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Check Out Our Favourite Summer Events Across Canada

Now that spring has sprung, we’re all daydreaming about our summer plans. To get you started on your summer bucket list, here are a few fun and unique events across Canada we think you should check out this summer.

Montréal Jazz Festival – June 27 to July 6

What do you get when you combine the best jazz musicians in the world with arguably the most vibrant city in North America? A festival not to be missed! Ranked as the world’s largest jazz festival, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal has been going strong for nearly 40 years. Showcasing a fantastic array of musical acts and cultural events, the festival takes place right in the heart of beautiful downtown Montreal.

Official Canada Day Celebrations in Ottawa – July 1

The grand poohbah of all Canadian summer events is the official Canada Day Celebrations on Parliament Hill, in our nation’s capital. With Canadian music and cultural performances all day long and a spectacular fireworks show, there’s a reason this is on many people’s bucket lists.

Calgary Stampede – July 5 to 14

Billed as ‘the greatest outdoor show on earth’ this world-famous rodeo and celebration of western culture has been going strong since 1912. With over $2 million in prize money, the Stampede is the world’s richest tournament-style rodeo, attracting the best competitors from around the globe. In addition to the rodeo, there is a parade, a wide variety of agricultural displays, a midway, nightly concerts, and a bevy of creative fair foods.

Bathtub Races and Marine Festival in Nanaimo – July 19 to 24

You’ve never seen bathtubs like this before! Started in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s 100th birthday, the original race went across the Georgia Straight from the Nanaimo harbour to Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach. In recent years the race has been modified to start and finish in Nanaimo, but it has maintained its unique charm. In addition to the famous race, this weekend-long event includes a parade, concerts, a street fair, kids activities, a fireworks display, numerous food vendors, and a beer garden.

Collingwood Elvis Festival – July 26 to 28

The ‘king’ of summer festivals is the annual Elvis Festival in Collingwood, Ontario. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, this festival is a celebration of all things Elvis. Numerous performances culminate in a grand finale with the winner going on to the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Memphis, Tennessee.

Honda Celebration of Light Vancouver – July 27, July 31, and Aug 3

For me, there is no festival that encapsulates the feeling of summer like the Celebration of Light. This musical fireworks competition held every year in English Bay since 1990, happens at the peak of summer, when the weather is perfect for spending the evening at the beach with a picnic. If communing with the masses isn’t your idea of a good time, there are multiple ticketed venues where you can enjoy reserved seating and catered food and beverages.

Symphony Splash in Victoria – August 4

Pack a picnic and meet me on the lawn of the Provincial Legislature in Victoria’s Inner Harbour for the 30th annual Victoria Symphony Splash. From a floating stage in the Inner Harbour, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra and special guests perform a variety of music, ending each year with a grand finale performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture paired with a fabulous fireworks show.

Winnipeg Folklorama – August 4 to 17

Celebrate life and culture with world-class entertainment, delicious authentic food and beautiful cultural displays at Folklorama, the largest and longest-running multicultural festival of its kind in the world.  With traditional performers and authentic ethnic cuisine from all around the globe, there’s something for everyone!
*Wells Gray Tours will be visiting this event in summer 2020, so get on our interested list now!

Toronto Caribbean Carnival – July 7 to August 11

The Toronto Caribbean Carnival is four weeks of Caribbean music, cuisine, and revelry that draws over two million visitors annually. It is the largest cultural event in Canada and the largest outdoor festival in North America. With numerous performances and events celebrating Caribbean culture, the highlight of the Carnival is the Grande Parade, a masquerade and steel drum spectacle that can’t be missed.

Are there any fantastic events we missed? We’d love to hear which summer festivals and events are your favourites.


Join Wells Gray Tours as we experience some super summer events in 2019!

This summer we’ll be taking in Canada Day in Ottawa and the Calgary Stampede. Or if you’d like to see how our neighbours south of the border celebrate, then join us as we visit New York City during July the 4th.

June 24, 2019 – 9 days

Celebrate Canada’s 152nd birthday in the Nation’s Capital! We spend three nights in Montreal, two nights in Kingston, and three nights in Ottawa giving you enough time to explore each city. We explore vibrant Montreal with a locally-guided tour and a visit to the Maison Saint Gabriel National Historic Site. In Kingston, Canada’s first capital city, we visit Fort Henry, tour the Canadian Penitentiary Museum, and take a dinner cruise through the 1000 Islands. In Ottawa we enjoy a guided tour of the Parliament Buildings, visit the Canadian Museum of History, shop at bustling Byward Market, and experience the official Canada Day celebrations.
Itinerary from BC Interior
Itinerary from Victoria
Itinerary from Greater Vancouver

July 4, 2019 – 5 Days

Pull on your jeans and boots, don your cowboy hat, and get ready for a yee-haw good time at the annual Calgary Stampede! There is so much to see and do: wander through the barns to view the prize-winning animals, thrill to the rides on the midway, admire some of the greatest western artists in the world, explore the native village, live it up at Nashville North, visit the agricultural shows, and enjoy non-stop live entertainment throughout the day and night. We have included reserved seats to the premier Stampede events: the kick-off parade, the thrilling afternoon rodeo, and the spectacular evening chuckwagon races and stage show. Enjoy a leisurely drive home via Radium Hot Springs and Kootenay National Park.
Itinerary from BC Interior
Itinerary from Victoria
Itinerary from Greater Vancouver

July 2, 2019 —7 days

The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, the American Museum of Natural History, Top of the Rock, Macy’s Fifth Avenue, the Radio City Rockettes, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ground Zero, Times Square, Broadway, and Wall Street—The list of world-famous sights and experiences in New York City is long and Wells Gray Tours is proud to take you there. This tour has lots of options with a balance of organized activities and free time to help you maximize your exploration during your stay. We have included a two-day hop-on hop-off double-decker bus pass as well as two Broadway musicals. This year we are lucky enough to be there for the 4th of July celebrations!
Itinerary from BC Interior
Itinerary from Victoria
Itinerary from Greater Vancouver


Written by: Pam Jensen