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Canadian Festivals and Cultural Attractions

Updated: April 6th, 2021

As a multicultural country, Canada has many exciting festivals and cultural attractions that take place throughout the year.

If you are new to Canada or a particular province, there are many ways of finding out where the latest activities are taking place. Have a look in your local newspaper, do your research online and listen to the radio for updated information. Your neighbors and local community centers can also be a great source of information.


Canada has many thrilling and unique events and festivals to celebrate the changing of seasons, the history of the country, and the many special people that make up this diverse country.

Canadian National Exhibition

Every August for eighteen days, the Canadian National exhibition takes place in Ontario. 2020 will be only the second time in the fair's 142 year history that the event will not be going ahead due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The last time the fair was cancelled was in World War 2 from 1942 to 1946. The 2021 National Exhibition promises to be bigger than ever; showcasing amusement rides, carnival games, delicious food stalls, live entertainment, agricultural displays, sporting events, and much more.

Toronto Film Festival

Every September, thousands of local and international actors, journalists, directors, and the general public flock to Toronto for one of the biggest film festivals in the world. Over a period of 11 days, the best in cinema is screened for the first time, generating Oscar buzz and attracting some of the biggest names in the film industry. This festival is perfect for those interested in the beauty and craft of international film. 

Winterlude, Ottawa

At the beginning of each year, when the Rideau Canal has frozen over and the snow has covered the city, the Winterlude Festival begins. This winter celebration brings visitors of all ages to the canal where people can go ice-skating and take part in ice-hockey games, while the most fascinating sights are the unique ice sculptures. These works of art see over 600 000 visitors every year and include sculptures of people, animals, and fantasy creatures.

Calgary exhibition and stampede, Calgary

This is one of the biggest events in the country and has been labelled the “Greatest outdoor show on Earth”, attracting over 1 million people every July. The 10-day event is a celebration of the western lifestyle that made its way to Calgary over 100 years ago. Visitors can expect rodeos, a parade, concerts, agricultural competitions, and many other historical events. 

Museums in Canada

Canada is immersed in a rich cultural history and there is no better way to appreciate this than with a visit to one of the many internationally-rated museums across the country.

Royal British Columbia Museum

Founded in 1886, this museum offers some of the biggest and most impressive displays of artifacts, documents, and specimens found in British Columbia and the rest of Canada. The internationally renowned museum has one of the largest archaeological collections in the province with over 19 200 artifacts in total. There are always new collections and exhibitions taking place at the museum, as well as many kids’ activities to keep the entire family entertained.

Art Gallery

National Gallery of Canada

One of the biggest galleries in Canada, the National Gallery is situated in the capital city of Ottawa, Ontario. The gallery has many spectacular displays of international drawings, photography, sculpture, and paintings, but specializes in Canadian work and artists. Notable internationally recognized artworks include work from Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and Pablo Picasso.   

For more information about festivals, events, and cultural attractions in Canada, you can visit these websites: 

Art Galleries: Artcyclopedia

Festivals: Lonely planet - best festivals 

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