Thanks to the hard work of our employees and the collaboration of our many partners, we have successfully implemented many different programs, ranging from the training of Crees for skilled jobs with Hydro-Quebec (over 50 Crees now occupy permanent positions), the rejuvenation of Cree community and family fisheries, the support of numerous cultural activities including summer gatherings and the enhancement of goose hunting facilities. This is not to mention the hundreds of kilometres of snowmobile and ATV trails already built throughout Eeyou Istchee.
On its 20th anniversary, Niskamoon Corporation salutes The Nation magazine and wishes it many more years of success and positive change.
Gearing up to chill out
The ultimate planning guide to Quebec’s festival season this summer
While many Crees are still out in the bush getting their first taste of the easier living that comes with warmer weather, the Nation has already set its sights on the future to help you plan out your vacation time.
For some individuals summertime is all about living slower while vacationing and indulging in the best of what the season has to offer. For others, the downtime is limited and so maximizing that time off is all about careful planning.
Whether you are looking for a family getaway, urban excitement, rural adventures, artistic expressions or a romantic excursion, the province of Quebec has it all.
From festivals new and old, circus acts, athletic events, dancing, drama, culinary celebrations and so much more, the Nation has gathered all the information to help you spice it up, chill out, get your toes tapping and fill your heart with joy.
The only problem you might find is that there is just too much to choose from.
On behalf of the Nation, happy vacationing and enjoy!
Montreal Events & Festivals
Ultimately the cultural hub of Quebec, if not Canada, Montreal has its own unique flavour when it comes to arts, culture and celebrating.
While the warmer weather ushers in all of the usual trappings of a Montreal summer with major events like the Jazz Festival, Just for Laughs and Osheaga, be on the lookout for a series of new events happening in the city this year that are guaranteed to wow. With a sketch comedy festival, a circus festival, the return of Lilith Fair and a few other surprises, Montreal has a large bag of riches to offer lucky visitors and locals over the coming months.
The Montreal Sketch Comedy Festival
With the plethora of major big-budget events that this fine city has to offer, sometimes it’s the smaller festival that really has the pulse on raw talent and up-and-coming stars.
The Montreal Sketch Comedy Fest brings the best of improvisational and sketch comedy together from May 19-23 at Théâtre Ste-Catherine. This small-scale festival attracts comedy troupes from across Canada, the U.S. and Europe for five nights of bilingual laughs.
Starting at 8pm every night, why not kick off your fun season with some light-hearted humour.
A celebration of international contemporary dance and theatre is what is at the heart of the Festival TransAmériques for all those who love strong works on the cutting edge.
Bringing together performers, writers, choreographers and directors from 17 cities, a dozen countries and four continents, this high art festival runs for 17 days and nights in theatres all over Montreal and on outdoor stages under the sun or stars.
While the art of performance is what the festival is all about, what is unique about this particular event is that it brings together the performers and those behind-the-scenes with the audience to dialogue about the art of art.
Featuring a series of workshops, debates and roundtable discussions, this festival serves up entertainment and talk time for everyone.
Running from May 26- June 12, for more info: www.fta.qc.ca/en
Whether or not you have Latino roots is of no consequence at Festivalissimo as this particular event that celebrates Ibero-Latino-Americano art forms from tango to cinema and cuisine to music is for everybody.
From May 27-June 13, Montreal sizzles to the beat of Latino culture from Latin America, Spain and Portugal through a wide array of activities that feature something for everyone.
For those looking to party Latino style, Ste-Catherine St. West (between Guy and St. Marc) becomes this fest’s party headquarters for a series of outdoor film screenings, performances, outdoor art showings and dance parties that run from May 27-30.
For those with a flare for foreign films, this event features its own film festival competition in multiple categories that runs from June 3-13.
To get in on the action of this exotic event and plan out a few days of spicing it up, consult the festival’s schedule at: www.festivalissimo.ca
The Anarchist Bookfair
For those with an independent spirit who are looking for the likeminded and literature that celebrates and promotes the values of mutual aid, direct democracy, anti-authoritarianism, autonomy and solidarity, the Anarchist Book Fair is the place to be.
