5 Unforgettable music events in Canada

By Aneesh Chatterjee

Posted on January 10, 2022

The music scene in Canada is deceptively quiet, but don’t be fooled! There’s plenty to see across the country, and illustrious festivals to match all your favorite genres. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just exploring your tastes, here are a few upcoming festivals to check out.

1. Shambhala Music Festival

  • Venue: Salmo River Ranch, Kootenays region, Salmo, B.C.
  • Main genres: EDM, funk, post-rock
  • Next available: July 2022
  • Ticket prices: $100 to $200 regular; $900+ VIP

festival stage

Held within the gorgeous riverside cedar woods of Salmo River Ranch, the Shambhala Music festival is one of British Columbia’s biggest cultural events. The four-day-long event features a long lineup of musical talent, art galleries, food vendors, forest lounges, and five spectacular outdoor stages and dance floors. Earlier years have shown a long list of artists performing at each stage throughout the event, including excellent Canadian talent such as BTSM and Bob Moses, and international performers like Seven Lions and Masego. Forest laser light shows, open lounge areas, an artisan market, and a good variety of music makes this an experience unlike any other.

2. Festival International De Jazz De Montréal (Montréal International Jazz Festival)

  • Venue: Quartier des spectacles, Montréal
  • Main genres: Jazz, R&B, soul
  • Next available: September 15 to 19, 2021
  • Ticket prices: $150 jazz pass; $300 to$1000 membership ticket bundle options

The Montréal Jazz Festival is a must-see for anyone exploring Canada’s cultural impact. The event holds a record for being the world’s largest jazz festival, and features an impressive lineup of artists performing in the heart of Montréal’s cultural district. Notable performers are Woodkid, Avishai Cohen, Portico Quartet and Macy Gray, playing world-class sets from classic jazz, to fusion and pop. The historic festival is being held this year under Covid-19 guidelines, and only outdoor concerts are allowed. If you’re looking for an unforgettable cultural experience, don’t skip this event.

3. Osheaga

  • Venue: Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montréal
  • Main genres: Multi-genre
  • Next available: July 29 to 31, 2022
  • Ticket prices: $85 single day; $245 weekend pass


The acclaimed lineup of artists from a long range of genres makes Osheaga a well-rounded musical experience. Like many other events, the 2021 festival has been moved to the summer of the coming year. Earlier lineups have featured household names like Childish Gambino, Hozier, The Lumineers, and Damien Rice, giving Oshaega one of the most prolific lineups. Definitely keep an eye on this event if you’re interested in experiencing some of the world’s favorite artists live.

4. RBC Bluesfest

  • Venue: LeBreton Flats Park, Ottawa
  • Main genres: Blues, pop, rock
  • Next available: July 2022
  • Ticket prices: $141.25 day pass (July 15); $292.67 full festival pass

festival stage

With blues as the driving genre, the lineup at RBC Bluesfest is surprisingly diverse, featuring industry leaders and upcoming talents. Earlier functions have featured bestselling stars like Shawn Mendes, The Foo Fighters, Muse, Bryan Adams, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and The Backstreet Boys. The outdoor stage set up in Ottawa’s sprawling LeBreton Flats Park is a far throw from the shrouded forests of Shambala, resembling the vast open flatlands where Woodstock took place. As one of Ontario’s biggest festivals, Bluesfest should definitely be on your list.

5. Heavy Montréal

  • Venue: Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montréal
  • Main genres: Metal
  • Next available: September 2021 to August 2022
  • Ticket prices: $65-$95 general; $300+ stage front

festival stage

Heavy Montréal is a year-round event that features some of the most influential names in the metal genre, hosting concerts from September all the way to August of next year. Prices will vary greatly depending on which artist you see and where in the stadium you purchase your seat. The vibrant Parc Jean-Drapeau provides the perfect setting for the all-consuming musical journeys that these artists offer. Upcoming performers include Megadeth, Lamb of God, Apocalyptica, and Rammstein. Whether you’re an old lover of this music or new to the genre, Heavy Montréal is an undeniably unique and enriching experience.

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