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13 great Canadian festivals for your summer road trip

Summertime means festival time in Canada: because it’s much easier to appreciate tasty food and good music when you’re not freezing your toes off.
By Erin Hutchison
Content Marketing and Social Media Specialist

If there’s one positive about Canada’s long, awful, unbearable winter it is the months of coast to coast to coast parties, BBQs, shindigs, picnics, 12 weddings, strawberry socials and festivals we have to look forward to once it warms up. It’s much easier to appreciate the stars in the night sky, tasty food, good music, and non-annoying buskers when you’re not freezing your toes off.

While you may find out about upcoming events in your area through social media or word of mouth, a .CA website (see how we did that?) will help tell the world about the fun thing happening in your small corner of the country. A great event website acts as an online advertisement, help desk, travel agent, and logistics center to help attendees find the information they need.

So, are you looking for road trip ideas? Whether you want to pig out on pizza, appreciate local art, or simply contemplate your place in the universe as you learn about the night sky—we’ve got you covered by highlighting a festival from each province and territory that’s set to take place in summer 2019.

George Street Festival –

August 1-7 in St. John’s, Newfoundland

There are two types of people. Those who have been to George Street in St. John’s and those who totally should go. The George Street Festival is the highlight of the Newfoundland summer and is a week-long party that attracts of visitors from around the world.

Shediac Lobster Festival –

July 10-14 in Shediac, New Brunswick

Shediac is the Lobster Capital of the World, which makes this great maritime festival the perfect place to crack some shells and enjoy some great entertainment. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the festival so there will be plenty of special events to commemorate that milestone.

Halifax Busker Festival –

July 31-August 5 in Halifax, Nova Scotia

While we can’t guarantee there will be no mimes there, the Halifax Busker Festival brings the best street performers in the world to the Halifax waterfront. Featuring fire breathers, acrobats, comedians and magicians, this festival is a unique way to experience great street art.

Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival –

July 19-21 in Rollo Bay, Prince Edward Island

Who doesn’t love a great fiddle battle? I’m not sure if that’s actually a thing but if not, it should be, and the Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival is surely the place to see it. Prince Edward Island’s great musical tradition will be showcased at this summer festival that brings together top performers and draws in fans both young and old.

Festival d’été de Québec –

July 4-14 in Quebec City, Quebec

While the Festival d’été de Québec is one of Canada’s top music festivals in its own right, the venue itself is reason enough to go. The festival takes place in Quebec City’s historic district providing an impressive backdrop for 11 days of amazing summer music.

Pizza Fest –

July 19-21 in Toronto, Ontario

So you like pizza, eh? Well that makes at least two of us. This July more than 20 of Toronto’s best pie producers will come together in bringing you original slices, pastas, desserts and more. If you’re a traditional person, you can indulge in Italian favourites and if you’re looking to live a bit more on the edge you can try out an original new recipe.

Winnipeg Folk Festival –

July 11-14 in Winnipeg, Manitoba

With headliner like Death Cab for Cutie, Jason Mraz and The Sheepdogs, the Winnipeg is one of the best-known folk festivals in Canada. Bring your love of local food, eclectic art, and ironic hats.

Electric Sky –

August 2-4 in Big River, Saskatchewan

There’s no sky bigger that the one in the prairies, so it’s fitting that Electric Sky, the Saskatchewan’s largest electronic music festival, is being held again this summer in the beautiful forests of northern Saskatchewan. Enjoy more than 70 artists across Canada and celebrate music, yoga, and art.

Edmonton Heritage Festival –

August 3-5 in Edmonton, Alberta

The Edmonton Heritage Festival is a three-day celebration of multiculturalism in Canada. Enjoy the art, music, and we can’t forget about food, from 100 countries and cultures around the world.

Squamish Constellation Festival –

July 26-28 in Squamish, British Columbia

Set in front of the backdrop of the spectacular Stawamus Chief, this festival is all about music, art and community. It boasts Canada’s largest paint by numbers, features two stages of continuous music and more than 40 acts of multiple genres.

Adäka Cultural Festival –

June 28-July 4 in Whitehorse, Yukon

This festival shines a light on the arts and culture of Yukon First Nations and welcomes Indigenous artists from around the world. Adäka means ‘coming into the light’ in the Southern Tutchone language.

Dark Sky Festival –

August 22-25 in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories

This is a multi-day family event that allows you to explore the wonders of the universe in the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserve, Wood Buffalo National Park. It’s put on by the Thebaca and Wood Buffalo Astronomical Society. Registration includes activities and workshops, meals, camping fees and access to equipment like telescopes.

Alianait Arts Festival –

June 28-July 1 in Iqaluit, Nunavut

The Alianait Arts Festival brings together Inuit and other circumpolar artists, musicians, acrobats, dancers, storytellers, actors, filmmakers and visual artists for a multi-day celebration under the (many hours of) summer sun.

About the author
Erin Hutchison

Erin brings to CIRA a background of marketing experience in higher education and the not-for-profit sector. In 2015, she participated in ISOC’s Youth@IGF Programme and traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico to attend the IGF. She has a Bachelor of International Business from Carleton University.