Whether it is spring arriving in lovely Quebec or a long, snowy winter, there is never a time when the city isn’t celebrating a festival. This French-Canadian city is well-known for playing host to tons of lively, vibrant events all throughout the year. In fact, it celebrates as many as 900 festivals across various communities, towns, and cities. The themes usually range from food and art to music and comedy. So, no matter the place or the time that you decide to travel here, there will always be a festival just around the corner. Just be sure to check out some vacation rentals or hotels with spa in Quebec for your accommodation needs. Then keep reading to learn more about the most popular festivals in Quebec, Canada.
1. Fête des Neiges [Last event in 2019]
Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal is the home and host of Fête des Neiges, an amazing festival that can only be described as a pure winter wonderland. Celebrated only on weekends in late January to early February, this delightful, snowy celebration is fun for both adults and children. Featuring beautifully sculptured playgrounds, this festival has fun fixtures for all, including snowshoeing, skating, sliding, inner tubing, ice hockey tournaments, and live shows, among others. Fun fact: there are also lots of delicious food on offer!
Fête des Neiges
Address: Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal, QC H3C 4G8
Website: Fête des Neiges
Takes place: Usually held late January to early February
2. Rendez-vous du Cinéma Quebecois
A festival that promotes and pays homage to the cinema industry of Quebec is Rendez-vous du Cinéma Quebecois, the biggest celebration of cinema in Quebec, Canada. Every winter in the months of February and March, cinema lovers and enthusiasts from all over the country gather in Montreal to enjoy this event that is chock-full of talents. It features a huge number of movies, a great variety of events, and lots of activities involving cocktails and discussion about films, which also involve some of the city’s most talented actors and film directors.
Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois
Address: 1680 Ontario Street East, Montreal, Quebec H2L 1S7
Website: Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois
Takes place: February to March
3. Festilumières [Last event in 2019]
If you’re travelling to Quebec in the wintertime with your children, there’s no better place to visit than the spectacular Festilumières, an LED lights experience like no other. This fairytale-like festival involves strolling through an outdoor enchanted forest setup that features inflatable games, snow tubing, and marine animals lit up by more than 500,000 LED lights that brighten up the atmosphere with an incredible festive spirit. This event even has live music performances near the outdoor fireplace, a dancing mascot, and a variety of delectable foods being served.
Address: Aquarium du Quebec, 1675 Avenue des Hôtels, Québec, QC G1W 4S3
Takes place: December to February
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Imagine a party or dance festival that is also known as the coldest music fest in the world! Welcome to Igloofest, Montreal’s very own snow extravaganza of epic proportions. This event takes place over four of the coldest weekends in the city. Think outlandish, with neon-retro ski outfits from the 1980s, performances and booths where you can scream your hearts out, big marshmallows roasting outdoors, people dancing to electronic music spun by world-famous DJs, lots and lots of beer, and multiple stops at the ice bars. Expect to have a fantastic time outdoors in the middle of a snowy, cold winter!
Address: Jacques-Cartier Quay, Old Port of Montreal, 333 Rue de la Commune O, Montréal, QC H2Y 2E2
Takes place: Usually held January to February
5. Neige en Fête
With Canada being a country immersed in snow for the better part of the year, snowmobiles and snow machines hold a very special place in the heart of every Canadian. Feast your eyes on the biggest collection of antique snowmobiles and snow machines at Neige en Fête in Quebec City, where visitors can even go for a ride in one of the snow machines! Featuring a world full of horse-drawn sleigh rides, parades in the snow, a skating rink for some sliding fun, maple products, and all kinds of bouncy structures, this winter outdoor wonderland that takes place over one weekend in February is where you should go to enjoy some family fun.
Neige en Fête
Address: Montreal, QC H3C 4G8
Website: Neige en Fête
Takes place: February
6. Port Symphonies [Last event in 2018]
The inspiring, extremely creative Port Symphonies is a music concert like no other - train whistles and boat foghorns come together to create a beautiful piece of music. Taking place every winter since 1995, this event sees the frozen Port of Montreal come alive with sound, as talented composers use the horns of shipping boats moored in the frozen St. Lawrence River, the church bells of the Notre Dame Basilica nearby, and other sounds like train whistles to create a unique and incredible kind of music. If you’re a music lover, or if you want to hear something new, don’t miss this.
