In Canada, we have a flair for enjoying the cold weather. Here are five festivals to discover this winter.
Every year the oldest and most important winter festival in the world is celebrated in Quebec City. After all, the very first Québec Winter Carnival dates back to 1894! To this day, it is one of the most important carnivals in the world, alongside Rio and New Orleans. In addition to the impressive snow sculptures and the traditional night parade, don’t miss the outdoor activities like floor hockey, ice slides and the famous canoe race.
Foodies will be delighted by Toronto’s Winterlicious Festival. From January 26 to February 8, no fewer than 220 restaurants in the bustling metropolis will offer a three course set menu at an affordable price. What better way to discover the delicious cuisine that makes Toronto a gastronomic destination? What’s more, a number of special evenings will take place throughout the event, including Happy 150th! A Decadent Taste of Canada. Featuring Executive Chef of the Palais Royale, Steffan Howard, it is an opportunity to celebrate Canadian culinary culture from coast to coast.
Ottawa has been celebrating its famous Winterlude festival since 1979. This year the festival will take place from February 2 to 19, and is once again the best time to visit the nation’s capital during the winter. It’s not only the time to skate on the Rideau Canal and admire the majestic ice sculptures, but also your chance to play outdoors in the Snowflake Kingdom. On top of all that, the restaurant scene offers more and more to enjoy on both sides of the Ottawa River. It’s the perfect opportunity to spend an unforgettable weekend as a couple or with family.
If there is a festival every week during the summer in Montreal, winter is no different. The year gets off to a great start with Igloofest, which for the past 11 years, has kept festival-goers warm thanks to the beats from their guest DJs. It’s on every weekend from January 18 to February 3 in the city’s Old Port. Hot on its heels is the famous Montréal en lumière festival, from February 22 to March 4. This mix of haute cuisine, contemporary art and music is by far the winter event not to be missed in the metropolis. As a bonus, Lyon is the city being honoured this year. Fine palates rejoice!
In the heart of the Prairies, where the mercury drops lower than in any other major city in Canada, deer + almond chef Mandel Hitzer created the festival RAW: almond. Under a magnificent tent set up on the frozen river, guests are invited to sit down and enjoy creations from renowned chefs from the Manitoban capital, as well as those from the best chefs in the country.
By Catherine Lefebvre