June Fests: Drivers, start your engines


Jenson Button is hopeful of another fantastic showing at the Canadian Grand Prix, which takes place June 9 on the streets of Montreal. (Photo courtesy of

Report by Staff

The sound of thunder coming out of Montreal is the F1 Grand Prix of Canada, taking place June 6-9. With 70 laps and more than 300 kilometres of pure adrenalin-adic fun, this is one event no sports fan should miss. Quebec is a great place to be this month, with the St-Ambroise Fringe Festival and  Montreal International Jazz Festival taking place in Montreal.

Speaking of jazz festivals, take your pick. No matter where  you call home it’s a safe bet there’s a jazz fest happening near you, with the Medicine Hat Jazz FestVancouver International Jazz FestivalTD Winnipeg International Jazz FestivalEdmundston Jazz and Blues FestivalTD Ottawa International Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Fest and the Sask Tel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival all taking place this month.

And a festival just isn’t a festival without good food. For all you foodies out there, be sure to check out Niagara New Vintage Festival, Greek Fest and the Shelburne County Lobster Festival.

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


EDITORS’ PICK!!! F1 Grand Prix of Canada
Dates: 6-9
Montreal has a need for speed! Watch this city come alive as some of the best drivers in the world go head to head in Quebec.

St-Ambroise Fringe Festival
Dates: 3-23
The festival champions diversity, accessibility and artistic freedom, proudly providing artists of varying backgrounds and disciplines with a unique forum.

Les FrancoFolies de Montréal
Dates: 13-22
Nearly 70 indoor shows and 180 free outdoor concerts attest to the effervescent quality, diversity and energy of a music-rich, fun-filled program.

Festival international Montréal en Arts
Dates: 12-16
This festival offers visitors a unique opportunity to meet artists from various backgrounds as well as emerging artists. Visitors can purchase artworks directly from the artists (without paying the fees charged when buying through a gallery or an agent).

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Montreal International Jazz Festival
Dates: June 28-July 7
Feist, Buddy Guy, Chris Potter, Boz Scaggs, Boogat, Anna McGarrigle and Bonnie Raitt headline.


Water Valley Celtic Music Festival
Water Valley
Dates: 22
The Water Valley Traditional Celtic Folk Festival is a one-day event that features talent of all levels involving music, dance and stories performed by individuals and groups covering the range from amateur to professional level.

Magnetic North Theatre Festival
Dates: 7-15
Magnetic North Theatre Festival is unique because it moves around the country from its home base in Ottawa to a different Canadian City every other year.

Banff National Park Bike Fest
Dates: 13 – 16
Five race stages. Four days. A $21,000 prize purse. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more spectacular setting than Banff National Park.

Medicine Hat Jazz Fest
Medicine Hat
Dates: 24-30
Great schedule featuring Pam Wagner/Rick Lett Combo, Kellylee Evans/Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Jazz Sextet, and Thomas Enhco.

Magnificent River Rats Festival
Dates: 29-20
Bringing Athabasca and surrounding communities together to enjoy music, local artisans, and many other family-oriented activities. Come celebrate Canada Day weekend on the banks of the mighty Athabasca River.

British Columbia

Bard on the Beach
Dates: June 12-September 14
Celebrating its 24th season, Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare festivals.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Vancouver International Jazz Festival
Dates: June 21-July 1
Outstanding schedule features Dylan Cramer Trio, Ali Milner Steve Smith’s Roll and Larry Goldings Trio.

Funtastic Summer Festival
Vernon, Lumby, Armstrong
Dates:  June 28-July 1, 2013
Headliners are now set. Honeymoon Suite plays on June 28 while Barracuda (Heart tribute) opens for Sweet on June 29. On June 30, Julian Austin opens for Aaron Pritchett; and finally, to celebrate Canada Day, Theory of a Deadman and Big Wreck take the A&W Stage.

Tall Tree Music Fesitval
Port Renfrew
Dates:  28-30
Tall Tree Music Festival is a not-for-profit event. Proceeds go to the Tall Tree Festival Society to support local charitable organizations.


EDITORS’ PICK!!! Manitoba Summer Fair
Dates:  6-10
Combine the tantalizing smells of your favourite fair foods, which will be cooking all around you, with the bright lights and big excitement of rides lit up in the night and you get the Manitoba Summer Fair experience.

The EX – The Red River Exhibition
Dates: 14-23
New this year: Continental Stock Dog Championship, Cavallo Horse Show, Giant Flea Circus, and West Coast Lumberjacks.

Winnipeg International Children’s Festival
Dates: 6-9
Back by popular demand is the interactive venue called “Artists & Audiences – Bridging the Gap.” Headline festival artists and groups are scheduled to offer hands-on workshops throughout the four-day event.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival
Dates: 13-22
Several great artists will be performing, including ALFA, Beauchamp, George Benson and Jennifer Hanson.

Dauphin’s Countryfest
Dates: 27-30
Performers will be appearing on three stages: Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Main Stage, Credit Union Corral Stage and MTS Stage.

New Brunswick

Maritime CountryFest
Dates: 8
The 2013 lineup includes Tristan Horncastle, Kira Isabella, Jimmy Rankin, George Canyon and Travis Tritt.

Edmundston Jazz and Blues Festival
Dates: 19-22
The Edmundston Jazz & Blues festival is a not for profit organizations that develops, organizes and promotes  concerts and musical events in relation to the type of music known as “jazz and blues” music.