On May 29 & 30, this small fair promotes open dialogue, literature and film that oppose the capitalism, imperialism, patriarchy, heterosexism, racism, colonialism, statism and all other forms of oppression. For that matter, the Bookfair’s website states that they “will not accept anyone to participate in the Anarchist Bookfair that perpetuates or promotes these attitudes.”
This event is ideal for anarchists and anyone interested in learning about anarchy in a family environment.
Montreal Museums Day
If you happen to be in the city on Sunday, May 30, and find yourself with a thirst for art, history and culture; why not join in Montreal’s 24th annual Museums Day and take in one of the city’s many museums for free.
Thirty different museums throughout the island of Montreal will open their doors, free of charge to let everyone in who wants to enjoy the sights and sounds.
To get around the city, six bus routes provide free transportation from 9am to 4:30pm so that patrons can maximize their time while hopping from museum to museum.
The Montreal Bike Festival (Féria du vélo)
For the athletic types who feel like challenging themselves while taking in the beautiful scenery of the city and surrounding metropolitan area, the Montreal Bike Festival is where it is at!
From May 30 to June 6, this two-wheeled affair has a number of activities for those who want to push themselves to the limit or simply cycle to get back into shape.
The event kicks off with the Metropolitan Challenge on May 30 with a route that runs 75km to 150km, depending how far the cyclist wants go, on a tour through Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan, L’Épiphanie and Mascouche.
Next up, the Tour La Nuit takes cyclists on a unique urban adventure that begins at 8:30pm on Friday, June 4. Patrons at this event are known to adorn themselves in colourful gear, lights and reflective materials to bring about smiles and laughter while pedaling through the 20km route located in the core of the city.
The grand finale of this festival happens on Sunday, June 6 with the 26th annual Tour de l’Île de Montréal. Hundreds of thousands of brave cyclists have taken part in this 50km endurance challenge over the years that brings many back for more each year.
Snacks and other giveaway goodies will be provided for all those who register and the event finishes up with an afternoon concert in Jeanne Mance Park for participants and supporters.
Now in its 11th edition, Mutek, the international festival of digital creativity and electronic music, is back to celebrate electronic arts in style from June 2-6.
Featuring four different music series of major showcases within the main program and one major free outdoor event, Mutek will once again bring out the so-called “cream of the global electronic-arts community.”
This year’s edition will feature over 50 artists comprised of local and international acts including two world premieres, nine North American debuts, and 16 Canadian debuts. Many of this year’s showcases will see the return of popular favourites from previous years, including Senor Coconut, a long-time acolyte of the fest, headlining at Mutek’s first-ever free outdoor show on Saturday, June 5 at Place des Festivals on Jeanne Mance (between Ste-Catherine and de Maisonneuve).
The celebrated Piknic Electronik-Mutek collaboration events will also be happening for the seventh year in a row in Jean-Drapeau Park for those who want to get their grove on during the afternoon while dancing barefoot in the park.
Mondial de la bière
For those who love beer and enjoy an elaborate sampling of suds from all around the world, the Mondial de la bière or the beer festival is the place to be from June 2-6.
Whether you’re a seasoned expert of international beer products or simply looking to develop your palate, this event is ideal for those looking to learn more about beer and culinary pairings, beer production and cooking with beer while checking out hundreds of different products.
While the party happens in the courtyard and the hall at Montreal’s historic Windsor Station, for those looking for a more enhanced experience, workshops, lectures and other presentations are available within the facility.
It’s an event not to be missed for beer aficionados or amateurs.
The Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival
Also known as the “Sounds for the People Festival,” this avant-garde event is all about bringing dynamic, community-based, out-of-left-field music to Montreal ranging from jazz to noise to experimental rock and beyond.
Now in its 10th edition, this year’s festival runs two and a half weeks and starts offering showcases on June 6 to highlight an eclectic mix of different genres that all have one common element – music that resonates with progressive social movements.
With shows going down nightly at different venues until June 23, you can catch some unique sounds and many one-of-a-kind performances. For more info: www.casadelpopolo.com
If you’re passionate about francophone music or have a flare for francophone cultures from around the globe, the Francofolies is one of the hottest tickets for French music on the planet.
Les Francofolies is the largest French music festival in the world and this year it will attract almost one million festival-goers to see 1000 artists from 12 countries perform in 250 shows, 180 of which are free and will be performed on seven outdoor stages.
