July Festivals: Stampede marches on


You can expect to see Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi back in the saddle for the 2013 Calgary Stampede Parade, as he was for the 2012 version. Despite floods, the event will go on as scheduled from July 5-14. (Jody Robbins/

Story by Staff

The big story for the July Festivals roundup is usually the Calgary Stampede and that’s no different this year, although the reasons for its recognition in 2013 is unique.

As you know, floods have hit southern Alberta hard, causing death and millions of dollars in damage. But as Calgary correspondent Jody Robbins reported, Stampede organizers vowed that despite the disaster the show would go on “come hell or high water.” This is a welcoming city that needs support now, so if you’re looking for a few great reasons to visit Calgary, then read this article by Managing Editor Adrian Brijbassi that has gone viral.

Calgary isn’t the only major show in the nation in July. In Manitoba, there’s the Winnipeg Folk Festival. The Rogers Sarnia Bayfest will rock Ontario, the Fringe Fest will take place in Toronto, and there is the Holstein RodeoHonda Indy and last but not least the Scotiabank – Caribbean Carnival Toronto, aka Caribana.

Quebec has the popular Quebec City Summer Festival (or Festival d’Ete de Quebec), while the Dawson City Music Festival will light up Canada’s north.

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


EDITORS’ PICK!!!  Calgary Stampede
Dates: 5 – 14
The show will go on! More than 1.4 million people attended the centennial of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth in 2012 and in 2013 the theme is Stampede 101. Despite the floods caused by the overflowing Bow and Elbow rivers, Calgary’s biggest festival will still welcome visitors to showcase the city’s brand of western hospitality. Read’s Jody Robbins’ report: “For Stampede 101, Calgary teaches hope.”

Red Deer
Dates: 26 – 28
CentreFest 2013 is in its 11th year and is central Alberta’s largest outdoor festival. CentreFest will host performers from across the globe, with a compelling market on walkable streets filled with local comedians, actors, face painters, and visual artists.

The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival
Dates: 5 – 14
More than 1,500 outdoor performances will feature musicians, jugglers, acrobats and unicyclists. StreetFest is a 10-day festival showcasing international street artists.

Wild Mountain Music Festival
Dates: 19 – 21
The outstanding lineup includes Ashley MacIsaac, Fred Eaglesmith and Oscar Lopez.

EDITORS’ PICK!!!  Calgary Folk Festival
Dates: 25 – 28
Several top artists will be at the Calgary Folk Music Festival, including M. Ward, Alabama Shakes and Thievery Corporation.

Calgary International Blues Festival 
Dates: July 19 – August 4, 2013
The ninth annual Calgary International Blues Festival features a full week of performances, culminating in four days and nights of non-stop music at Shaw Millenium Park.


Steamboat Mountain Music Festival
Dates:  1-31
The Steamboat Mountain Music Festival is an all-genre music festival in a picturesque locale in the popular Windermere Valley.

Vancouver Island Music Fest
Dates:  12-14
Performers include Mary Chapin Carpenter and Marc Cohn, Kris Kristofferson, Indigo Girls, and Flo.

Nanaimo Marine Festival
Dates:  26-28
The 2013 Marine Festival kicks off with the opening of the LNBS Marine Festival Food Fair, Bavarian Gardens, Kiddies Harborside Playdock, Kiddies Karnival, and the children’s programs at parks adjacent to the Nanaimo Harbour.

Caribbean Days Festival
North Vancouver
Dates:  27-28
Each July, the Trinidad & Tobago Cultural Society of BC presents the Caribbean Days Festival. This event draws a crowd of exuberant attendees to North Vancouver’s Waterfront Park for a weekend of parading, dining and dancing in the sunshine.

Victoria’s Annual SKA Festival
Dates: 9-13
Mad Caddies, Tanya Stephens, and John Middleton are among the performers.

Cobble Hill
Dates:  27
Lavender harvesting and essential oil distillation demonstrations are among the highlights. Lavender 101, farm tours, U-pick lavender, wand making, children’s crafts and scavenger hunt, and guided labyrinth walks are other activities.


