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Winter Festivals: A Cure for the Blues

Winter blues getting you down? No need to fret, especially since Groundhog Day results have predicted an early spring. Enjoy the frosty temperature while it lasts and have a little mid-winter fun at some of Canada’s winter festivals.

Here are some of our favourites:

Halifax 2011 Canada Games – Feb. 11-13
While this event isn’t quite a ‘winter festival’, it’s certainly worth checking out. The country’s top athletes battle it out at the 2011 Canada Games. Don’t miss the free concert series at Celebration Square, featuring big-name Canadian musicians including Buck 65, Sloan, Hawksley Workman and Great Big Sea.

Quebec City Carnival – through Feb. 13

One of the world’s premier winter festivals, Quebec City’s Carnaval doesn’t disappoint. Featuring beloved mascot “Bonhomme” (that’s French for “snowman”), this fest has it all: snow sculpture competitions, ice castles, skating and cross-country ski sessions and a glamorous winter ball. Check out this Quebec City deal for $93 a night.

Ottawa Winterlude – through Feb. 21

Chill out in Canada’s capital and partake in a must-do activity: skating on the world’s largest outdoor rink, the Rideau Canal. When that’s over, relax over a mug of hot chocolate at the ByWard Market or play in North America’s largest snow playground.

Montreal – High Lights – Feb. 17-27

While Montreal piles up in snow, pile on the layers and head out to the High Lights Festival, which takes over the city. Partake in family-friendly events at Montreal’s Old Port or pull an all-night ‘nuit blanche’ to discover art and interactive exhibits. Head to a AAA 4-Diamond Hotel in Montreal and save 25%.

Winnipeg – Festival du Voyageur – Feb. 18-27

Travel back in time at this festival, which celebrates the pioneers and fur traders of Manitoba. Held in the French Quarter of Winnipeg, the Festival du Voyageur is dubbed “the world’s largest kitchen party”. Don’t know what that is? Guess you’ll just have to find out. While there, stay at the Place Jacques Cartier for 35% off.

Edmonton – Snow Battle and Winter Light Festival – Through March 6

Looking for something wacky? Why not check out the Edmonton Yukigassen (‘Snow Battle’ in Japanese) from March 4-6? An organized snowball fight, teams of seven compete for supremacy. For a more traditional event, check out the Edmonton Winter Light Festival, running through March 5. Stay at the Ramada Edmonton for $117 per night.

Whistler, B.C. – TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival – April 15-24

Head to the hills of Whistler and Blackcomb for one of the spring season’s hottest mountain festivals. Ski on less crowded slopes by day and experience fashion, film, photography and Whistler’s world-famous nightlife scene. Stay at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, an iconic mountain hotel, with this ski-and-stay package. 

For more festivals and cool winter deals, check out the Travelzoo Canada Winter Festivals page.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Toronto
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
See more Tips from
Charmaine Pang