Date: 20-24 March 2024

Location: Convention Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia

The Vancouver International Auto Show, one of North America’s premier automotive exhibition events, is set to take place in 2024. It usually attracts over 115,000 motorheads, and the event is set to see 400 vehicles roll up next year with the latest cars and technology to be unveiled.

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April 2024

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Date: 30 March - 21 April 2024

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

The yearly Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival sees various events take place around the city, such as bike rides, cherry blossom viewing tours and talks, a Japanese fair and a community picnic.

Tartan Day

Date: 6 April 2024

Location: Across Canada

Tartan Day recognises the contributions of Scots and their descendants in Canada. Celebrations include parades with pipe bands, highland sports and other Scottish-themed events.

St George’s Day

Date: 23rd April 2024

Location: Newfoundland and Labrador

A provincial holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador, many Canadians will spend time catching up with friends, enjoying hobbies and exploring the region’s beautiful landscape during the three-day weekend.

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May 2024

Red tulips infront of the Parliament of Canada in Ottawa
Red tulips in the foreground of the Parliament of Canada

Calgary International Beerfest

Date: 3-4 May 2024

Location: BMO Centre, Stampede Park, Calgary, Alberta

The Calgary International Beerfest is Canada’s largest beer festival, with more than 200 breweries serving a variety of beers. In addition, you can listen to experts talk about the brewing process for their beer, find out the best pairings in the Cooking with Beer seminars and sample the best foods from some of Calgary’s top restaurants.

Vancouver Marathon

Date: 5 May 2024

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Canada’s most significant international marathon will be returning this year, and runners from over 60 countries are set to compete in the 26-mile race, half marathon, 8km race, or kids run. The Vancouver Marathon is Canada’s most scenic race, as the route offers views of city landmarks, parks, beaches and winds along the ocean-hugging seawall. At the finish line, there is live music, so if you are competing, you can toast your success.

Ottawa Tulip Festival

Date: 10-20 May 2024

Location: Ottawa, Ontario

The Ottawa Tulip Festival celebrates the gift of tulips and Canada’s role in the liberation of the Netherlands in WWII. It commemorates the birth of Dutch Princess Margriet in Ottawa, the only royal person to be born in Canada. At the festival, fantastic tulip exhibits are displayed, organised walks take place during the day and night, and there is live music and a sound and light show.

Mother’s Day

Date: 12 May 2024

Location: Across Canada

Throughout North America, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May, unlike in the UK, where it takes place on the fourth Sunday of Lent. In Canada, it is common for families to book a table at a restaurant as many will have special events.

Victoria Day

Date: 20 May 2024

Location: Across Canada

A statutory holiday that was originally a celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday and then marked Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday before her recent passing. Communities nationwide usually celebrate it with picnics, parades, outdoor concerts, and fireworks. In addition, there are areas where sports events take place to celebrate the day, such as the Victoria Day Speedfest.

National Patriots Day

Date: 20 May 2024

Location: Québec

Coinciding with Victoria Day, National Patriots’ Day (Journée Nationale des Patriotes) is a holiday in Québec that honours the rebellion against the British in 1837. Various celebrations are organised, including marches, music concerts and public speeches that small community groups organise.

Calgary Marathon

Date: 26 May 2024

Location: Calgary, Alberta

The Calgary Marathon is the longest-running marathon in Canada and is Alberta’s most-famous road race. Here you can watch or participate in various races, including a 50km Ultra, a marathon, a half-marathon, a 10km, a 5km family run and a kids’ marathon. After the race, you can enjoy a full day of entertainment, including live music.

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June 2024

Luminato Festival Toronto

Date: 6-16 June 2024

Location: Toronto, Ontario

The Luminato Festival Toronto is an international arts festival and a highlight in Toronto’s summer calendar. Visitors to the event in 2024 will be able to enjoy concerts, performance art, gallery shows, musicals, and theatre and see various art installations.

