The Winter Carnival, Quebec
This festival runs for the last two weeks in February and if you are going to be in Canada around this time, it is well worth a look. Somewhat akin to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans but with a little more clothing, the festival treats you to ice sculptures, parades and a canoe race across the mighty St. Lawrence. The highlight for many visitors to the festival is a huge castle sculpted entirely from ice, for the others it’s the potent whisky and red wine mixture that the locals call Caribou.
The stampede takes place in July of each year in Calgary which is situated in Alberta in the western part of the country. Not only is it the worlds largest rodeo, but it also offers visitors a series of concerts, carnivals and street parades as well as an open-air casino where everyone can see you squander your precious Canadian dollars. The festival takes over the whole town for the month that it is taking place ensuring that Calgary is the place to see if you are in Canada at the right time.
International Jazz Festival
Taking place for ten days in June in Montreal and Quebec, this is an ultimate must see for all the jazz fans among you. This particular festival has been in existence since 1979 and attracts leading jazz musicians from all over the world. But, if you are traveling on a shoestring budget and are worried about the cost of tickets you do not to worry for a second longer. Hundreds of free outdoor concerts take place while the big names are performing inside meaning you do not have to spend a penny. And, if you simply cannot make it to this then check out the Ottawa Jazz Festival in July which is on a somewhat smaller scale but almost as much fun.
Pub Scene in Canada
Most pubs and bars in Canada are generous enough to offer the clientele a happy hour (usually lasts anything up to three hours) where you might get two bottles of beer for the price of one or some other such treat. And, while the pub scene varies greatly, from the punk hangouts in Quebec to the fact that no alcohol is served after 2.00am in Toronto, there is one thing that you can be sure of. No matter where you go to enjoy a social beverage in Canada, you will find a good place to hang out and relax at the end of a long day of sightseeing, shopping or skiing.
Symphony of Fire
This takes place over four nights in Vancouver in British Columbia and as far as fireworks displays go, you really will not see much better than this. Last year over half a million people showed up every night to see the three contestants perform. These guys are the world's leading manufacturers and are invited to represent their countries against one another to see who can put on the most spectacular show. It will literally blow your mind.