Weekend Fun Guide | Magazine

Head north to help Canada celebrate its 150th anniversary

Our neighbor is marking its Confederation with big festivals and gala events. The US dollar goes a long way, so there’s incentive to join the party.

Photos of the 2016 Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, at the Scotiabank Center, Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 30 - July 07, 2016 / Copyright TrevorMacMillanPhotography 2016

Trevor MacMillan

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo in Halifax.

Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary of Confederation with big festivals and gala events. The American dollar goes a long way, so we Yanks have a financial incentive to join the party at some of the following blockbusters.

Luminato Festival

Toronto, June 14-25

This top North American arts festival opens with contemporary indigenous dance and music and features premieres of a dance opera and a musical theater spectacular. A hip-hop festival takes over the Sony Centre, while the Famous Spiegeltent, a 1920s Belgian traveling pavilion, features cabaret, music, spoken word, and theater in an intimate setting. Multiple venues, 416-368-3100,

 Toronto’s Luminato Festival features Niall McNeil in King Arthur’s Night.

Tristan Casey

Toronto’s Luminato Festival features Niall McNeil in King Arthur’s Night.

Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo

Halifax, June 29-July 6


Military drill teams, bagpipers, and Highland dancers join acrobats, music ensembles, and contemporary dancers in a 2½-hour performance. Free concerts, parades, and performances occur throughout Halifax, and the entire cast marches in the July 1 Canada Day parade. Scotiabank Centre and other locations, 902-420-1114,

Montreal Cirque Festival

Montreal, July 6-16

Forget lions and tigers and bears — animals in contemporary circuses are usually fanciful creatures of the imagination. But performers, from gymnasts to jugglers, are the genuine article. And Montreal, as the North American capital of circus arts, draws an international lineup: Acrobats, aerialists, and more take over the city’s streets and theaters. Many performances are outdoors on Rue Saint-Denis and in an open-sky circus ring at Place Emilie-Gamelin. Multiple venues, 514-376-8648,

Rendez-Vous 2017

Quebec City, July 18-23

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The ships that visit Boston for the Tall Ships Regatta (June 17 to 22) join other sailing vessels from around the world for this celebration of Confederation. The ships and their 3,000 crew members converge on Quebec City and its south bank sister, Levis, in a spectacle of sail. Some ships will be open for boarding and visiting, and the quays of the cities will be awash in maritime activities for all ages. Ports of Quebec and Levis, 418-523-4540,

 Grab a friend  and head to  the Festival  Acadien de  Caraquet in  New Brunswick.

Grab a friend and head to the Festival Acadien de Caraquet in New Brunswick.

Festival Acadien de Caraquet

Caraquet, New Brunswick, August 3-15

This music festival presents more than 200 largely French-speaking artists on indoor and outdoor stages. Cabaret shows, pop bands, Acadien traditional musicians, and classical and jazz ensembles are all part of the mix. Fireworks light the sky, and madcap parties abound. The Grand Tintamarre parade is expected to draw tens of thousands of spectators. Multiple venues, 506-727-2787,

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