Niagara, vineyard, winery, tourism, ontario

January Festivals: Celebrate with Icewine


Niagara’s wine country is geared up for the region’s annual Icewine Festival. (Julia Pelish/

Story by Staff

Nothing quite says New Year in Canada like gourmet food and the “sweet stuff”… and this time we aren’t referring to maple syrup. The Niagara Icewine Festival is taking place over two fun-filled weekends in southern Ontario, while the Okanagan Icewine Festival invigorates British Columbia’s interior.

Several events that the whole family will love occur in the first month of 2013, including Ice on Whyte Festival, Winterlicious, Banff Snow Days and, last but not least, Fête des Neiges (celebrating it’s 30th anniversary this year).

If you love music, be sure you’re in Vancouver for the PuSH Festival. Or if you’re on the other side of the country, the In the Dead of Winter Music Festival sets Halifax rocking.

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


EDITORS’ PICK!!! Niagara Icewine Festival
Niagara Falls
Dates: January 11-27
Very few places in the world do Icewine as well as the Niagara Region. Several events to enjoy, including seminars and a gala with an assortment of chocolates you have to see to believe.

Dates: January 25 to February 7, 2013
A 14-day celebration of culture, creativity and cuisine. The 2013 list is the largest to date and includes a long list of participating restaurants, including splendid Bloke & 4th.

Cannington Dog Sled Races and Winter Festival
MacLeod Park, Cannington
Dates: 26-27
From across North America, 70 dog sled teams will compete for a $10,000 purse in the tiny town of Cannington. Thousands of spectators are expected to attend.


EDITORS’ PICK!!! Fête des Neiges
Dates: January 19 to February 3, 2013
The Fête des neiges de Montréal is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013. Activities include tube sliding, ziplining, dog sledding, snow-shoeing,cross-country skiing, boot and ice hockey, and snow-scootering.

January 17 to February 9, 2013
Every winter thousands of electronic music lovers dance under the stars at the Quays of the Old Port of Montréal. Featuring some of the best local and international DJs in the world, Igloofest is one of the hottest events in the city and among the most prominent in Canada. Never been? Check out this video and award-winning article to get a glimpse.


EDITORS’ PICK!!! Ice on Whyte Festival
Dates: January 25 to February 3, 2013
Ice on Whyte has grown into Edmonton’s premier winter festival and now features an international ice-carving competition that is sanctioned by the National Ice Carving Association and 10 days of interactive outdoor winter activities. Visitors enjoy beautiful ice sculptures, a giant ice slide, a children’s play area, live music, and ice-carving workshops for school groups and families.

Banff Snow Days
Banff National Park
Dates: January 12 – February 10, 2013
Celebrate this exciting season with the second annual SnowDays, a month-long festival jam-packed with mid-week events and weekend festivals that celebrate Banff’s historic love for winter. Events include Mountain Adventure Weekend, Ice Magic Festival and Race Amazing Banff. Read about last year’s inaugural SnowDays here.

British Columbia

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Okanagan Icewine Festival
Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon,
Dates: 12-20
This festival is an experience for all who love fabulous wine accompanied by great food, unique events and a breathtaking setting. Several events are planned, including BC Wine Awards Tasting and Port, Chocolate & Cheese: After the Apres Social.

PuSH Festival
Dates: Jan 15 – Feb 3, 2013
The line between safe and risky, between ordinary and adventurous. Pushing artistic boundaries is what the PuSh Festival is all about. Several outstanding events, including dancer Cédric Andrieux and Testament.

Nova Scotia

In the Dead of Winter Music Festival
Dates: 24 – 26
This festival is an acoustic-based event that brings a diverse group of musicians together to not only perform but to also meet one another in a professional environment. The festival aims to showcase the diversity of acoustic music in the Atlantic Region, Canada, and the United States.


New Music Festival
Dates: January 28 – February 2, 2013
Now in its 22nd year, the New Music Festival will celebrate the music of one of the world’s greatest composers, Steve Reich. This year’s Distinguished Guest Composer, Reich is at the New Music Festival for the first time. Also taking part is one of Canada’s leading composers, Christos Hatzis, and Dame Evelyn Glennie, one of the world’s greatest percussionists.

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.

Leave a Reply