Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsPandering to the cliché that Canada is all about snow, hockey and dog sleds, it comes as no surprise that so many of the top events in Canada are to do with winter.

All across the country there are festivals and special events that celebrate winter at its fullest, including hockey and dog sled races, skating events, ice sculptures, and whatever season-inspired activity draws in the crowds.


Winter Festival of Lights
November, December and January
Niagara Falls, Ontario (ON)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsFeaturing more than 120 spectacular illuminations, including the world-famous Enchantment of Disney® displays, the CAA Winter Festival of Lights attracts more than one million people annually to Niagara Falls, Ontario, and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Internationally known events in North America by the American Bus Association. The Festival also hosts many other attractions and events, including the iconic TD RINK at the Brink, the breathtaking Fireworks over the Falls, the CYTEC Candy Cane Lane 5k Race & Fun Run, the Santa’s Village Candlelight Stroll, a Christmas concert series and more.

For more information abut the CAA Winter Festival of Lights visit:
or take a look at:

Rossland Winter Carnival
late January
Rossland, British Columbia (BC)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsRecognized as Canada's longest-running winter carnival, the Rossland Winter Carnival has been a popular event for more than 116 years. Popular parts of this event include the World Bigolfathon Championships, the well known Sonny Samuelson Bobsled Race, snow volleyball, dogsled rides, a display of the world respected Slocan Ice Sculptures, a parade, a kid’s carnival and the large Variety Show highlighting family entertainment. There are also multi-talented downhill, golf & ski races.

For more information about the Rossland Winter Carnival visit:

Ice On Whyte Festival
late January to early February
Edmonton, Alberta (AB)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsA popular event for more than decade, the Ice on Whyte Festival in Edmonton, is one of the top 10 events and festivals in Edmonton, Alberta. The festival features a wealth of ice carvings and creations along with 10 days of festival fun – from interactive children's games, a giant ice slide, games, and ice carving lessons to live music, fashion, food, and culturally themed days and even a marketplace.

For details concerning the Ice on Whyte Festival taker a look at:

Fete des Neiges de Montréal
mid January - early February
Montréal, Québec (QC)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsCelebrating more than 30 years as a popular winter event, The Fête des neiges de Montréal offers all sorts of fun involving everything from snow to ice at Parc Jean-Drapeau on three consecutive weekends at the beginning of the year. Highlights include 15 snow slopes for breathtaking tube-sliding, the zip-line, dog sledding, snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, boot, street and ice hockey, snow-scootering, skating along the river, snow ball battles. and the fun of the fabulous Snow Village, and even addictive dancing at the disco-themed La Bouletheque.

For more information about Fete des Neiges de Montréal visit:

mid January to early February
Old Port of Montréal, Québec (QC)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsA large outdoor winter rave at the Quays of the Old Port of Montréal, the unusual Igloofest, regarded as the hippest city event in Canada, attracts tens of thousands of visitors to enjoy electronic dance music over four weekends totaling 12 nights. Attracting the the best local and international DJs, Igloofest showcases festival goers traditionally dressed in one-piece ski suits for the raves, with the best outfits being posted on Igloofest's website and awarded prizes.

For more information about Igloofest in the Old Port of Montréal visit:

Québec Winter Carnival
Carnaval de Québec
end January to mid February
Québec City, Québec (QC)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsRecognized as the world's largest winter carnival for more than half a century, the Québec Winter Carnival lasts for more than 2 weeks and attracts thousands of visitors to take part in a host of activities for all ages, including snow baths, night parades, snow slides, giant foosball, snow and ice sculptures, shows, sleigh rides, and skating, a microbrewery beer festival, two Magical Night Parades, a 400-foot-long Ice Slide, a Day Parade, and an outdoor stage with dance and music shows every Friday and Saturday night.

For more information about the Québec Winter Carnival visit:
or take a look at the official web site at

end January – early February
Whistler, British Columbia (BC)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsGay Whistler hosts this unusual celebration of gay events with adventurous winter activities including ski and snowboard touring, snowmobile trips, zip trekking, and snowshoe adventures. dog-sledding through the Callahan Valley, and back-country ventures, as well as featuring nightlife highlights of drag shows, lap-dance clinics, costume parties and fetish celebrations as well as wine-tastings, fine dining and even comedy shows.

For more information about WinterPride in Whistler, British Columbia visit:

WinterCity Festival
end of January through February
Toronto, Ontario (ON)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsThe 14 day winter celebration of culture, food and a variety of outdoor events in Toronto, the WinterCity Festival is actually a combination of three different events, the WOW Series taking place outdoors and focussing on family oriented performances from all over the world, the indoor Warm Up Series featuring multi-media events and performances geared towards both family and mature audiences and the Winterlicious program, which involves more than 150 restaurants offering special price-fixe promotions on meals. Winterlicious is Toronto's biggest winter culinary celebration to date.

For more information about the WinterCity Festival visit:

Banff/Lake Louise, Alberta (AB)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsCelebrate the winter season with SnowDays, a month-long festival from January 9 to February 8, jam-packed with mid-week events and weekend festivals that celebrate Banff’s historic love for winter. Festival highlights include Ice Magic, an international ice carving competition in Lake Louise, an ice climbing festival on Banff Avenue, The Travelers All-Star Curling Skins, The Big Bear, a ski/snowboard street party an ice playground. Enjoy endless opportunities during SnowDays and embrace winter while snowshoeing, dog sledding, skiing, snowboarding, skating, curling, geocaching, sleigh rides and more.

