These Can’t Miss Events Will Have You Racing To Canada For The Country’s 150th Birthday

Our neighbors to the north have a lot advantages for the weary traveler. They’re close, so transport is cheap. The currency exchange rate is in our favor — so it’s like everything is 25% off. And the country has a balance of cosmopolitan cities filled with art, history, and bad-ass food nestled right beside some of the most stunning and wild open spaces on the whole damn planet.

This year, Canada is turning 150 years old and they’re planning to party. Because they are courteous as all hell, they’ve made a handy app so that we can follow along with all the events nationwide. Below the 10 events you shouldn’t dare miss, eh?

MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE — February 23rd to March 11th

Every late winter Montreal comes to life with lights, food, art, and music. Nightly during the festival, there are performances from clowning troops to rock bands across the city. Some of Canada’s best chefs descend on the city to highlight the absolute most stunning aspects of Quebecois and Canadian cuisine. And the cherry on the top are the lights which turn the city into living art show every night.

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Rock on ! #MTLenLumiere

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TORONTO LIGHT FEST — through March 12th

We’ve already highlighted why Toronto needs to be on your travel radar in 2017. The Toronto Light Fest in the Distillery District should only add to your desire to hit Canada’s big city this year. The light fest is all about the art and making said art with light in creative and sometimes head-scratching ways. There may not be the ancillary events around this fest like in Montreal, but you’re still in Toronto which has an amazing food and cultural scene to warm you up after strolling through all that art made of light.


Traveling for a wholly unique culinary experience is one of the best reasons to travel. When that culinary experience also includes trucking across the frozen arctic tundra, meeting polar bears, and possibly seeing the aurora borealis then it becomes an absolute bucket list item. Frontiers North Adventures has just that trip — culminating in a once in a lifetime dining experience in an abandoned fort on the ice.


Another food adventure awaits you in Nova Scotia. The island is famous for the abundance of cold-water seafood that local fishermen pull from the sea daily. Now you can plan an entire vacation around eating your way around the whole island through Nova Scotia’s Culinary Trails. Maybe bring loose fitting pants for this one.

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Smoking the maple glazed salmon on tonight's NS Seafood Board….

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Ottawa is celebrating Canada’s 150th all year with various festivals and parties in Canada’s capital city. The biggest celebration is reserved for July 1st, or Canada Day. And why not go to the nation’s capital on their most important day. There’s sure to be music, art, food, and fireworks galore as Canada wishes itself a very happy birthday.

QUÉBEC CITY TALL SHIPS — July 18th to 23rd

It’s the pirate life for all of us this summer. The Tall Ships tour the world and this year’s stop in Quebec City will be extra jubilant as they help celebrate Canada’s 150th. You can learn to sail, crew a ship, tie knots, or just kick back and enjoy the view. Or you can indulge your inner Jack Sparrow and take to the high seas.


Saskatchewan is the bread basket of Canada. Grains are king and where there’s grain, there are stills making spirits. You could spend a month traveling around the province tasting different, and new distiller’s concoctions. Last Mountain, Lucky Bastard, and Black Fox Farm are all locally owned and operated and a perfect place to start your discovery of Canada’s whiskey.

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Whisky night #farmtoflask #saskatooning

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Rounding out Canada’s birthday month is a symphonic set of concerts to indulge the classical side of your artistic soul. This event isn’t about sitting in some stuffy auditorium. Oh, no. What sets Victoria Symphony Splash apart is that it’s a massive outdoor concert on the water where you can kayak, surf, or boat up to the stage and listen to a night’s worth of classic music capped off with a massive fireworks display over the harbor.


This festival is fairly new to scene and celebrates street art across Vancouver. Each festival kicks off by inviting artists from all over the world to paint some seriously awesome murals around the city. Then the whole event comes together for a night of music, food, and partying — last year Andrew W.K. headlined, so, yeah, that’s a party.

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@cosimocheone ftw in Nerviano, Italy 2016

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PARKS CANADA — Year round

Lastly we have a year round opportunity for adventure waiting for you across the whole of Canada. Parks Canada is the home to breathtaking natural wonders and historical monuments from coast to coast to coast. And the best part…Parks Canada is free for all entries to their national parks, marine conservation areas, and national historical sites in 2017. You can’t just show up and expect to get in for free, you have to apply for a Parks Canada Discovery Pass on their website, but it’s easy. Seriously, what are you waiting for?