7 awesome Canadian festivals for music, art and culture-lovers

January 31, 2017

Festivals are some of the most exciting, engaging and all immersive experiences out there for music, arts and culture lovers. Small local festivals and big, world-renowned festivals entice people to hop in a car, train or plane and travel to another city or even county to experience. I think we’ve all heard of a friend making the life-changing pilgrimage to festivals such as Oktoberfest in Munich or the Full Moon Party in Thailand, but let’s not forget what Canada has to offer! Some of the best talent in the world can be found at a number of incredible festivals across the country all throughout the year.

Pemberton Music Festival (July)

Where to stay: HI-Whistler

The west coast’s must-visit music festival. This one tops the charts. Featuring huge acts such as Pearl Jam, The Killers, Hozier and Snoop Dogg all in one of the most picturesque mountain towns in British Columbia.

Edmonton Folk Music Festival (August)

Where to stay: HI-Edmonton

We can’t not mention Edmonton – Canada’s festival city and home to more festivals we can count every year. Edmonton Folk Music Festival is the go to for folk music lovers out there and is one of the biggest and best attended folk festivals in the world. The event also hosts workshops, huge beer gardens and specialty craftspeople.

Calgary Stampede (July)

Where to stay: HI-Calgary City Centre

Don your cowboy hat and boots or get some quick – Calgary Stampede is about as cowboy it gets. Billed as « The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth », it’s famous for its rodeos, parades, concerts and chuck-wagon racing. Attracting over one million people per year, the entire city of Calgary celebrates the festival with storefront installations, denim business attire and community barbecues.

Toronto BuskerFest (September)

Where to stay: HI-Toronto

Imagine the world’s best street performers all in one place at the same time. The streets of Toronto buzz with spontaneity throughout BuskerFest full of all kinds of performances – from comedy and circus acts to magic tricks and stunts you’d never fathom trying.

Winter Brewfest (February)

Where to stay: HI-Ottawa Jail

The capital of Canada is also a capital spot for some fine brews at Ottawa’s Winter Brewfest. In the colder winter months, there’s no better way to stay cosy than by sipping on a multitude of delicious beers from microbreweries all over Ontario and Quebec. Bonfires and DJs are also on hand.

Wanderlust Festival (August)

Where to stay: HI-Mont Tremblant

Wanderlust isn’t your typical festival. This special event is all about positive lifestyle and mindset, and attracts yoga enthusiasts from around the world seeking growth and connection. Spend your days in the mountains practising yoga and meditation, joining guided adventures, enjoying concerts and listening to speakers while devouring speciality foods.

Nocturne: Art at Night (October)

Where to stay: HI-Halifax

Every October, art and energy is brought to the night time streets of Halifax. This free festival is laid out across the entire downtown district, showcasing and celebrating Halifax’s visual arts scene. Wander through different exhibitions, galleries and public spaces and explore something new in this historic part of Canada.

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