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Biggest Festivals and Celebrations in Canada for International Students

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Dec 12,2023 03:17 PM IST

Canadian festivals and celebrations offer a unique cultural experience to foster cross-cultural understanding and lasting memories for international students in Canada. The blog explores various festivals and celebrations that international students must enjoy throughout their academic journey in Canada. 

festivals-and-celebrations-in-canada.webpCanada’s festive landscape is an opportunity for international students, especially from India to connect, celebrate, and create cherished memories throughout their study abroad experience. Each event, whether it be the breath-taking fireworks of Celebration of Lights in Vancouver or the contagious laughter at Just For Laughs in Montreal, promises cultural enrichment for international students. International students pursuing their higher education in Canada can enjoy some of the best cultural celebrations and festivities.

Festivals and Celebrations in Canada for International Students

When deciding to study in Canada students frequently ask questions regarding the country’s traditions and the type of festivals that people celebrate. To help students gather information about living in Canada, this section talks about the various festivals and celebrations across the country.

Canada Day

Canada Day, celebrated on 1st July each year, marks the country’s confederation anniversary. Testament to Canadian identity and unity, this day symbolizes the unification of the different provinces in Canada and territories into one nation in 1867. Canadian cities host special events tailored for students to ensure a warm and inclusive experience for everyone. Canada Day invites international students to explore the country’s diverse culture through melodic performances and inspiring art displays. 

Celebration of Lights – Vancouver

An annual fireworks extravaganza – Celebration of Lights illuminates the night sky over English Bay, Vancouver. It is Canada's most prestigious international fireworks competition that brings pyrotechnic experts from across the world at one platform. The waterfront transforms into a breath-taking spectacle with lights, colours, and synchronized music. 

Montreal Jazz Festival

Established in 1980, the Montreal Jazz Festival attracts music enthusiasts and performers from across the globe. Popular as a cultural icon, the Montreal Jazz Festival attracts aspiring musicians and enthusiasts with workshops and master classes. International students should plan a visit to Montreal in June-July to engage with musicians from different backgrounds and expand their knowledge of global traditions.


Winterlude, a cherished Canadian festival is an annual winter extravaganza. It transforms Ottawa and Gatineau into a magical snow and ice playground.  Exquisite ice sculptures, outdoor activities such as ice skating on the Canal to exhilarating snow slides and snowflake kingdom adventures celebrate Canada’s diverse heritage. Attending cultural displays will enable international students to get an insight into Canada’s multicultural society.

Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto Film Festival captures the essence of cinematic brilliance and is known as the most prestigious film festivals. Each year, filmmakers, actors, and movie enthusiasts celebrate the art of storytelling through films. It serves as a platform to showcase remarkable movies and nurture talent to shape the future of cinema.  TIFF serves as a platform for international students to delve into the world of filmmaking and appreciate diverse cinematic styles and storytelling techniques. 


The annual festival of Folklorama held in Winnipeg celebrates global diversity. The festival promises international students the opportunity to explore the rich heritage, traditions, and customs of the various cultures represented in Winnipeg. Captivating traditional performances, including dance, music, and storytelling along with food are a feast for a visitor’s palate and senses. It serves as a valuable educational experience for international students promoting cross-cultural understanding and tolerance. 

Pride Toronto

Pride Toronto is an annual parade that takes place in Toronto, Canada. It attracts over a million attendees each year to celebrate love, acceptance, and equality. The Pride Week warmly embraces International LGBTQ+ students and encourages them to express their true selves without fear or judgement. It is a transformative experience that empowers international students to embrace their identity, celebrate their individuality, and contribute to the LGBTQ+ culture and acceptance.

Just For Laughs

Established as one of the most prestigious comedy events globally, Just For Laughs is truly the crown jewel of comedy festivals. It brings together acclaimed comedians for a celebration of humour. Since its launch in 1983, the festival has earned a stellar reputation due to its contagious energy and comedic brilliance. The various comedic styles, from witty one-liners to thought-provoking satire are sure to tickle every funny bone.  Comedy has a universal appeal for students from diverse linguistic backgrounds. Irrespective of a student’s first language (English or French), the physical humour, facial expressions, and situational comedy requires no translation. 

The Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede captures the essence of the Wild West with thrilling competitions and lively festivals. Often referred as ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’, it transforms Calgary into a spirited cowboy town. The Stampede showcases rich traditions of rodeo, ranching, and agricultural prowess. International students can witness skilled cowboys and cowgirls demonstrate their expertise in various events such as bull riding, barrel racing, and roping. 

Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival

The Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival transports attendees into a world of traditional music, lively dances, and exquisite crafts. International students can immerse in the spirit of storytelling that celebrates the unique history and artistic expressions of local communities. The festival encourages accomplished musicians and dancers to take the stage and captivate audience with their passion. Active participation can help international students learn traditional dances, folk songs, and craftsmanship, appreciating the rich heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Carnaval de Québec

Hosted in one of Canada’s most charming cities, Québec City, Le Carnaval de Québec is one the world’s largest winter festivals. Grand parades wind through snow-covered streets, featuring colourful floats, cheerful performances, and the iconic Bonhomme Carnaval – the festival’s jovial mascot. Outdoor festivities such as snow slides, ice skating, and snowball fights create an atmosphere of pure joy and excitement. International students can get an opportunity to learn about Quebec’s rich history and heritage by actively participating in the festival.  

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

The Canadian National Exhibition, also known as the CNE or Ex showcases a perfect blend of entertainment, culture, and innovation. The Ex is a summer tradition since 1879 that is conducted over 18 days and draws millions of visitors from across the world. The fair pays homage to Canada’s agricultural roots with exhibits that showcase the finest livestock, produce, and innovative farming techniques. Initiatives to spread awareness about agricultural practices provide a unique opportunity for urban and international visitors to connect with Canada’s rural heritage.


Diverse and dynamic festivals and celebrations in Canada are an invaluable aspect to the international student experience for those choosing to study in Canada. These events offer a unique gateway to immerse in the rich cultural mosaic and create lasting memories. Symbolizing the vibrant tapestry of multiculturalism, these festivals invite students to celebrate, connect, and embrace rich traditions of Canada. Students who are interested to take their education to a global level can contact the study abroad experts at Canam


Canada Day, celebrated on July 1st, marks the country’s confederation anniversary. International students, specifically from India, can enjoy special events, such as musical performances, and inspiring art displays to explore Canada’s diverse culture.
Established in 1980, the Montreal Jazz Festival attracts musicians and enthusiasts from across the world. By attending the festival, international students can engage in workshops, master classes, and performances that will expand their knowledge of global musical traditions. 
The Toronto International Film Festival is a global platform to showcase remarkable movies and nurture talent in filmmaking. International students can explore various cinematic styles and storytelling techniques. This exposure will contribute extensively to their understanding of filmmaking as an art.
Students can create an account on the Canam website, shortlist the universities and programs they are interested in and apply. Experts at Canam will help guide them in making a successful application in their preferred institution.
Students must get in touch with their study abroad advisor at Canam to choose their specific institution and programs. They will have to prove their language proficiency, academic transcripts, and financial stability. Students will be required to submit all required documents, obtain a study permit, and prepare for an academic life in Canada. 

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