The 2010 edition of the Francofolies runs from June 10-19 and there are lots of goodies in store for music lovers.
Due to its popularity seen through early ticket sales, the festival has already added a few additional presentations of Les Misérables at Place des Arts from June 8-12 and 15-19.
Also in theatrical performances, Montreal indie darlings will get their own night to rock out Place des Arts on June 14. Carte blanche à Renée Martel with guests: Mario Pelchat, Catherine Durand, Annie Blanchard and Mara Tremblay happens on June 16 at Théâtre Maisonneuve. Broadway-style musical Big Bazar by Michel Fugain will run June 9-12 at Théâtre St-Denis. Marc Hervieux et ses amis will perform an evening of opera/pop June 17 at Théâtre Maisonneuve.
Not to be missed, Les 20 ans du hip-hop, a special presentation that will bring together a special showcase of francophone hip-hop artists, such as Loco Locass, Dubmatique, Muzion, Yvon Krevé, Samian and Omnikrom on June 19 at Métropolis.
Also at the festival this year: Jacques Higelin, Robert Charlebois, Diane Tell, Plume Latraverse, Luc De Larochellière, Malajube, Rachid Taha, Pierre Lapointe, Kevin Parent, Gilles Valiquette, Emmanuelle Seigner, Tricot Machine, Vulgaires Machins, Radio Radio and so many, many more.
The Fringe Festival
What was once the little festival that could has finally made its mark on this city as the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival is finally hitting the big 2-0 this year. In light of this, Montreal’s only block party of theatre, dance, comedy and music is going to be super-sized.
In celebration of its big birthday, not only will the Fringe be putting on its regular indoor performance shows from June 10-20 but it has also added an additional 10 days of mayhem to run prior to the additional festival that begins on June 1 with a series of indoor events.
The 2010 edition of the Fringe Festival will see some 54 Montreal companies and an additional 47 from across Canada will put on over 700 performances that audiences can take in for less than $10 a pop.
On June 10, the Fringe once again takes over Parc des Amériques and transforms it into “Fringe Central,” the hub of the event where patrons purchase tickets, knock back a few cold ones between shows and check out the free productions on the live outdoor stage.
This cherished and inexpensive festival is ideal for theatre, dance, comedy, performance art or watching grown men race up St-Laurent in women’s clothing and high heels – drag race anyone? For more info: www.montrealfringe.ca/
The Grand Prix
Racing fans will tell you that there is really nothing like the F1 Canadian Grand Prix on earth! After a year’s absence, the Grand Prix is finally back and so are the three days of parties, free shows and automobile mania that come with the big race.
While Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is the place to be on June 13 for the main event, Crescent Street in the heart of Montreal becomes the place to party from June 11-13.
Attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world, several streets in the downtown core get shut down for car displays, high-end fashion shows, free concerts and F1 mania on big screens in celebration of North America’s only F1 event.
For more info: www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca/formula-1.html
Terre en Vue / Land InSights
The Montreal First People’s Festival is turning 20 this year and with that, the face of this event is morphing from a small, grassroots affair into a world-class festival.
To mark their 20th birthday, not only will the festival be hosting their usual Indigenous cinema competition and multidisciplinary arts festival in June, Terre en Vue will also get their own days at Montreal’s brand-new Place des Festivals from August 4-8 for the outdoor portion of the festival.
The first portion of the festival kicks off June 17 with the opening of the film fest and art and photo exhibits by local and foreign Indigenous artists. In celebration of the opening, there will be a special live show on Radio 2 CBC, and on June 18 with the presentation of the world premiere of Xajoltun Rabinal Achi (At the heart of the sky, at the heart of the earth), a Mayan theatrical play staged by Ondinnok and its founder Yves Sioui-Durand. The work is inspired by the ritual drama of Rabinal Achi and is performed in Maya Achi, accompanied by music and dance.
The festival also features musical performances, Native arts and crafts, along with special activities for National Aboriginal Day on June 21.
The festival program will be available in late May at: www.nativelynx.qc.ca
Montreal International Fireworks Competition
Now in its 26th edition, the Montreal International Fireworks Competition has been bringing out crowds by the thousands over the years.
Since 1985, this majestic festival of pyrotechnics set to song has been lighting up the skies of the city with spectacular colours, climactic explosions and mesmerizing forms.
