The glorious northern lands of poutine, maple syrup, and hockey, boasts a year-round roster of music festivals that are worth the trip. From the stunning landscapes of British Columbia to the hip downtown festivals of Toronto and Montreal, there’s a festival in Canada that suits your style. Check out our 24 picks below and for even more inspiration, head over to our full Canada music festival calendar for 2018.
Snowbombing Canada 2018
April 5-9, 2018
Sun Peaks, BC
The epic Austrian ski and snowboard festival has exported their slopeside bash to North America. The majestic mountains of Sun Peaks Resort in British Columbia host the event along with electronic acts from around the world. From the opening night street party, the infamous Forest Stage, and an underground parking garage turned club, there's plenty of venues to party at over this wild holiday.
Photo Credit: Snowbombing Canada
August 3-5, 2018
Osheaga started as a vision to bring a giant European style festival to Canada. It’s safe to say they've succeeded. Osheaga consistently brings a world-class lineup to the shores of Ile Sainte-Helene during the height of summer. It’s become so popular that organizers have added a second weekend of just metal (Heavy Montreal) and a third weekend of EDM (IleSoniq).
Featured Artists: A-Trak, Arctic Monkeys, BØRNS, Chromeo, Cigarettes After Sex, Florence + the Machine, Franz Ferdinand, Future Islands, Gorgon City, James Bay, James Blake, Lord Huron, Lykke Li, Odesza, Portugal. the Man, Rae Sremmurd, St. Vincent, The National, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Photo Credit: Vito Valentinetti
Heavy Montreal 2018
July 28-29, 2018
Like its more mainstream counterpart Osheaga, Heavy Montreal channels the vibe of the best open air European festivals but in metal form. Maybe it’s the sunshine, maybe it’s Canadians, but the crowd has to be one of the friendliest crowds we’ve ever partied with. Simply one of the best destinations in North America for fans of rock, punk, and metal.
Photo Credit: Vito Valentinetti for Music Festival Wizard
Shambhala Music Festival 2018
August 10-13, 2018
At this point, Canada’s favorite DIY festival lives in a class by itself. Consistently chosen by fans as their favorite festival of the summer, this five day camping marathon features a wide array of music and art set admist the beautiful BC backcountry. It’s not a surprise that Shambhala is leading the way as a transformational festival.
Featured Artists: Gramatik
North by Northeast (NXNE) 2018
June 8-17, 2018
Canada’s answer to Austin’s SXSW follows a similar recipe – take hundreds of artists, mix with a huge industry conference, add comedy, art, and film to produce an epic sized showcase festival. Make sure to hit the free shows at Yonge-Dundas Square which have featured performances by St. Vincent, Sleigh Bells, The National, DEVO, and The Flaming Lips.
Photo Credit: NXNE
Montebello Rockfest 2018
June 14-16, 2018
Started ten years ago by a seventeen year old kid who just wanted bring in a bunch of sick bands to his tiny town, Amnesia Rockfest has grown into one of the largest rock festivals in Canada. Camping at this festival is fully recommended and takes place along a river (you can even park your boat!)
Photo Credit: Amnesia Rockfest
Field Trip 2018
June 2-3, 2018
The boutique Field Trip brings a stellar lineup inside the gorgeous confines of Toronto’s Historic Fort York & Garrison Common. Field Trip highlights the city’s best culinary offerings, as well as collaborative explorations on the themes of visual art, technology, fashion and more.
Photo Credit: Field Trip Festival
Sled Island 2018
June 20-24, 2018
This annual five day music and arts festival from Calgary brings in more than 300 artists, comedians, and filmmakers in more than 30 venues across the city. Each year, Sled Island selects a guest curator to help set the tone and direction of the current edition. Past curaters include Peaches, Andrew W.K., and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Photo Credit: Michael Tan
Dreams Festival 2018
June 23-24, 2018
Wake up! It’s time for the annual Dreams Festival on East Island in Toronto. The two-day EDM bash dances up a sandstorm on Echo Beach along with smaller stages tucked around the venue. Celebrate the Canada Day holiday weekend in style at this 19+ event.
Photo Credit: Dreams Festival
Bass Coast 2018
July 6-9, 2018
Don’t call it a rave. Bass Coast is a DIY indie electronic festival that thrives on the natural beauty of its British Columbia location and strong roster of local and international talent. This festival encourages artists to experiment and “share their hard work without fear of judgment”. The boutique event has cemented its reputation as a home for creatives with incredible art installments, panel discussions, and a thoughtful venue layout.
Photo Credit: Bass Coast
Winnipeg Folk Festival 2018
July 5-8, 2018
Back in 1974, the idea of setting up a folk festival in the urban prairie of Winnipeg may have seemed like a laughable idea, but more than 40 years of the Winnipeg folk festival have long since silenced the critics. With 60,000 annual visitors to the early July festival, the organization has grown large enough to bring concerts and events to the region all year long.
