12 Most Exciting Gastronomic Festivals in Canada
Category : Food Travel
Canada is so geographically diverse that each region has something to offer diverse palettes by holding a barrage of food festivals every month of every year. When travelling to Canada, you can stop at any of these festivals and taste everything that Canada has to offer.
Here are our top picks for each month of the year:
1. January: Niagara Icewine Festival
For three weekends in January, the Niagara region celebrates one of Canada’s most cherished products, Ontario Icewine. This is Canada’s largest and most lavish Icewine and table wine tasting event with over 35 wineries showcasing their best products. Top chefs also create their signature mouth-watering dishes. The festival offers unique wine and food pairings and vibrant outdoor street activities.
2. February: Ottawa Winter Brewfest
The Ottawa Winter Brewfest celebrates Ottawa’s brewing wealth as participants gather in Ottawa to sample more than 100 craft beers. The month of February also features food pickings from some of the city’s restaurants. Tourists join the locals as they offer a unique treat of gourmet dishes and drinks while you dance around bonfires at night parties.
3. March: Maple Syrup Festival
Canada is not complete without maple syrup. Every March, the Bronte Creek Provincial Park celebrates its annual Maple Syrup Festival. Guests will enjoy a guided tour of Maple Lane, where interpreters with 1890’s costumes share how the local residents collect and make maple syrup through the years. The tour ends with participants learning how to make fresh maple sugar before visiting the various farms showcased in the festival. Aside from maple syrup tasting, guests can bring takeaways from their experience by buying an assortment of maple products and souvenirs from gift shops.
4. April: Bakery Showcase
The Bakery Showcase is the largest and only business-to-business trade show and conference in Canada dedicated to all things baking. The event is held every other year joined by over 4,500 baking industry professionals, including bakers and baking suppliers. The exhibit showcases baked goods to taste, baking ingredients, and packaging services, among others.
5. May: Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival
In 1933, the first official Apple Blossom Festival was celebrated as a tourist attraction to make Annapolis Valley’s apple industry famous. After more than eight decades, the festival — now internationally known — continues to hold major events such as the street parades, coronation of apple blossom queens, and concerts. All these are complemented by several social events such as dances, barbecues, and old-style home-cooked dinners at church and community halls.
6. June: Shelburne County Lobster Festival
As the lobster capital of Canada, Shelburne County opens its pristine white sand beaches and fine seafood dining hubs to guests for its annual lobster festival. Travellers will expect to enjoy a weekend full of fun family activities, events, and several lobster dishes. The festival takes place every June to celebrate the end of the county’s lobster season.
7. July: A Taste of Edmonton
A Taste of Edmonton is an annual 10-day outdoor festival held at Alberta and is the largest food tasting festival in Western Canada. The festival allows annual patrons to taste different kinds of gastronomic delights from over 50 food trucks and booths. The festival also features culinary workshops, culinary adventures, and evening pop-ups.
8. August: Vegan Food and Drink festival
In Toronto, vegan lovers of all ages rejoice as they celebrate the Vegan Food and Drink Festival. In this event, you can enjoy all kinds of vegan food — from meatless-burgers and dairy-free ice cream to more unique selections like vegan tacos, pizza, and barbecue, among others.
9. September: Canada’s Largest Ribfest
Originally called the Burlington Ribfest, Canada’s Largest Ribfest was organized by the Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore as a large barbeque event aimed at raising funds for the community. It takes place every Labour Day weekend and has since become known as an end-of-summer celebration for the local townsfolk as they get a taste of their authentic southern barbeque experience.
10. October: Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is an annual nine-day festival in the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. It is known as Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival and is the second largest Oktoberfest in the world. It is held every Friday of October before Canadian Thanksgiving and runs for one week until the next Saturday. More than 700,000 visitors attend the beer-based celebration every year.
11. November: Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, colloquially called the Royal, is an annual fair in Toronto that features the best culinary and agricultural experience with more than 300 exhibitors showcasing their best produce, animals, and ground-breaking technologies. The Royal runs for 10 days every November, giving guests ample time to experience each of the exhibitor’s offerings.
12. December: YWiB Vancouver Winter Social
Every December, the Young Women in Business (YWiB) wraps up the year by celebrating a mentorship, connection-making, community-building, or female empowerment event with its members. In 2017, the group is holding an exclusive chocolate tasting session for its members, supporters, followers, and chocoholics. Guests will learn about the art of chocolate making and treat themselves with sweet chocolate products.
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