Civic Holiday Canada 2019 affordable events
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Cheap & Fun Things to Do in Canada for the August Long Weekend

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Last updated on August 1, 2019 Views: 547 Comments: 0

Whether you call it “Terry Fox Day,” “British Columbia Day,” or simply “Civic Holiday,” the first weekend in August is a holiday in most Canadian provinces and territories. For many Canadians, that means an extra day to relax at the cottage, throw backyard barbecues, hit up major attractions, or take a road trip. Of course, having fun in the high tourism season can come at a hefty price. We’ve compiled a few of the best things to do over the August long weekend without spending a fortune, as well as some easy tips on how to save an extra buck or two.

Get Loud and Proud in Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver Pride British Columbia Day 2019

Vancouver Pride Image source: Wikimedia

From July 26 to August 4, Vancouver hosts its Pride Parade and Festival – one of the largest LGBTQ2+ celebrations in North America. Running for 41 fabulous years, this festival brings an epic week-long event of fun and free activities to Vancouver: from black-tie galas to drag performances to beach parties to picnics in the park. On August 4, join the lively Pride Parade as it takes over downtown Vancouver, featuring marching groups and colourful floats in all their glory. If you’re travelling from outside Vancouver, cut costs by cashing in your travel rewards. A hefty sign-up bonus from a travel credit card like the BMO World Elite Mastercard could fully fund your roundtrip flight to Vancouver.

Event Cost: $0
Dates: July 26 to August 4, 2019

Party at a Pow Wow in Winnipeg, Manitoba

On Monday, August 5 at The Forks, the Founding Nations of Manitoba will be hosting an annual Pow Wow to showcase and celebrate the diversity of the Indigenous communities in Manitoba. It’s free, open to all, and features traditional drumming, dancing, singing, storytelling, artisans, and more. Afterwards, stop for a bite at The Forks Market, a food hall serving cheap and tasty eats like beer-battered walleye, fresh-cut Manitoba-grown fries, and craft ale.

Event Cost: $0
Date: Monday, August 5 from 1:00pm to 9:00pm

History and Fireworks in Niagara Falls, Ontario

Sheraton on the Falls civic holiday

Sheraton on the Falls

Niagara Falls is a tourist hot spot any time of year, but over the long weekend there’s plenty o’ free fun to be had along this 56-kilometre Niagara River corridor. History buffs will love the harrowing War of 1812 battle re-enactment at the Siege of Fort Erie; or enjoy a free evening musical performance in Queen Victoria Park, followed by fireworks over the Horseshoe Falls. If you’re staying overnight, the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel can’t be beaten for its proximity to Clifton Hill or sweeping views of the Horseshoe Falls. Deal-hunters can sign up for the Marriot Bonvoy American Express credit card and cash in the welcome bonus for a free night at this property.

Event Cost: $0 (+ hotel – optional)
Dates: August 2-5, 2019

Buskin’ and Barbecue in Ottawa, Ontario

Take your pick of events in Canada’s capital city over the long weekend, as the calendar is jam packed. March over to Capital Ribfest outside Ottawa City Hall, where it’s free admission (but bring roughly $35 to buy food and drinks). It’s also free admission to the Ottawa International Busker Festival, where you can watch jugglers, contortionists, comedians, and other street performers put on a variety of mind-blowing acts. And there’s always the daily Changing of the Guard at 10:00am on Parliament Hill and the nightly sound and light show on Parliament Hill. All zero dollars!

Event Cost: $0 to $35+ for food
Dates: August 2-5, 2019

Rustic Retreat in Nova Scotia

Kejimkujik civic holiday 2019

Kejimkujik National Park
Image source: Shutterstock

Need to escape from the city? Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site in Nova Scotia is hosting a 50th Birthday Party, which includes an array of activities such as a Bicycle Poker Rally, a parade, complimentary cupcakes and lemonade, a group campfire, star-gazing and more. A vehicle is a must to get to Kejimkujik, but save money by declining the rental company’s insurance policy and using one of the best credit cards for car insurance instead.

Dates: Saturday, August 3, 2019
Event Cost: An adult day pass is $5.80 and a family day pass is $11.75. Camping starts at $25.50/night.

Street Eats in Toronto, Ontario

Torontonians love their food trucks, and you can eat all the things served on wheels at the Toronto Food Truck Festival: from BeaverTails’ pastries to dumplings to pulled-pork poutine. After a monstrous meal, take a walk in Woodbine Park—a 28-acre nature park with a boardwalk along the waterfront.

Event Cost: $0 (but bring $25+ to buy food)
Dates: August 2-5, 2019

Art Appreciation in Montreal, Quebec

Quebec doesn’t observe the August civic holiday, but there’s still plenty to do in Montreal that weekend. The talk of the town is Osheaga Music and Arts Festival—three crazy days of music, art, and fun in Jean-Drapeau Park. A day pass is a whopping $125.00, which you can offset by signing up for a credit card with a high cashback earn rate.

Cost: $125.00 (but could be $0)
Dates: August 2-4, 2019

* This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.

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