Winters in Canada are no tropical vacation but making the most out of the cold months is what Canadians are good at, of course with all the practice, it’d be hard not to be. Rather than hiding away inside the cozy home next to the burning logs on the fire and wishing for spring to come sooner, Canadians bundle up, embrace the cold and even celebrate it with fun festivals.
No matter where you live in Canada, you are bound to come across some sort of winter festival whether it be involving winter sports, music or Canadian culture and tradition. While some parts of Canada experience more extreme winter conditions than others, the Canadian spirit runs across the country and frigid conditions can’t even hinder the fun and celebrations.
From the west coast of Canada to the east, here are a few winter festivals you won’t want to miss this winter.
• World Ski & Snowboard Festival – British Columbia
April 7 – April 16, 2017
Ten days of music, art, films, fashion, sports and mountain life, Whistler’s World Ski & Snowboard Festival is more than just winter sport competitions. Enjoy live music from the free outdoor concerts that go on all week long. Don’t forget to grab a schedule so you don’t miss your favourite bands. If you’re not into music or the snow sports, no problem! There are also film showings and art exhibits so everyone can enjoy the festival.
• Sourdough Rendezvous – Yukon
February 17 – February 26, 2017
The Yukon Territory has their own name for someone who has braved an entire winter in the Yukon from the “freeze up to the thaw” and this festival is a time to celebrate these folks; the sourdoughs. The Sourdough Rendezvous festival is inspired by the gold rush and is a chance for all the sourdoughs to leave their cabins, release some energy, and enjoy some time outside mingling with neighbours and friends. During the festival there are multiple events to watch to get everyone hyped up. These events include a flour packing competition, an axe toss, a chainsaw chuck and log splitting. For those with young children who need to burn off some energy, there are child-safe events for the kids too.
• Ice on Whyte Festival – Alberta
February 2 – February 5, 2017
Enjoy warm beverages by the fire, listen to live music or play in the kids zone, the Ice on Whyte festival is a fun way to get the family out and enjoy the beauty of winter. Watch the masterpieces evolve as teams of professional ice carving artists transform blocks of ice into magical masterpieces. Come back each weekend to observe the changes and see how nature transforms the ice creations into beautiful works of ‘performance art’.
• Winterlude – Ontario
February 3 – February 20, 2017
Taking place over three weekends in the month of February, Ottawa’s Winterlude festival is a great chance to get the whole family out for some winter fun and festivities. Enjoy free outdoor concerts, ice sculptures and even be a part of the outdoor dance party. Each weekend has an assortment of events you won’t want to miss that are exciting for the entire family. If you can’t make it on the weekend but you’ve got free time during the week, you can head to the Snowflake Kingdom with your little ones and play on the snow playground. For the foodies in your family, you won’t have a hard tie dragging them along to this festival as you can find multiple unique, culinary events each weekend. So whether you’re looking to check out some ice sculptures, learn some new food and beverage pairings or you just want to get in some ice skating, Winterlude is a festival you won’t want to miss.
• Igloofest – Quebec
January 12 – February 19, 2017
Layer up in your best retro ski gear and head for the crowds at Montreal’s Igloofest. The hottest outdoor winter, music festival, Igloofest has been going on every year for the last 11 years. If you’re a fan of electric music, you won’t want to miss these performances which which are located in Montreal’s Old Port. Taking place across six weekends, there are endless chances to discover new electronic DJs both local and international so mark your calendar and don’t miss out. *Cover Photo Credit: art_Inthecity