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From coast-to-coast-to-coast, Canada is a hotbed for culture and diversity. But, the rich history and mix of culture can make it hard to pinpoint what exactly ‘Canadian Culture’ is. For all you culture lovers out there we have compiled a list of ten trips to take in your 30’s to learn more about the culture and history of this great land so you can decide for yourself. Check out the list below.
Visit Mile End and Mile Ex in Montreal Quebec, Canada
Bordering the renowned and fashionable Plateau neighbourhood, Mile End is a bilingual district full of art galleries, music venues, cafes, bars, record labels, and artist studios. Bands such as Arcade Fire, Grimes, and Plants and Animals call Mile End home. Along with musicians, famous Canadian writer, Mordecai Richler, was writing about the streets of Mile End as far back as the 1930s and 40s. Head here to find out what was so inspiring to these Canadian creatives and check out Drawn and Quarterly‘s comics, see a show at Casa Del Popolo, visit the Jean-Talon food market, or grab a bagel from the famous, St. Viateur. If you’re curious to see what Mile End might have been like thirty years ago, walk down to the burgeoning, Mile Ex, and find some soon-to-be-discovered gems.
Stroll Through Old Quebec, Quebec City, Quebec
Deemed a UNESCO world heritage site, Old Quebec features centuries-old architecture, street entertainers, art galleries, and restaurants. Check out the open-air art gallery, Rue du Trésor. When you get tired from the walking, hit up Le Chic Shack for a great meal.
Do TIFF, Toronto, Ontario
Like Montreal, we could probably make a list just on cultural attractions in Toronto. West Queen West, an incredibly vibrant art and fashion hub, is full of some amazing galleries like Edward Day Gallery, Twist Gallery, and Birch Contemporary. Kensington Market is still host to some great bars and venues, but if you’re going to go to Toronto for one thing ‘culture’, it has to be the Toronto International Film Festival. As one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, this film festival is a must-do for any culture lover.
Folk On The Rocks, Yellowknife, N.W.T.
We’re often guilty of overlooking the incredibly dynamic culture existing in our north. Folk On The Rocks is Yellowknife’s annual summer music festival. It features arts and crafts, First Nations and Indigenous acts, and of course, a lot of music. The festival is a wonderful reason to visit Yellowknife and its myriad of galleries.
Spend A Day In Gastown And Chinatown, Vancouver, B.C.
You might be walking through Gastown and see the statue of “Gassy Jack” perched atop what looks like a keg of beer. The monument is dedicated to the founding history of the oldest neighbourhood in Vancouver; Gastown, which began as a single saloon amidst a booming logging industry. The history is a far-cry from what Gastown is today; cobbled streets lined with contemporary fashion and design boutiques, restaurants, nightclubs, art galleries, music studios, and film schools. Only blocks away from Gastown is Canada’s largest Chinatown, which features some of the oldest buildings in Vancouver in addition to fantastic restaurants, and art galleries. Be sure to check out Dr Sun Yat-Sen Garden, the Wing-Sang Gallery, and local’s favourite restaurant, Bao Bei.
Very surprised to catch #georgestreetfestival during my trip out east. They kept it going for one night longer this year. I'm not saying it's because of me but it's possible. #BlueRodeo were amazing of course! This was my second time getting to experience this incredible music festival #livemusic #stjohns #georgestreet #georgestreetfest #nfld
Go To The George Street Festival, St. John’s, Newfoundland
George Street is a great street to visit no matter what time of year it is. The street is only composed of restaurant’s and bars and is almost exclusively open to pedestrians. But each summer, for a week, The George Street Festival brings in hundreds of musicians and bands to perform, sometimes as late as 6 AM.
Photo by @jonathankingston for #RainforestAlliance: Located in a sheltered bay on the east side of Haida Gwaii, UNESCO world heritage site SGang Gwaay represents one of the best examples of a Haida village site. But more than this – it is sacred ground. Many of the poles in the village site are mortuary poles – a testament to when the Haida population was decimated by epidemics of smallpox, measles and tuberculosis, introduced when the Europeans made contact, and against which the Haida had no defense. Today, the Haida nation is seeing a revival of pole carving thanks to the leadership of master Haida carvers mentoring the next generation of artists. Tag a friend who needs to see this powerful place and follow along on the journey this week to many of the places where the Rainforest Alliance is contributing to a more sustainable future! #FollowTheFrog #IGtakeover @natgeocreative
Hike And Explore Anthony Island, North Coast, B.C.
Anthony Island is part of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site. Its Haida name, SG̱ang Gwaay, is about the hollow sound made when winds blow through the rocks at a particular tide level. This vast, rugged wilderness is only accessible by boat or plane, but it’s steeped in history and culture. Aside from the original Mortuary Poles, Haida guides known as Watchmen will educate visitors on the island of Haida culture and the island’s history.
Watch The Glen Anaquod Memorial Tipi Raising Competition, Regina, Saskatchewan
The University of Regina Aboriginal Student Centre organizes a tipi raising competition during Regina’s, “Culture Days” weekend. The competition not only exemplifies the cultural importance of the tipi but also offers an opportunity to learn about Aboriginal and First Nations history within the region.
Nuit Blanche, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Nuit Blanche is hosted in many cities across Canada, but Winnipeg’s version is particularly special. Maybe it’s the old brick homes and prevalence of large trees in the city, but something about Winnipeg in the fall has the right mix of forlorn and spooky. Explore the city by night and meet some incredibly talented artists from September 30th to October 2nd, 2016.
Dawson City Music Festival, Dawson City, Yukon
With its old historical facades, history of gold-mining, vast wilderness, Robert Service and Jack London cabins, and more, Dawson City is a culture-lovers dream. There’s perhaps no better way to mix the old with the new than visiting the Dawson City Music Festival to experience some northern culture while seeing local and global acts alike.