The 24 Best Festivals in Canada for 2018

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.

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Photo Credit: Snowbombing Canada

Osheaga 2018

August 3-5, 2018

Montreal, QC

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).

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Photo Credit: Vito Valentinetti

Heavy Montreal 2018

July 28-29, 2018

Montreal, QC

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.

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Photo Credit: Vito Valentinetti for Music Festival Wizard

Shambhala Music Festival 2018

August 10-13, 2018

Salmo, BC

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.

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North by Northeast (NXNE) 2018

June 8-17, 2018

Toronto, ON

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

Montebello, QC

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!)

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Photo Credit: Amnesia Rockfest

Field Trip 2018

June 2-3, 2018

Toronto, ON

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.

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Photo Credit: Field Trip Festival

Sled Island 2018

June 20-24, 2018

Calgary, AB

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

Toronto, ON

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.

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Photo Credit: Dreams Festival

Bass Coast 2018

July 6-9, 2018

Merritt, BC

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

Winnipeg, MB

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.

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Escapade 2018

June 23-24, 2018

Ottawa, ON

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.

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Photo Credit: Escapade Festival

Ottawa Bluesfest 2018

July 5-15, 2018

Ottawa, ON

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!”

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Photo Credit: Renaud Philippe

Center of Gravity 2018

July 27-29, 2018

Kelowna, BC

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.

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Photo Credit: Center of Gravity

Future Forest 2018

July 26-30, 2018

Fredericton, NB

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

Calgary, AB

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.

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Photo Credit: Chasing Summer

Big Valley Jamboree 2018

August 2-5, 2018

Camrose, Alberta

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.

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Boots and Hearts 2018

August 9-12, 2018

Oro-Medonte, ON

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.

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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

Montreal, QC

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

Rifflandia 2018

September 13-16, 2018

Victoria, BC

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

Golden, BC

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

Montreal, QC

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