The Ultimate Canada Event Guide 2020/21

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Events in Canada

READ TIME: 5 minutes to read each month

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

But what are the best ones to visit and where are they located? It doesn’t matter which season you are planning to visit or what you are interested in, there are events suited to everyone.

We’ve created our own Canada events calendar so you can easily find an event that you might want to visit during your Canada holiday. Read on to find out more and when you’re ready to plan a flight to Canada that fits in with the festival or event you want to attend, contact us today and we can tailor-make your dream Canada trip.

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:

2020 events in Canada

August

 

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Folklorama

Date: 2nd-15th August 2020
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Folklorama is the largest and longest-running multicultural festival of its kind in the world. Here you can enjoy world-class entertainment, experience beautiful cultural displays and taste authentic food as you experience the world’s different cultures.

RECOMMENDED HOLIDAY: Manitoba Holidays

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

Date: 3rd August 2020
Location: Alberta (Heritage Day), 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 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 certain aspect of the celebrations such as Natal Day, which marks the birthday of Nova Scotia, or Heritage Day, which celebrates the heritage of the people living in Alberta.

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

Montréal Pride

Date: 6th – 16th August 2020
Location: Montréal, Québec

Founded in 2007, Montréal Pride attracts more than 3.4 million local and international visitors who come to see free shows and the iconic parade. This year’s event will be welcoming drag superstars to perform and Lady Bunny, who is playing a DJ set. The community day on 15th August allows visitors to discover the organisations, community groups, businesses and sports teams, run by and/or catering to the LGBTQ+ community.

Edmonton Folk Festival

Date: 6th – 9th August 2020
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 in 2019 it welcomed Hozier, Brandi Carlile, Blue Rodeo and lots of other top performers.

Regina Folk Festival

Date: 7th – 9th August 2020
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan

Featuring some of the world’s best folk talent, the Regina Folk Festival will be celebrating its 51st anniversary this year. The three-day event attracts more than 35,000 people and in addition to its summer festival, it hosts concerts throughout the year.

Halifax Seaport BeerFest

Date: 7th – 8th August 2020
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Halifax Seaport BeerFest features 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 often in attendance. On top of sampling award-winning and speciality beers and ciders, you can listen to live acts and local DJs or try locally-inspired food.

Discovery Day

Date: 17th August 2020
Location: Yukon

Celebrated on the third Monday of August, this provincial holiday commemorates the anniversary of the discovery of gold in 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.

RECOMMENDED HOLIDAY: Dawson City Holidays

Gold Cup Parade

Date: 21st August 2020
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 as well as featuring huge helium-filled balloons, horses, cars and clown entries. The spectators have grown with the parade 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.

Fan Expo Canada

Date: 27th – 30th August 2020
Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto

If you’re into comics then the Fan Expo Canada is a must-visit. It’s 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 129,000 fans and is a four-day citywide event.

At the event you can get the inside scoop about your favourite movies and TV shows, get an autograph or photo with your favourite guest, attend workshops and watch professional comic artists battle each other in sketch duels. Previous stars have included Patrick Stewart, Stan Lee, William Shatner and Carrie Fisher. In 2020, stars from The Lord of the Rings and Giancarlo Esposito from Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian will be speaking.

World Triathlon in Edmonton

Date: 17th – 23th August 2020
Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Every year as part of the World Triathlon in Edmonton superhumans descend on the city, which has been holding triathlon events for more than 15 years. If you don’t fancy a 1500m swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run, then you can watch as over the course of the event the world’s best juniors, elite women and elite men compete.

Country Thunder Festival

Date: 21st – 23rd August 2020
Location: Prairie Winds Park, Calgary, Alberta

A weekend of incredible live music, the country music festival tour was 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 Keith Urban and Kane Brown.

READ MORE: 6 of Alberta’s best summer festivals

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September

Canada International Air Show

Labour Day

Date: 7th September 2020
Location: Across Canada

Occurring on the first Monday of September, this nationwide holiday celebrates workers across Canada. 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: 4th – 7th September 2020
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.

Canadian International Air Show

Date: 5th – 7th September 2020
Location: Toronto, Ontario

The Canadian International Air Show will soar over the Canadian National Exhibition grounds once again with a stunning new show. This year will see a special 50th anniversary performance from Canada’s aerial acrobatics jet team, The Canadian Force Snowbirds. There will also be displays from the RCAF F-18 demonstration team and the United States Air Force A-10 demonstration team to name a few.