Horaire du Festival du Saumon – Salmon Festival
Dates: 6-7
You have to come to this festival for the food alone. Fireworks, a pet show, Campbell Amusements Carnival, and a bowling tournament.

Riverview SUNFEST
Dates: June 27-July 1
Bring your family, friends and neighbours to what is sure to be a great time as we celebrate our 10th annual SUNFEST, with music, food, fun and special activities.

Atlanticade Motorcycle Festival
St. Andrews
Dates: June 27-July 1
The Atlanticade Motorcycle Festival has just announced that it will be providing a chance for all VIP participants to win a new Harley Davidson Road King Classic.


The Newfoundland Screech Comedy Festival
St. John’s
Dates: 12-16
Derek Seguin, Rebecca Kohler and Steve Patterson are just a few of the outstanding comics you’ll see in Newfoundland.

Iceberg Festival
St. Anthony
Dates: 7-16
The Iceberg Festival is a regional festival that happens every June at the very top of the Northern Peninsula. It celebrates the annual arrival of the icebergs.

Nickel Independent Film & Video Festival
St. John’s
Dates: 18-22
Along with up to eight screenings of independent films, the festival offers workshops, panels with filmmakers, and special events as well as a showcase of local performing and visual artists.

Nova Scotia

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Shelburne County Lobster Festival
Dates: 6-9
Come and experience the Lobster Capital of Canada during Shelburne County’s Lobster Festival. Enjoy a weekend full of family activities, events and of course, lots of lobster!

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Greek Fest
Dates: 13-16
Greek food, music, dancing, church tours, wine tastings and more. Twenty-six years after the inaugural event, the Greek Summer Festival is proudly spearheaded by the kids who danced their first kalamatiano in 1986.

Nova Scotia Multicultural Festival
Dates: 21-23
Since its inception, the Multicultural Festival has attracted more than half a million visitors and has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the local economy. This three-day event is the largest Multicultural Festival east of Montreal and features many talented performers and artisans who offer a variety of music, dance and activities for patrons of all ages. Interactive cultural activities, including the sale of authentic world cuisine, are designed to deliver a memorable experience. The nation’s Museum of Immigration is in the capital of Nova Scotia. In the 19th and 20th centuries, immigrants would be processed through the facility at Pier 21 as Canada’s multicultural heritage started to unfold.


Alianait Arts Festival
Dates: June 28-July 1
Several shows that big kids and small kids will love. Art, music, film, storytelling, circus arts, dance and theatre.


Mosaica – Sound & Light Show on Parliament Hill
Dates: 6-9
Mosaika is the story of Canada — our story. A powerful narrative set against the spectacular backdrop of Parliament Hill, Mosaika takes the audience on an unforgettable journey of sound and light, as we explore Canada’s physical, historical and cultural landscapes.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! NXNE North by Northeast
Dates: 10-16
As usual, NXNE will not disappoint. Check out this list of performers, including Flag, Calexico, Millencolin and Joey Bada$$.

Luminato – Toronto’s Festival
Dates: 14-23
Luminato has it all — theatre, music, visual arts, and dance.

Niagara New Vintage Festival
Niagara Region
Dates: 15-23
The New Vintage Festival is a time of growth and rebirth among Niagara’s 14,800 acres of lush vineyards — a testament to the rich soil and unique climate of the region.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Redpath Waterfront Festival
Dates: 20-23
The Redpath Waterfront Festival is a unique festival that provides on-land and water  programming while positioning and promoting Toronto locally, nationally and internationally as a waterfront destination.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Cobourgh Waterfront Festival
Dates: June 29-July 1
This festival is now in its 23rd year. Enjoy arts, crafts, entertainment, Canada Day celebrations, events for kids, vendors, food and more.

Ottawa Fringe Festival
Dates: 20-30
The Fringe’s mandate is to afford all artists the opportunity to produce their art — regardless of experience, content, form or style — and for the event to be affordable and accessible to the community.

TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival
Dates: June 20-July 1
Willie Nelson & Family, Mavis Staples, and Dr. John & The Nite Trippers are just some of the talent that will appear at the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival.

TD Toronto Jazz Festival
Dates: 20-29
Smokey Robinson, Nikki Yanofsky, and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings are among the headliners at this event that offers a mix of free and paid concerts.

Prince Edward Island

Festival of Small Halls
Dates: 13-23
Recognized as an East Coast Music Award nominee for “Event of the Year” annually from 2011-13, and winner of the Music PEI event of the year for four years running.

The Charlottetown Festival
Dates: June 28- September 28
Several great stageshows, including Dear Johnny Deere, Evangeline and Les Feux Follets.


Potash Corp Saskatchewan Children’s Festival
Dates: 2-5
This festival will welcome 20,000 visitors and hundreds of volunteers this year, encouraging a new generation to make the very best wishes they can.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Sask Power Windscape Kite Festival
Swift Current
Dates: 22
Children will have an opportunity to learn to juggle, spin plates, and balance peacock feathers. Kids will also be able to get their faces painted. They can also play in the mystery sandpile, play with bubbles, and splatter paint on a mural.

Sask Tel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival
Saskatoon, Regina, and North Battleford
Dates: June 21-July 1
great lineup includes Andy Shauf, A Tribe Called Red, Courtney Pine, The Harpponist & The Axe Murderer and John Scofield.


Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival
Dates: 7-9
Check out the Gibson Brothers, Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Camp, Balsam Range and The Chapmans.


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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