June is perhaps Toronto’s artsiest month, thanks to the annual Luminato festival, which, from Jun 10 – 19 celebrates creativity and innovation by presenting more than 150 ticketed and free theatrical and dance productions, concerts, readings and discussions, and visual art displays. Among the international offerings are a two-part, multilingual performance of the One Thousand and One Nights, and a new, full-length interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, presented by the National Ballet of Canada. Later in the month, music lovers can make the pilgrimage here for the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. Opening on Jun 24 with a free concert by Aretha Franklin, the event subsequently offers hundreds of concerts from such renowned artists as The Bad Plus, Dave Holland, Kenny Barron and even The Roots.
Taste the best of Whistler with three-course menus priced at $19, $29, $39 and $49 during Dine In Whistler. On until the end of the month, there are over 30 participating restaurants offering something to delight every palate.
Improvaganza, running Jun 15 – 25 is an improv-based comedy festival spearheaded by Edmonton’s longest running improv theatre. It encompasses a variety of entertainers including sketch comedians, stand-up comedians and improv musicians. The comedy unfolds in the heart of Old Strathcona with four nightly shows in two theatre venues. Get set for the city’s first summer solstice celebration—Utopia Music Festival, a two-day celebration of love, unity and diversity, Jun 17 – 18. Held at the Heritage Amphitheatre in scenic Hawrelak Park, this eclectic outdoor music fest features folk, reggae, electronic and acoustic sounds with a stellar line-up including folk icon Ani DiFranco and former Moist frontman David Usher amongst others.
Multiple circus-style tents at The Forks erupt with shrieks and giggles Jun 9 – 12, as world-class children’s acts entertain enthralled little ones at the 28th annual Winnipeg International Children’s Festival. Local favourite Fred Penner headlines and hands-on activities from clay modelling to face painting keep children grinning from ear to ear.
Pedal power takes over Banff June 16-19 during the Banff National Park Bike Fest. Watch as up to 500 amazing cyclists tackle various bike races including the elite/pro invitational Lake Louise road race, Minnewanka Loop time trial, downtown Banff criterium, Surprise Corner prologue and Tunnel Mountain road race. There’s also a costumed race for kids and family fun events.
Check out the spellbinding musical Wicked as it explores the relationship between Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. This award-winning show is at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre until Jun 26. The annual summer seaside festival Bard on the Beach is back in town until Sep 24. Catch four of Shakespeare’s plays, including As You Like It and The Merchant of Venice, under open-air tents offering views of Vancouver’s skyline.
From Jun 16 – 18, watch in amazement as the National Arts Centre Orchestra teams up with spectacular circus performers for a show that mixes live classic and contemporary music with the acrobatic wonders of circus performers in NACO Pops: Cirque de la Symphonie. Mimes, strongmen, and aerialists perform as the orchestra plays carnival themes like “Night on Bald Mountain.” Meanwhile, Ottawa International Jazz Festival draws scores of jazz fans Jun 23 – Jul 3, from near and far for a jam-packed line-up. Performers to grace the main stage at this year’s event include k.d. lang, Pink Martini, Elvis Costello, and other top-notch acts.
The Calgary Stampeders are geared up for another season on the gridiron. Catch quarterback Henry Burris and his talented squad take on their Western rivals, the BC Lions on Jun 15. Enjoy four days of indie and alternative music acts at this year’s Sled Island Festival Jun 22 – 25, which pits international acts like Thee Oh Sees and Alberta Cross besides locals Smalltown DJs and Fist City.
Continuing through the summer, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street hosts a major retrospective of key works from Jacques Hurtubise’s five-decade career. Hurtubise showcases career highlights, featuring over 60 paintings and prints. The exhibition provides an unparalleled overview of this key figure in abstract art’s history.
Ten hot days of cool jazz fill downtown Victoria later this month when the 27th annual Victoria International JazzFest welcomes some of the hottest artists from around the world, Jun 24 – Jul 3. Highlights include Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Mae Moore, Adonis Puentes and more.