August Festivals: Flood Aid rocks Calgary


Calgarian Paul Brandt is among the most pleasant and philanthropic stars you’ll meet. He will be among the artists at the August 15 benefit show to aid Alberta flood victims. (Julia Pelish/

Story by Staff

The eyes of the world were on Calgary in June as the city dealt with catastrophic flooding and focus stayed on the city in July as its citizens rallied around the community’s signature event, the Calgary Stampede. They ensured it continued despite the challenges of the  natural disaster. Now, Alberta celebrities are making sure the attention does not drift away, especially as so many people affected by the floods are still in need.

Spearheaded by Jann Arden, the benefit concert takes place August 15 at McMahon Stadium, with proceeds going to the Calgary Foundation’s flood rebuilding fund. Comedian Brent Butt will host the event while Nickelback, who originate in nearby Hanna, will headline the concert.

Other entertainers scheduled include Paul BrandtRandy Bachman, Tom Cochrane, Colin James, Matthew Good, Ian Tyson, The Sadies and The Sheepdogs. More than 15,000 tickets were sold in the first hour. Tickets for the concert can be purchased from starting at a cost of $30. It should be a great concert full of festivities before and afterwards. If you can get out there and support Calgary, awesome. But if not, you can still help out by donating online to the Flood Rebuilding Fund by clicking here.

More Festivals Around Canada

If you love tennis, you’re going to love August. The annual Rogers Cup is ready to go in Montreal and Toronto with the women playing at York University and the men at Uniprix Stadium. Canadian stars Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic will be among the favourites in Montreal, while the ever-dangerous American and world No. 1 Serena Williams will be leading the field in Toronto.

Other annual Canadian favourites begin this month. The Canadian National Exhibition kicks off in Toronto, while Folklorama begins in Winnipeg. Another reason to love August are buskers. Three events will feature some of the Canada’s and the world’s best sidewalk entertainers, including the Toronto Busker Festival, the St. John’s Buskers Festival and the Halifax International Buskers Festival.

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


EDITORS’ PICK!!!  Calgary Flood Benefit Concert
Date: 15
NickelbackJann ArdenJohnny ReidThe SheepdogsCorb LundColin JamesTom CochraneIan TysonMatthew Good and Randy Bachman will be taking part in a benefit to support the city of Calgary as they clean up after the flood.

[box_light] articles to raise awareness of support for Alberta and the Calgary Stampede during this difficult time included “7 reasons to visit Calgary after floods” and “Calgary eyes rebound as Stampede opens.”[/box_light]

Canmore Folk Festival
Dates: 3-5
The Canmore Folk Music Festival is the longest running folk music festival in Alberta, bringing exquisite music to the Rocky Mountains since 1978.

Servus Heritage Festival
Dates: 3-5
This is the 38th annual edition of this premier three-day showcase of Canada’s vibrant multicultural heritage. There will be 60 pavilions representing more than 85 cultures.

Calgary Fringe Festival
Dates: 2 – 10
Several shows are available, including 6 Guitars, 8:Bit – The Video Game Dance and A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup.

TransCanada’s Global Fest
Dates: 16-25
GlobalFest’s mandate as a not-for-profit society is to produce an inclusive, world-class, multi-faceted arts and culture festival that celebrates and showcases cultural diversity and artistic excellence within our communities and across the globe.

Expo Latino – Annual Hispanic Festival
Dates: 23-25
Western Canada’s largest Latin festival is celebrating its 16th anniversary. Acts include Salsa Shines Class with Leo pura Cubania, Wil Campa y su Gran Union and Trio Bembe- Latin Jazz. Check schedule for times.


EDITORS’ PICK!!!  Rogers Cup Men’s Tennis
Dates:  2-11
The biggest male stars in tennis will be competing in Montreal at the Rogers Cup, including Canadian players Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic.

Mont-Tremblant Jazz Fest 
Dates:  7-11
Five Jazz-filled days, presented on two outdoor stages and in 10 cafés, restaurants, bars and hotels in Mont-Tremblant.