Italian Day

Date: June 2024

Location: Grandview Park, Vancouver, British Columbia

If you love everything about Italy, then the annual Italian Day festival is a must-visit. Now held in Grandview Park, the event celebrates Italian culture, heritage and community. The park comes alive in green, white and red with piazza-style animated zones, live music, food vendors, lifestyle attractions, family fun activities and more.

Canada Grand Prix

Date: 9 June 2024

Location: Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, Montréal, Québec

The Montréal Grand Prix calls itself the biggest sporting event in all of Canada as it attracts 100,000+ people over the three days of competition. Crowds at the Canadian segment of the Formula 1 World Championship can enjoy the F1 drivers’ parade plus qualifying, open testing sessions, and the race itself. If that’s not enough, you can watch the F1 teams take part in challenges and with special VIP tickets, you can tour the paddock and enjoy exclusive zones over the weekend.

Taste of Little Italy Festival

Date: 18-19 June 2024

Location: Toronto, Ontario

The Taste of Little Italy Festival is regarded as one of Canada’s best street food festivals, attracting locals and people from across the globe. Over the course of the event, you’ll have a chance to taste classic Italian food and wine, as well as enjoy over 20 performances.

BC Seafood Festival

Date: 21-23 June 2024

Location: Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

The BC Seafood Festival will return this year, with the largest seafood festival in western Canada set to be bigger and better than ever. At the festival, you can watch live cooking demos that teach you how to prepare fresh seafood, sip offerings from distillers, brewers and wineries, and listen to live music.

Ottawa Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival

Date: TBA (June 2024)

Location: Ottawa, Ontario

The Ottawa Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival will give you a great insight into Canada’s best indigenous talent. First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists will have their paintings on display during the event, and you can listen to traditional music, taste different foods and learn about their symbols and history.

National Aboriginal Day

Date: 21 June 2024

Location: Northwest Territories

Every year this day recognises and acknowledges the valuable contribution of Indigenous Peoples in every community in the Northwest Territories and across the rest of Canada. During the celebrations, you can enjoy cultural demonstrations, live music, and artwork, and try traditional food, all to honour and recognise the Métis, Inuit and First Nations people. There is usually a parade and other traditional events such as wood chopping, tea boiling, cake decorating, bannock and dry fish making that take place.

Discovery Day

Date: 24 June 2024

Location: Newfoundland and Labrador

Discovery Day remembers Giovanni Caboto’s (also known as John Cabot) discovery of the province. If you’re looking for a place to visit during this celebration, you should head to Bonavista, as there are parades, talent shows and other activities that are put on.

Toronto Pride

Date: TBA (June 2024)

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Toronto Pride is one of the largest pride festivals in the world, and this year, you can expect to see more world-class musicians. The event has previously welcomed famous international musicians like Nakhane, a South African musician, and Grammy Award winner and R&B songstress, Mýa. As part of the event, special exhibitions have been put on at the Royal Ontario Museum and the city’s aquarium.

Vancouver Jazz Festival

Date: 21 June - 1 July 2024

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

One of the biggest events in Vancouver and Canada, the Vancouver Jazz Festival is also British Columbia’s largest music festival, attracting close to 1,800 artists and over half a million jazz enthusiasts over the course of the event. The festival, which is run by Coastal Jazz, has free shows every year (in 2023, there were 60 free gigs), and it is held in multiple locations across the beautiful city, such as the Vancouver Art Gallery and Granville Island.

Festival de Jazz de Montréal

Date: 27 June - 6 July

Location: Montréal, Québec

Every summer, downtown Montréal becomes the world’s biggest jazz club as the Festival de Jazz de Montréal arrives. An estimated two million music lovers worldwide flock to the city as around 3,000 performers and musicians perform jazz, rock, pop, hip-hop, and electronica. This year there are more than 15 concerts already confirmed, and more will be announced throughout the year. There are also jazz walking tours and boat cruises that you can enjoy during the festival.