While many take in the spectacle from the ultimate vantage point, off island at Montreal’s only theme park, la Ronde, thousands also line the quays of the Old Port of Montreal to enjoy the spectacle in a more sombre setting (and for free.)
This year’s competition starts with Taiwan on June 12, followed by Italy June 19 and Poland June 26. The competition gears up again on Saturday, July 3, with Portugal, followed by a special tribute to Céline Dion on July 10, the U.S. July 17, Sweden July 31, France August 7 and the Jupiter Awards Ceremony where the winner is announced on Saturday, August 14.
La Fête nationale du Québec à Montreal
Every year the city of Montreal pulls out every stop and puts on every bell and whistle available to celebrate Québécois pride, heritage, culture and history.
While June 24 is traditionally the big day to celebrate all things Québécois, the party starts gearing up with free shows the night before so that everyone can get in on the action.
While the schedule for this year’s bonanza of activities has yet to be announced, included in this year’s activities will be a massive parade, a day jam-packed with children’s activities and a night of celebrations on a mega-stage that will feature some of Quebec’s top performing artists for a free show.
The schedule and artist lineup will be posted after May 26: www.fetenationale-montreal.qc.ca
The Montreal International
Ultimately the biggest party of the year, bringing out hundreds of thousands of festival patrons, hundreds of artists and about a million applauses, screams, smiles, wiggles and jiggles to the sounds of jazz, blues, rock, pop, rap and funk, the Montreal International Jazz Festival is back for its 31st edition.
While the outdoor schedule for the big event has yet to be released, it will be hard for it to outshine the indoor schedule which boasts a bounty of big names and bright stars.
To whet your musical appetite, the party kicks off with Lionel Richie and Cassandra Wilson on opening night, June 25. And, just to be sure that the crowds are satiated, other festival mega events will see a special July 5 show with the Steve Miller Band and The Doobie Brothers, and a closing day blowout with The Moody Blues!
While these might be some of the most famous acts in the world, the Jazz Fest has so much going on this year that listing all of it would eat up the rest of the magazine.
Other major names to hit the stages this year, include Sonny Rollins, Bobby McFerrin, Herbie Hancock, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Wanda Jackson, Dave Brubeck, George Benson, Smokey Robinson, Joan Armatrading, Cyndi Lauper, Ben E. King, Daniel Lanois, Gipsy Kings, Boz Scaggs, Cesaria Evora, Terence Blanchard, The Roots and Roy Hargrove.
While the indoor shows are sure to rock each and every one of the venues hosting them to the ground, be sure to expect some big names on the outdoor stages in Montreal’s newly revamped Quartier des Spectacles. With children’s activities throughout the days and parties to suit every budget nightly, this unreal festival-to-end-all-festivals will be going on from June 25-July 6.
July in Montreal kicks off with Canada’s big birthday bash on July 1. While normally the city hosts a blowout in the Old Port that features free concerts, fireworks, children’s activities and adventurous activities for youth, the company that has been running it for the last few years has gone bankrupt.
While it is still very likely that the city will be throwing a party of some variety, what it is going to be like, its location and what it will entail have yet to be announced. Consult local listings toward the end of May for more information or find somewhere else to celebrate.
Montréal en Arts
For those with an artistic eye who love nothing more than taking in the works of 150 visual artists, painters, illustrators, photographs and sculptors in an outdoor setting, the FIMA festival is just what the doctor ordered.
Running from July 1-11, FIMA is the only major event in this city that takes Ste-Catherine St. East and turns it into an outdoor art gallery between St-Hubert and Papineau over a 1km stretch.
Devoid of traffic, a series of tents are set up to display the works of the many artists and artisans who take part in the event to both show and sell their wares. This particular festival has a relaxed and convivial atmosphere where patrons are welcomed to talk with the artists to discover their inspirations behind each work and learn more about visual arts.
Just for Laughs
Over the years the Just for Laughs (JFL) festival has not only launched the careers of many up-and-coming comedic stars but also brought some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry to Montreal stages.
Every year this festival seems to get bigger and 2010 is no exception as JFL starts with its French programming on July 2 and the entire festival wraps up on July 25.
