- Vancouver's Three F Festivals: The Folk, the Fringe, and the Film are the three F's in question. The Folk Fest brings folk and world-beat music to a waterfront stage in Jericho Park. The setting is gorgeous, the music great, and the crowd something else. Far more urban is the Fringe, a festival of new and original plays that takes place in the arty Commercial Drive area. The plays are wonderfully inventive; better yet, they're short and cheap. In October, the films of the world come to Vancouver. Serious film buffs buy a pass and see all 500 flicks (or as many as they can before their eyeballs fall out).
- Celebration of Light (Vancouver): This 3-night fireworks extravaganza takes place over English Bay in Vancouver. Three of the world's leading fireworks manufacturers are invited to represent their countries in competition against one another, setting their best displays to music. On the fourth night, all three companies launch their finales.
- Market in the Park (Salt Spring Island): The little village of Ganges fills to bursting every Saturday morning, as local farmers, craftspeople, and flea marketers gather to talk, trade, and mill aimlessly. With all ages of hippies, sturdy housewives, fashion-conscious Eurotrash, and rich celebrities all mixed together, the event has the feel of a weird and benevolent ritual.
- World Championship Bathtub Race (Nanaimo): Imagine guiding a claw-foot tub across the 58km (36-mile) Georgia Strait from Nanaimo to Vancouver: That's how this hilarious and goofily competitive boat race began. Nowadays, dozens of tubbers attempt the crossing as part of July's weeklong Marine Festival, with a street fair, parade, and ritual boat burning and fireworks display.
- Calgary Stampede: In all of North America, there's nothing like the Calgary Stampede. Of course it's the world's largest rodeo, but it's also a series of concerts, an art show, an open-air casino, a carnival, a street dance -- you name it, it's undoubtedly going on somewhere here. In July, all of Calgary is a party -- and you're invited.
- Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival (Edmonton): Every August, Edmonton plays host to North America's largest fringe theater festival, an 11-day spectacular offering theatrics, performance, and a nonstop street party atmosphere. The festival attracts 150 theater companies and performing troupes from around the world, plus an audience of over 600,000.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.