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The Travel Guide: Quebec’s Summer Event Calender


The Travel Guide: Quebec’s Summer Event Calender


(Featured image credits: By MirreNL [CC BY 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons)

As Canada’s cultural hub and with so many different activities and experiences to enjoy over the summer, Québec has a range of events for visitors to combine their stay with. From world renowned music festivals, cultural and outdoor events, to family fun, a record-breaking comedy festival and thrilling sports challenges, here are our top 12 picks for upcoming summer events not to be missed in the province:

International Garden Festival, Reford Gardens, Gaspésie (22nd June – 1st October, 2018)

The International Garden Festival began in 2000 and takes place yearly in the Reford Gardens, a national heritage site of Québec which is home to 3000 plant species. The International Garden Festival presents innovative contemporary gardens designed by world-renowned landscape gardeners, architects and artists. Visitors are in for a treat with the opportunity to experience contemporary art as well as a program of family activities and special events including a giant playground for children to explore fun and interactive installations. The festival aims to stimulate contemporary creation in garden art and to introduce visitors to the latest trends in garden design. Admission is free for children under 14 and adult packages are available from various accommodation establishments in the


International Jazz Festival, Montréal (28th June – 7th July 2018)

Ranked as the world’s largest jazz festival by the Guinness World Records, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal has been synonymous with a passion for music for over three decades. Every year Montréal welcomes jazz music fans from across the globe for 10 days of jazz music celebration, where fans can rub shoulders with aficionados of the genre in its purest form. The 2018 program features 150 concerts with high profile acts including Seal, Jann Arden and Kamasi Washington, along with a number of Montreal artists including vocalist Ranee Lee, Geoffroy and the François Bourassa Quartet. Tickets are available to buy online via each venue’s ticket office.


Wendake International Pow Wow, Québec (29th June – 1st July 2018)

International Pow Wow is an annual cultural event which takes place in multiple locations across Québecincluding Montreal, Gatineau, Kitigan Zibi, Pikogan, Wendake, Kahnawake, Betsiamites, and Odanak. The event is designed to celebrate the province’s First Nations roots and the programme features traditional dance and drum competitions, thematic conferences, handicraft booths and children’s activities. Wendake’s Pow Wow event takes place at the end of June just outside Québec City where performers dressed in the traditional clothing of their forefathers sing, dance, and play drums. Admission costs for aged 13 and over costs $15 CAD (approx. £9), $7.50 CAD (approx. £4.50) for children aged 6-12 and children aged 5 and under go free.


Lanaudière Classical Music Festival, Lanaudière (1st – 31st July 2018)

Le Festival de Lanaudière International Festival is the largest classical music festival in Canada, having run for over 40 years. The festival takes place each year in the city of Joliette, approximately 50km north of Montréal and first began in the summer of 1977 when Father Fernand Lindsay, Clerc de St-Viateur and the Director of the Cultural Centre of Joliette arranged for the Montréal Symphony Orchestra to give three concerts in the Joliette cathedral. This year’s festival will feature the remarkable violinist, Rachel Barton Pine performing Bach to the future. Admission costs $17.56 CAD (approx. £11) and children under 17 go free.


‘Just for Laughs’ Festival, Montreal (1st – 31st July 2018)

The world’s largest comedy festival, ‘Just for Laughs’, tickles Montréal into a laughing frenzy each summer with galas, street art, theatre productions and stand-up performances. Hosting some 1,700 artists from 19 countries as well as over two million festival-goers, ‘Just for Laughs’ offers 1,600 performances, including 1,200 free outdoor shows. Shows are priced individually and two-show passes are available from $99.99 CAD (approx. £60).


Québec City Summer Festival, Québec (5th – 15th July 2018)

Canada’s largest outdoor music festival, the ‘Festival d’été de Québec’ takes place in July each year and is headlined by internationally-renowned music acts with this year’s line-up featuring the Foo Fighters, Neil Young and Lorde. Its venues are located in downtown Québec City and within easy walking distance. Wacky street performers take over the winding streets of Old Québec and children will find plenty of activities to keep them busy at Place de la Famille, while world music fans can dance all day and into the night to the festive rhythms at Place D’Youville. With 300 shows, 10 stages, 11 days of music and attracting nearly one million people each year, this is a music festival not to be missed. Tickets start from CAD$84 (approx. £46).


Saguenay World Beer Festival, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean (19th – 22nd July 2018)

When it comes to brewing beer, Québecers are in their element with microbreweries and hop producers popping up all over the province in the last 25 years. Québec is now home to more than 150 microbreweries and over 30 hop producers offering high-quality products with beer festivals or ‘festibière’ taking place across Québec throughout the summer. The ‘Bieres du Monde de Saguenay’ world beer festival takes place in the port area of Chicoutimi in Québec’s Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.The festival is ranked as the third largest brewing event in Québec and is organised by a non-profit organisation whose mission is to raise awareness of beer and local products from the region and wider province.


Festival de la Poutine, Drummondville, Centre du Québec (23rd – 25th August 2018)

Originating in Quebec itself, poutine consists of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy and is a must-try for any visitor to the region! The Festival de la Poutine takes place in the town of Drummondville in the Centre du Québec region each August and was set up to celebrate the provincial staple dish in honour of one of Québec’s culinary specialities. The festival includes musical performances by big-name Québec artists and of course plenty of poutine for visitors to try! Admission costs $23 CAD (approx. £14) and children under 12 go free.


Abitibi-Témiscamingue Emerging Music Festival, Abitibi-Témiscamingue (30th August – 2nd September 2018)

A showcase for many international and up-and-coming performers, the annual Abitibi-Témiscamingue Emerging Music Festival takes place in western Québec and features over 60 music acts from Québec, Canada, the United States and Europe. Festival-goers can enjoy performances from artists from a range of genres including rock, metal, hip-hop and more. Admission is free and tickets for shows cost from $10 CAD (approx. £6).


Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, Outaouais (30th August – 3rd September 2018)

The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, located in Québec’s Outaouais region, came about from the 1988 ‘Gatineau, on y croît’ campaign to provide the City of Gatineau with a major tourist attraction and family event. Over the five-day festival, visitors can enjoy family-friendly activities, arts and crafts, a classic car exhibition and, of course, a hot balloon ride. The price for a balloon ride is $219 CAD (approx. £131) per person and $27 CAD (approx. £16) for a one day pass to the


International Canoe Race, Mauricie (31st August – 3rd September 2018)

Held on the magnificent Rivière Saint-Maurice since 1934, the ‘Classique de Canots’ international canoe race in Mauricie welcomes more than 65,000 visitors each year. The event includes four days of cultural festivities and sporting events, celebrating determined athletes who take on this legendary river for 124 miles (200 km) between the La Tuque and Trois-Rivières. Admission is free.


St-Tite Western Festival, Mauricie (7th – 17th September 2018)

The largest country and western gathering in Canada, the internationally renowned St-Tite Western has been voted the ‘Best outdoor rodeo in North America’ since 1999. The annual event invites visitors to take advantage of professional rodeos and authentic musical performances, attracting over 600,000 visitors every year over 10 exciting days. Admission is free. Tickets for Rodeos and the Grandes Estrades Coors Banquet start from $25 CAD per adult (approx. £15) and $10 CAD per child (approx. £6)

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