Address: Old Port of Montreal, 333 Rue de la Commune O, Montréal, QC H2Y 2E2
Takes place: February to March
7. Art Souterrain Festival
Did you know that Montreal is home to the world’s largest underground complex? It is a fascinating, connected underground network beneath universities, commercial and residential complexes, shopping centres, hotels, and offices in Downtown Montreal. This location is where Art Souterrain Festival takes place. This unconventional exhibition space showcases cultural heritage and contemporary art, turning Montreal’s Underground City into a sprawling art exhibit. The opening night of this bustling, energetic festival sees volunteers stimulate conversations with onlookers, and they even provide curation insights or answer questions about certain pieces.
Art Souterrain Festival
Address: 2020 William St, Montreal, Quebec H3J 1R8
Website: Art Souterrain Festival
Takes place: February
8. International Children’s Film Festival
Making the school break incredible in Montreal is the International Children’s Film Festival, which introduces tiny tots and young children to the fantastic, telling world of cinema. Presided over by juries comprised of international professionals as well as the children of Quebec, the festival features more than 100 of the best children’s movies - including short, feature, animation, documentary, and fiction films - across the world. For young fans of movies, this is definitely a must-visit event.
International Children’s Film Festival
Address: 4067, Boulevard Saint-Laurent, bur. 400-A, Montréal, QC, H2W 1Y7
Takes place: February to March
9. Barbegazi Winter Sports Festival
UIAA - International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation The American Alpine Club VISIT DENVERPosted by BARBEGAZI on Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Warming up Montreal’s long, cold winters with tons of action and adrenaline is Barbegazi Winter Action Sports Festival. Literally translating to “frozen beard”, this invigorating and energetic event that takes place in January features an impressive lineup of intense sports and other activities, such as yoga on the snow, fat biking, snow skating, lumberjack competitions, freestyle sledging, and even Christmas tree throwing, among others! Barbegazi also features a diverse music scene with scores of interesting, well-known DJs, as well as tons of food trucks to keep the hunger pangs at bay.
Barbegazi Winter Sports Festival
Address: 4141 Pierre-de Coubertin Ave, Montreal, Quebec H1V 3N7
Website: Barbegazi Winter Sports Festival
Takes place: January
10. Carnaval de Québec
Bonhomme profite encore de ses vacances, mais il a tout de même très hâte de revenir au boulot! Pour ne rien manquer de ses aventures, assurez-vous de suivre son compte Instagram @bhcarnavalPosted by Carnaval de Québec on Friday, 25 October 2019
Indulge in all-round winter fun at the world’s biggest winter carnival, Carnaval de Quebec, a super fun family event that takes place over the course of two or more weeks in Quebec City. With Quebec featuring an atmosphere akin to a mini-Europe, the carnival features everything from outdoor concerts and public or private parties to parades and a plethora of kid-friendly activities, including dog-sledging, snow-shoeing, ice-canoeing, and snowboarding. Watch the day and nighttime parades led by mascot Bonhomme Carnaval and the carving of ice and snow sculptures. While here, be sure to ride sleighs, tour the ice palace, and relish a variety of amazing food, including something that may be unfamiliar, but is known as Beaver Tails!
Carnaval de Quebec
Address: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Website: Carnaval de Quebec
Takes place: February
11. Montreal en Lumière
Probabilité de neige : 100% | Illuminart Photo : Frédérique Ménard-Aubin, PhotographePosted by Montréal en Lumière on Saturday, 23 February 2019
For the last two decades, Montreal’s festival of lights, Montreal en Lumière, has truly been lighting up the city amidst the cold of Canada’s snowy winters. This winter spectacle - one of the biggest in the world - sees spectacular light installations across Downtown Montreal, free activities that last late into the night, live outdoor events and performances, winter-based outdoor activities, and even fine dining events for the food-loving populace. All this goes down at the sprawling Place des Festivals, a concert hall in the city.
Montreal en Lumière
Address: 400 Boulevard de Maisonneuve O, Montréal, QC H3A 1L4, Canada
Website: Montreal en Lumière
Takes place: February
12. Jamboree [Last event in 2019]
Thrill, adrenaline, and talent come together at Jamboree, Quebec City’s thrilling festival dedicated to the art and sport of snowboarding. This renowned extreme winter sports festival is host to a must-see event that includes freestyle skiing and snowboarding in its lineup. It also sees extreme snowboarding enthusiasts from around the world head to Quebec City for the Snowboard Jamboree. Festivalgoers can also enjoy a whole lot of other activities, including demonstrations, exhibitions, outdoor concerts in the winter chill and, of course, food!
