A world of enjoyment: Feeling truly alive in Canada
Canadians love to be outdoors when the weather's warm. No wonder the country likes to turn big cities into festival grounds.
Music fans, take note! More than 3,000 musicians from 30 countries shut down traffic in Montreal for 10 days at the International Jazz Festival. Of the more than 600 shows, half are free, and kids will find plenty to do in the festival's Musical Park.
Three million tulips dot the parks of Ottawa and lead you to free concerts and shows at the Canadian Tulip Festival. Hundreds of hot-air balloons of many shapes and sizes fill the skies at the Hot-Air Balloon Festival in Gatineau, part of greater Ottawa. You can also hire a balloon to take you high into the skies above Canada's capital.
With more than 300 films, the Toronto International Film Festival is often called North America's top cinema gathering. Many Hollywood hits have their first showings there; Toronto does its best to get them before the festival at Cannes can.
Need to make time for the kids? Face-painting, story time and theatre are the focus of the Vancouver Children's Festival, with life-size puppets turning the white tents at Vanier Park into worlds of childhood fantasy. If you're here in summer, be sure to see the HSBC Celebration of Light, a major fireworks display over English Bay.
If you go...
Montreal Jazz: 26 June to 6 July 2008; www.montrealjazzfest.com
Tulip Festival: May; www.tulipfestival.ca
Balloon Festival: 29 August to 1 September 2008; www.montgolfieresgatineau.com
Toronto Film Festival: 4—13 September 2008; http://tiff07.ca
Children's Festival: 12—19 May 2008; www.childrensfestival.caCelebration of Light: 23, 26 and 30 July, 2 August 2008; http://celebration-of-light.com