For more information about SnowDays visit:

early February
Fredericton, New Brunswick (NB)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsWinterfesthiver is a fun-filled weekend for all the family, with the ever popular gigantic ice slides attracting visitors from far and wide to try their luck on the seven-meter high structures, snow maze, snow and ice sculptures, dog sled rides, pony rides, horse drawn sleigh rides and polar bear games of bowling, curling and golf, not forgetting dance-offs

For more information about Winterfesthiver in Fredericton, New Brunswick (NB) visit:
or take a look at:

Canadian Ski Marathon – Canadien de Ski
early February
Gatineau, Québec (QC)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsRecognized as North America's longest and oldest Nordic ski tour, the Canadian Ski Marathon (CSM) is a two-day, 160 kilometre ski event that is divided into 5 sections each day, with an average of 16 kilometres per section. Passing through the picturesque western Laurentian mountains, this event is not about winning or losing, but about personal challenge and personal victories!

For more information about the Canadian Ski Marathon – Canadien de Ski visit:

first three weekends in February
Ottawa, Ontario (ON)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsThe annual Winterlude festival held in Canada’s capital city attracts more than 1.5 million visitors each year and celebrates winter with a host of outdoor activities including public skating and skating displays, ice sculpture competitions, musical concerts at the Snowbowl, children's play areas, the nation’s largest ice playground, and drinks served at the Snowbowl Lounge, which is completely made of ice. One of the biggest attractions of this event is the Rideau Canal, which is the world's largest skating rink when frozen, covering close to 8 km. Also popular are the the fun Bed Race and the Giant Ski event in which the aim is to set a new record every year for holding as many people as possible on one set of skis.

For more information about Winterlude in Ottawa visit:
or take a look at:

Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous
mid February
Whitehorse, Yukon (YT)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivals
A winter carnival with a true northern flavor, the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, celebrates the 1890s, sourdoughs (veteran inhabitants of Canada’s Yukon Territory), the Yukon and the Klondike Gold Rush with exciting events like the Flour Packing Competition, the Axe Toss, the Chainsaw Chuck, a Kidsfest, Airshow, dog sled races, Fiddle Show, the Yukon Electrical Queen Tea and Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Can-Can dancers and the Snow-shoe Shufflers.

Click here for more details about the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous or visit the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous website at :

Calgary Winterfest
early to late February
Calgary, Alberta (AB)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsCommemorating the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics, the Calgary Winterfest, a family oriented event held for 11 days in February, celebrates the fun of winter with live music including multicultural offerings representing the city's various cultures, dance, carnivals, story-telling, snowboarding competitions, ice sculptures and dogsled races as well as professional freestyle skiers showcasing their skills, and aspiring athletes testing their skills in the biathlon and the luge. And at Fort Calgary visitors can enjoy a trip back in time as live entertainment celebrates the former post of the NW Mounted Police.

For more information about the Calgary Winterfest visit:

Top Twenty Events Canada
Calgary Winterfest is one of the Top 20 events in the whole of Canada

Silver Skate
mid February
Edmonton, Alberta (AB)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsAttracting more than 70,000 enthusiasts each year, the free Silver Skate Festival & Winter Celebration has been a popular winter event for almost a quarter of a century and is, in fact, the longest running winter festival in the City of Edmonton in Alberta. Highlights of the event include an epic ice slide, family snow sculpting, figure skating demonstrations, roving performers, horse drawn sleigh rides, the Cessco Snow Sculpture Garden, and Night Works in the Park, as well as wide selection of art displays, culture, recreation and even sports programs.

For more information about the Silver Skate Festival in Edmonton visit:

Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous
late February
Whitehorse, Yukon (YT)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsReferred to as the "coolest winter festival in the North" and "the only legal cure for cabin fever blues," the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival in Whitehorse has been celebrating winter for over sixty years with a series of events including a frozen hair contest, a lip synching contest, the ever popular Queen's tea and social, and a wide range of fun winter activities.

For more information about the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous visit:

Montréal High Lights Festival
Montréal en Lumière
late February to early March
Montréal, Québec (QC)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsOne of the largest winter festivals in the world, and one of the most popular winter festivals in Canada, the ten-day Montréal High Lights Festival, also known as Montréal en Lumière, attracts more than 900,000 visitors each year to the heart of downtown Montréal to enjoy a wide range of more than 100 concerts showcasing musical acts, live theatre, jugglers and acrobats, over 200 food and wine events and a high number of exhibitions and performances, free outdoor family activities, and a full night of exquisitely original events. The Montréal High Lights Festival transforms the Quartier des spectacles and its Place des Festivals — the festive heart of downtown Montréal — into the ultimate family destination!

For more information about the Montréal High Lights Festival visit:

World Ski & Snowboard Festival
mid April
Whistler, Blackcomb, British Columbia (BC)

Top Events Canada – Winter Events and winter festivalsThe biggest annual gathering of winter sports, music, arts and culture in North America, the 10-day World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler, Blackcomb, British Columbia (BC), home of the 2010 Winter Olympics, features the increasingly popular World Skiing Invitational and the World Snowboarding Classic, with participants ranging from professional to amateur, as well as the Big Air event in which athletes are launched as high as possible in front of massive crowds. Other popular parts of this event include more than 50 free concerts, a fashion show, a photography showcase as well as a filmmaker showdown to complete the wide range of entertainment.

For more information about the World Ski & Snowboard Festival in Whistler, British Columbia visit:

These selections of particular theme events and festivals in Canada, listed by the themes themselves, have been compiled by the same selection of knowledgable agents that have made all the other pages here at Top Events Canada such a success.

If you have any comments about the selections, or would like to nominate a new feature, please email the Chief Editors, Ursula and Eldrid Retief at


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