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What’s Hot in June Across Canada


Internationally acclaimed musicians, actors, writers, dancers and more descend upon Toronto from June 11 to 20 for the Luminato Festival, an annual celebration of culture and artistic innovation. Among the not-to-be-missed productions are The Infernal Comedy—in which John Malkovich portrays a charismatic Austrian serial killer—and Prima Donna, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright’s foray into opera.

The music doesn’t stop there: starting June 25, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival brings more than 1,500 musicians to the city for more than 350 concerts. Headliners include Harry Connick Jr., Herbie Hancock and the Keith Jarrett trio.

Canadian Rockies

With Alberta grizzlies recently being labeled as a threatened species, the Whyte Museum’s  Grizzly! exhibition from Jun 19 – Oct 11, explores human’s relationship with these majestic but sometimes frightening creatures. Alongside contemporary bear art and archival materials are displays on wildlife management and the impact of diminishing habitat. In conjunction with this exhibit are the Bears: Tracks Through Time book launch (Jun 24) and Bears, Bears, Bears art show and sale (Jun 19 – Sep 14).

Join seasoned chefs and locals at the always-popular Whistler Farmers’ Market Jun 20 – Oct 10. You’ll find fresh fruit and produce, homemade preserves, arts, crafts, jewellery and more.


On June 19, party like it’s Carnival at Carivibe, a celebration of Caribbean culture. The Ottawa International Jazz Festival kicks off Jun 24 and features 11 days of musical heavyweights. Catch top names like Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck, George Benson, Joshua Redman, Smokey Robinson and many more. 


Chill out to ultra cool beats at the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, Jun 25 – Jul 4. Performances take place in various clubs and theatres with big names heading like Martha Wainwright, The Roots, Nikki Yanofsky and Buck 65. Jazz legend Sonny Rollins performs a festival preview show on Jun 23. Various venues and ticket prices, 204-989-4656.

Jun 10 – 13 make a playdate with world-class children’s entertainment during the 28th annual Winnipeg International Children’s Festival at The Forks. Watch in awe as acts like High Strung Aerial Dance defy gravity and Fubuki Daiko beat out high-powered Japanese drumming, 204-958-4730 for tickets and information.


Five decades of playing the blues can make you a New Orleans legend; just ask Bryan Lee, whose lack of eyesight has never obscured his brilliant musical vision. No less than Muddy Waters himself predicted greatness for this artist. As Lee puts it: “I can focus deeper. I don’t have any physical distractions.” He plays Jun 7 – 12 at Blues on Whyte.


The annual Shakespearean festival Bard on the Beach run Jun 17 – Sep, and features classics like Much Ado About Nothing, Antony & Cleopatra, Henry V and Falstaff.  On Jun 19 and 20, cheer on your favourite team at the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival —the largest in North America.


June is a big month for music in Calgary. On Jun 15, rock legend Tom Petty comes to the Pengrowth Saddledome to present Mojo, his first album in eight years. You can also expect to hear classic hits such as “American Girl,” and “Free Fall’in.”

On Jun 27, Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan presents the 2010 incarnation of her music festival Lilith. Headliners include McLachlan, Erykah Badu and Sheryl Crow, in addition to performers such as Colbie Caillat and Frazey Ford.


The Canadian Navy marks its centennial this month and to celebrate Victoria hosts one of the year’s biggest parties June 11 to 13. Highlights include an International Fleet Review offshore, fireworks, a concert and more. 


Greece is the word in Halifax from Jun 10 – 13. The Halifax Greek Fest at Saint George’s church on Purcell’s Cove Road celebrates all things Hellanic—music, dancing, food, games, cultural displays, contests and more. It’s one of the city’s livliest summer festivals.

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