5 Canadian Winter Festivals Worth Visiting

While many parts of the world look forward to the end of cold snaps and winter chills, the Canadians like to embrace this time of year by celebrating at one of the many winter festivals that are held all across the country. So, instead of staying indoors this winter and reminiscing about sunnier times, pack some warm woollies and hop onboard a Canadian Airlines flight for some frosty fun in the snow.

Winter Festival of Lights, Niagara Falls

Noahs Ark – Winter Festival of Lights -Niagara Falls by John Piercy
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This region in Ontario is not only home to one of the most spectacular wonders of the world; it is also the spot for Canada’s top illumination festival. This family-friendly event includes more than 3 million ground and tree lights and 125 amazing light displays which all create a vivid winter wonderland for you and your loved ones. Kids will enjoy the fireworks and Disney shows whilst parents will equally enjoy the free entry price.
Quebec Winter Carnival
Catch all the action at the Quebec Winter Carnival in 2014 from January 31 to February 16. The first ever winter festival to be held in Quebec City took place in 1894, following a long-standing winter tradition which dates back to its first French colonies. Today, the carnival celebrates the snowy season with ice and snow sculptures, canoe and dogsled races, evening nightlife for adults and parades with decorated floats, dancers and bands.
Igloofest, Montreal

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This cleverly titled winter festival warms up the snowy streets of Montreal with booming electronic music from early evening until midnight for 12 nights in total, which are spread across four fun-filled weekends. World renowned DJ’s oversee large crowds at Montreal’s Old Port whilst snow gear and amenities can be found at the Igloo Village. The 12 days in 2014 are being held from January 17 to February 9.
Winterlude, Ottawa
Canada’s capital pulls out all the stops at this three-week festival through the streets of Ottawa. The 36th edition of this long-running celebration takes place from January 31 to February 17, 2014. Amongst its many attractions is the world’s largest skating rink through downtown Ottawa as well as North America’s largest snow playground, Snowflake Kingdom. Confederation Park will be transformed in 2014 into the Crystal Garden with amazing ice sculptures whilst outdoor dance parties and music can be enjoyed at Ottawa’s City Hall.
World Ski and Snowboard Festival, Whistler
This popular sporting festival returns in April 2014, much to the delight of ski and snowboarding junkies across the world. Although sport is very much at the center of this festival, there is also an array of art attractions, music and culture to suit any visitor. Unfortunately, this April festival is now over for 2013, however, keep a look out for upcoming details regarding 2014. Highlights from this year’s event included the Shred Show which included five-star World Snowboard Tour events as well as the World Skiing Invitation which showcased the best skiing talent from around the world. The ten days also gave way to ten nights of hard partying and nightlife with tens of high-quality DJ’s and music artists.