Address: Boulevard Charest E, Québec, QC G1K 8H8
Takes place: March
13. Vues d’Afrique [Last event in 2019]
Bonjour à tous, Vous êtes parents ou enseignants de jeunes âgés entre 6 et 12 ans ou directeurs/directrices d’écoles...Posted by Vues d'Afrique on Tuesday, 6 November 2018
Celebrate the cultural wealth of Africa and Creole in this extremely popular and prestigious event: Vues d'Afrique international film festival. This culture fest is globally renowned as one of the most prestigious cultural festivals in North America. For over three decades now, the festival has been showcasing more than 100 recent literature, music, and film. These works are presented in a competition and the latest significant developments in these fields are also discussed here. For those interested in culture, you don’t want to miss this.
Address: 100 Sherbrooke Street, Building E, 3100, Montreal, QC H2X 1C3
Website: Vues d’Afrique
Takes place: April
14. Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival
Avez-vous fait de belles découvertes littéraires récemment? / What are your latest literary discoveries ? #metropolisbleu #reading #lecture #literature #littératurePosted by Metropolis bleu / Blue Metropolis on Sunday, 7 July 2019
Bibliophiles heading to the Quebec province must watch out for the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, otherwise known as the Blue Met. This event is considered North America’s biggest and most attended multi-lingual literary festival. It showcases the very best of Quebecois, Canadian, and international literature. This is perfect for those who love books and look forward to discussing and exchanging ideas and meeting authors. Blue Met also happens to be the world’s very first multi-lingual literature festival as well. Apart from presenting numerous literary awards, it also puts on amazing literary performances, fun author talks, discussions, readings, writing workshops, and exhibitions.
Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival
Address: Hôtel 10, 10 Sherbrooke St, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H2X 4C9
Takes place: April to May
Musical symphony of a different kind is created when things like drums and sticks hit the back of park benches - this is when you know that the Tam-Tams of Montréal has arrived! Thousands of music enthusiasts gather every glorious Sunday morning in the summer around the George-Étienne Cartier Monument at Parc Mont-Royal, adding to the growing circle of drum players and participants jamming away till sunset. This event is free, so for those who just want to take in the music, spread out with food and beverages on a picnic blanket. Those who want to join in the rhythm, bring your instrument, sit down, and play!
Address: Park Ave, Montreal, Quebec H2W 1S8
Takes place: May to September
16. Carrefour International de Théâtre
Wonderfully weird yet strangely electrifying is how one would describe Quebec City’s spring festival, Carrefour International de Théâtre. For the last 26 years, this fun event has presented the best of Canadian theatre to the public. It not only celebrates theatre and contemporary creativity but it also allows audiences to discuss and discover their love and interest for the genre. There are works by emerging and up-and-coming artists, revivals of all-time classics, exceptional features, premieres of exciting new productions, and more. Fans of stage performances should definitely plan to attend this.
Carrefour International de Théâtre
Address: 369 Couronne St 4e étage, Quebec City, Quebec G1K 6E9
Website: Carrefour International de Théâtre
Takes place: May to July
17. St-Ambroise Fringe Festival
Venez vous amusez à la plus folle des Drag Races au Parc des Amériques ! Un événement animé par la fameuse Mado Lamotte...Posted by Festival St-Ambroise Fringe de Montréal on Saturday, 15 June 2019
Celebrating creativity without limits is St-Ambroise Fringe Festival, Montreal’s summer party of circus, comedy, music, dance, theatre, and so much more. Featuring more than a whopping 800 performances, including drag, repertory, and fringe theatre by more than 500 talented performers, this 20-day festival sees the Plateau-Mont-Royal taken over entirely by local and international artists. Spectators and performers alike come here to celebrate decades of boundless, unshackled creativity - think drag queen races, air guitar championships, and ska band performances.
St-Ambroise Fringe Festival
Address: Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Montreal
Website: St-Ambroise Fringe Festival
Takes place: Usually held in June
18. Quebec Exquis!
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Quebec Exquis! can only be described as a 15-day epicurean and decadent food junket of fine wines, local ingredients and food items, haute cuisine, and a whole lot of other gastronomic experiences. This springtime festival is dedicated to the rediscovery of homegrown flavours, and it sees a plethora of different restaurants team up with local producers to create special menus at prices that are simply unbeatable. Indulge in gourmet walking tours and microbrewery experiences. Dig into delicious chocolates and fine wines and meet with renowned chefs - all of this and more is what you can expect from Quebec Exquis!
Address: Quebec City, Quebec
Website: Quebec Exquis!
