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What’s Hot in October Across Canada


Admirers of the written word descend on Toronto from Oct 21 to 31 for the 30th annual International Festival of Authors. The literary event of the year, its 11 days offer a diverse selection of readings, panel discussions and book signings by some of the most important authors from Canada and abroad, including Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and John Irving.


Scary characters, kiddy rides and light shows are all part of the fun-filled frights at Safeway Boo at the Zoo. A new bigfoot forest plays off this year’s theme “MISSION: Bigfoot,” where sasquatches and yetis roam from Oct 15 to 30. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet kicks off their 70th anniversary season with a spectacular new work—Moulin Rouge – The Ballet from Oct 21 to 25.


In the MegaStar World Tour, the Blue Man Group goes on a satirical discovery of how to become a rock music megastar. By following an instruction manual for the “perfect rock concert experience,” Blue Man humorously explores the rules of rock, Oct 9 at Rexall Place. From Joan Rivers’ “discovery” by Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show on Feb 17, 1965, which catapulted her to fame as a comedienne, this brassy loudmouth has won a place in our hearts— and added actress, talk show host, businesswomen and author to her brag sheet. See her Oct 30 at River Cree Resort & Casino.


The biggest thing to come out of Australia isn’t AC/DC or Keith Urban or even Russell Crowe. Parents know it’s The Wiggles. The family-friendly entertainers are a world-wide phenomenon, regularly selling out venues such as Madison Square Garden. Sing along to favourites such as “Hot Potato” and “Monkey Man” when the group wiggles into UBC Thunderbird Arena on Oct 9.


A classic of Atlantic Canadian literature comes to the stage in Halifax. On Oct 27, No Great Mischief opens at Neptune Theatre on Argyle Street. Based on the Alistair MacLeod novel of the same name, the dramatic and moving tale explores the region’s rich Celtic heritage.

Canadian Rockies

The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festivals at The Banff Centre Oct 31 to Nov 8 bring mountain stories to life. Check out international jury-picked film screenings, mountain art and craft sale, literary presentations, photography competition, book fair and trade shows. Speakers include renowned speed climber Ueli Steck, National Geographic photographer Steve Winter and extreme skier, base jumper and skydiving accident survivor Karina Hollekim.


The Whistler Farmers’ Market wraps up another successful year on Oct 11. Find local food, hand-made crafts, and entertainment galore, all in the Upper Village.


The Ghosts of Victoria Festival returns to Victoria–reportedly B.C.’s most haunted place–from Oct 22 to 31. Highlights include ghost and cemetery tours, haunted horse-drawn trolley tours and a special performance of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, performed at the historic Craigdarroch Castle.


Moby is one of electronica’s biggest success stories.  On Oct 22 Moby comes to town to promote Wait for Me, which he describes in his online blog as “a more mournful and personal record than some of the records I’ve made in the past,” at MacEwan Hall, University of Calgary. The award-winning Broadway classic A Chorus Line follows the personal stories of 17 dancers who are auditioning for a chorus line. With traditional chorus-line costumes and dance moves (dancers kick their legs 36 times in the show), see it at the Jubilee Auditorium Oct 27 to Nov 1.


The ice at Scotiabank Place heats up this month, when the regular season starts for the Ottawa Senators. Animators, film buffs, and cartoon fans gather for five days of panels, workshops, and discussions at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, the largest of its kind in North America, Oct 14 to 18.

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