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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Visit award-winning festivals across Ontario


(ONTARIO) April 14, 2014 – As winter finally starts to melt away and as the days get longer, it’s clear that spring is just around the corner. Awaken your senses by tasting, seeing and hearing what spring brings to the province. Bright colours, enchanting smells and all the beauty that blossoms, it’s time to get outside and see how communities are celebrating.

The festival and event industry in Ontario supports the equivalent of 50,000 full-time jobs annually and collectively generates an estimated $2.3 billion contribution to regional GDP on a yearly basis (Enigma Research , 2013) – making this industry one that is hard to ignore.

Festivals and Events Ontario, the provincial, not-for-profit tourism association in Ontario, recognizes a Top 100 Festival and Events in Ontario annually. These Top 100 recipients represent festivals and events that excel within the industry. Included in the Top 100 are the Festivals and Events of Distinction, a select group which represent some of the most well-known and respected celebrations in the province; celebrations which draw both an international and domestic audience.

Here’s a look at some of the 2014 Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario happening this spring:


Carassauga Festival of Cultures - Mississauga
A city-wide multicultural festival to promote understanding, respect and co-operation among all Canadians of different heritage. Experience the world at Carassauga during three incredible days! 
www.carassauga.com   May 23 – 25
Streetsville Founders' Bread and Honey Festival – Mississauga
This is a fun-filled family festival featuring a huge parade at 10am on Sat. Live entertainment on 2 stages, a petting zoo, pony rides, children's inflatables, crafts, souvenirs and much more. 
www.breadandhoney.com   June 6 – 8
Luminato Festival – Toronto
Luminato Festival is the international multi-arts festival for people open to having art change their outlook on the world. 
www.luminato.com   June 06 – 15
Mississauga Waterfront Festival – Mississauga
Exciting three-day family festival featuring world-class entertainment, carnival, kids village, fire eaters, water shows, clowns, petting zoo, vendors, great food, licensed area and so much more!
www.themwf.com   June 13 – 15
Markham Village Music Festival – Markham
4 stages of music and dance over 2 days, arts/crafts, a farmer's market, Taste of Markham ethnic food booths, a petting zoo, carnival ride.      
www.markham-festival.org   June 20 – 21
Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto – Toronto
Kick off your summer at The Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto. Come see the inaugural Flyboard® North American Championships and the DockDogs® World Qualifying Championships.               
www.TOwaterfrontfest.com   June 20 – 22
Canada Day Weekend Celebrations – Toronto
Canada Day Weekend Celebrations aims to connect the entire country through music, culinary arts, comedy, family activities, storytelling and film as part of Harbourfront Centre’s 40th anniversary.               
www.harbourfrontcentre.com   June 27 – July 1
Toronto Ribfest – Toronto
Kick off summer at Toronto's fun, family festival. Held over Canada Day weekend, Toronto Ribfest is a great family destination with rides, attractions, live entertainment and, of course, great food.
www.torontoribfest.com   June 28 – July 1


  Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival – Orangeville
Thursday night Opening Gala. Three days of FREE family entertainment in historic downtown setting. Blues Cruise with 250+ cars and 20+ venues in surrounding rural towns.          
www.objf.org   June 5 – 8
Concerts in the Park 2014 – Vaughan
Vaughan celebrates "Concerts in the Park", an annual outdoor summer concert series! Featuring popular tribute bands performing hits that the whole family will enjoy! See website for dates and locations.
www.vaughan.ca   June 11 – August 6
Peony Festival – Oshawa - A celebration of horticulture and the arts, the 10th annual Peony Festival will feature 300 varieties outside and another 250 blooms inside. Local culinary choices, artists in the park and performance.       www.oshawa.ca   June 14 – 15
TD Ottawa Jazz Festival – Ottawa
Nestled in the heart of beautiful downtown Ottawa, scores of music fans travel to enjoy the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, featuring some of the jazz world’s most renowned and cutting-edge musicians.
www.ottawajazzfestival.com   June 20 – July 1
CIBC Taste of Asia Festival "Canada's Largest Asian Festival" – Markham
Largest Asian Festival outside GTA-Markham's Pacific Mall features Food, Cultural Shows, Asian Artists, Concerts, Eating Contests, Hong Kong Night Market, Car Show, and Carnival Rides over 200 Booths!
 www.tasteofasiastreetfestival.ca   June 28 – 29
Heritage Mica Days - Tay Valley Township
Heritage Mica Days is a unique experience for the Cultural Explorer. Activities celebrate and interpret the life of the mica miners and subsistence farmers from the early 1900s. Suitable for all ages
www.heritagemicadays.ca   June 28 – October 11
World Heritage Sunset Ceremonies – Kingston
Every Wednesday and Saturday evening in July and August witness this unique and spectacular display of living history. Named one of FEO's Top 100 Events, it's a can't-miss experience for the whole family!
www.forthenry.com   June 29 – August 30


