March Festivals: Canadian Music Week headlines a rockin’ month


Kendel Carson puts on a show as part of Dustin Bentall’s band. They will be playing at the Canadian Music Week festival for the second year in a row. (Julia Pelish/

Story by Staff

Canadian Music Week-The Dakota Tavern-Toronto

Fans at Toronto’s Dakota Tavern show their love for Canadian Music Week. (Julia Pelish/

Canadian Music Week is warming up and that means Toronto will be jamming in March.

Rihanna, Diamond RingsCharlotte ChurchMatt Mays and Adam Jones are just a few of the musicians who will be at the event. Other featured performers will be Janelle Monae, J Mascis and Bombay Bicycle Club.

That isn’t the only music-themed festival happening this month. The East Coast Music Awards in HalifaxToronto Salsa FestivalVancouver International Dance FestivalBrandon Jazz Festival and 90th Annual Truro Music Festival are taking place.

Brandon is the place to be in the Canadian prairie provinces this month. Besides the Jazz Festival, the city also holds The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. Meanwhile, in Montreal, there’s the very popular Nuit Blanche.

There are also several maple syrup festivals taking place this month including the Springwater Maple Syrup Festival in Aylmer, the Bronte Creek 1890’s Style Maple Syrup Festival and the Maple Capital of Atlantic Canada Festival in Saint-Quentin.

Here is’s list of the top festivals happening across the country for March:


EDITORS’ PICK!!!  Canadian Music Week and Canadian Music Fest — 30th Anniversary
Dates: 19-24
The biggest music festival of its kind in Canada. Toronto’s most popular clubs and music halls come alive to great bands, industry insiders and the general public to create a musical bonanza. Talented unsigned bands mix with household names to create a week that will be heard around the world.

See’s video coverage from last year’s sensational CMW opening at the CN Tower 

Toronto Salsa Festival
Dates: 28-31
Artists at this year’s festival include New Skin, Salsa y Passion Toronto, and Garry Portugal.

Springwater Maple Syrup Festival
Dates: 2 – 31
Enjoy wagon rides through the Springwater Forest. Tour the old-fashioned sugar shanty for demonstrations on maple syrup production.

Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival
Dates: 9-10
Running both days from 9 am to 4 pm. Enjoy a delicious pancake and sausage meal, sap making demonstrations, horse drawn sleigh rides, log sawing contest, snowshoe competitions, and lots of live entertainment.

Ottawa Irish Festival
Dates: 7-17
The Ottawa Irish Festival is an annual celebration of Irish and Irish-Canadian culture in the National Capital Region. This event includes a St. Patrick’s Parade and Parade Party.

Bronte Creek 1890’s Style Maple Syrup Festival
Dates: Every Weekend in March + the week of March Break from 9:30am – 3:00pm.
Enjoy a guided tour of the Maple Lane, where 1890s costumed interpreters demonstrate how to tap maple trees, make maple syrup and maple sugar. View artifacts in the maple museum or tour the 100-year-old Spruce Lane Farmhouse.

Saugeen Bluffs Maple Syrup Festival
Dates: 23 – 24
The largest outdoor Maple Syrup Festival in Grey and Bruce Counties! Dog shows, a blacksmith, and lots of great music.

British Columbia

EDITORS’ PICK!!!  Pacific Rim Whale Festival
Ucluelet & Tofino
Dates: 16-24
Throughout the coastal towns of Tofino and Ucluelet and around the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, it’s an all-out celebration of life on the coast! An amazing evening of food, wine, conversation and healthy bidding on some fantastic silent auction items.

Kamloops Cowboy Festival
Dates: 7-10
Come be a cowboy for a day with one of the largest festivals of its kind in North America. Come downtown to enjoy the great restaurants and exciting shopping in the heart of the “Best Blooming Community” in Canada.

Vancouver International Dance Festival
Dates: 2-23
Performances by companies from New Zealand, Switzerland, Denmark and Canada. Event also features several activities and workshops.


Brandon Jazz Festival
Dates: 15-17
This festival is a non-competitive annual event held in March on the campus of Brandon University. The festival features many discussion sessions with guest speakers, clinics, workshops with adjudicators, and special evening concerts with guest artists.

EDITORS’ PICK!!!  The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair
Dates: 25-30
One of Western Canada’s largest agricultural events. At the Royal you can expect to see world-class show jumping and heavy horse competitions, livestock sales and displays, a quality hands-on agricultural awareness program including Thru the Farm Gate, exceptional live entertainers, over 300 commercial and agricultural exhibits.

New Brunswick

Maple Capital of Atlantic Canada Festival
Dates: 26-31
You will find syrup products, lumber, sculptures and culinary arts. Activities include guided tours, a theatre production, a variety of contests, and a maple products exhibition and sale. Meals featuring maple products are a highlight of the festival.

Northwest Territories

EDITORS’ PICK!!!  Snowking Winter Festival
Dates: 2-29
The Snowking and his tundra toughened helpers are back! Events include the Frozen Dog Film Festival, the Block 1000 rock and roll bash, and the Snowking’s Royal Ball.

Nova Scotia

EDITORS’ PICK!!!  East Coast Music Association
Dates: 6-10
A regional collaboration of people in the music industry of Atlantic Canada. East Coast Music Week is now a five-day, non-stop musical celebration showcasing and recognizing the best of East Coast artists and music. A must for music lovers.

90th Annual Truro Music Festival
Dates: March 18-April 28
The Truro Music Festival is the third-oldest competitive music festival in Canada. It includes musicians of all ages from the Colchester area and neighbouring counties in Nova Scotia.


EDITORS’ PICK!!!  Nuit Blanche
Date: 2
This cultural, artistic and eclectic celebration showcases the city via a multitude of activities and allows you to discover or rediscover tons of artists. For one spectacular nightvisual arts, music, film, theatre, dance, literature, flights of fancy, and many other surprises invite you to share experiences and discoveries.


Annual Dawson City International Short Film Festival
Dates: 28-31
Every Easter weekend, the Dawson City International Short Film Festival (DCISFF) opens its arms to a migration of film lovers for a four-day celebration of short film.

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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