November Festivals: 100th Grey Cup bash

Story by Staff

It’s a little chillier outside and there aren’t as many festivals happening across the country this month as Canadians begin to shift their focus toward the holidays. But don’t get discouraged — there are a several big events to keep you busy and warm you up before December arrives.

It seems Canadians from coast to coast are busy planning Grey Cup parties, and for good reason. Ontario is getting ready to “go deep” with the Canadian Football League (CFL) as the city of Toronto prepares to lead the nation with the 100th Grey Cup Festival celebration. We can’t tell you who will be in the big game — yet — but this 10-day festival should be one for the ages, culminating on November 25 in the annual battle for the CFL’s top prize. Justin Bieber will be the headliner for the half-time show.

Before the Grey Cup rolls into town, those visiting Toronto can check out the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Animals of all shapes and sizes, award-winning chefs and activities for the whole family await you at Exhibition Place.

Also in Ontario are several cultural festivals that you won’t want to miss, including the Diwali Festival 2012, the Canadian Aboriginal Festival and the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

In Tofino, British Columbia, they shuck ’em so you can suck ’em. Seafood lovers from across the country will be lining up for the Clayoquot Oyster Festival featuring great restaurants and a mysterious gentleman known only as The Oysterman.

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


EDITORS’ PICK!!! 100th Grey Cup Festival
Dates: 15-25
The 100th Grey Cup Festival is a 10-day, 11-night party with over 50 events, including galas and player awards, a football film festival, and several family fun zones. Expect street closures, entertainment and tons of activities as Canada comes together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup. The festival will end with the conclusion of the Grey Cup game on Sunday, November 25. Along with Justin Bieber, other confirmed entertainers for the Grey Cup include Carly Rae Jepsen and Gordon Lightfoot.

EDITORS’ PICK!!!  The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Dates: 2-11
One of the largest winter fairs in the world, you will love the food, animals and exhibitors that have made this one of the most fun and anticipated November attractions in Canada. Just a few of the highlights include a rodeo, mixology competition and a harvest market.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Diwali Festival 2012
Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary
Dates: 13-17
Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains will gather across the country for the annual Diwali Festival. According to CityNews Toronto, this event “often referred to as the festival of lights, Diwali lasts for five days and marks the end of one year and the start of another on the Vikrama lunar calendar.” Major celebrations are planned for Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.

Festival of Northern Lights
Owen Sound
Dates: November 16, 2012 to January 6, 2013
Enjoy the beauty of Owen Sound in the Christmas season each evening from 5 pm to 11 pm, as 25-plus kilometres of lights illuminate the harbour, the Sydenham riverbanks, the downtown core and Harrison Park.

Windsor International Film Festival
Dates: 7-11
This year includes 44 dramatic and documentary feature films, including Nisha Pahuja’s The World Before Her on opening night and Michael McGowan’s Still.

CAA Winter Festival of Lights
Niagara Falls
Dates: November 5, 2012 to January 27, 2013.
The CAA Winter Festival of Lights turns Niagara Falls into a winter wonderland, with over three million sparkling lights along a 6-km route.

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival
Toronto / Richmond Hill
Dates: 6-11, 2012 (Toronto) 16-17, 2012 (Richmond Hill)
The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival® is a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora. Works include films and videos by East and Southeast Asian artists in Canada and around over the world.

Canadian Aboriginal Festival
Dates: 17-20
This is the 19th Anniversary of the Canadian Aboriginal Festival. Visitors to the festival over the past fifteen years have included Canadians from across the country guests from around the world.


Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival
Dates: 2-3
The largest food and wine event in Alberta. Enjoy great food and delicious wines.


Wintergreen Craft Fair
Dates: 16 – 18
If you love crafts, you’re going to love this fair!

British Columbia

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Clayoquot Oyster Festival
Dates: 15-17
Costumes, slurping contests, abundant oyster eating and lots of great music are what make this festival so special for those that live here and the welcomed visitors who join us for these celebratory days.

New Brunswick

Silver Wave Film Festival
Dates: 8-11
The NB Silver Wave Film Festival screens feature films, documentaries and short films shot in the province and produced by New Brunswick filmmakers. Over 100 films will be featured on Silver Wave screens this November.


Cinemania Film festival
Dates: 1-11
Cinemania is the annual rendez-vous of cinephiles to discover quality feature films judiciously selected from over 120 films viewed annually by its professional team of programmers.


Vicky is the worldly publisher of 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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