Toronto International Film Festival

Date: 10th – 20th September 2020
Location: Toronto, Ontario

With world premieres, cutting-edge movies and celebrities, the Toronto International Film Festival is regarded as the biggest public film event in the world. In 2020 the event will be celebrating its 45th anniversary and this year it will be looking to surpass the numbers of 2019 which saw 245 feature films and 82 short films screened from 84 countries.

READ MORE: The complete guide to Canadian film festivals

Vancouver International Film Festival

Date: 24th September – 9th October 2020
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

The Vancouver International Film Festival is a heavy-hitter, with over 140,000 film fans enjoying more than 300 movies which are screened across the 16-day festival. It is one of the largest showcases for Canadian films in the world, but it also screens films from over 70 countries. This year there will be a series of talks from directors and producers who will be announced in the lead-up to the event.

Toronto Oktoberfest

Date: TBC
Location: Ontario Place, Toronto, Ontario

Dig out that lederhosen and join in on all the fun. The Toronto Oktoberfest captures the essence of Bavarian festivities with authentic food, drink and entertainment including traditional Bavarian dancers and polka bands. Every year ERDINGER’s Oktoberfest Brew is flown in specially for the festival, so make sure you get some this year!

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October

 

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Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest

Date: 9th – 17th October 2020
Location: Kitchener, Ontario

Dubbed Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival, the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is an annual nine-day event and is the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world. Some of the things you can do at the 2020 festival include joining President Tim Beckett as he taps the keg at the festival’s Official Opening Ceremony and visit one of the 9 festival halls.

Celtic Colours International Festival

Date: 9th – 17th October 2020
Location: Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

The Celtic Colours International Festival brings communities together as the event is held at locations across the island. The 2020 event has expanded its line-up of concerts for the 24th anniversary to 54 concerts in 35 communities. You will be able to watch concerts to dances and workshops to community suppers.

Thanksgiving

Date: 12th October 2020
Location: Across Canada

A holiday on the second Monday of October since 1957, the celebration gives Canadians the 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 included roast turkey and seasonal produce, such as pumpkin, corn and pecan nuts.

Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Date: 18th October 2020
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 along with 26,000 other runners or cheer on those who are running in this event which also includes the option of a half marathon and 5km distances. This year the start horn will sound at 8:45am and the course will remain open until 3:15pm.

RECOMMENDED HOLIDAY: Toronto Waterfront Marathon package

Toronto International Festival of Authors

Date: 22nd Oct – 1st Nov 2020
Location: Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto International Festival of Authors will be returning for its 41st edition 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.

Halloween

Date: 31st October 2020
Location: Across Canada

From Fright Nights Playland in Vancouver and Haunted Manor at Niagara Falls to the Haunted Pumpkin Festival at Prairie Gardens Adventure Farm in Alberta, there are lots of spooky events you can enjoy on a family holiday to Canada around Halloween.

READ MORE: Top 10 Halloween events in Canada

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November

Niagara Falls Winter Festival

Vancouver Food and Cooking Festival

Date: Dates TBC (dates in 2019 were 4-9 November)
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

The 19th annual Vancouver Food and Cooking Festival is a world-class culinary festival as it attracts chefs and other attendees from all over North America. This year’s event is set to be running expert classes and demonstrations that you can enjoy.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Date: 6th – 15th November 2020
Location: Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair celebrates the best in Canadian agriculture, local food and equestrian competitions and 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: 14th November – 10th January 2021
Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario

The Winter Festival of Lights welcomes over 1.8 million visitors from around the globe who want to experience the spectacular light displays, light art, interactive illuminations, festive events, the Fallsview Sound and Light Show. There will be more than three million lights displayed along the Niagara Parkway, Dufferin Islands and Niagara Falls at this year’s show.

Toronto Christmas Market

Date: 15th November – 23rd December 2020
Location: Distillery Historic District, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Christmas Market offers you lots of great entertainment with its main stage playing host to carollers, choirs, brass bands and more. Last year there were Distillery District walking tours on offer and the CIBC Snowflake Square where you can go to make a wish. The market is a great place for you to rediscover the magic and romance of the festive season just before Christmas Day.

