- International Busker Festival (Halifax, Nova Scotia): In early August, the 10-day International Busker Festival brings together talented street performers from around the world, performing in their natural habitat. Best of all, it's free.
- Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival (St. John's, Newfoundland): How did such a remote island develop such a deep talent pool? That's one of the questions you'll ponder while tapping your feet at this 3-day festival, which is laden with local talent. It's cheap, folksy, and fun.
- Montréal Jazz Festival (Montréal, Québec): The city has a long tradition in jazz, and this enormously successful July festival has been celebrating America's art form since 1979. Spread out over 11 days, close to 150 indoor shows are scheduled. Wynton Marsalis, Harry Connick, Jr., and even Bob Dylan have been featured in recent years, with smaller shows that highlight everything from Dixieland to the most experimental.
- Carnaval de Québec (Québec): Never mind that temperatures in Québec can plummet in February to -40°F (-40°C). Canadians happily pack the family up to come out and play for the 17 days of the city's winter festival. There's a monumental ice palace, dog-sled racing, ice sculptures competitions, outdoor hot-tubbing, zip-line rides over crowds, and dancing at night at outdoor concerts.
- Toronto International Film Festival (Ontario): Second only to Cannes, this film festival draws Hollywood's leading luminaries to town for 10 days in early September; more than 250 films are on show.
- Stratford Festival (Ontario): This world-famous festival of superb repertory theater, launched by Tyrone Guthrie in 1953, has featured major players such as the late Sir Alec Guinness, Christopher Plummer, Dame Maggie Smith, and the late Sir Peter Ustinov. Productions, which run from May to October or early November on four stages, range from classic to contemporary. You can also participate in informal discussions with company members.
- Festival du Voyageur (Winnipeg, Manitoba): There's no better antidote to February cabin fever than a midwinter festival, and this is western Canada's largest. The festival celebrates the French-Canadian trappers and explorers called voyageurs who traveled the waterways of Canada in canoes. Held in St. Boniface (Winnipeg's French Quarter), the festival brings together traditional French-Canadian food, music, and high spirits.
- Calgary Stampede (Alberta): In all North America, there's nothing quite 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. In early July, all of Calgary is converted into a party, and everyone's invited.
- Celebration of Light (Vancouver, British Columbia): This 4-night fireworks extravaganza in late July and early August (www.vancouverfireworks.ca) takes place over English Bay. Three of the world's leading 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. Up to 500,000 people show up each night. The best seats are at the "Bard on the Beach" Shakespeare festival across False Creek.
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.