Best places to celebrate Canada’s 150th
Canadians know how to have a good time, and you know we’re going to serve up a massive party in 2017. There has never been a better year for travelling around Canada. Not only do we have tons of birthday celebrations on tap, but our dollar (rumoured to nose dive back down to 65 cents on the greenback) makes us an enticingly affordable destination for Americans and European. 2017 will be a banner for Canada, celebrating 150 years since Confederation. Here’s a look at some of the best places to celebrate our 150th.
Ottawa 150 Events
Our nation’s capital will be at the epicentre of the action. Certainly on and around July 1, there’ll be blow out events on Parliament Hill, but all through the year you’ll find epic events to keep the party going until 2018. They’ll be hosting the Juno’s, Red Bull Crashed Ice and the Grey Cup. There’s so much going on here, you’ll want to plan your trip around whatever festival, sporting or community event strikes your fancy most. This site will get you started.
All this hoopla around 150, yet Montreal is celebrating 375-years as a leading city of culture, history and innovation. Luminere is a not to miss hipster winter festival February 23 to March 11 and come spring, the Giants will roam the streets May 19 to 21 (check out the video below).
For me, its Circus Festival holds huge appeal. Basically the entire city becomes one big tent, with hundred of performers and troops performing through the streets.
Victoria 2017 Celebrations
Easy to get to from Calgary, Victoria is hosting a major party starting on June 21, 2017. Celebrating Canadian multiculturalism, you’ll find festive, free events along the Inner Harbour and a pretty impressive fireworks display on July 1. This New Years Eve, they’re even timing their First Night celebrations with Ottawa (ideal for young families). And if you’ve never stayed or taken tea at the historic Fairmont Empress, now is the time to do it. They’ve just finished a royal renovation.
Free entry to Canadian National Parks and Historic Sites
Parks Canada has given Canadians perhaps the best birthday gift ever – free Discovery Passes for 2017. It’s also the 100-year anniversary of our National Historic Sites, so I hope to visit as many of them as possible. You’ve got 47 parks and 168 historic sites to choose from, so why not give Banff National Park a break? Banff will undoubtably be crazy busy again this summer, so you’ll want to branch out and explore new territory.
Within easy striking distance of Calgary are Elk Island National Park (just outside and Edmonton) and Waterton Lakes National Park – which is open all year round. Waterton in winter is spectacular and they have some great Family Day programming in February.
How will you celebrate 2017? I’d love to know where is the one place in Canada you’ve been dying to visit. For me it’s Haida Gwaii and Tofino. OK, that’s two, but I haven’t been to either as an adult, and I think it’s time.