Hopscotch Festival in Vancouver

Date: 23rd November – 29th November 2020
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

The Hopscotch Festival in Vancouver is Canada’s premier showcase of 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. This year’s festival will have thousands of different craft and premium beers, spirits, whiskies and wines from all over the world.

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December

The Santa Claus Parade in Vancouver

Vancouver Santa Claus Parade

Date: TBC (1 December in 2019)
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

An annual tradition that can attract 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. If you are visiting, a top tip we’d recommend is watching towards the start or end of the route for the best spot to view the parade.

RECOMMENDED HOLIDAY: Vancouver Holidays

Christmas at Casa Loma

Date: TBC
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Every December Casa Loma, Toronto’s majestic castle, puts on A Nutcracker Christmas at the Castle which hosts a wide range of activities and performances you can enjoy. In previous years there have been performances from illusionist and entertainer Professor Wick and ice skating performers Glisse on Ice. You can also wander through lighting displays in the castles spectacular gardens.

Christmas Lights Across Canada

Date: TBC
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, thousands of colourful lights illuminate Ottawa’s major attractions and in 2020 it will be the 35th anniversary. As well as the lights, you can enjoy live music in Confederation Park and try free BeaverTail pastries.

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2021 events in Canada

January

Calgary fireworks

New Year’s Day

Date: 1st January 2021
Location: Across Canada

Canada is commonly featured on shortlists of the best places in the world to ring in the New Year and that’s because there are so many amazing New Year events. Québec City celebrates New Year’s with a large outdoor New Year’s Eve party on the Grande Allée, featuring live music, dancing and even a Ferris wheel. 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 regions concert and other attractions draw in 50,000 people. All the major cities such as Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver put on eye-catching firework displays.

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

Polar Bear Swim

Date: 1st – 2nd January 2021
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. Other places you can either watch or take part in the swims include Kelowna, Delta and in Sydney.

Victoria Whisky Festival

Date: 14th – 17th January 2021
Location: Victoria, British Columbia

In 2021 the Victoria Whisky Festival will be celebrating its 16th anniversary and will again be featuring the World of Whisky and Chocolate, an awards dinner and lots of tasting opportunities. In the past visitors have been able to enjoy masterclasses from distilleries such as Glenmorangie, Jim Beam and Bowmore.

After the festival finishes you should stay on and try out some of the food. Kathryn Burrington, a travel photographer and blogger behind who runs the Travel with Kat site, says she enjoyed 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 really was that good.”

Bagel Day

Date: 15th January 2021
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 own bagels at home.
  • Give a bagel – Many Canadian will make bagels and give them to family and friends on National Bagel Day.

Ice Magic

Date: 20th – 31st January 2021
Location: Lake Louise, Alberta

The Ice Magic Festival is an ice carving competition that is the perfect winter experience for you to enjoy. Here ice serves as an interesting medium of artistry and architectural design as you can watch carvings take shape by skilled artists from across the globe. During the event, you can explore ice castles, ice bars, the ice carving competition and other events such as the One Hour, One Carver, One Block speed event.

RECOMMENDED HOLIDAY: Lake Louise Holidays

Toronto Light Festival

Date: TBC (17 January – 1 March in 2020)
Location: Toronto, Ontario

The popular Toronto Light Festival will be in its fifth year in 2021 and it exhibits local and international light artists displays. You can walk the streets of The Distillery District and celebrate the season with thousands of others as we are sure what you will see will put a big smile on your face.

Winterlicious

Date: TBC (31 January – 13 February in 2020)
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Winterlicious is one of Toronto’s most popular culinary events as 200 of the city’s restaurants offer three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus for $23, $28, or $33 for lunch and $33, $43 or $53 for dinner (doesn’t include drinks). There are other ticketed culinary experiences running during the event.

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February

Winterlude Festival

Groundhog Day

Date: 2nd February 2021
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 you can celebrate this event include Wiarton, Winnipeg, Kleinburg, Cape Breton Island and Shubenacadie in Nova Scotia.