EDITORS’ PICK!!! Winnipeg Folk Festival
Dates:  10-14
Now in its 40th year, the festival’s attendance exceeds 80,000 and includes thousands of visitors from around the world.

Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival
Dates:   17–28
For 12 days every July, more than 160 companies from around the world present comedy, drama, dance, improv, musicals and more while Old Market Square comes alive with non-stop entertainment on the Outdoor Stage.

Manitoba Stampede and Exhibition
Dates: 18 – 21
A pro-rodeo event on the Canadian Tour circuit, the Manitoba Stampede stars some of the top names in bull riding, bronco-busting, tie-down roping, and bareback riding.

Neepawa and Area Lily Festival
Dates:  19 – 21
Lily Show, Tangled Threads Quilt Show, Charlie Sage Memorial Fiddlers Contest, Parade, Miss Lily Queen Contest, Street Vendors, and Bus and Horse Tours.


Shediac Lobster Festival
Dates:  10-14
Hundreds of kids are invited each year to dress up in a costume and participate in the parade that takes place on Main Street. Cold lobster plates with all the trimmings are served every day during the festival.

Downtown Mirimichi Rock ‘n Roll Festival
Dates: 4-7
The Arrows Reunion Band are back and returning for the 20th anniversary party.

Canada’s Irish Festival on the Miramichi
Dates: 18-21
An exciting exploration of Irish culture in drama, song and dance!

Down River Music Festival
Dates: 26-28
Now in its seventh year, the festival will have performances from Border Line, Girouard Family and Chris Cummings.


Wreckhoue International Jazz and Blues Festival
St. John’s
Dates:   11
You’ll love these artists, including 8 Ball Aitken, Bill Brennan and the Banda Brazil, and the Brad Turner Quartet.

Salmon Festival

Grand Falls-Windsor
Dates: 13
Some heavy hitters here! The Eagles, Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Minglewood, and Johnny Reid.

Fish Fun and Folk Festival
Dates:  22 – 28
Great food and entertainment and great friends — the core of what the Fish, Fun, Folk Festival is all about.


Hay Days Festival
Hay River
Dates:  21 – 21
Canadian singer/songwriter Craig Cardiff will be headlining the Friday night show.

Great Northern Arts Festival
Dates:  12 – 21
Since 1989, up to 80 visual artists and 40 performers from across the North gather each summer in Inuvik to celebrate the diversity that is Canada’s North.


EDITORS’ PICK!!! TD Halifax Jazz Festival 
Dates:  5 – 13
Since 1989, up to 80 visual artists and 40 performers from across the North gather each summer in Inuvik to celebrate the diversity that is Canada’s North.

Lebanese Festival
Dates:  11-14
Relax while enjoying Lebanese music and food, take in the exhibits and buy handcrafted works of art at the Artisan Gift Shop.

Maritime Fiddle Festival
Dates:  4-8
Since 1950, the Maritime Fiddle Festival has been the source for lively entertainment, spirited and fun competition, and traditional Nova Scotian hospitality.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Halifax Pride Festival
Dates:  18 – 28
Several community events, throughout the week, featuring Dykes vs. Divas after-glow party, Rouge Fatale and Friends, Arlene Paculan and Friends, and the Ean Girls.


Mississauga Waterfront Festival
Dates:  14-16
More musicians (including a new horn section), more songs, more lasers, a bigger light show, and a celebrity cameo (TBA).

RBC Royal Bank Blues Fest
Dates:  4-14
Great lineup as always. This year’s roster includes The Split, Femi Kuti, Grand Funk Railroad and the Cat Empire.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Toronto Fringe Festival
Dates:  3 – 14
Toronto’s largest theatre festival is turning 25! Dance lovers can check out eight productions, and families can look forward to FringeKids!