Dates:  2-4
Performers include Capital Cities, Majical Cloudz, K-OS, Daughter and DIIV.

Casino du Lac-Leamy Sound of Light
Dates:  10-24
For the 18th year, spectators can attend five art fireworks evenings where representatives of different countries will compete in a battle of light and sound.

Fierté Montréal Pride 
Dates:  12-18
Pride Montreal invites you to a peaceful vigil denouncing the “anti-gay propaganda” law enacted in Russia. Gathering is planned for August 30 from 1-8 pm before the Consulate of Russia to support Russian LGBT community members.

Montreal Reggae Festival
Dates:  17-19
The 10th annual festival boasts having an audience of more than 150,000 since its inception and is steadfast in its commitment to raising the profile of a reggae music.

The Montréal World Film Festival
Dates:  August 22 – September 2, 2013
The goal of the World Film Festival of Montreal is to encourage cultural diversity and understanding between peoples, foster the cinema of all continents by stimulating the development of quality cinema, and to showcase the filmmakers and innovation.

RIMOUSKI Jazz Festival
Dates:  August 28 – September 1
Artists include Antoine Pelegrin, Baraka, Benjamin Deschamps and Coyote Bill.


Coombs Country Bluegrass Festival
Dates: 1-4
Performers include The Foggy Hogtown Boys, Riverside Bluegrass Band, Mark Phillips & 3rd Generation, and The Moonshiners.

Kaslo Jazz Festival
Dates: 2-4
Now in its 22nd year. Stunning vistas, great acoustics and superb musicians combine to create the Kaslo Jazz Etc. Summer Music Festival.

Filberg Festival
Dates: 2-5
Entertainers include Ben Sures, Blues Panel Concert, Carli & Julie Kennedy and Daniel Lapp.

Penticton Peach Festival
Dates: 7-11
One of the oldest free family festivals of its kind in the province. Live entertainment includes: a kiddie’s day, midway and aboriginal village, and the Peach Festival Parade.

The Edge of the World Music Festival
Haida Gwaii
Dates: 9-11
With over 40 musical acts in the line up, there is something for everyone at the 2013 Edge of the World Music Festival. Performers include Shred Kelly and the Boom Booms.

Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival
Date: 10
Check out this lineup! Blue Rodeo, Charles Bradley and ZZ Ward — just a few of the great acts showing up in Burnaby!

Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts
Dates: 15-18
Canada’s longest running summer gathering of Canadian writers and readers, featuring established literary stars and exciting, new voices.

Victoria Dragon Boat Festival
Dates: 16-18
Competitive and recreational teams from across Canada and the United States descend on Victoria’s Inner Harbour for a weekend of record-breaking racing. Ninety teams and 2,500 paddlers arrive to thrill the crowds.

Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival
Salmon Arm
Dates: 16-18
Now in its 21st year, the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival is the largest, most musically diverse festival in the BC Interior.

Blue Grass Festival
Dates: 25-30
Spend an inspiring, challenging and thrilling week with others who are passionate for bluegrass and old-time music! There are student concerts, band scrambles, instructor concerts, campground picking sessions, hosted jams and old time dances.


Islendingadagurinn (Icelandic Festival)
Dates: 2-5
The second-oldest continuous ethnic festival in North America. Velkomin (welcome in Icelandic), and enjoy the food, events, activities and of course, the Vikings!

EDITORS’ PICK!!!  Folklorama
Dates: 4-17
Folkorama is the largest and longest-running cultural festival in the world. Wonderful performers will thrill you.

Morden Corn & Apple Festival
Dates: 23-25
Hospitality, good food, wholesome entertainment and relaxing atmosphere are the ingredients of the Apple Festival.


Dieppe Kite International Festival
Dates: 14-18
The world’s best kite fliers from various countries converge on Dieppe’s Dover Park during a busy week of activities in August to fly kites of all colours, shapes and sizes.

Miramichi Folksong Festival
Dates: 4-9
Now in its 56th year, the lineup includes Melanie Ross, the Gillis Family and the Miramiichi Fiddlers.