Québec Winter Carnival

Date: 5th – 14th February 2021
Location: Québec City, Québec

You can join the party and experience one of the world’s largest winter carnivals. At the Québec Winter Carnival, there are night parades, snow sculptures, an ice canoe race, shows, and an ice skating rink to enjoy.

Winterlude

Date: 5th – 20th February 2021
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

The Winterlude festival is a free annual event that has many indoor and outdoor activities located across the city that you can enjoy. You can skate on the world-famous Rideau Canal Skateway, marvel at stunning ice sculptures on Sparks Street, head to Jacques-Cartier Park and try tube sliding or take skiing and snowboarding lessons at the Snowflake Kingdom.

Chinese New Year

Date: 12th February 2021
Location: Across Canada

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

National Flag of Canada Day

Date: 15th February 2021
Location: Across Canada

Commemorating the official birth of the Maple Leaf Flag in 1965, National Flag of Canada Day sees Canadians celebrate by wearing red and white. In some years there are special events 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: 15th February 2021
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. 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: 26th February 2021
Location: Yukon

This is an annual holiday for Canadians in the Yukon and you can join them in heading to the winter celebration, 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.

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March

 

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Commonwealth Day

Date: 8th March 2021
Location: Across Canada

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

St Patricks Day

Date: 17th March 2021
Location: Across Canada

St Patricks Day is celebrated across Canada with several events planned. In Toronto you can attend the iconic St Patrick’s Parade, Montréal also has a parade which is the longest-running of its kind in Canada, Ottawa has an Irish Festival and Vancouver also has a CelticFest St. Patrick’s Festival as well.

Pacific Rim Whale Festival

Date: 20th – 28th March 2020
Location: Tofino, Ucluelet and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in British Columbia

Each year in March, the Pacific Rim Whale Festival celebrates the annual 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, hikes and see displays of art 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: TBC (was supposed to be 25-29 March in 2020)
Location: Convention Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia

The Vancouver International Auto Show is one of North America’s premier automotive exhibition events and due to the postponement of the event in 2020, the 2021 event will be the 100th anniversary of the show. 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

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Date: TBC (2-26 April in 2020)
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

The yearly Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival sees a calendar of events take place around the city such as bike rides, cherry blossom viewing tours and arts events.

RECOMMENDED HOLIDAY: Vancouver and Victoria Hopper

Tartan Day

Date: 6th April 2021
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 2021
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 beautiful landscape of the region during the three-day weekend.

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May

Ottawa Tulip Festival

Calgary International Beerfest

Date: TBC (1-2 May in 2020)
Location: Calgary, Alberta

The Calgary International Beerfest is Canada’s largest beer festival with more than 700 beers from over 200 breweries on offer. You can listen to experts in the Brew Master Seminars, 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: TBC (3 May in 2020)
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

As one of the largest international marathons in Canada, the Vancouver Marathon takes place on the first Sunday of May and is a hugely popular event to attend. Runners from more than 60 countries come to compete in the 26-mile race, half marathon, 8km race, relay or kids run. The route makes it one of the best destination races in the world as it offers views of city landmarks, parks, beaches and winds along the ocean-hugging seawall. There is live music at the finish line so if you decide to take part, you can toast your success.

Ottawa Tulip Festival

Date: TBC (8-18 May in 2020)
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

The Ottawa Tulip Festival celebrates the gift of tulips and Canada’s role in the liberation of the Netherlands in WWII as well as commemorating the birth of Dutch Princess Margriet in Ottawa, who is the only royal person to be born in Canada. At the festival, you can be in awe of the amazing tulip exhibits that are on display, listen to live music, go on a walking tour to learn about the history of the festival and see art exhibits from local and regional artists among stunning tulip beds.

Mother’s Day

Date: 9th May 2021
Location: Across Canada

In Canada, Mother’s Day is treated just like it is in the UK as locals look to treat their mums for the day. If you are in Canada on this day, then you can look to book a table at a restaurant as many will have special events on. The Twilight Family Restaurant and Bar in Toronto, for example, has put on events where diners can paint, while enjoying their food and drink.

Victoria Day

Date: 24th May 2021
Location: Across Canada

A statutory holiday that was originally a celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday, it now marks Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday. It is observed on the first Monday before 25th May and it is usually celebrated by communities across the country with picnics, parades, outdoor concerts, and fireworks. At Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, Ontario, they have celebrated the day with a 1860s-style birthday celebration, while other areas have sports events like the Victoria Speedfest Weekend in Clarington, Ontario.