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July 2023

The Calgary Stampede
Image credit: Shane Kuhn. The Calgary Stampede

Canada Day

Date: 1 July 2023

Location: Across Canada

Canada Day commemorates the joining of Canada’s original three provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Canada province, now known as Ontario and Québec) as one nation in 1867. Going on Canada holidays around this time of the year is extremely popular as many places organise events to celebrate the day. Below are some of the most popular places to celebrate Canada Day:

A flight to Canada around this event is extremely popular as there is a plethora of places you can celebrate, and here are four we’d recommend:

  • Québec City – There is a fireworks display in the old town and a free concert.
  • Charlottetown – Being the capital of Prince Edward Island and the Birthplace of Confederation, it shouldn’t be surprising that several events are organised to celebrate the day, including musical performances and firework displays.
  • Toronto – There are large firework displays at Amesbury Park, Ashbridges Bay Park, Centennial Park and Downsview Park.
  • Ottawa – On Parliament Hill, you can enjoy ceremonial events, shows and other activities.

ALSO READ: What is Canada Day, and where should I go to celebrate it?

Toronto Fringe Festival

Date: 3-14 July 2024

Location: Toronto, Ontario

The 36th Toronto Fringe Festival is set to welcome over 1,200 artists to its 30+ theatre venues across the city. You can expect to see new plays, old classics, and dance productions. It is certainly an event you want to attend.

Montréal Completement Cirque

Date: July 2024

Location: Montréal, Québec

The city’s plazas, parks, streets and indoor performance halls transform into colourful arenas as the Montréal Completement Cirque comes to town. You can also enjoy outdoor circus performances, and other magic shows at venues across the city.

Cavendish Beach Music Festival

Date: 5-7 July 2024

Location: Cavendish, Prince Edward Island

The annual Cavendish Beach Music Festival was once held in a cow field, but now it is Atlantic Canada’s largest

outdoor music festival. Here you can see the biggest names in country music and enjoy some of the best food from the area in a stunning location.

Calgary Stampede

Date: 5-14 July 2024

Location: Calgary, Alberta

The Calgary Stampede is the largest rodeo in the world and one of Canada’s most iconic events. Dubbed by Canadians as “the greatest outdoor show on Earth”, this statement is not far off the mark as the event boasts a complete rodeo, multiple concert stages and countless stalls to visit throughout the city. Organisers have said that the 2024 festival is set to be bigger and better than ever.

Nunavut Day

Date: 9 July 2024

Location: Nunavut

The day celebrates when Nunavut officially split from the Northwest Territories and became a Canadian territory on April 1st, 1999. Across the territory, there will be traditional games and dance performances, speeches by local leaders and communal meals.

Northern Lights Festival Boréal

Date: 4-7 July 2024

Location: Greater Sudbury, Ontario

Founded in 1972, the Northern Lights Festival Boréal is one of the oldest music festivals in Canada that has been in continuous operation. The festival specialises in folk, rock, jazz, blues, and First Nations music and is celebrating its 51st anniversary this year.

Orangemen’s Day

Date: 12 July 2024

Location: Newfoundland and Labrador

A public holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Orangemen’s Day commemorates the Battle of the Boyne, which took place in 1690 outside Drogheda in the Republic of Ireland. Communities across the province will organise parades and marching bands.

Montréal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival

Date: 12-28 July 2024

Location: Montréal, Québec

Regarded as the world’s largest and most prestigious comedy event, the Montréal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival will host musicals, stand-up shows, plays and street entertainment across the cities. This year will mark its 42nd anniversary, and more than 400 artists from around the globe will take part.

Calgary Folk Music Festival

Date: 25-28 July 2024

Location: Calgary, Alberta

For an ear-opening journey into the evolution of folk music, you need to head to the Calgary Folk Music Festival. The annual event attracts artists from all over the world to perform on its stages in front of huge crowds. This year, the family-friendly event will be welcoming 70 artists, and alongside the music, there is an international craft market, family areas, food stalls serving international culinary delights and beer gardens!

