In here we share with you 10 fun festivals in Canada. Canada is known for its diverse and riveting culture which is shown by its vast and world renowned festivals. Everything from rock music festivals to sophisticated cultural events, Canadian festivals have attracted foreign visitors from all around the world.
Table of Contents
- 01. The Honda Celebration of Light
- 02. Osheaga Festival
- 03. Montreal Fireworks Festival
- 04. Winterlude
- 05. Caribana
- 06. Toronto International Film Festival
- 07. Quebec City Summer Festival
- 08. Montreal International Jazz Festival
- 09. Pride Toronto
- 10. Pacific National Exhibition
01. The Honda Celebration of Light
The Honda Celebration of Light (formerly known as Benson & Hedges Symphony of Fire and The HSBC Celebration of Light) is an annual musical fireworks competition in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The first “Symphony of Fire” was held from July 25 to August 5, 1990.
The celebration is one of Vancouver’s largest and most well known festivals, and is recognized as the longest running off-shore fireworks competitions in the world. The multiple-day event has an estimated annual attendance of 1.4 million people.
02. Osheaga Festival
The Osheaga Music and Arts Festival is a multi-day indie music festival in canada. The festival takes place on six stages with various audience capacities. Translated from their French equivalents, they are called “River Stage,” “Mountain Stage,” “Green Stage,” “Trees Stage,” “Valley Stage,” and “Zone Piknic Electronik.” Each performance area is paired with a sponsor.
Band set times fluctuate based on the status of the performer within the festival. Emerging artists play 30-minute sets, and headliners conclude each day with 90-minute plus sets. The 2006 festival attracted a crowd of around 25,000 people. The 2012 festival reached its 40,000 attendance capacity each day.
03. Montreal Fireworks Festival
L’International des Feux Loto-Québec, also known as the Montreal Fireworks Festival, is the largest and most prestigious fireworks competition in the world. It has been held yearly in La Ronde over the Dolphins lake, since 1985, and is named after its main sponsor, Loto-Québec.
It hosts an estimated 3 million spectators each year, with approximately 6,000 fireworks set off during each show. Each summer, eight or nine pyrotechnical companies from different countries present a 30-minute-long pyromusical show, competing for the Gold, Silver and Bronze Jupiters or trophies.
For the 20th anniversary in 2004, eight of the previous top competitors (all of whom had won the Gold Jupiter) were invited to fight for the unique Platinum Jupiter in June and July 2004, which was won in the end by the German company WECO.
The competition takes the form of a series of biweekly fireworks shows usually beginning in late June and ending in late July. The fireworks are synchronized to music which is also broadcast over a provincial radio station (RockDétente in 2005, Rythme FM 2006-onwards).
Spectators can purchase tickets to have reserved seats in La Ronde: they can buy them on site, on-line or through the Admission group to obtain an exceptional view of the lower altitude display and the whole perspective. However, tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of people watch the fireworks for free from nearby locations (see Where to watch). In 2009 and 2010, the shows were held on Saturday nights only, from June to August, however in 2011 shows were again held on Wednesdays and Saturdays beginning end of June until end of July.
Winterlude is an annual winter festival held in Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec (collectively known as the National Capital Region).
Winterlude is run by the Department of Canadian Heritage and was started in 1979. The event is one of Ottawa’s most important tourist draws, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. In 2007, it set a new attendance record of an estimated 1.6 million visits to one of the four Winterlude sites. BizBash has recognized Winterlude as one of the top 100 annual attractions in Canada and the United States
The Toronto Caribbean Carnival, formerly known as Caribana, is a festival of Caribbean culture and traditions held each summer in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is a pan-Caribbean Carnival event and has been billed as North America’s largest street festival, frequented by over 1.3 million visitors each year for the festival’s final parade and an overall attendance of 2 million.
Beginning in July, the multi-week festivities lead up to the parade which occurs over the Simcoe Day long weekend which occurs on the first weekend in August. The festival also coincides with August 1, which is also known as Emancipation Day for U.S. and Caribbean people starting in 1800. The main stakeholders of the events are the Toronto Mas’ Bands Association, the Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes, and the Ontario Steelpan Association.
