18 June, 2024

Art! Culture! 20 Great Summer Festivals Along the Trans Canada Trail

Group of people in Ottawa celebrating Canada Day with patriotic decorations. | Groupe de personnes à Ottawa célébrant la fête du Canada avec des décorations patriotiques.

Summer is almost here, which means it’s festival time! There’s a ton of summer fun on offer from coast to coast to coast. And because we hold the proud distinction of being the world’s longest recreational trail, it just so happens that a lot of these festivals are on or near the Trans Canada Trail. Check out our recommendations below – and remember that this is just a sample of all the great festivals out there, so check out your local event listings!

Asinabka Festival

This Indigenous arts festival takes place in and around Ottawa, in Algonquin territory, and includes screenings, live music and art exhibitions.  

Cinéma sous les étoiles 

Group of people sitting in chairs in a courtyard at night, enjoying a movie at Cinéma sous les étoiles. | Groupe de personnes assises sur des chaises dans une cour la nuit, regardant un film au Cinéma sous les étoiles.

Cinéma sous les étoiles: Bonjour Manitoba

At the Cinéma sous les étoiles festival in St. Boniface, Manitoba, you can watch French-language movies under the stars. The festival runs from June to August. 

Crankworx Whistler

A man performing a bike stunt over a ramp at the Crankworx-Whistler festival, with spectators watching in awe. | Un homme exécutant une cascade à vélo sur une rampe au festival Crankworx-Whistler, sous les yeux des spectateurs émerveillés.

Crankworx Whistler: Tourism Whistler

Mountain-biking enthusiasts will love this 9-day event that includes racing, slopestyle competitions, demos and more. Check it out from July 19 to 28, then head over to the Sea to Sky Trail for some nature time. 

Weengushk Film Festival

In Little Current, Ontario, the Weengushk Film Festival promises storytelling through an Indigenous lens. Check it out July 12 to 14and then head over to the Manitoulin IslandBebamkamwe Memorial Trail! 

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

Summer Festivals: Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair: @torontooutdoorart

As the name suggests, this festival is all about art … outdoors! Peruse the views at Nathan Phillips Square from July 12 to 14. 

Great Northern Arts Festival

Time to head north way north! At the Great Northern Arts Festival in Inuvik, NT, you’ll find Arctic art and music from about 100 artists. The festival runs from July 10 to 15. 

Nelson International Mural Festival

People gathered at Nelson International Mural Festival for music. | Les gens se sont rassemblés au Nelson International Mural Festival pour écouter de la musique.

Nelson International-Mural-Festival: Nelson District Arts Council

In B.C.’s Kootenay region, the Nelson International Mural Festival welcomes street artists and muralists from around the world to create and celebrate. Find murals along the City of Nelson Trail and nearby. 

Honda Celebration of Light

One of several fireworks competitions and exhibitions you can find across Canada, including festivals in Montreal, Ottawa and more, Vancouver’s version runs from July 20 to 27 and takes place at beautiful English Bay along the City of Vancouver Trail. 

Saskatchewan Festival of Words

Literary fans, rejoice! The Saskatchewan Festival of Words in Moose Jaw welcomes over 20 authors and presenters as part of the biggest literary festival in the province. And it’s right near the Wakamow Valley Trail

Up Here

The Up Here arts festival describes itself as transforming downtown Sudbury, Ontario, into an “urban art gallery,” complete with music, muralists and art installations. Experience it from August 15 to 18 in locations on or near the City of Greater Sudbury trails.  

Fierté Montréal

A vibrant crowd gathers at Fierté Montréal festival | Une foule vibrante se rassemble au festival Fierté Montréal

Fierté Montréal: @fiertemontreal

You’ll find Pride festivals across Canada, including Halifax, Toronto, Victoria and many more. For those in or visiting the Montreal area, Fierté Montréal runs from August 1 to 11 in locations around the city.  

CNE Toronto

A visit to Toronto in late August wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the CNE, or the Ex. The exhibition features music, rides, sports competitions, tons of food and much more. It runs from August 16 to September 2 along the Martin Goodman – Waterfront Trail.  

Calgary Stampede

A man performing a bike stunt over a ramp at the Crankworx-Whistler festival, with spectators watching in awe. | Un homme exécutant une cascade à vélo sur une rampe au festival Crankworx-Whistler, sous les yeux des spectateurs émerveillés.

Calgary Stampede: @calgarystampede

The world’s largest outdoor rodeo runs from July 5 to 14 and can be found along the City of Calgary Trail. In addition to the stampede, the event includes a powwow and even a floral exhibition! 

Adaka Festival

From June 28 to July 1, Whitehorse, Yukon, is the place to be. The Adaka Festival honours Indigenous cultures through art, music, stories and more. You can find it along the City of Whitehorse – Millennium Trail

Mosaïq Fest

A diverse group of people on stage holding flags at Mosaïq Fest. | Un groupe diversifié de personnes sur scène tenant des drapeaux au Mosaïq Fest.

Mosaïq Fest: @mosaiqmoncton

Mosaïq Multicultural Festival comes to Moncton, New Brunswick, on September 7 and 8. Its mandate is to “bring you the sights, sounds and flavours of the world that live within [Moncton’s] community.”  

International First Peoples Festival

Also known as Présence autochtone, this Montreal-based arts and culture festival runs from August 6 to 15 and features live music, dance, poetry and film screenings, with a focus on Indigenous culture.  

CB Nuit

Head all the way east to Corner Book, Newfoundland and Labrador, for a “magical night of art under the stars.” You can find it right on the Corner Brook Connector!  

Powell Street Festival

Celebrate Japanese Canadian art and culture in Vancouver at the Powell Street Festival, running from August 3 to 5. Take part in guided walks, kids’ activities, dance performances, music and more. 

Toronto Caribbean Carnival

This huge celebration of Caribbean culture takes place in the Toronto area. Events start in June and culminate with a parade on August 3.  

Canada Day in Ottawa

Celebrate Canada Day at Le Breton Flats Park – daytime and evening activities are on offer, plus fireworks! Or, find an event in your community.


Check out our list of music festivals here!