National Patriots Day

Date: 24th May 2021
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. There are various celebrations organised and these include marches, music concerts and public speeches that are organised by small community groups.

Calgary Marathon

Date: TBC (31 May in 2020)
Location: Calgary, Alberta

The Calgary Marathon is the longest-running marathon in Canada. Here you can watch or take part in a variety of races including a 50km Ultra, a marathon, a half-marathon, a 10km, a 5km family run and a walk and kids’ marathon. After the race, there is a full-day of entertainment you can enjoy and this includes live music.

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June

Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal

Luminato Festival Toronto

Date: TBC (supposed to be on 11-28 June in 2020)
Location: Toronto, Ontario

The Luminato Festival Toronto is an international arts festival and a highlight in Toronto’s summer calendar. The event in 2020, which had to be cancelled, was set to offer more than 40 free and ticketed events across the city, with more than 3,600 performances featuring 15,000+ artists from over 40 countries.

BC Seafood Festival

Date: TBC (12-21 June in 2020)
Location: Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

It’s the largest seafood festival in western Canada and is famed for its fun competitions that you can watch. These range from the Fanny Bay Oysters Shucking Championship to the Ocean Wise Chowder Challenge. At the BC Seafood Festival, you can roam around the grounds and learn how to prepare fresh seafood via live cooking demos, listen to live music and sip offerings from distillers, brewers and wineries.

Canada Grand Prix

Date: TBC (12-14 June in 2020)
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. The Canadian segment of the Formula 1 World Championship is an exhilarating weekend of thrills, fun and excitement as you can enjoy the F1 drivers’ parade plus qualifying and open testing sessions. If that’s not enough, you can watch Ferrari, Porsche and Formula 1600 Challenges and tour the support paddocks or enjoy the Beach Zone with games, a DJ and bar-terrace!

Italian Day

Date: TBC (14 June in 2020)
Location: Commercial Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia

If you love Italian food or their culture, then this event is a must-visit. The annual Italian Day held on the second Sunday in June in Vancouver is a vibrant street festival celebrating Italian culture, heritage and community. The Drive comes alive in green, white and red with piazza-style animated zones, live music, food vendors, lifestyle attractions, family fun activities and more.

Ottawa Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival

Date: TBC (18-21 June in 2020)
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day, 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.

Vancouver Jazz Festival

Date: TBC (19 June – 1 July in 2020)
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

One of the biggest events in Vancouver and in Canada, this great festival is British Columbia’s largest music festival, attracting close to 1,800 artists and over half a million jazz enthusiast over the course of the event. The Vancouver Jazz Festival is held in multiple locations across the beautiful city and if you are in the city but don’t have a ticket you should head to the Vancouver Art Gallery, Granville Island or David Lam Park as there are often free concerts.

National Aboriginal Day

Date: 21st June 2021
Location: Northwest Territories

It is a day to recognise and acknowledge the valuable contribution of Indigenous Peoples and in every community in the territory, you can enjoy festivities such as cultural demonstrations, live music, artwork and try traditional food, all to honour and recognise the Métis, Inuit and First Nations people. One of the major events is a parade at the Behchoko Cultural Centre and this is followed by events such as wood chopping, tea boiling, cake decorating, bannock and dry fish making.

Discovery Day

Date: 21st June 2021
Location: Newfoundland and Labrador

Discovery Day remembers Giovanni Caboto’s (also known as John Cabot) discovery of the province’s island portion. 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.

Festival de Jazz de Montréal

Date: TBC (26 June – 4 July in 2020)
Location: Montréal, Québec

Every summer downtown Montréal becomes the world’s biggest jazz club as the Festival de Jazz de Montréal arrives. Music lovers from around the world flock to the city as around 3,000 performers and musicians not only perform jazz but rock, pop, hip hop and electronica too. A whopping two million people descend on the city and head to shows on 20 indoor stages and two huge outdoor stages to sing and dance.

There are also jazz walking tours, boat cruises and brewpub experiences that you can enjoy during the festival.