Stratford Festival – Stratford
North America's leading repertory theatre invites you to experience the best plays ever written, brought to dazzling life on 4 stages.  From Shakespeare to musicals, be moved and entertained.
www.stratfordshakespearefestival.com   April 21 – October 12
Walter Gretzky Street Hockey Tournament – Brantford
8th annual Walter Gretzky Street Hockey Tournament at Lions Park. Form a team or spectate on the stands for this fun-filled weekend of ball hockey.  Help raise funds for the Lung Association!
www.ballhockeyinternational.com   May 30 – June 1
LaSalle Strawberry Festival – LaSalle
Lots of family fun.  Don't miss out on local strawberries, crafts, vendors, Carnival rides and entertainment all weekend. Fireworks Fri. on the water 10pm. everything at Gil Maure Park.
www.town.lasalle.on.ca/strawberryfestival   June 5 – 8
Art in the Park Windsor – Windsor
Art in the Park Windsor is celebrating its 36th year as one of Ontario's largest outdoor summer art and craft shows. Over 300 artists and artisans will be displaying and retailing their wares.
www.aipwindsor.com   June 6 – 8
Downtown Milton Street Festival – Milton
Main Street in Milton, to Brown Street, to Fulton Street. Many family activities in store including: 4 stages of live entertainment with over 40 live performances. Street vendors, extended patios. Etc.
www.milton.ca   June 7
Re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek - Stoney Creek (Hamilton)
Experience the drama, pageantry, and excitement of the Battle of Stoney Creek of June 6, 1813, one of the most important events in Canada's history.    
www.hamilton.ca/museums    June 7 – 8
Sound of Music Festival - Burlington
Canada’s Largest Free Music Festival! Thousands come to enjoy the biggest annual gathering of free concerts by the lake, music spanning all genres. Burlington Downtown and Waterfront.
www.soundofmusic.ca   June 12 – 15
TD Toronto Jazz Festival – Toronto
The TD Toronto Jazz Festival is one of the city's largest music festivals. The Festival features 1,500 musicians playing over 350 concerts in 40 locations all across the city, for 10 jam packed days.
www.torontojazz.com   June 19 – 28
Windsor Summer Fest – Windsor
Summer Fest is an 18 day festival on the Riverfront includes midway, Target Fireworks, Parades, Buskers and more. 
www.santaparade.org   June 19 – July 1
The Art of Eating Food and Wine Festival - Tecumseh                
The Art of Eating Food and Wine Festival is a celebration of food, wine, beer and entertainment in this beautiful waterfront setting nestled on Lake St Clair.   
www.tecumsehbia.com   June 20 – 21
World Pride 2014 Toronto – Toronto
WorldPride 2014 Toronto is an exciting 10-day global celebration filled with great entertainment, incorporating activism, education, and the history and culture of global LGBTTIQQ2SA* communities.
www.worldpride.com   June 20 – 29
Carrousel of the Nations 2014 - Carrousel around the City – Windsor
June 20-21 and 27-29, 2014, ethno-cultural groups open their cultural centres in celebration of their home country. Visitors can delight in the tastes, sounds and traditions of these cultures!
www.carrouselofnations.ca   June 20 – 29


  Friendship Festival - Fort Erie
Binational festival featuring artisans, artists, concerts, midway, heritage art and performers, food, demonstrations, vendors and beverage garden, War of 1812 area, Kid's Zone and much more.
www.friendshipfestival.com   June 27 – July 1


  Huron Fringe Birding Festival - Port Elgin          
MacGregor Point Provincial Park is located at the base of Ontario's Bruce Peninsula. Guided hikes, tours, workshops and evening presentations are designed for both casual and experienced birders.
www.friendsofmacgregor.org   May 23 – June 1
Spring Barrie Automotive Flea Market - Oro-Medonte
Our vendors have something for everyone.  Don't rush home, take advantage of our comfortable campground and excellent food and beverage facilities.  
www.burlscreek.com   June 5 – 8
SALSA at Blue Mountain - Blue Mountains
Muy Caliente! The very hot Ontario Salsa tour returns to Blue Mountain. A FREE family street party transforms the Village into a showcase of Latin Life with pulsating music and passionate dancing.
www.bluemountainvillage.ca   June 21 – 22
Kirkland Lake Homecoming Week - Kirkland Lake
The 2014 Kirkland Lake Homecoming Week: Simple Plan, Colin James, Canada Day Party, kids events, food fair plus an extreme park competition for BMX, skateboards and scooters
www.klfestivals.com   June 25 – July 1

These festivals and events are just a taste of what the sprint has to offer across Ontario. Festivals and Events Ontario publishes a guide of over 750 events happening year-round across the province. The 2014/2015 Festivals & Events in Ontario Guide is available at any Ontario Tourism destination offices or electronically on the www.festivalsandeventsontario.ca or www.ontariotravel.net websites.

About FEO
FEO provides education, marketing and advocacy services and operates Canada's largest dedicated festival and event Conference. FEO also publishes and distributes an annual 250,000 circulation (plus on-line exposure) consumer guide to Ontario festivals and events, another guide to promote its industry supplier goods and services, facilitates industry-leading marketing research, oversees an industry-leading awards recognition program, manages a dynamic on-line website, markets a weekly festivals and events industry news-brief with a distribution exceeding 2,500 email recipients and advocates at the provincial and federal level for an improved operating environment within which its members can successfully conduct their business.

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