Unlike previous years, JFL has a series of events staggered through the month before the festival kicks into full swing on July 15. On July 6, the club series begins with ever profane Nasty Show and Mom’s The Word 2: Unhinged staging multiple presentations until July 15.
July 15 marks the opening of the JFL street festival in Montreal’s Quartier Latin, where several city streets are blocked off from traffic for a playful displays, street performers and free activities for everyone to enjoy.
The nightly club series, which include festival favourites like O’Comics, the Down Under Show, Homegrown Talent night and the Videotron Galas, also start up around July 15.
Though all of the big-name hosts for the Galas have not been announced yet, some heavy hitters are already on the roster, such as Pamela Anderson, Cheech & Chong, Lewis Black and Brad Garrett.
Because the laughter never ends with JFL, as an added bonus, a few weeks after the festival wraps up, Jerry Seinfeld will also do two performances at Place des Arts.
For anyone who has ever dreamed of learning the tango or for those who have mastered it and live for the dramatic steps, the Montreal International Tango Festival offers the chance for folks to learn, practice or watch the pros pull it off to a live orchestra.
Running from July 6-1, this festival offers daily courses and nightly shows for all tango enthusiasts.
International Festival of
Did you know that Montreal has the largest circus scene in the world? From professional circus training schools to a series of homegrown companies and being the home and training ground for Cirque de Soleil, Montreal actually corners the market on circus development for the entire world.
In light of this, it should not come as a surprise that Montreal now has its own festival of Circus Arts that is being put on by the TOHU Company in conjunction with the National Circus School, Cirque Éloize, Les 7 Doigts de la main and Cirque de Soleil.
From July 8-25, all of Montreal’s major circus companies, along with companies from Belgium, Australia, Germany and Canada, will come together to perform death-defying stunts and aerial ballets.
For those who did not catch Totem, the Cirque de Soleil’s latest endeavour, the mega hit show will hit the stage under the big tent again on July 11. There will also be nightly shows at various other venues throughout the city. This event is guaranteed to become a new favourite fest in Monteal this summer.
The Fantasia Film Festival
For many the summer months are synonymous with enjoying the warm weather any way they can but when the temperature and humidity are high, sometimes the best way to beat the heat is to hit the cinemas.
For many years now, the Fantasia film festival has been bringing the best of Asian cinema and the horror genre to audiences who might not normally have the chance to see these films on a big screen.
From Kung-Fu flicks to elaborate animation, action-packed B movies and horror from around the world, Fantasia is back from July 8-28 to expand the minds of many and please its cultish fans. Once more, this festival is great for anyone who wants to check out a rare cinematic treat. www.festivalfantasia.com/pre2010/en/
Founded by Sarah McLachlan in 1997, this all-female music festival has not toured since 1999. This year it is back and will be pulling into Montreal’s Bell Centre July 23.
This year’s acts include, Sarah McLachlan, Kelly Clarkson, La Roux, Mary J. Blidge, Chantal Kreviazuk, Elisapie Isaac, Ash Koley, Lights, Ima, Meaghan Smith and the yet-to-be-announced winner of the “Ourstage Contest”
Montreal International Dragon Boat Races
While many of Montreal’s festivals focus on music, dance and parties, very few of them are about athleticism and getting Zen with an activity which is why the Montreal International Dragon Boat Races are such a treat.
Now in its 15th edition, the dragon boat races are held at the Olympic Basin on Parc Jean-Drapeau from July 23-25. In China this tradition is over 2000 years old and in Montreal the event attracts over 200 teams from all over North America.
Along with the races, there are activities and festivities for the entire family, including live entertainment, arts and crafts, and the popular children’s drawing contest.
For more info: www.montrealdragonboat.com/english/events.php
Montreal’s Gay Pride days this year fall on July 24-August 1 and like every other year, 2010 is guaranteed to wow.
While Divers/Cité started in 1993 as a political movement geared to creating awareness for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered, it has since evolved into a large-scale party and celebration of pride.
With six solid days of live entertainment, dance parties, street parties, art presentations, and drag queen & king shows, hundreds of thousands flock to Montreal’s Gay Village to enjoy a party that runs for six days straight – no pun intended.
Osheaga is rapidly becoming a homegrown success story as this evetn has been drawing some of the biggest names in the music industry since 2006. Four years on, the 2010 schedule for the two-day event (July 31-August 1) aims to please and will draw fans by the thousands.