Toronto Pride

Date: TBC
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Toronto Pride is one of the largest pride festivals in the world and in 2021 you can expect to see an impressive roster of musicians. In the past, the event has welcomed famous international musicians like Nakhane, a South African musician, and Grammy Award winner and R&B songstress, Mýa. As part of the event, there have been special exhibitions put on at the Royal Ontario Museum and the city’s aquarium.

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July

Calgary Stampede

Canada Day

Date: 1st July 2021
Location: Across Canada

Canada Day commemorates the joining of Canada’s original three provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Canada province, which is now known as Ontario and Québec) as one nation in 1867. A flight to Canada around this event is extremely popular as there are a plethora of places you can celebrate and here are three we’d recommend:

  • Québec City – There is a fireworks display in the old town and a free concert.
  • Toronto – Amesbury Park, Ashbridges Bay Park, Centennial Park and Downsview Park celebrate with large firework displays.
  • Ottawa – On Parliament Hill, you can enjoy ceremonial events, shows and other activities.

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

Montréal Cirque Festival

Date: TBC (2 July in 2020)
Location: Montréal, Québec

The city’s plazas, parks, streets and indoor performance halls transform into colourful arenas as the Montréal Cirque Festival comes to town. You can enjoy outdoor circus performances and other magic shows at venues such as St-Denis Theatre and Jardins Gamelin in the Quartier des Spectacles.

Calgary Stampede

Date: TBC (3-12 July in 2020)
Location: Calgary, Alberta

The Calgary Stampede is the largest rodeo in the world and is one of the most iconic events in Canada. Dubbed by Canadians as “the greatest outdoor show on Earth”, this statement is not far off the mark as the event boasts a full rodeo, multiple concert stages and countless stalls to visit throughout the city.

RECOMMENDED HOLIDAY: Calgary Stampede Holidays

Nunavut Day

Date: 9th July 2021
Location: Nunavut

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

Northern Lights Festival Boréal

Date: TBC (9 – 12 July in 2020)
Location: Greater Sudbury, Ontario

The Northern Lights Festival Boréal is one of the oldest music festivals in Canada that has been in continuous operation, having been founded back in 1972. The festival specialises in folk, rock, jazz, blues and First Nations music and has welcomed artists such as Bombino, Kobo Town and Arkells in the past.

Cavendish Beach Music Festival

Date: TBC (10-12 July in 2020)
Location: Cavendish, Prince Edward Island

Cavendish Beach Music Festival was once a cow field and it is now the site of the largest multi-day outdoor music festival in Atlantic Canada. Here you can see the biggest names in country music and enjoy some of the best food from the area in a stunning location.

Orangemen’s Day

Date: 12th July 2021
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: TBC (15-26 July in 2020)
Location: Montréal, Québec

Regarded as the world’s largest and most prestigious comedy event, the Montréal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival will play host to musicals, stand-up shows, plays and street entertainment across the cities. In previous years around 1,700 artists and more than two million festival-goers have attended.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Date: TBC (17 – 20 July)
Location: Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver, British Columbia

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival has eight outdoor stages located across the park, but while it is a music event it is a great place for you to visit if you’re a foodie. The food area often welcomes over 20 food vendors and there is a crafts market and activity area that you can visit. A top tip we’d recommend if you’re in the city during the festival is to check whether guest artists are performing at other venues in the city in the build-up to the event or after it.

Calgary Folk Music Festival

Date: TBC (23 – 26 in 2020)
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 nine stages in front of crowds of 13,000. The family-friendly event has an international craft market, a family area, food stalls serving global culinary delights and a beer garden!

Honda Celebration of Light

Date: TBC (25, 29 July & 1 August in 2020)
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 attracts well over a million people, but there are lots of 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.

Big Valley Jamboree

Date: TBC (30 July – 2 August in 2020)
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. As well as the music, some of the other activities you can enjoy include are: a rodeo, a country parade, lessons with the Outlaw Country Dance Team, rock climbing and more.

Toronto Fringe Festival

Date: TBC (1-12 July in 2020)
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Featuring over 150 indie shows in every genre of theatre imaginable at venues across the city, the Toronto Fringe Festival plays host to new plays and old classics. There are dance productions you can watch as well as experimental works as well.

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If you are interested in visiting one of these events and want to plan a future trip, then take a look at our different holiday options to Canada and book your trip today.

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