Arts and Culture for Expats in Canada

Submitted: November 2013

Although Canada is a relatively young nation, it is steeped in a variety of cultural traditions. The Canadian people have created a cultural melting pot which not only reflects its British, French and Aboriginal influences but results in a truly unique culture of its own.

There are a number of festivals in Canada which celebrate its diverse culture. Tthere is something special about a country which has the world’s largest rodeo, a laughter festival and a firework competition amongst traditional music and carnival celebrations.  For a list of the most popular festivals, please visit the following links:

For a list of historical and cultural activities in Canada, please refer to the Canadian Heritage website for its calendar of events:

There are over 3,000 museums in Canada which cover a wide variety of interests including science, nature, arts, history, and industry. The most notable institutions include the Royal Ontario Museum, Canadian Museum of Civilization and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. You can visit the link below to search for a museum of your choice based on your interests and geographic location. The websites for these museums are also provided in the search results.

Admission fees for museums range from free admission to approximately $20. Please note that although a museum may have free admission there may be a fee to visit certain exhibits. You should therefore check before your visit whether there are any additional fees for special exhibits. Museums often have certain days or times when the admission is free and you may “pay what you can”. For a list of “free museum days”, please refer to the following link below:

The city of Montreal offers the “Montreal Museum Pass” which gives holders access to 38 museums as well as public transport to these museums. For more information on this service, please refer to the following link:

There is also the Canada’s Capital Museums Passport which gives access to 8 museums tailored to Canadian culture. To find out more about this golden ticket, please visit the website listed below:

If you love art but simply cannot find the time to visit one of Canada’s many museums or dread the idea of visiting often crowded museums, you are in luck. Over 2,500 museums in Canada have come together and created a virtual museum, which showcases over 630,000 images from their collections. There are also several virtual exhibits so viewers can truly lose themselves in the abundance of art.

The Canada Council for the Arts promotes a bevy of English and French literary festivals to captivate the attention of book lovers. In fact, the Vancouver International Writers Festival and Toronto’s International Festival of Authors (IFOA) are considered among the best book festivals in the world. Please refer to the following links below for a list of literary festivals in Canada:

The Canadian theatre scene truly caters for a variety of theatre lovers. Whether you prefer small community productions or professional plays, you will not be disappointed. You can use the resource below to tailor your search to your location as well as the type of production you which to see:

It is no surprise that Canada’s music festivals offer up a diverse range of musical acts to suit every music aficionado. Please refer to the following articles for a list of these festivals, their websites and the average prices:

If you become a long-term resident in Canada, you will be able to apply for citizenship. As a Canadian citizen , you will be able to benefit from the Cultural Access Pass (CAP). This pass is a gift to Canadian citizens during their first year of citizenship. It gives the holder access to over 1,000 cultural attractions. For more information on this, please refer to the following link:

Each September in Canada, you may choose to participate in one of your community’s Culture Days. These Culture Days aim to promote participation and awareness in arts and culture life in your community. You can search for a variety of activities from culinary arts to dance to pottery. Please refer to the following link below to learn more about Culture Days:



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