MAKE A DATE FOR BULLS OR BALLOONS
From icewine and cool jazz to rodeos and comedy, Canadians sure love their festivals
Just For Laughs Festival When: July 2008 Where: Montreal Why go? About 2000 performers fill the streets of Montreal for this raucous festival; half of the events are free. More: www.hahaha.com. Toronto International Film Festival When: September 6-15 Where: Toronto Why go? If you like movies, parties and celebrity sightings, this is the place to be. World premieres, the glitterati and lots of stardust are on hand for this popular event, along with the screening of 300 movies from 50 countries. More: www.torontointernationalfilmfestival.ca. Okanagan Fall Wine Festival When: September 28 to October 7 Where: Okanagan Valley, British Columbia Why go? Discover the taste of a unique wine region. Tours, competitions and wine tastings abound at this autumn festival in British Columbia’s famed winegrowing region. More: www.owfs.com. Calgary Stampede When: July 2008 Where: Calgary, Alberta Why go? If you like rodeos, cowboys and livestock, this is the hottest ticket in town. More than just a show, the Calgary Stampede has rodeo events, a parade, races and night events with bands, clowns and dancers. More: www.calgarystampede.com. Niagara Icewine Festival When: January Where: Niagara Falls, Ontario Why go? If you like icewine, wine tours and tastings, this is for you. The 10-day festival includes frozengrape picking, dinners with winemakers, concerts, tours and tastings of fastest-growing export. More: www.niagaraicewinefestival.com. Edmonton International Fringe Festival When: August 16-26 Where: Edmonton, Alberta Why go? About 150 troupes from across the world entertain 600,000 spectators. The festival’s 13 indoor and two outdoor stages spotlight 1000 individual performances. The festival hosts food and craft booths, street performers and beer tents. More: www.fringetheatreadventures.ca. Atlantic International Balloon Fiesta When: September 7-9 Where: Sussex, New Brunswick Why go? An awesome spectacle of 30 hot-air balloons, craft fair and nonstop entertainment for a flying fiesta of fun. More: www.atlanticballoonfiesta.ca. Festival International de Jazz de Montreal When: Late June 2008 Where: Montreal Why go? More than 2000 musicians entertain one million people at this nine-day jazz extravaganza. Jazz is the focus, but musicians also play reggae, world beat and experimental. More: www.montrealjazzfest.com. Winter Carnaval de Quebec When: Winter Where: Quebec City Why go? The largest carnival of its kind in the world, with an ice palace as the centrepiece. There are night parades, concerts, sleigh rides, dogsledding, ice-skating and snow sculptures galore. More: www.carnaval.qc.ca.
Running hot: Atlantic International Balloon Fiesta