Ontario Tourism Blog

9 Summer Festivals in Ontario celebrating different cultures

By Shari & Elisa Friday, June 2, 2017

Ontario has loads of festivals for music, arts, sports, food and more. Here we focus on one of the things that makes Ontario great – the wide variety of its cultures and the festivals that celebrate them. Learn about the people, taste the food and experience the entertainment. Mark your calendar with these and check here for others!

Indigenous/First Nation

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Maawanji’iding: Festival Canadiana Owen Sound – June 30 to July 9, 2017 celebrates Canada’s 150th and Owen Sound’s 160th with a 10 day festival featuring entertainment & activities ranging from fireworks & inflatables to Metis vogageur games, aboriginal music & dance performers, & a reconciliation garden. Or celebrate First Nations culture at the Chippewas of Rama First Nation’s Annual Pow Wow, Aug 19-20, 2017, with powwow singers & dancers, food, arts, & crafts vendors.

Scottish/Irish/Celtic

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Put on your kilt, bring out your bagpipes and celebrate Scottish/Irish/Celtic heritage at one of these festivals: Kincardine Scottish Festival & Highland Games – July 7-9, 2017 has Pipe Band competitions, Highland dance, traditional Highland sports & more.  Fergus Scottish Festival & Highland Games – Aug 11-13, 2017 is called Canada’s most celebrated Scottish Festival & has Celtic music, pipes & drums, heavy events, highland dancing & clans. And help celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Almonte Celtfest – July 7-9, 2017 with Celtic performers, artisans, and great refreshments.

Asian/Indian

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Ontario’s culture has been much influenced in recent years by its Asian & Indian populations and several festivals celebrate these contributions. Taste of Asia Festival – Jun 24-25, 2017 is a FREE multicultural event in Toronto with dazzling performances, culinary masters, celebrities, artisans & more.  Mosaic – The South Asian Festival on August 11-12, 2017 (GTA) is the largest FREE South Asian Arts, Culture and Heritage Festival in North America.  The Festival of India Ottawa from Aug 11 – 13, 2017 has music and dance from India & N America, workshops, vendors and of course, food!

Caribbean

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One of Toronto’s signature events is the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, North America’s largest outdoor festival, and it celebrates its 50th Anniversary July 11-Aug 7, 2017. This explosion of Caribbean music, cuisine, revelry, visual and performing arts culminates in the Grand Parade which draws over a million people to Exhibition Place. Carivibe Beach and Food Festival celebrates Caribbean culture in Ottawa with Steel Bands, Fire Eaters, Masqueraders, International Entertainers, Drummers, DJ’s, food and more on June 17 in Petrie Island, Orleans.

It is truly a treat to have so many different cultures in our multicultural province. There are many that were missed in this article but shall appear in future ones. If YOU know of a festival that celebrates the culture and heritage of a group, please email us. We’ll post it on FB and make sure to include it in future musings about our great province.

Enjoy!

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