Festival acadien de Caraquet
Dates: 13-15
Forty-five years of discovery and songs in Acadia and counting! Artists include Alain François, André Savoie Toto and Andrée-Anne Leclerc.

NB Gospel Music Festival
Dates: 9-11
Get inspired! This festival has continued to spread God’s word through song and personal testimony. All who attend have expressed how much they have been blessed.

New Brunswick Summer Music Festival
Dates: 12-24
The Festival has featured some of the best chamber musicians in Canada. In addition to attracting high-calibre Canadian performers, the NBSMF is committed to incorporating local and regional artists into the festival.

Miramichi Scottish Festival 
Dates:  23-25
The Miramichi Heritage Players will perform “Duffy Gillis”, “The Ghost of Grainfield”. A limited number of tickets is available for the Candlelight Tartan Dinner.

Saint John Dragon Boat Festival
Saint John
Dates:  24
The Saint John Dragon Boat Festival is a fundraising event that combines the thrill of team dragon boat racing with a unique cultural festival.


George Street Festival
St. John’s
Dates:  1-5
The annual George Street Festival has grown to become an iconic event. More than 40,000 people party on the “biggest little street in North America” for six straight days leading into the annual Regatta Day civic holiday.

Festival of Flight
Dates:  1-6
Get ready to enjoy great music, fabulous food and good times with family and friends. The annual Festival of Flight culminates with Gander Day festivities on the first Monday in August and includes events for all ages!

Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival
St. John’s
Dates:  9-11
Wonderful performances, including Albedo, Tim Baker, Matthew Byrne, Aaron Collis and Emilia Bartellas.

Annual Traditional NL Songwriters Festival
Little Bay Islands
Dates:  9-11
Several great events, including Kids BINGO, Craft Fair at H. L. Strong Academy, Local Entertainment  and Face Painting.

Buskers Festival
St. John’s
Dates:  9-11
Three days of talented entertainers will leave you breathless!


Annual Ramble and Ride Festival
Dates:  4
The Ramble and Ride is an eco-friendly festival held annually in the historic area of Yellowknife on the August long weekend.


EDITORS’ PICK!!!   The Jubilee
New Glasgow
Dates:  2-4
The Jubilee has been host to East Coast Music Association, Music Nova Scotia and Juno Award winners and nominees. This event has a schedule that will knock you out, including The Town Heroes, Cyndi Cain, Gloryhound, The Sheepdogs, Alert the Medic and LevyStep.

Mahone Bay Pirate Festival and Regatta 
Mahone Bay
Dates:  2-5
The  festival continues to build on 23 successful years of the Wooden Boat Festival and more recently the Pirate Festival and Regatta.

Alexander Keith’s Natal Day Festival
Dates:  1-5
A total of 30 individual events include: family activities, live concerts, the longest parade in Atlantic Canada and an elaborate fireworks show launched from the span of the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge.

Digby Scallop Days Festival
Dates:  7-11
Come out and watch the local scallop fisher’s and others enter the Scallop Shucking and Scallop Net Knitting competitions, try your hand in shucking a Digby Scallop.

Read coverage of the Scallop Days Festival

EDITORS’ PICK!!!    Halifax International Buskers Festival
Dates:  1-11
Several performers will delight you and your entire family.

The Dutch Mason Blues Festival
Dates:  9-11
This annual summer festival pays tribute to Canada’s Prime Minister of the Blues, features three days of outdoor concerts with international, national and local blues artists. The event also includes a custom motorcycles show, BBQ competitions, afternoon showcases, artists fan fair, late-nite blues jams … and much more!

EDITORS’ PICK!!!    Halifax Seaport Beerfest
Dates:  9-10
Beer. And more beer.

Truro’s Wild Blueberry Jam Harvest Festival
Dates:  16 – 31
Nova Scotia will celebrate the Wild Blueberry Harvest Festival. Events include live music, community picnics, teas, suppers and pancake breakfasts, farmers markets, pie-eating and baking contests, quilt fairs, exhibitions, children’s activities, U-Picks, processing tours, blueberry wine fest, beer garden, kitchen parties and more!

