Western Canada – Roots Music Festivals

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the contenders
The Contenders (Valdy & Gary Fjellgaard) Perform at Canmore Folk Festival – 2006
Photo Credit: Bob Kenyon© 2007

If you are planning to travel to western Canada, there is one tradition that music fans need to take in. Since the 1980’s western Canada has become a hot-bed of roots based music and hosts a fabulous selection of roots and folk music festivals. Many of these festivals are in travel destinations in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Northwest and Yukon territories in western Canada.

The festivals feature top industry performers, from around the world, as well as the amazing talent developed in our own country! To provide regional visitors with regional sounds and songwriting flair, many of these festivals also feature local favourites.

For those folk festival fans that can’t get enough during the summer; we’ve also included a few winter/spring folk festivals in western Canada.

So if need a break from your trekking, peddling, canoeing or whatever way you’re traveling…Here is our selection of festivals, where you can enjoy the best of two worlds; roots, blues and folk music and the outdoors of western Canada. We’ve also added links to the festival’s websites. Be sure to confirm dates, schedules, etc. For many of these festivals tickets should be purchased well in advance, as with accommodations!

Also, so you can find great trekking before or after the festival(s), in the provinces and territories, listed in the top of this article.

Make this your summer to take in one of these incredible western Canadian folk music festivals!

Festival Location
East Coulee Spring Festival Near: Drumheller, AB
Springboard Hoedown Athabasca, AB (north of Edmonton)
Gateway Festival S.E Saskatchewan
Heart of The City Festival Edmonton, AB
Sooke River Bluegrass Music Festival Sooke, BC
Water Valley Celtic Festival Water Valley, AB – 60 km) NW of Calgary
The North Country Fair Driftpile, AB – West of Lesser Slave Lake
Weayaya solar-powered music festival Bentley, AB – NW of Red Deer on the QEII Highway
Revelstoke Summer Street Festival Revelstoke, BC . on the Trans-Canada #1 Hwy.
The Willows Music Festival New Norway, AB (South of Camrose on Hwy. 21)
Wild Mountain Music Fest 8 Kms. North of Hinton, AB
Smithers Midsummer Festival Smithers, BC
Winnipeg Folk Festival Winnipeg, MB
Pembina River Nights Evansburg, AB – West of Edmonton, AB
Atlin Arts & Music Festival Atlin, YK – South of Whitehorse, YK
Wild Oats and Notes Music Festival Tofield, AB (SE of Edmonton, AB
Festival on The Rocks Yellowknife, NT
Alberta Grown Music Festival Stony Plain west on Hwy 16, near Edmonton, AB
Vancouver Folk Festival Vancouver, BC
Ness Creek Music Festival Ness Creek, SK – North of Prince Albert, SK
The South Country Fair West of Ft. McLeod, AB – East of The Crowsnest Pass
Calgary Folk Music Festival Calgary, AB
Islands Folk Festival Cowachan, BC
Interstellar Rodeo Edmonton, AB
Sasquatch Gathering Metis Crossing near Smokey Lake, AB. – NW of Edmonton, AB
Dawson City Music Festival Dawson City, YK
Discovery Coast Music Festival Bella Coola, BC – Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Area
Mission Folk Music Festival Mission, BC (East of Vancouver, BC)
Kispiox Valley Music Festival Kispiox, BC
ArtsWells Festival Wells, BC
Blueberry Bluegrass & Country Festival Stony Plain, AB (1/2 Hr. West of Edmonton)
Canmore Folk Festival Canmore, AB – East of Banff, AB
Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival Salmon Arm, BC
Coombs Bluegrass Festival Coombs, BC – East of Port Alberni
Filberg Festivall Comox, BC
John Arcand Fiddle Fest Saskatoon, SK
Edmonton Folk Music Festival Edmonton, AB
Longstock Music & Arts Festival Longview, AB
Dog Patch Music Festival Whelan, SK.
Regina Folk Music Festival Regina, SK
The Edge of the World Music Festival Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii), BC
Come by the Hills Music Festival Mistahiya (southeast of Edmonton
Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Festival Ness Creek, SK (west of Prince Albert National Park)
Bear Creek Folkfest Grande Prairie, AB.
Harvest Sun Music Fest Kelwood, MB (West of Winnipeg and in the foothills of Riding Mountain National Park)
Princeton Traditional Music Festival Princeton, BC
Music On the Mountain Festival Fort St. James, BC
Chilliwack Bluegrass Festival Chiliwack, BC – East of Vancouver
Sweetwater 905 Arts Festival Rolla, BC (north of Dawson Creek) –
Robson Valley Music Festival Dunster, BC
Waynestock Drumheller Valley, AB
Bear Creek Folk Festival Grande Prairie, AB (Northwest Alberta)
Tongue on the Post Folk Fest Medicine Hat, AB
Coldsnap Prince George, BC
Winter Roots and Blues Roundup Edmonton, AB
Portage la Prairie Winter Folk Fest Portage la Prairie, MB

If you want to find our more about the roots music scene in western Canada, go to our roots music page.

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