Honda Celebration of Light

Date: TBA July 2024

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

The longest-running off-shore fireworks festival in the world, the Honda Celebration of Light, has hosted dozens of countries to compete against each other as part of a stunning fireworks display that lights up the sky over Vancouver. The event regularly attracts over a million people, but there are many places where you can see the fireworks, and if that’s not enough, you can sample local food and watch live music at the festival.

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August 2024

Montréal Pride

Date: 1-11 August 2024

Location: Montréal, Québec

Founded in 2007, Montréal Pride attracts more than three million local and international visitors who come to see free shows and the iconic parade. During the event, visitors can discover the organisations, community groups, businesses and sports teams run by and catering to the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, you can expect to watch various musicians, DJs, and drag queens perform during this year's event.

Big Valley Jamboree

Date: 1-4 August 2024

Location: Camrose, Alberta

Big Valley Jamboree offers you the ultimate weekend and is one of the best country music festivals in Canada, having been awarded the CCMA Country Music Event of the Year award on multiple occasions. On top of the music, some of the other activities you can enjoy include a rodeo, a country parade, pony rides, a market and more.

Folklorama

Date: 4-17 August 2024

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Travel the world without a passport! Experience world-class entertainment, taste authentic cuisine, enjoy warm hospitality and view beautiful cultural displays during Folklorama, the largest and longest-running multicultural festival of its kind in the world.

Civic/Provincial Day, New Brunswick Day, British Columbia Day, Natal Day

Date: 5 August 2024

Location: Northwest Territories, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan (Civic/Provincial Day), Nova Scotia (Natal Day), New Brunswick, British Columbia.

The holiday on the first Monday in August is widely known as Civic/Provincial Day, but there is a wide range of local names used, such as New Brunswick Day and British Columbia Day. Other provinces use a name that highlights a particular aspect of the celebrations, such as Natal Day, which marks the birthday of Nova Scotia.

During this holiday, various events are held to celebrate local culture, history and achievements. The events are generally organised by local communities, ranging from parades, sporting events, communal meals, road races and small festivals.

Edmonton Folk Festival

Date: 8-11 August 2024

Location: Edmonton, Alberta

The annual Edmonton Folk Festival is staged in downtown Gallagher Park with the city skyline as its backdrop. Since starting in 1980, the festival is now one of the leading folk events in the world. This year’s performers are set to be announced soon, but you can subscribe to their newsletter to find out as and when the artists performing are announced.

Regina Folk Festival

Date: TBA August 2024

Location: Regina, Saskatchewan

Featuring some of the world’s best folk talent, the Regina Folk Festival is again expected to attract more than 35,000 people over the event’s three days. This year’s festival will offer free daytime concerts and workshops, a children’s play area, dance and craft sessions, and a large vendors market.

Halifax Seaport BeerFest

Date: 8-10 August 2024

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Halifax Seaport BeerFest features 300 of the best craft brewers from all over the world, with exhibitors from not only Canada but Belgium, England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Czech Republic, Holland and Iceland attending previous events. On top of sampling award-winning and speciality beers and ciders, you can listen to live acts and DJs or try locally-inspired food.

Country Thunder Festival

Date: 16-18 August 2024

Location: Fort Calgary, Calgary, Alberta

A weekend of incredible live music, the country music festival was initially launched in Calgary in 2016 but now tours cities across North America, including Florida, Arizona and Saskatchewan. This year’s Country Thunder Festival in Calgary will welcome stars such as Luke Combs, HARDY and Dallas Smith.

ALSO READ: 6 of Alberta’s best summer festivals

Gold Cup Parade

Date: 16 August 2024

Location: Charlottetown, Prince Edwards Island

The Gold Cup Parade is the largest annual event in Atlantic Canada as it attracts over 100 floats and marching bands and features giant helium-filled balloons, horses, cars and clown entries. The spectators have grown with the parade in the 660 years it has been running, and it is now estimated that close to 60,000 people line the streets of Charlottetown and watch on Eastlink TV across Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

Discovery Day

Date: 19 August 2024

Location: Yukon

This annual provincial holiday commemorates the anniversary of the discovery of gold in the Yukon. In Dawson City, the heart of the Klondike gold rush, events range from golf tournaments to a historical street theatre. You can also photograph Mounties in their uniform.

