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June Festivals: Jazz, lobster and icebergs

The Iceberg Festival in Iqaluit will bring performing artists from across Nunavut and the world. (The Iceberg Festival)

Story by Vacay.ca Staff

It’s June, and things have thawed out across the country. So, what does that mean? Patio bars, boat rides, trips to cottage country? Not in St. Anthony, Newfoundland. In that east coast town, it’s the right time of year to celebrate the Iceberg Festival.

Elsewhere, if you love music, especially rock ‘n roll and jazz, then you’re in for a treat.  The Montreal, Medicine Hat, Winnipeg, Toronto and Vancouver Jazz Fests are all in full swing, as well as the Water Valley Celtic Music Festival, the Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival and the Mirimichi Rock ‘n Roll Festival.

Here is Vacay.ca’s list of the top festivals happening across the country this month:


EDITORS’ PICK!!!  Iceberg Festival
St. Anthony
Dates: 8-17
Spend some time on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula as Newfoundlanders celebrate the Iceberg Festival. The Northern Peninsula is recognized throughout the world as Iceberg Alley so you won’t have any trouble finding islands of ice to photograph here!

The Newfoundland Screech Comedy Festival
St. John’s
Dates: 13 -17
Led by CBC National Radio host Jian Ghomeshi, the list of prime talent includes: Mike Bullard, Gavin Crawford, Nikki Payne, Cathy Jones, Jonny Harris and Trent McClellan.

Nickel Independent Film & Video Festival 
St. John’s
Dates: 21-25
The Nickel Independent Film Festival, which began in 2001, is inspired by a need for local filmmakers to show their films, the Nickel occurs each year in the third week of June at the historic LSPU Hall.


EDITORS’ PICK!!! Alainait Arts Festival
Dates:  June 29-July 2
The theme for the 2012 Alianait Arts Festival is “Arctic Connections” and will bring together performing artists from across Nunavut and the circumpolar regions and the world.


EDITORS’ PICK!!! Shelburne County Lobster Festival 
Date: 7-10
Come experience the Lobster Capital of Canada, as well as their silver and sand beaches and  rugged and rocky coastlines. Enjoy true east coast hospitality.

Nova Scotia Multicultural Festival
Date: 22-24
This three-day festival features more than 400 talented performers and artisans who offer a variety of music and dance performances.  Enjoy authentic world cuisine provided by our vendors and a children’s tent that includes face painting, storytelling, puppets, songs and crafts.

Stan Rogers Folk Festival
Dates: June 30-July 2
It’s not often that the memory of one man can motivate an entire town to come together and build on a dream. But Stan was no ordinary guy — his commanding baritone voice and his incredible legacy as a songwriting craftsman, have been etched within the Canadian and Maritime landscape, and within the memories of legions of fans — old and new.


Water Valley Celtic Music Festival
Date: 23
The Water Valley Traditional Celtic Folk Festival is a one-day event that features music, dance and stories performed by individuals and groups covering the range from amateur to professional level.

Magnetic North Theatre Festival
Dates: 13-23
The Magnetic North Theatre Festival is the premiere festival of new Canadian theatre. Like the Magnetic North Pole itself, the festival moves around the country, treating Canadians to excellence in English theatre from across the nation.

Medicine Hat Jazz Fest
Medicine Hat
Dates: 21-27
A must-see for jazz lovers, this year’s fest includes guitarist Michael Occhipinti’s return to the event with another imaginative project.

Magnificent River Rats Festival
Dates: 29, 30 and July 1, 2012
Performers include Bif Naked and Shane Chisholm. Big River will be doing a Johnny Cash tribute.


Fat Cat Children’s Festival
Dates: 8-9
Experience all kinds of great workshops, actitivity stations and performers including the return of two favourites, Dan the Balloon Man and Will Stroet. All kinds of fun and exploratory workshops await you.

Vancouver International Jazz Festival
Dates:  June 22 -July 1
BC’s biggest and most acclaimed music festival will feature 1,800 musicians, 400 concerts and 40 venues.

Funtastic Summer Festival
Vernon, Lumby, Armstrong
Dates: June 29-July 2
Billed as Canada’s greatest Slo-Pitch tournament and music festival.


Winnipeg International Children’s Festival
Dates: 7-10
Features 30 shows daily of music, dance, puppetry and hands-on activities with local, national and international artists. Kidsfest has become the premier summer family event in Manitoba and is a leader in the Canadian Children’s Festival community.

TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival
Dates: 14-23
Features the hottest jazz and blues performers from around the world at both free and ticketed events.


Horaire du Festival du Saumon – Salmon Festival
Dates: June 26-July 2
The Salmon Festival in Campbellton is an annual celebration of the renowned Restigouche Salmon. Put your feet up … or kick up your heels … and experience fine Maritime hospitality at the Salmon Festival in Campbellton.

Regional Potato Festival
Grand Falls/Grand-Sault
Dates: 28
In Grand Falls, the Regional Potato Festival celebrates the contribution of the agriculture industry. This event coincides with the end of June and beginning of July, during the Canada Day weekend.

Downtown Mirimichi Rock ‘n Roll Festival
Dates: June 28-July 1
This four-day festival celebrates the city’s love of rock music and an era that will live forever.


Ridgeway Reads Literary Festival
Dates: 1-3
Ridgeway Reads celebrates the best of local and internationally recognized authors of all genres over a three day festival. The first weekend in June also sees a study and recognition of the Battle of Ridgeway, June 2nd 1866, which propelled Canada into nationhood.

Streetsville Bread & Honey Festival
Dates: 1-3
Where’s the best place to go for sweet goodies, excitement and a whole lot of fun for the whole family? The annual Streetsville Founders’ Bread & Honey Festival, will celebrate with bigger and better live entertainment and a wide selection of rides and games for the whole family.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! TD Toronto Jazz Festival
Dates: June 22 – July 1, 2012
The TD Toronto Jazz Festival has become known as one of North America’s premier festivals of its kind. Attractions include more than 350 performances with over 1,500 musicians performing at approximately 40 locations around Toronto.

London Fringe Theatre Festival
Dates: 6-17
The London Fringe Theatre Festival is dedicated to the promotion, production, and prosperity of independent artists. They create a unique and inclusive environment where the arts will be enjoyed in the present and developed for the future.

Dates: 8-10
Westfest,Westboro Village’s Festival of Music, Art & Life, celebrating its ninth edition in 2012! Each year more than 100,000 people attend Westfest during our outdoor, three-day celebration of Canadian art and culture. Westfest fills 14 city blocks with a variety of artistic disciplines, such as music, contemporary dance, visual art, media art, and performance art.


Tignish Irish Moss Festival
Dates: June 25-July 1
From beach parties to quilt shows, a strong woman competition to horse pulls, Miss Irish Moss Pageant to lobster suppers, and everything in between, there is sure to be something for everyone. This year’s theme is Pirates and Princesses. Be sure to keep an eye out for these characters around the village all weekend.


EDITORS’ PICK!!! Montreal International Jazz Festival
Dates: June 28 -July 7
Ranked as the world’s largest jazz festival by Guinness World Records, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal has been synonymous with a passion for music for over three decades. Every year, North America’s French-speaking metropolis welcomes global music fans to 10 days of jazz-centric celebration, where fans of all types of jazz-related music rub shoulders with aficionados of the genre in its purest form.


Potash Corp Saskatchewan Children’s Festival
Dates: 3-6
Established in 1988, the Northern Saskatchewan International Children’s Festival has been part of the cultural and social ecology of the province for 24 years. Located inSaskatoon, it is the only international multidisciplinary arts festival dedicated to children in Saskatchewan.

Windscape Kite Festival and the Long Day’s Night Music Festival
Swift Current
Dates: 21-24
The skies above Swift Current will fill with a colourful array of some of the most unique kites in the world. This free admission festival features beautiful, original handmade art kites, giant creature kites the size of houses, speeding kite buggies racing eighty kilometers an hour, screaming stunt kites flying in tandem, and an one hundred kite train soaring to the skies.

Also, celebrate four of the longest days of the year with great music and lots of fun under a big-top tent at Marston Street and 11th Avenue SW in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.


Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival
Dates: 8 – 10
The 10th anniversary Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival presents some of the most celebrated bluegrass bands inNorth America: The Gibson Brothers, Blue Highway, Kenny and Amanda Smith, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Travers Chandler and Avery County, Hard Ryde and Tom Terrell and The Modern Grass Quartet.


Vicky is the worldly publisher of Vacay.ca. Having graduated from McGill University in Montreal, she has set about building a talented team of travel experts to deliver to you words and images of the very best places to see and experience in Canada. Based in Yorkville in Toronto, Vicky regularly jet sets around Canada — be sure to catch up with her when she's in your part of the country.

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