Takes place: April
19. ImagiNation Writers’ Festival
Writers and lovers of literature can indulge in a week-long love affair with books and the written word at ImagiNation Writers’ Festival in Quebec City. Featuring English-speaking artists, translators, and authors from across the globe, this literary celebration sees a host of fun events taking place, including discussions, readings, and book signings, among others. It allows literature fans to not only discover the best of upcoming books and popular genres but they will also to meet some of their favourite writers and discover emerging artists. With themes ranging from contemporary and science fiction to books about Quebecois and Canadian history, plus cool events that include photography, art, music, and food, this is one of the best spring events in Quebec.
ImagiNation Writers’ Festival
Address: 44 Chaussée des Écossais, Québec, QC G1R 4H3,
Takes place: April
20. St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The spectacular St. Patrick’s Day Parade - known among the French-Canadians as Défilé de la Saint Patrick - is one of Montreal’s most anticipated events during springtime. A popular festival, it celebrates North America’s rich Irish heritage. Watch Canada’s oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Montreal, which sees thousands of participants march from Rue Ste. Catherine to Phillips Square every year - but not before grabbing a traditional and delicious Irish breakfast from one of the many Irish pubs downtown. Indulge in post-parade joviality with bar food, drinks, music, community events, performances, and street festivals. Afterwards, you can help participants dismantle their floats when the parade ends.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Address: Rue Ste. Catherine, Montreal
Website: St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Takes place: March
21. Quebec City Magic Festival
C’est avec plaisir que nous avons reçu Fredo le magicien, le 2 mai dernier ! Le voici en pleine action lors de son spectacle au Le Capitole de Québec. Crédit photo / Vincent Bernard PhotographiePosted by Festival de magie de Québec on Monday, 27 May 2019
Giant playing cards, magic workshops, soap bubbles, scientific bicycles, an illusion museum, a Houdini escape suit, and a flea circus - experience and see all this and more in this enchanting, four-day-long Quebec City Magic Festival. This exciting event is fun for the entire family and features amazing, magical surprises, more than 70 shows, and even a gala with several magicians in attendance, including incredibly talented and popular street magicians who perform live shows onstage.
Quebec City Magic Festival
Address: Le Capitole de Québec, 972, rue Saint-Jean, Québec, QC, G1R 1R5
Website: Quebec City Magic Festival
Takes place: Usually held in May
22. Les Francos de Montréal
5sang14 aux Francos de Montréal 2019 ! : Frédérique Ménard-Aubin, PhotographePosted by Francos de Montréal on Tuesday, 13 August 2019
If you’re a Francophile to the very core, do not miss Montreal’s summer extravaganza: Les Francos de Montréal, a huge, annual music and performances festival featuring more than a thousand performers from across the globe! Held in Downtown Montreal, this incredible, 30-year-old event invites the French and the French language-loving public to discover the year’s very best music from Francophones in other countries. With 180 outdoor and 70 indoor concerts to choose from, there’s no doubt that this music-rich celebration will be loved by all.
Les Francos de Montréal
Address: 400 Boulevard de Maisonneuve O, Montréal, QC H3A 1L4
Website: Les Francos de Montréal
Takes place: June
23. Montreal Grand Prix
Jet, set, and go! Montreal Grand Prix is known for being the most celebrated sporting event in the country. The entire city comes alive for three days in June when the competition comes to Montreal, and it is complete with world-class parties and races. Enjoy watching top-rated cars zoom across the Montreal circuit. The event allows auto enthusiasts to purchase tickets with detailed track knowledge at the lowest possible price, and it even allows them the chance to obtain access to VIP passes and attend parties that aren’t available to the general public.
Montreal Grand Prix
Address: Circuit Gilles-Vellenueve, Montreal, Quebec H3B 3B0
Website: Montreal Grand Prix
Takes place: June
24. New France Festival
En ce mois de l’histoire des femmes rappelons-nous de l’interprète et diplomate née en Nouvelle-France, Isabelle...Posted by Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France on Monday, 21 October 2019
Celebrating 17th and 18th-century history with absolute style in Quebec City is the one-of-a-kind New France Festival, complete with a thoroughly entertaining atmosphere. Known locally as Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France, this event celebrates with utmost splendour the most important period in Quebec’s history, and it features everything from lectures and reenactments to gourmet shows. You can expect hundreds of interpreters, craftsmen, and artists showcasing Quebec’s rich cultural heritage.
New France Festival
Address: 205, boulevard des Cèdres, Québec (Québec), Canada G1L 1N8
Website: New France Festival
Takes place: August
Celebrating in Quebec, Canada
The province of Quebec is definitely a festive one, celebrating everything from winter sports and history to Canadian cinema and world music. These high-spirited and fun festivities are what really bring out the character of a place, as people join in the revelries to make the celebration even merrier. Refer back to this list of popular festivals in Quebec, Canada when you plan your visit!
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