They don't call us the Great White North for nothing — Canadians know winter weather better than most.
And we're not about to let a little bit of snow and ice keep us from enjoying the outdoors. From hockey to snowshoeing, ice carvings to ice wine, some of our most beloved national pastimes revolve around the chilly winter weather. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that when it comes to winter festivals we go all out.
Below, we've rounded up 15 Canadian winter festivals you'll want to add to your bucket list. From Nunavut's traditional Inuit festival Toonik Tyme to Montreal's culinary and art festival, En Lumière, there's something fun for everyone.
Though it didn't make our list this year, Toronto's Winterlicious deserves an honourable mention. The culinary festival, which runs from January 27 to February 9, features more than 220 restaurants with special prix fixe menus.
Check out the list below for our top 15 Canadian winter festivals:
When: November 19 - January 31
Price: Free, but donations of $5- $10 per car are accepted.
Highlights: Drive along the eight kilometre stretch and take in the stunning sound and light show. The festival of lights also includes a walking tour, ice wine festival, free concerts and weekly fireworks.
When: January 13 - 29
Price: $40+HST for a discovery pass.
Highlights: Savour eight wine and culinary pairings with a discovery pass. Check out the vineyard listings here.
When: January 26-29 and February 2-5
Highlights: Check out the international ice carving competition and even ride down the ice slide. If you're feeling creative, you can even paint a tile to be added to a mural telling the story of Old Strathcona.
When: January 19 - February 12
Price: Varies by event. See event schedule for details.
Highlights: Try your hand at paint night, or go on a moonlight scavenger hunt. Whatever you choose, there's fun for all ages.
When: January 12 - February 19
Price: $15 on Thursday nights or $22 for weekends
Highlights: Stay warm by dancing to some of the best DJs around the world at this outdoor music festival.
When: January 13 - 29
Highlights: Every day is different at this winter festival. Learn how to snowshoe or try your hand at baking bannock. You can even take a brewery tour or mixology class!
When: January 13 - February 5
Price: Most events are free, check the schedule for more details.
Highlights: Catch concerts, ski and snowboard competitions, and enjoy drinks by the fire.
When: January 27 - February 12
Price: $16.73 for an official pass (required at some events)
Highlights: Play hockey at Parc de l'Esplanade or throw an axe at Parc de la Francophonie. Carnaval features dozens of events across five different sites. If you're tight on cash, check out the snow sculptures in Parc de l'Amérique-Française for free.
When: February 3 - 20
Price: Most events are free, check individual listings
Highlights: Check out the ice carvings in Confederation Park or take the kids to Snowflake Kingdom in Gatineau before going for a skate down the Rideau Canal. And if you're in town on February 17 or 18, check out the inaugural Ice Dragon Boat Festival on the canal.
When: February 23 - March 11
Price: Most outdoor events are free, but check online for show and concert tickets.
Highlights: This festival will delight foodies with dozens of culinary activities for every taste and budget. If food isn't your passion you might also enjoy the concerts and performances taking place all over the city.
When: February 17 - 26
Price: Varies by event, see schedule for details.
Highlights: Besides concerts and snow carving, this festival has all sorts of fun events and contests like fashion shows and lip sync battles, not to mention the annual aurora colour war.
When: February 17 - 26
Price: $20 for an adult day pass
Highlights: Get a taste of traditional cuisine while taking in concerts, special events and historical shows.
When: March 1 -26
Price: $5 for the day, $10- $20 at night
Highlights: Travel through the massive snow castle and take in stunning art displays and concerts.
When: April 7 -16
Price: Most events are free, check the event schedule for detailed price listings.
Highlights: The WSSF is the perfect combination of music, art and sports. When you're done going down the mountains check out one of the many acts performing for free daily then stop into a film, photography or comedy showdown.
When: April 13 -22
Highlights: Celebrate traditional Inuit activities like hunting, fishing, ice sculpture, igloo building, dog team races, throat singing, drum dancing, harpoon throwing, arts and craft-making, community feast and the preparation of traditional foods.
Did we miss your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.
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