Fan Expo Canada

Date: 22-25 August 2024

Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto

The Fan Expo Canada is the largest comic, sci-fi, horror and gaming event in Canada and the third-largest pop culture event in North America. Beginning as a small comic book convention, it now attracts more than 120,000 fans and is a four-day citywide event. At the event, you can get the inside scoop about your favourite movies and TV shows, meet your favourite actors, attend workshops and watch professional comic artists battle each other in sketch duels. Previous stars who have been at the event have included Patrick Stewart, Stan Lee, William Shatner and Carrie Fisher.

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September 2024

The Toronto International Festival
Image credit: Destination Toronto. Actor Christian Slater at the Toronto International Film Festival

Canadian International Air Show

Date: 31 August - 2 September 2024

Location: Toronto, Ontario

The Canadian International Air Show will again soar over the Canadian National Exhibition grounds with a stunning new show. It is the longest and largest air show in Canada, and last year the event welcomed performances from the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, United States Navy Blue Angels, and CF-18 Demonstration Team.

Labour Day

Date: 2 September 2024

Location: Across Canada

Occurring on the first Monday of September, this nationwide holiday celebrates workers across Canada. In addition, many Canadians take the opportunity of being off work to go on a day out with friends and family or to have one last BBQ before autumn arrives.

Canada’s Largest Ribfest

Date: TBA August 2024

Location: Spencer Smith Park, Burlington, Ontario

Taking place over Labour Day Weekend, Canada’s Largest Ribfest is a perfect place to visit for any foodies as you can enjoy ribs, music and family fun. The festival has become one of the country’s most popular festivals, with more than 180,000 regularly attending the event and over 150,000 pounds of ribs sold.

Toronto International Film Festival

Date: 9-19 September 2024

Location: Toronto, Ontario

With world premieres, cutting-edge movies and celebrities, the Toronto International Film Festival is regarded as the most significant public film event in the world. The plans for this year’s event have not yet been revealed, but organisers hope to make it the biggest and best yet, beating previous editions of the festival, which saw more than 200 feature films and 50 short films screened from over 80 countries.

ALSO READ: The complete guide to Canadian film festivals

Toronto International Festival of Authors

Date: 20 September – 1 October 2024

Location: Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto International Festival of Authors is Canada’s largest and longest-running literary festival, and it will again bring together the best writers of contemporary world literature. You can enjoy 11 days of readings, interviews, round table discussions and talks or find your favourite book and get it signed at the public book signings area.

Vancouver International Film Festival

Date: 28 September – 8 October 2024

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

After a couple of virtual shows in recent years, the Vancouver International Film Festival is back! Previously the festival has welcomed over 140,000 film fans and screened more than 300 movies, making it one of the world's largest showcases for Canadian films. This year there will be a series of talks from directors and producers who will be announced in the lead-up to the event.

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest

Date: 25 September – 11 October 2024

Location: Kitchener, Ontario

Dubbed Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival, the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world. The festival typically has nine halls where you can enjoy Bavarian cuisine and beer and take in all the other activities that are taking place.

Toronto Oktoberfest

Date: TBA September - October 2024

Location: Ontario Place, Toronto, Ontario

Dig out that lederhosen and join in on all the fun. The Toronto Oktoberfest launched in 2012, and since then, it has captured the essence of Bavarian festivities with authentic food, drink and entertainment, including traditional Bavarian dancers and polka bands and this year is set to be no different.