06. Toronto International Film Festival
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF, often stylized as tiff) is one of the largest publicly attended film festivals in the world, attracting over 480,000 people annually. Since its founding in 1976, TIFF has grown to become a permanent destination for film culture operating out of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, located in Downtown Toronto. TIFF’s mission is “to transform the way people see the world through film”.
Year-round, the TIFF Bell Lightbox offers screenings, lectures, discussions, festivals, workshops, industry support, and the chance to meet filmmakers from Canada and around the world. TIFF Bell Lightbox is located on the north west corner of King Street and John Street in downtown Toronto.
Founded in 1976, TIFF is now one of the largest and most prestigious events of its kind in the world. In 1998, Variety acknowledged that TIFF “is second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars, and market activity”. In 2007, Time noted that TIFF had “grown from its place as the most influential fall film festival to the most influential film festival, period”. This is partially the result of the festival’s ability and reputation for generating “Oscar buzz”.
07. Quebec City Summer Festival
This event is an annual 11-day music festival in downtown Quebec City normally starting on the first Thursday of July. With its 135,000 passes sold, a total attendance of about 1.5 million festival-goers years in year out, and its hundreds of performances spread over a dozen venues, the festival has established itself as a major player on the music festival circuit.
The festival grew substantially during the last decade after its decision to diversify its music offering and go after international headliners from genres across the board, including rock music, punk, hip-hop, classical music, francophone music, world music, and most recently electronic music.
08. Montreal International Jazz Festival
Montreal International Jazz Festival is an annual jazz festival held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Jazz Fest holds the 2004 Guinness World Record as the world’s largest jazz festival. Every year it features roughly 3,000 artists from 30-odd countries, more than 650 concerts (including 450 free outdoor performances), and welcomes over 2 million visitors (12.5% of whom are tourists) as well as 300 accredited journalists. The festival takes place at 20 different stages, which include free outdoor stages and indoor concert halls.
A major part of the city’s downtown core is closed to traffic for ten days, as free outdoor shows are open to the public and held on many stages at the same time, from noon until midnight. The “festival’s Big Event concerts typically draw between 100,000 and 150,000 people”, and can occasionally exceed 200,000. Shows are held in a wide variety of venues, from relatively small jazz clubs to the large concert halls of Place des Arts. Some of the outdoor shows are held on the cordoned-off streets, while others are in terraced parks.
09. Pride Toronto
Pride Toronto is an annual event held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in June each year. A celebration of the diversity of the LGBT community in the Greater Toronto Area, it is one of the largest organized gay pride festivals in the world, featuring several stages with live performers and DJs, several licensed venues, a large Dyke March, a Trans March and the Pride Parade. The centre of the festival is the city’s Church and Wellesley village, while the parade and marches are primarily routed along the nearby Yonge Street, Gerrard Street and Bloor Street. In 2014, the event served as the fourth international WorldPride, and was much larger than standard Toronto Prides.
The event is organized by Pride Toronto, a non-profit organization. A growing complement of fourteen staff support the work of 22 festival teams; each team is responsible for an aspect of the festival. Each team was formerly administered by two or three volunteer team leads; in 2019, the decision was made to strip that down to one lead per team in favour of a staff-centered approach. The long-term vision for, and strategic oversight of, the organization and the festival is intended to be managed by 12 volunteers on the board of directors. As of March 2020, the board consists of six members.
10. Pacific National Exhibition
The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) is a nonprofit organization that operates an annual 15-day summer fair, 10-day winter fair, a seasonal amusement park, and indoor arenas in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The PNE fair is held at Hastings Park, beginning in mid-to-late August and ending in early September, usually Labour Day, and in mid-December until Christmas.
The organization was established in 1907 as the Vancouver Exhibition Association, and organized its first fair at Hastings Park in 1910. The organization was renamed to the Pacific National Exhibition in 1946. During the mid-20th century, a number of facilities were built on the PNE grounds, including Pacific Coliseum and the PNE Agrodome. In 1993, the amusement park adjacent to the PNE, Playland, became a division of the PNE.