The diversity of Canadian culture is a fascinating one. In this single country alone, residents speak two different official languages, cities have six different time zones, and just about every corner of Canada has immigrants from different countries around the world. If you want to savor this diversity in culture, it would be a great idea to experience a Canadian festival or two. These festivals offer so much variety depending when and where you visit in Canada. Some of the options include prairie cowboys, Celtic fiddlers, dancing aboriginals, and bohemian jazz musicians! Below are five interesting Canadian festivals you can consider on your next Canadian trip.
The Calgary Stampede could probably be one of the best outdoor shows in the world. Daily rodeo shows offer a dizzying lineup of chuck wagon races, steer wrestling, bucking broncos, and even a grandstand show. The city offers every guest a free cowboy hat as well as free pancake breakfasts. The Calgary Stampede has had its share of criticism from animal rights groups and humane society activists because the stampede usually puts down a number of animals every year after suffering from serious injuries brought about by the shows. The activists are opposed to exposing animals to harm and danger just for human entertainment. If you are planning to visit Calgary for this festival, make sure to book ahead of time for good accommodations.
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
Founded in 1976, the TIFF has grown to become a key global player in the world film industry. It is the crowning jewel of the Toronto festival circuit. This destination attracts more than 400,000 cine-fans who look forward to the 10-day run of newly featured films from around the globe. If you would like to take part in the cinematic affair, you must book ahead as screening tickets and other related events really sell fast. Who knows, you might just have a glimpse of your favorite celebrities in the TIFF?
The Stratford Festival had very humble beginnings, in a tent at Queen’s Park. Today, the Stratford Festival boasts of four theaters that host dramas, plays, and opera, both contemporary and period. Aside from the plays, there are other interesting programs such as backstage tours, concerts, and post-performance discussions. Some of these are free. If you want to join the theater frenzy, make sure to take advantage of 30% to 50% discounts offered during spring previews and fall end-of-season shows.
Fall Flavors at Charlottetown
The Fall Flavors Festival is a month-long event held in Charlottetown. It is one of the island’s most abundant food and kitchen party festivals that attempts to mix traditional music with fantastic cuisine. Two of the most interesting showstoppers here are the oyster-shucking championship and the chowder challenge.
Canadian Tulip Festival
This beautiful tulip festival is held in Ottawa, Canada’s capital. You will find more than 200 species of tulips in a variety of vibrant colors. The story of the festival began in 1945 when a Dutch royal family gifted the city of Ottawa with more than 100,000 tulip bulbs for their help in sheltering their Princess during the war. Since then, Ottawa has grown even more tulips and has added parades, dances, concerts, and fireworks to complement the flower festival.