Story Ideas

10 things you need to know about…Canada’s folk and fringe festivals.

Tap into your inner flower child or open your mind to theatrical creativity under Canada’s summer skies.

13 May 2015

Suggested tweet: World renowned folk fests + creative live theatre form backdrop to Canada’s sunny summer #explorecanada

Canadians are artsy people. We love creative talent, and celebrate it all summer. Winnipeg,MB, and Edmonton, AB, feature prominently—there’s some competitive history. Folkies love their bluegrass, country and even throat-singing, while theatre lovers in Canada have more fringe festivals to choose from per capita than anywhere else (and fringe tickets are super cheap).

Here are 10 ways to explore Canada’s most creative live theatre talents and sing along at our world-renowned folk festivals (henna tattoos optional).

1) Toronto FringeTheatre venues spread across downtown for more than 1,100 shows by 150-plus performing groups and singles. Some big hits get their starts here. (July 1-12)

2) Winnipeg Folk FestivalMore than 80,000 latter-day hippies gather happily on a prairie meadow at 10 stages surrounded by aspen forests. (July 9-12)

3) Festival d’été de QuébecCanada’s largest outdoor musical event, where a thousand artists swarm across Québec City. Your world rocks here. (July 9-19)

4) Winnipeg Fringe Theatre FestivalThe city’s beautifully restored Exchange District hosts North America's second-largest Fringe. (July 15-26)

5) Folk on the RocksMusicians from around the world show up in Yellowknife, NWT, to play under the midnight sun. Traditional northern food makes for a wild bonus. (July 17-19)

6) Edmonton FolkFestAn island of folkery breaks out mid-cityin Gallagher Park, with a hill perfect for views of the main stage, the city’s skyscraper skyline and Muttart Conservatory’s glass botanical garden pyramids.(Aug. 6-9)

7) Lunenburg Folk Harbour FestivalThe 30th anniversary of Nova Scotia’s longest-running folk fest happens all around town at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Aug. 6-9)

8) Edmonton International Fringe Theatre FestivalVintage turn-of-the-century theatres in the city’s Old Strathcona Provincial Historic District, plus any other spaces suitable for temporary drama house North America's most-attended Fringe. (Aug. 13-23).

9) Atlantic Fringe FestivalHalifax’s 25th Fringe— Atlantic Canada’s biggest—kicks off with the traditional Sampler Smorgasbord Showcase, which has a snippet from every show. Theatre-goers choose their top picks to attend. (Sept. 3-13)

10) Vancouver FringeGranville Island hosts some 700 edgy performances over 11 days, with awards-night winners held over for five days at the island’s Performance Works venue. (Sept 10-20)

Looking for more visual inspiration from Canada’s arts and music scenes? Browse our Brand Canada Library for thousands of images and videos from all over Canada.

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