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April Festivals: Get high with Cheech & Chong in Sudbury


Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong headline the LOL Sudbury comedy fest this month. (Photo courtesy of CheechandChong.com)

Story by Vacay.ca Staff

If you love comedy, then you’re going to love what this month has to offer. April is the time to laugh in Canada as the LOL Sudbury promises to bring the funny to Northern Ontario with dynamic performances from Cheech & Chong and Rick Mercer. Other great performances can be seen at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and on the east coast at the Ha!ifax Comedy Fest where Brent Butt of Corner Gas fame will be leading the laughs.

There’s also a wide range of activities for all tastes this month. For food lovers, there’s the Winnipeg Wine FestivalToronto Wine and Cheese Show, and Hamilton, Ontario’s annual Food and Drink Fest. If you love the arts, check out the Calgary Spoken Word Festival, Chicoutimi, Quebec’s Festival Jazz et Blues Héritage, the Ottawa Grassroots Festival or Niagara-on-the-Lake’s venerable Shaw Festival.  Want to see something really cool? Check out Yukon’s Celebration of Swans. Want to just go out and have a party? Then the World Ski & Snowboard Festival in Whistler is the place you need to be.

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


Dates: 17-20
Cheech & Chong and RickMercer — how’s that for a combination? Those are just some of the performances that will split your gut in Sudbury.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Shaw Festival
Dates: April to October
The Shaw Festival presents plays in four distinctive theatres: the Festival Theatre (the Shaw’s flagship theatre), the historic Court House Theatre, the Royal George Theatre and the Studio Theatre. Guys & Dolls is among the productions scheduled for 2013. Click here to see what is planned for the upcoming season.

Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival
Dates: 20
Every year the sleepy town of Elmvale celebrates liquid gold. The town transforms into a shoppers’ mall — vendors line the streets with offerings of maple syrup, food galore, book sales, collectible sales among other country treasures.

Ottawa International Writers Festival, Spring Edition
Dates: April-May
If you love good writing, then check out this list of authors that will be at the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

Toronto Wine and Cheese Show
Dates: 5-7
Now in its 21st year, the Toronto Wine and Cheese Show is back for another delicious presentation. Featuring Anna Olsen, the Dairy Farmers of Canada, Eat Street Food Trucks  and the Food Network Get Cooking Canada! Stage.

Food and Drink Fest
Dates: 12-14
International wines and spirits, craft beers, and culinary treats created by some of the Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara Regions’ most popular restaurants, breweries and wineries. A wide range of exhibitors.

Ontario Silent Films Festival
Dates: 4-9
Every year, the Toronto Silent Film Festival screens some of the world’s finest silent films. The films screened at the Toronto Silent Film Festival are part of cinema history—a history that stretches from the late-19 th Century to the present.

Rubber Boots Festival des Bottes de caoutchouc
Dates: 11
A maple syrup and music spring celebration in the Land of the Voyageurs. Entertainment, artisans and vendors, food and drink, games and activities, contests and prizes, and, of course, music and dancing!

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
Dates: April 25-May 5, 2013
A must for people who love documentaries, featuring more than 150 cutting-edge films from Canada and around the globe.

Ottawa Grassroots Festival
Dates: 27-28
An annual family-oriented celebration of folk music, dance, and spoken word. Several performers will be attending this event.


Calgary Spoken Word Festival
Banff and Calgary
Dates: 6-29
The term “Spoken Word Artist” refers to and encompasses all artists/poets working in the oral tradition. This includes all jazz poets, dub poets, hip-hop poets, slam poets, storytellers and folk artists. Spoken Word also includes poetry bouts. Several outstanding artists will be taking part in the festival this year, and there will be several events that the whole family will enjoy.

British Columbia

World Ski & Snowboard Festival
Dates: 12-21
This annual fest is a 10-day showcase of the latest progressions in the skiing and snowboarding world, where even the arts events are packed full of adrenaline. Come see Canada’s largest free outdoor concert series.  See action-packed events, photography and film, the best spring snow conditions, and burn-the-candle nightlife.

Read Vacay.ca coverage of the 2012 festival



EDITORS’ PICK!!! Winnipeg Comedy Festival
Dates: 8 – 14
Several funny performers will be at this festival including Steve Patterson, Jonathan Torrens, Diana Frances, Deborah Kimmett and Wab Kinew.

Winnipeg Wine Festival
Dates: April 18 – May 4, 2013
From unique events to a gala dinner and auction, there’s something for every wine lover at this festival. Now in its 12th year, Winnipeg’s public tastings boast the highest attendance in the country, with well over 6,500 people enjoying hundreds of wines from around the world.

New Brunswick

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Maple Capital of Atlantic Canada Festival
Dates: 22-28
The Frye Festival is Canada’s only bilingual international literary festival and the largest literary event in Atlantic Canada. This event features workshops, book clubs, dialogues, readings, debates and lectures take place all day and night in schools, cafés, restaurants, bars, theatres, shopping malls and libraries.

Nova Scotia

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Halifax Comedy Fest
Halifax, Halifax/Dartmouth
Dates: 24-27
Brent Butt, Bob Marley, John Wing and Tony Krolo are just some of the comics taking part in this festival.


Toonik Tyme Festival
Baffin, Iqaluit
Dates: 12-21
Since 1965, residents of Iqaluit have been celebrating spring with Toonik Tyme — a week of games, music, competition and feasting. The schedule includes traditional Inuit activities such as igloo building, dog team races, Inuit games, and a seal-skinning contest.


Festival Jazz et Blues Héritage
Dates: 16 -21
An annual family-oriented celebration of folk music, dance, and spoken word. Several performers will be attending this event.


EDITORS’ PICK!!! Celebration of Swans
Dates: 13-21
A great line up of events happening during the celebration and throughout Yukon’s Biodiversity Awareness Month. Over this nine-day period visitors flock to open water, making the Celebration of Swans the largest birding event in the Yukon Territory. Approximately 10% of Yukoners make their way to Marsh Lake each year to see this spring spectacle.

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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