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Canada - Leisure and Entertainment

Canada has 10 public bank holidays. These are New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas day and Boxing Day. Some of these holidays are on set days each year, such as Remembrance Day, and other dates vary year on year such as Good Friday. For various cultural reasons there are other holidays too, such as Jewish religious holidays, which are celebrated by individual communities, but the 10 bank holidays are those which are set by the government.

Sports are very popular in Canada with ice hockey (in Canada it is just known as hockey) being one of the most played throughout the country. A popular pastime for both adults and children the game is very fast and can often result in injury. Professional ice hockey players wear plenty of padding during play to help protect them. Canada also has several very popular spots for skiing; Banff and Whistler attract skiers of all expertise from all around the world. Curling is another Canadian sport played on ice. This involves large polished stones being slid along the ice towards a large target in the aims of reaching a bull’s-eye. Due to the climate in Canada, winter sport activities such as these can be enjoyed almost all year round.

Other sports which are popular in Canada that do not include ice or snow include lacrosse, baseball, basketball and Canadian football, which is similar to American football but with slight differences on rules and regulations. Canadians are well known for enjoying their sports and treat their sporting teams with pride.

Canada is also home to many major tourist attractions. Niagara Falls was once the biggest honeymoon destination in the world. It is also one of the most popular natural wonders of the world. There are 36 national parks to visit in your leisure time. It is possible to camp in the parks, or rent holiday lodges and enjoy a relaxing stay. However, if your leisure time is limited or you prefer something a little livelier then you can take advantage of the many events and festivals held annually around the country. Each province and territory has their own events every year, and there is such a variety of things to see and do your leisure times can be easily filled. These festivals and events include;


Various music festivals including Jazz and Folk Music held in cities such as Edmonton and Calgary. The Jasper heritage Folk Festival is held in August as is the Canadian Death Race held over the August bank holiday weekend. The Calgary stampede is a treat for anyone wanting to see rodeos, take a turn on fairground rides and generally have fun cowboy style.

British Columbia

British Columbia plays host to many music festivals including jazz, blues and folk music. Vancouver Island has its own music festival each year, and Vancouver also hosts the Alcan Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival, the largest of its kind in North America. Manitoba Both arts and music festivals are popular in Manitoba. The province also hosts and annual Fringe Festival in Winnipeg which is the longest in North America. Folk Music, jazz music and a wealth of multicultural celebrations are all available for you to enjoy in Manitoba.

New Brunswick

A change from the Jazz and Blues festivals, which are also hosted in New Brunswick, they also offer the chance for you to enjoy the Lameque International Baroque Music Festival. The Northrop Frye Literary festival is also an extremely popular event year on year. Newfoundland and Labrador Corner Brook has become known as the ‘Triathlon Capital of the World’ as it plays host each year to the ITU Triathlon World Cup. The Shakespeare by the Sea festival is another extremely popular event. Choral music lovers flock in their droves to St Johns for the Festival 500 Sharing the Voices choral music international event which has taken place every year since 1992.

Northwest Territories and Nunavut

Arts and music festivals dominate the yearly events in the Northwest Territories. Musicians from both Northwest Territories and Nunavut and many rom around the world join the Folk on the Rocks Music Festival for the two day event making it the biggest event of its kind in Canada. Nova Scotia Folk music festivals are popular in Nova Scotia with both the Stan Rogers music festival and the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival taking place in the province. The Cabot Trail Relay event covers 185 miles over 17 legs and is popular with both runners and supporters alike.


The province of Ontario plays host to the most festivals and events throughout the year. These include music festivals such as Jazz and Folk music, Grape and Wine festivals with the chance to sample various wines and cuisines and enjoy concerts and other entertainments while sitting back with a glass of your favourite tipple. Arts fairs and concert recitals run throughout the year and the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta should not be missed by anyone who loves competitive boating events.

Prince Edward Island

Musical performances, theatre productions and Arts festivals dominate the Prince Edward Islands annual events. The International shellfish Festival is a must for anyone who enjoys good food and you get the chance to learn from both celebrity chefs and gourmet cooks the best way to prepare and serve your favourite dishes.


Quebec is home to an array of music and film festivals throughout the year. Jazz is a very popular genre and there are several festivals which showcase this. Saskatchewan You can spend your Labour Day weekend at the Regina Dragon Boat Festival which is usually attended by around 20,000 spectators. Competitive boating events such as this are fun for people of all ages. The festival of Words at Moose Jaw is attended by anyone who loves literature, poetry and drama. There are many activities to enjoy at the event including concerts and theatre productions.


The Dawson City Music Festival in the Yukon Territory is one of the biggest events in the region throughout the year. Canadian artists perform each year and the event grows ever more popular even considering the fact it is also one of the remotest events in the country.

If you are a smoker you need to be aware of the fact that smoking is now banned in all public buildings throughout the country. Some businesses however do have ‘smoking rooms’ set aside. This also includes restaurants, bars and nightclubs. It is also illegal in some provinces to smoke in a car that is carrying a child under 16 as a passenger.

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