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Rogers Sarnia Bayfest
Dates:  11-14
Toby Keith, Brantley Gilbert, Emerson Drive, Cowboy Junkies, The Sheepdogs, Iron Maiden, Big Wreck, U.S.S., Hedley, Alice Cooper, and John Mellendcamp. Need we say more?

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Holstein Rodeo

Dates:  11-14
The 2013 lineup of performers includes Tommy Gilham and the Chillbillys, Peter Irwin “Elvis” Impersonator, High Valley, Chad Brownlee, Colin Amey, Megan Morrison and Jason Blaine.  Oh yes, there’s some pretty good rodeo too!

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Honda Indy
Dates:  11-14
The 2013 Honda Indy Toronto features a full length IndyCar race on both July 13 and 14. Each race will be an equal length, championship points race. Drivers include Canadian James Hinchcliffe, Dario Franchitti, Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Graham Rahal and Scott Dixon.

Collingwood Elvis Festival
Dates:  25-28
If you love Elvis Presley, then Collingwood is the place to go to get all shook up.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Scotiabank – Caribbean Carnival Toronto
Dates:  July 17 to August 12, 2013
Welcome to the 46th anniversary of this event! Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto is an exciting three-week cultural explosion of Caribbean music, cuisine, revelry as well as visual and performing arts.


Cavendish Beach Music Festival 
Green Gables Shore / Cavendish
Dates:  5-7
The 2013 lineup includes Dixie Chicks, Kenny Chesney, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Little Big Town, and the Abrams Brothers.

Northumberland Fisheries Festival
Murray River
Dates:  5-7
This event features a parade, dory rowing contest, log-roll contests, ferries pagent, and fashion show.

Tyne Valley Oyster Festival
Tyne Valley
Dates:  July 31 – August 4, 2013
Home of the Canadian Oyster Shucking Championship. The best oyster shuckers in the country will gather in the small rural village of Tyne valley to try to knock off last year’s champ, Eamon Clark, as he hopes to defend his Canadian title.


EDITORS’ PICK!!! Quebec City Summer Festival, Festival d’été de Québec
Québec City
Dates:  4- 14
Read full article by Managing Editor Adrian Brijbassi: “Headliners include Stevie Wonder (July 14), the Black Keys (July 6) and Bruno Mars (July 8). Canada’s tremendous array of emerging talent will be well represented with Diamond Rings (July 8), A Tribe Called Red (July 9), the Sheepdogs (July 14) and Monster Truck (July 14) appearing. Rush (July 10) and Lee Harvey Osmond (July 13) are among the veteran Canadian talents on stage for a festival that is the closest thing this nation has to Coachella, the showcase that draws big-name acts and legions of fans to the California desert each year.”

Tremblant International Blues Festival
Dates:  4- 14
Artists include Tom Lavin & The Legendary Powder Blues, Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters and Jonas & the Massive Attraction.

Fantasia Film Fest
Dates:  July 18-August 8, 2013
Started in 1996, the Fantasia International Film Festival is now recognized as the largest and most influential event of its kind in North America.

Montréal MEG Festival
Dates: July 29-August 3, 2013
Performers include Cargo Cult, Phil Fiction, Alaclair Set, Dead Obies, Human Human, CTZNSHP, Agoria and Locomote.

Dates: July 31-August 4, 2013
Hot-air balloon and parachuting festival, as well as several shows you’re going to love!


Regina International Fringe Theatre Festival
Dates: 10 – 14
Lots of shows at this year’s festival, including FRAZ: Lonely At Last, The Best Damn Horse In the Country and Matchstick.

Gateway Music Festival
Dates:  26 – 28
Artists include Steve Earle & The Dukes, Corb Lund & The Hurtin’ Albertans, Yukon Blonde and The Wooden Sky.


EDITORS’ PICK!!! Dawson City Music Festival
Dates:  19-21
Famously named Canada’s “tiny, perfect music festival” by Vancouver’s Georgia Straight, the Dawson City Music Festival presents three days of wildly diverse music in six venues around Dawson City, Yukon, in Canada’s far north.

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