Canadians have always found ways to enjoy our winters, and winter has become part of our national identity (even when we curse having to scrape our windshields or navigate slippery sidewalks). Hockey games, tobogganing, snow ball fights, or a good old-fashioned frolic in the snow feature in many of our childhood memories.
We’ve compiled a list of five festivals across the country that celebrate the beauty, fun, and culture of our most famous season.
- Niagara Icewine Festival, Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario
Ontario’s Niagara region is well known for its many vineyards. Wine tasting is one the of the top tourist activities in the region. Over three weekends the Niagara Icewine Festival features an outdoor street festival, concerts, a cocktail making competition, and most importantly, ice wine tasting. The festival takes place from January 12-28th.
2. In the Dead of Winter – Halifax, Nova Scotia
This is one of the coolest (no pun intended) winter festivals of the year for musicians and music lovers. In the Dead of Winter brings songwriters from across Canada and the U.S. together to showcase their work. This is an amazing professional opportunity for songwriters and a really fun chance for music lovers to check out some up and coming artists. The festival runs from January 18-20th.
3. Ice Magic Festival – Lake Louise, Alberta
Lake Louise is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Banff National Park. The stunning view of the lake and glacier have appeared on many a postcard. The Ice Magic Festival is an ice carving competition with sculptures displayed on the frozen lake. You can even interact with the artists if you visit the festival on January 18th and 19th while the artists are working. The festival takes place from January 18-28th.
4. Carnaval de Québec – Québec City, Québec
No list would be complete without the Carnaval de Québec. This is perhaps Canada’s most famous winter festival with its iconic Bonhomme de Neige character. It’s a showcase of Québecois culture and well worth checking out. The festival includes ice skating, a night parade, the Bonhomme’s Ice Palace, music, and much more. It runs from January 26-February 11.
5. Festival du Voyageur – Winnipeg, Manitoba
Festival du Voyageur began in 1970, and it celebrates French, Métis, and First Nations culture in Manitoba. The festival features historical interpretations at Fort Gibraltar, local cuisine, music, and much more. One of the most unique events is the beard growing competition! The festival runs from February 16-25th.
Don’t see your city’s festival on the list? Drop us a line on our Facebook page, and we’ll be happy to promote it!