9th Annual Atlantic Canada Harmonica Festival
Lake Charlotte
Dates: 17
The Atlantic Canada Harmonica Festival is the only festival of its kind in Eastern Canada. The festival is a celebration of the harmonica and all who play it, regardless of musical preference or style.


Sioux Lookout Blueberry Festival
Sioux Lookout
Dates:  2-11
The Blueberry Festival has become a grand summer celebration attracting thousands of visitors from around the region and around the world.

Canadian Guitar Festival
Dates:  2-4
Set on a 48-acre campground on beautiful Loughborough Lake eight kilometres north of Kingston, the fest heads into its ninth season.  Fans travel the globe to be here and the smiles speak for themselves.

Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival
Port Colborne
Dates:  2 – 5
The Tall Ships gather in Port Colborne each August long weekend for a four-day celebration of history and heritage.

Fergus Scottish Festival & Highland Games
Dates:  9-11
Celtic Music, crafts for the kids, heavy events championships, bagpipes, drums, author appearances, bands, Highland dancing, story telling, singing, clan information and heritage, beer tents and vendors galore!

Baden Corn Festival 
Dates: 10
An annual summer event highlighting local food producers and restaurants, as well as celebrating the township’s agricultural heritage.

Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship
Dates: August
Celebrating its 63rd year! The Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship attracts Canada’s top fiddlers for the country’s most prestigious prize, the title of Canadian Open champion.

Manitoulin Country Fest
Little Current
Dates:  8-11
Great list of performers featuring Marshall Dane, Kira Isabella and The Stellas.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Rogers Cup Women’s Pro Tennis
Dates:  3-11
The best female tennis players in the world go head to head in Toronto. Serena Williams will be playing and should, as usual, be a major threat.

EDITORS’ PICK!!!    Ottawa Greekfest 
Dates:  15-25
Free admission and fun for the whole family. Fine Greek Cuisine, Live Greek Music and Feature Dance Groups.

Ottawa Lumière Festival
Dates:  17
The 10th anniversary of Ottawa’s Lumière Festival will feature spectacular artistic and cultural experiences for the whole family including music, story telling, fire dancing, film, visual and circus arts.

Toronto African Dance Festival
Dates:  23-25
Come celebrate African arts and culture at this festival happening in Toronto, packed with dance workshops and performances. The African rhythms and drum beats are created to make you move your bones and shake it.

Summerfolk Music & Crafts Festival 
Owen Sound
Dates:  16-18
Summerfolk has become a perennial favourite with performers as well as patrons because of its intimate atmosphere.

Barrie Dragon Boat Festival
Dates:  24
Since 2003 the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival has raised over $1.4 million for more than 60 charities as well as supporting Barrie Public Library.

EDITORS’ PICK!!!   Toronto Busker Festival
Dates:  22-25
A wonderful event that is moving to Yonge Street. Just check out some of these performers!

EDITORS’ PICK!!!   Canadian National Exhibition
Dates:  August 16 – September 2, 2013
All the fun you’ve come to expect from the CNE … and lots of good healthy eating too!

Capital Pride 2013
Dates:  August 26
Come out and show your pride in the nation’s capital!


TD PEI Jazz & Blues Festival
Dates:  21-25
Erin Costelo, Alex Cuba, Treasa Levasseur and Steve Strongman will be putting on a show in Charlottetown.


Regina Folk Festival
Dates:  9 – 11
The 2013 festival lineup is features an incredible blend of musical styles, cultural influences and above all, some of the world’s best talent.

Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Festival
Big River
Dates:  16 – 18
A non-profit society of members organizes this event to promote bluegrass and old time music all over Saskatchewan and beyond.

SaskPower Regina Dragon Boat Festival
Dates:  30 – 31
The 22nd annual SaskPower Regina Dragon Boat Festival has been a long-time favourite event for paddlers, residents and visitors from across Canada.

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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