Canada is known as The Great White North, so it’s no surprise that the winters are usually long and cold all over the nation. This means there is plenty of opportunity to celebrate the snowy season and Canada does just that with a variety of winter festivals.
These are some of the best and most popular.
1. Carnaval de Quebec, Quebec City, Quebec
This is generally regarded as the most popular of Canada’s winter festivals. There are plenty of winter and snow-related activities for people of all ages here. You’ll find just about everything from pancake breakfasts to snow slides, workshops, boutiques and snow sculptures. This winter’s Carnaval takes place from Feb 27th to Feb. 12th 2012.
2. Winterlude, Ottawa, Ontario
Canada’s capital city becomes quite popular in February when Winterlude takes place. It’s another ideal festival for families. You’ll be able to ice skate on the Rideau Canal, which is turned into the biggest outdoor skating rink in the world during the winters. You’ll also find ice sculptures and many examples of local crafts and fine cuisine. This winter’s event takes place on weekends between Feb. 3rd and 20th2012.
3. The Winter Festival of Lights, Niagara Falls, Ontario
The might Niagara Falls are an amazing sight to behold at any time of the year. However, they’re even more dramatic and spectacular during the annual Winter Festival of Lights. The Falls are illuminated in a kaleidoscope of colors every night and the park area is filled with lights and decorations celebrating the holidays. The Winter Festival of Lights takes place from Nov. 5th to Jan 31st. There are also concerts and ice skating during the event.
4. Festival du Voyageur, Winnipeg, Manitoba
The province of Manitoba celebrates its rich history each February. People get together to relive the days of the first French-Canadian settlers as well as the fur traders. The annual 10-day festival features performances, arts and crafts, and plenty of historical and cultural exhibits. This winter’s event runs from Feb. 9th to 18th, 2012.
5. Winter Light Festival, Edmonton, Alberta
Edmonton’s Winter Light Festival offers a multitude of exciting exhibitions for the entire family, such as the Mill Creek Adventure Walk. This is basically a magical mystery tour through a wonderful snowy winter wonderland. There are also plenty of light displays and Illuminations. There will also be a red-hot circus spectacle this winter to celebrate the year of the dragon in 2012. The Adventure Walk takes place on Jan. 27th-28th, 2012 while the illuminations take place on Feb. 10th and 11th.
6. The World Ski and Snowboard Festival, Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
This free festival has become quite popular over the past several years. It’s celebrates the arts, music, mountain life, and snow sports. It takes place every April and draws thousands of visitors from all over Canada. This winter’s festival takes place from April 3rd to 22nd and will be the 17th edition of the event.
7. Cavalcade of Lights, Toronto, Ontario
This annual festival takes place right downtown at Nathan Phillips Square, which is turned into an ice-skating rink. The city’s official Christmas tree is also placed here and the event features special live performances as well as some amazing fireworks displays. This winter’s event starts on Nov. 26th with ice skating available throughout the winter and a special New Year’s Eve party.
8. Winter Festival, Calgary, Alberta
This fun-filled winter festival takes place each year at the start of February. The festival is in honor of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games which were held in Calgary. It’s a family-oriented affair that features an assortment of music events, dances, crafts, games, and sports competitions. This winter’s festival will be held between Feb 9th and 18th 2012.
9. The Icewine Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
This annual event will enable visitors to sample some of Canada’s best ice wines as well as complimentary treats and foods. It’s put on by the region’s wineries and will also feature chestnut roasts and winery tours. This winter’s ice wine festival takes place from January 13th to 29th 2012 and will be the 17th edition.
10. High Lights Festival, Montreal, Quebec
The annual High Lights Festival attracts most residents of the city as it features live music, light colorfullight shows, performance art, and numerous free events. It takes place every February with this year’s edition taking place from Feb. 16th to 26th 2012.