This year’s lineup includes Arcade Fire, Weezer, Pavement, Metric, The National, Deadmau5, The Cat Empire, Keane, The Black Keys, Stars, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Jimmy Cliff, Ariane Moffatt, The Gaslight Anthem, Charlie Winston, Beach House, Jamie Lidell, Robyn, Sarah Harmer, Frank Turner, Blitzen Trapper, AviBuffalo, Bahamas, Amanda Mabro and Ian Kelly.
You can purchase tickets for each individual day or get a two-day pass for the event.
The Montreal Highland Games
If everyone can be Irish on St-Patrick’s Day, then they can also be Scottish at the Montreal Highland Games August 1.
A tradition in Montreal for 33 years and counting, the Montreal edition has become one of the premier events on the North American highland games circuit.
Montreal’s suburb of Pierrefonds plays host to the games for a day of pipe band completions, highland dancing contests and seven different traditional Scottish heavyweight events. There are also a number of children’s activities available on site, storytelling for young and old, and live Celtic music for everyone to enjoy.
With Scottish fare on the menu, a wide selection of scotches and beers are available, making the Highland Games truly a day for everyone to celebrate.
Festiblues International de Montréal
While jazz fans get their groove on at the beginning of the summer, blues fans have to wait until mid-August for their fix but it is always worth the wait.
The Festiblues festival is what it sounds like – a festival that’s all about the blues. From August 11-15, Montreal’s north-end neighborhood of Ahuntsic becomes blues central with a large outdoor stage and blues shows in a series of local bars.
Though the lineup has yet to be announced, this fun and family-oriented festival has a lot to offer blues fans and those just getting to know the genre.
What started out as an anime/Manga film and literature festival at a university has blossomed into a large-scale festival and convention at Palais des congrès de Montréal that has drawn thousands of participants from around North America.
This year’s edition (August 13-15) will feature just about everything an anime/Manga fan could desire in a G-rated context.
The event will feature a series of film screenings but for those who want to immerse themselves, there are a series of workshops and panel discussions, Manga book sales, an art gallery, gaming areas and contests.
For those that are into Cosplay or dressing up and emulating your favorite anime/Manga character, there is a masquerade ball, a human Cosplay chess tournament, in-character karaoke contests and a “free hug” area for anyone who needs one.
La Fête des enfants de Montréal
With so much playtime for grown-ups, Montreal has its own fest just for the kids that runs from August 13-15 in Parc Jean-Drapeau. This special festival is all about families and it offers about a hundred free activities, including singing, dancing and music shows, along with creative and sports workshops, games and inflatable structures. It’s all about making the little ones happy.
Montreal World Film Festival
It might not have the popularity of Cannes or Sundance but the Montreal World Film Festival is still a major destination for the film industry and hundreds of films from around the globe are screened at this major international competition.
This year’s festival kicks off on August 26 and runs until September 6 and it truly is cinematic heaven for film buffs.
Many of the films showcased here are world premieres of films looking for distributors and that will not open commercially until months later. For folks who like to be the first ones to see a sleeper hit, this is the place to be.
18th-Century Public Market
If you were ever curious as to what Montreal was like back in the 18th century when French settlers lived on the island, the 18th-Century Public Market put on by the Pointe-à-Callière historical and archeological museum is the place to be.
On August 28 & 29, Pointe-à-Callière sets up an authentic public market and hires actors to portray farmers, craftspeople and entertainers as they existed in 1750.
Available on site are a series of delicacies from the era, such as wild-fruit jams and jellies, maple products, buckwheat pancakes, cheese, sausage, cider and spruce beer.
Also featuring storytellers, musicians and artisans, this event is a wonderful learning experience for the whole family.
For more info: www.pacmuseum.qc.ca
Napa Auto Parts 200
NASCAR fans can rejoice once again as the cars, the race and the party is back for another year.
This August 28 & 29 will see the return of NASCAR to Montreal for two days of high-performance and heart-pumping automobile racing mania at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Festivals and Major Events in Other Regions
While Montreal may be the cultural heart of Quebec because it is the province’s largest city, there is a wide variety of other festivals and major events to enjoy in just about every corner of the province.