June 23-24, 2018
Canada’s capital city of Ottawa comes alive every June when the Escapade festival drops in downtown. The electronic festival mixes together trance, techno, and house for a full weekend of artists that have included Eric Prydz, Kaskade, Krewella, Above & Beyond, Avicii, Afrojack, Excision, and Calvin Harris.
Photo Credit: Escapade Festival
Ottawa Bluesfest 2018
July 5-15, 2018
Winning the title for “festival that sounds least like its name”, the Ottawa Bluesfest hits almost every genre even including a little bit of blues. Starting as a small fest over twenty years ago, they have grown exponentially to a ten-day mult-stage event that’s one of the highlights of the Canadian summer.
Photo Credit: Steve Gerecke
Quebec City Summer Festival 2018
July 5-15, 2018
Quebec City, QC
For those of you seeking a music festival and a taste of old world charm, check out the mammoth Quebec City Summer Festival. Stretching for an astounding eleven days, historic Quebec City is overrun by an astounding 1.5 million fans. There’s plenty of other activities happening in Canada’s French-iest city. As they say on their website: “During the Festival, the whole city is celebrating!”
Featured Artists: Avenged Sevenfold, Beck, Bonobo, Busta Rhymes, Car Seat Headrest, Chromeo, Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters, Future, Lorde, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, The War on Drugs, The Weeknd
Photo Credit: Renaud Philippe
Center of Gravity 2018
July 27-29, 2018
Mixing a music festival and sports (and bikinis) is a winning combination for this festival in Kelowana, British Columbia. EDM and hip-hop artists play against a backdrop of beaches, volleyball, wakeboarding, and mountain biking professional atheletes.
Photo Credit: Center of Gravity
Future Forest 2018
July 26-30, 2018
Head deep in the forest of New Brunswick for the flashing lights and steady beats of Future Forest. The 200-acre site is eight kilometers from the nearest paved road, which means plenty of privacy for a full-blown weekend of electronic revelry.
Photo Credit: Future Forest
Chasing Summer 2018
August 4-5, 2018
The largest outdoor EDM event in Western Canada returns to Alberta for this two-day annual electronic in August. Take advantage of the last days of summer to party at the Max Bell Centre in Calgary and dance from sunrise to sundown with this jam-packed lineup.
Photo Credit: Chasing Summer
Big Valley Jamboree 2018
August 2-5, 2018
Started in 1993, The Big Valley Jamboree has become a country music institution in Camrose, Alberta. Settle in for three days of hard partying with 75,000 other country music festies -- and make sure to stay in the campgrounds where the real show is happening.
Boots and Hearts 2018
August 9-12, 2018
Country music heads north when Canadians turn out in droves for the Boots and Hearts Festival in Toronto. Taking place at the 750-acre Motorsport Park, there’s plenty of room to camp into between the astonishing lineup of world-class country artists that visit the festival each year.
Photo Credit: Boots & Hearts Festival
Salmon Arm Roots & Blues 2018
August 16-19, 2018
Salmon Arm, BC
Get back to nature with this 25+ year old festival located on picturesque Shuswap Lake in British Columbia. The non-profit Roots & Blues Festival features a culturally diverse lineup, artist experiences, and daytime workshops.
Photo Credit: Salmon Arm Roots & Blues
MUTEK Montreal 2018
August 22-26, 2018
The Montreal-based MUTEK is dedicated to the promotion of electronic music and the digital arts with a focus on discovery, exclusive appearances, and artistic ingenuity. Their unique take on this festival genre has led to editions around the world with each year seeing MUTEK embark on creatively entertaining directions.
Photo Credit: MUTEK
September 13-16, 2018
Since 2008, Rifflanida has made a name for itself as one of the best showcase festivals of the fall. Taking place across downtown Victoria in British Columbia, there’s now 20 venues with 150 performances over four days and nights. Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Big Boi, Courtney Love, Moby, and The Flaming Lips have all played the festival.
Photo Credit: Lillie Louise
Motion Notion 2018
August 23-27, 2018
Journey to the heart of the awe-inspiring Canadian Rockies for the aural experience of Motion Notion. The electronic festival in Golden, British Columbia, blows festie expectations away with inspired stage production and an international roster of artists sure to keep you shaking for all four days.
Photo Credit: Motion Notion
Pop Montreal 2018
September 26-30, 2018
Wonderfully weird and beautifully under-appreciated, Pop Montreal is your best excuse to visit the city in the fall. Venues are scattered across the city from the largest clubs to unique venues (parks and cathedrals) to a single dude singing in the back of a vintage clothing store. And when you need a break from the crowds and music, it’s easy to slip into one of Montreal’s amazing restaurants or bars.
Photo Credit: Katie Mendez for Music Festival Wizard