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October 2024

Celtic Colours International Festival

Date: 11-19 October 2024

Location: Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

The Celtic Colours International Festival is a unique celebration of Cape Breton Island’s traditional culture, and for nine days in October, you’ll discover hundreds of events and activities taking place in communities across the Island. You will be able to watch concerts and dances or take part in workshops and community suppers.

Thanksgiving

Date: 14 October 2024

Location: Across Canada

A holiday on the second Monday of October since 1957, the celebration gives Canadians a chance to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year. Many people prepare a special meal to eat during the long weekend, which traditionally includes roast turkey and seasonal produce, such as pumpkin, corn and pecan nuts.

Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Date: 920 October 2024

Location: Toronto, Ontario

The annual Toronto Waterfront Marathon has quickly become an elite-level marathon and is one of just five IAAF Gold Label marathons in North America. On race day, you can either participate or cheer on those who are running in the marathon, half marathon or 5km races. Usually, the start horn will sound at 8:45am, and the course will remain open until 3:15pm.

Halloween

Date: 31st October 2024

Location: Across Canada

From Fright Nights Playland in Vancouver to Haunt Manor at Niagara Falls, you can enjoy many spooky events on a family holiday in Canada around Halloween.

ALSO READ: Top 10 Halloween events in Canada

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November 2024

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Date: 1-10 November 2024

Location: Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair celebrates the best in Canadian agriculture, local food and equestrian competitions. It is the largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition in the world. If you watch the horse riding, you will see Olympians and other top riders compete in Show Jumping, Indoor Eventing and Dressage.

Winter Festival of Lights

Date: 18 November 2024 - 7 January 2025

Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario

The Winter Festival of Lights is Canada’s largest free outdoor light festival, and it usually welcomes over a million visitors from all over the world. More than three million lights, interactive illuminations and light art are displayed throughout Niagara. Visitors can also enjoy festive events and live music every night of the festival.

Hopscotch Festival in Vancouver

Date: 24-25 November 2024

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

The Hopscotch Festival in Vancouver began in 1996 with just a few tables set up to showcase whisky and beer, but it is now Canada’s premier event for all things alcohol. Here you can try pairing dinners, watch masterclasses and visit the famous Grand Tasting Hall, that’s filled with over 400 products.

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December 2024

Christmas at Casa Loma
Image credit: Destination Toronto. Christmas at Casa Loma

Vancouver Santa Claus Parade

Date: TBA

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

After a hiatus in 2022, organisers are looking to bring back this annual tradition, which has attracted as many as 300,000 people. The Vancouver Santa Claus Parade is a free event that boasts floats, marching bands and Santa in downtown Vancouver.

Christmas at Casa Loma

Date: December 2024 - January 2025

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Every December, Casa Loma, Toronto’s majestic castle, puts on several Christmas events which host a wide range of activities ranging from family-friendly performances to festive-themed arts and crafts. In previous years there have been performances from illusionists, entertainers, and ice-skating performers. However, even if you don’t want to watch the performances, you can wander through lighting displays in the castle’s spectacular gardens and enjoy the decorations.

Christmas Lights Across Canada

Date: December 2024 - January 2025

Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Christmas Lights Across Canada is an event during the holiday season that turns Canada’s capital into a winter wonderland. Generally running from December to January, there are hundreds of thousands of coloured lights illuminating Ottawa’s major attractions, including the Pathway of Lights shining on Confederation Boulevard, a ceremonial route through the heart of Canada's Capital Region. There is also live music in Confederation Park, and here you can try free BeaverTail pastries.

The Distillery Winter Village

Date: TBA

Location: Toronto, Ontario

The Distillery Winter Village is a one-of-a-kind outdoor holiday market where visitors can take in the timeless romance of the holidays and enjoy specially curated vendor cabins full of seasonal items and gifts, plus delicious, can't-miss food. There is also live music that can be enjoyed, and last year, Devo Brown and DJ Clymaxxx played live.

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These are some of the top events across Canada in 2024/25. If you want to visit one of the featured festivals and plan a future trip around it, you can contact one of our experts at Canadian Affair and book your trip today!

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