Festival Rétro Pop de Victoriaville
For those who remember the 1950s or those who wonder what the nostalgia was all about, Victoriaville has its own special festival dedicated to the ’50s. The event features antique vehicles and souped-up sports cars from the era as well as retro music and ’50s style foods. Running from June 3-6, this fun little festival is very family-oriented.
Festival international de
For those who just can’t get enough of dance, this special Trois-Rivières festival is all about moving and shaking and manages to attract 45,000 festival-goers and 250 professional artists every year.
From June 3-6, this multidisciplinary event features free outdoor entertainment, professional shows in concert halls, competitions, master classes and a bevy of other activities.
From June 4 to September 12, the miniature festival in Ville-Marie will showcase miniature wood and paper works from hundreds of artists.
Fun for the whole family, miniature artists from all over the world present their works at this international competition, which is a unique event in the north.
For more info: biam.augustinchenier.net/en/artistes.php
Festival Grand Rire de Québec
Running from June 9 until July 4, Quebec City has its own unique comedy festival that lasts almost an entire month.
Featuring indoor shows and major outdoor events at the Agora du Vieux-Port, this fest has over 70 indoor comedy shows along with a few major galas. While the majority of shows are in French, the event will bring in some major American acts, such as John Malkovich and Bill Cosby.
The James Bay Walleye Fishing Tournament
Kicking off the summer season in the James Bay, the Walleye fishing tournament is back, much to the delight of the entire region. Last year, 1043 tickets were sold to participants and 1133 fish were caught with 30 weighing in over six pounds.
This year’s tournament runs from June 17-26, with the festival base being in Chapais while the tournament itself is held on Opemisca Lake. Multiple competition categories will be open for professionals, amateurs, youth and women, and for those staying in the area there will be entertainment at night.
Three major music events will happen at the festival base this year. June 18 will be 80’s night with Maximum 80’s La revue des années 80. On June 19, Boom Desjardins takes his Rock le Québec show to the stage and on June 20 there will be a special show for children with Atchoum le clown et ses microbes.
Festival Forestier IGA
Bilodeau de Senneterre
Whether you work in the forestry industry or you feel proud of your abilities to cut down trees, the Forestry Festival in Senneterre has plenty of activities and competitions for the whole family.
From June 24-27, come and take part in one of the many forestry-related competitions available at this fest. With categories for both men and women, this event actually brings in competitors from other provinces and the U.S. This event features multiple cash prizes, a draw with the chance to win up to $25,000 and plenty of kids’ activities.
Le Festivoix de Trois-Rivières
While Montreal may be getting its own deluge of major artists and musicians for its many summer festivals, they are not the only ones.
Trois-Rivières hosts its own major music fest from June 25-July 4 with major Quebec and international artists. This highly popular event attracts thousands to enjoy some blues, pop, opera, rock, world and choral music.
On Festivoix’s playlist this year are: Kool and the Gang, Coral Egan, Les Cowboys Fringants, Xavier Cafeine, The Lost Fingers and Eric Lapointe.
Mondial des Cultures de Drummondville
Now in its 29th edition, this cultural folklore festival brings in groups from all over the world to perform traditional folk dances. It is one of the five largest folklore festivals in the world and attracts over 300,000 annually to the event.
This year’s festival runs from July 8-18, and once again it will host some of the best folklore dancers in the world with performers from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe. In total 15 traditional groups will perform and there will a concert series in the evenings.
Featuring a cultural pavilion, fireworks, a parade and activities for the whole family, visiting this event is a quick way to take a trip around the world in 11 days.
The Tremblant International Blues Festival
For those looking for a getaway that has fantastic blues music amidst a majestic setting where the party never stops and the scenery is breathtaking, the Tremblant International Blues Festival is the place to be from July 9-18.
While Tremblant is all about downhill winter sports, because it’s a major tourist destination, festival-goers can stay in style while taking in some top-notch blues acts.
Though this year’s schedule has not been released, last year’s included Edgar Winter, Nanette Workman and The Robert Cray Band.
Tour de l’Abitibi/Coupe
For all of the cycling enthusiasts who can’t wait to get out on a long excursion, the Tour de l’Abitibi/Coupe des Nations is back from July 19-25 in Val-d’Or.
