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Canadian summer festivals you should check out

Get outside and soak up the culture this summer with Canada’s best festivals! Make it a road trip or a weekender, take the whole family or go with your partner, but just have fun with it.

Our Lady Peace performing at an outdoor concert

Our Lady Peace performing in Toronto, Canada

Osheaga Music Festival, Montreal, Quebec

This is a relatively new but growing music festival situated in the wonderful Parc Jean-Drapeau on Saint Helen’s Island. It samples artists from the Canadian obscure to world-renowned, which is perfect for any music lover. This year Osheaga boasts names like The Cure, Mumford & Sons, Phoenix, Kendrick Lamar, Jimmy Eat World and many more. The festival will run from August 2–4, and tickets are still available. It’s a great experience in one of the most beautiful cities in North America, so we recommend you check it out. This festival is very lively and would be great for groups, couples and even singles, but not so great for the kids (unless they’re teenagers).

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Calgary Stampede, Calgary, Alberta

This is a festival and rodeo all wrapped into one giant “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” The Stampede features a rodeo (of course!), concerts, competitions, parades and beautiful First Nations exhibitions. This year the festival will feature concerts by Tim McGraw, KISS and the Dixie Chicks. The Stampede will run from July 5–14, so if you’re looking for some wholesome family fun with a bit of prairie charm, look no further.

Caribana, Toronto, Ontario

Caribana or Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto is the largest street festival in North America and celebrates Caribbean culture. It draws in millions of people every year and features incredible dancers as well as amazingly intricate costume designs. This year Caribana will host a Junior Carnival, a Summertime Barbeque and the Grand Parade. The festival will run from July 9 to August 4. There’s a lot of colour, flavour and life in Caribana, so if you have the chance, definitely stop by. Considering the presence of partial nudity, you might want to leave the wee ones at home for this.

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Khatsahlano! Music + Art Festival, Vancouver, British Columbia

It bills itself as Vancouver’s biggest outdoor music event, and the best part? It’s free! Khatsahlano features great local artisans, amazing street performers and a huge street fair. This year the festival promises 12 stages and a roundup of the hottest indie bands. This fest is on for one day only — July 13 — so if you’re in the area and want to soak up the crème de la crème of Vancouver with your family, check out Khatsahlano.

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Photo courtesy of Daniel Alvarado /

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