This international men’s junior cycling competition is well-known and brings out some of the world’s finest to compete for the cup. The Tour de la Relève Desjardins for Quebec youth cyclists (age 6 to 16) also happens in tandem with this event.
The Truck Rodeo
If you’re a fan of trucks and rodeos then the truck rodeo in Notre-Dame-du-Nord is the place for you to be from July 29-August 1, yee haw!
Featuring truck-pull competitions, show-and-shine contests for trucks, a parade, fireworks, a flea market, exhibitions, lots of children’s activities and nightly country shows, this rapidly expanding festival is now drawing crowds of over 60,000 annually.
This year’s mega draw at the rodeo has been souped-up once again with 110 prizes to be won with a total value of $246,050.
Voitures Anciennes de Granby
If vintage cars are more your speed, Granby has the ultimate event in store for you with the Voitures Anciennes de Granby or V.A.G. as the locals like to call it.
V.A.G. is Canada’s largest antique car exhibition in Canada, bringing out 30,000 visitors to the show annually to see over 2000 vintage cars on display and an additional 400 modified hot rods. While at the event, many take part in the vintage vehicle auction of over 100 vintage cars or check out the 450 merchant flea market.
Running from July 30-August 1 in Granby, this event features plenty of activities for vintage car lovers and their families.
Chibougamau’s Festival en août
One of the largest cultural events in northern Quebec to take place on an outdoor stage, this three-day James Bay event (August 5-8) often brings out over 75 local musicians to entertain the masses.
Featuring a multitude of activities such as a children's day, a pyro-musical display and a beach volleyball tournament, this family-oriented event has something to offer to everyone in the family.
Osisko en lumière Festival
pyromusical en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
While there are many events all over Quebec featuring events that combine music and fireworks, there is only one festival that is all about the combination of live music and coordinated accompanying fireworks, the Osisko en lumière Festival pyromusical in Rouyn-Noranda.
Running from August 6-8, this three-day festival is all about family-friendly days and good rockin’ nights with shows and activities for just about every age group.
This year’s headliners include Hedley, Styx singer Dennis DeYoung, Lulu Hughes, the Porn Flakes and La Compagnie Créole.
During the day, there will be lots of kids’ activities with inflatable games, face painting and much more.
Foire gourmande de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue et du Nord-Est ontarien
For those who fancy themselves with a gourmet palate or for those looking for new recipe ideas, the Foire Gourmande on majestic Lake Témiscamingue in Ville-Marie is the place to be August 13-15.
This event is all about matching magnificent morsels with beverages, sampling local delicacies, dining out, cooking workshops, exhibitors’ kiosks, shows, street performances and family activities. And, there is no better time of the year to celebrate food than smack dab in the middle of the August harvest. Expect to see new gourmet products from the region launched at this event as well. This event also features live music and DJ parties at night.
International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu
If you are looking for an event that’s just as spectacular from the ground as it is from way up in the sky, the International Balloon Festival is the ultimate place to be.
From August 14-22, this hot-air balloon festival is the largest of its kind in Canada, attracting about 400,000 visitors every year. Billed as one of the most family-friendly festivals in Quebec, there is a wide array of activities for children on site and nightly entertainment for those who want to shake it up.
This year, Romanian electronic superstar Edward Maya will perform August 18 and R&B singer Akon on August 21.
Now in its 27th edition, the festival will also include an incredible 115 hot-air balloons.
Festival de musique émergente de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue
If you love underground music or discovering up-and-coming musicians who will be the next big thing, the Emerging Music Festival in Rouyn-Noranda is where it’s at.
From September 2-5, this festival brings in bands from all over Quebec and beyond to showcase on the big stage. Whether you’re a musician or just a music junkie, this fest has a lot to offer to the open-minded.
Festival Western de St-Tite
One of the oldest and largest western festivals in eastern Canada; you don’t need to be a cowboy to enjoy this down-home country-western festival but it darn tootin’ helps.
From September 10-19, Quebec’s largest western festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors who enjoy the rodeos and check out the many country-music shows at this spirited festival. If that isn’t enough, the festival has lots of country-music dancing going on daily.
If you don’t own cowboy clothes and want to fit in, you can go to one of the many western clothing vendors or leatherworkers to get suited up. Attracting on average 450,000 visitors annually, this festival offers a unique opportunity to go western while remaining down east.