With each passing year, there are more and more festivals that feature or are predominantly comprised of francophone music. Although there are French-language resources that provide you with that information, our hope is to provide English-language communities access to a summary of the festivals available to you this summer.
Quebec City, Place Jean-Béliveau, at ExpoCité
|Festival Kwe! – fr | en
|“KWE! Meet with the Indigenous Peoples’ aims to highlight the 11 indigenous Nations present in Quebec through artistic and musical performances, workshops on traditional knowledge, discussions on the issues and realities affecting indigenous communities and Nations in Quebec, a trail of the 11 Nations as well as several spaces that help create a path between peoples in an effort to promote reconciliation.
|Camp Violon Trad Québec – fr | en
|“Tradition lovers aged from 6 to 99, citizens of Québec or elsewhere, Ladies and Gentlemen, Camp Violon Trad Québec invites you to live a unique adventure! The goals of the camp are to learn, discover and improve the traditional Québec fiddle repertoire. Offered by professionals, the training allows you to improve your technique and broaden your knowledge of the fiddle, piano, mandolin and guitar. You will not regret this 5-day immersion where you will have the chance to live an exceptional experience promoting cultural exchanges, intergenerational encounters as well as openness to Québec’s musical heritage! An opportunity to learn in an environment where the pleasure and passion for traditions are in the spotlight. Concert, jams, amateur shows, dinners with short performances, unique and memorable moments are on the program!”
Parc et Centre Saint-Jean-Bosco
|Festival Mémoire et Racines – fr
|Founded in 1995, Festival Mémoire et Racines (FMR) has as its primary mandate the promotion of traditional arts from Québec and abroad such as song, music, dance, stories of the highest quality. Grand stage shows happen side-by-side with shows in more intimate settings with the intent of sharing and preserving the living heritage deeply rooted in the local culture.
|Festival du conte et de la l’egende de l’Innucadie – fr
|This year, the festival events revolve around the theme “Territory – Nutshimit”. The festival, a unique meeting of the living word, relies on a program highlighting the cohabiting of the Innu and Acadians of the region for more than a century. More than just words resonate through the festival; Natashquan and Nutashkuan are honoured places of the highest form of story-telling, but also of songs and music. The drum, violin, guitar and accordion are linked to the history of Gilles Vigneault’s “gens du pays” and the song and music enrich and enliven the spirit long into the night.
|Festival des traditions du monde de Sherbrooke – fr | en
|This festive global village invites you to be amazed by the worldwide rhythms of cultures through music, dance, food, craft and more! Over the course of 5 days, more than 500 artists from around the globe offer 100 shows and workshops on 9 indoor and outdoor stages. Immerse yourself in the heart of cultures by visiting various unique Festival theme-tents. A family corner caters to the young and old, while 15 international restaurants compete for the opportunity to delight your taste buds. 50 kiosks allow you to sample the exotic wares offered by exhibitors and artisans. Come experience a grand gathering, a place of discovery, of surprises and joyous reunions, a window on the world, and an open door to the diversity that the world has to offer.
|Festival Le Jeune Archet fr
|The traditional music and arts festival Le Jeune Archet presents its eleventh edition. Meet the bearers of tradition, artists, artisans and agricultural food producers. Beside the glorious scenery of the Halte Lacustre du Grand lac Squatec; activities for youths, workshops, stories, shows, dances, gourmet cocktail parties. A grand event at the meeting of culture and nature!
|Festival de la fibre Twist – fr | en
|TWIST is the most important fibre textile festival in Canada. It combines the most important members of the industry and welcomed more than 25,000 visitors in its previous edition. TWIST is an annual reunion where one may immerse oneself in the world of fibre textiles, from the public, amateurs, fibre producers, those who raise fibre-bearing animals, manufacturers, artists, crafts-persons, professionals and the curious alike.
|La Fête des chants de marins – fr | en
|Since 1998, la Fête des chants de marins (Sea shanty festival) is at the heart of the patrimony and regional culture. It offers visitors activities inspired by maritime themes worthy of the great Breton festivals: music shows, conferences, entertainment for children, a port market and more. Expect a unique experience!
|Festival Violon traditionnel Sutton – fr | en
|The Festival Violon traditionnel Sutton (FVTS) offers a window into the traditional artists on the Québec and world stage. The festival happens over the course of 4 days in the heart of Sutton, attracting hundreds of amateurs with its splendid concerts, dances, sessions and workshops, with the sound of its flagship instrument: the violin.
|Festival Celtes et Compagnie – fr/en
|The festival is a festive event, family-friendly and … celebrating the culture and history of the region, a blend of Québécois, Irish and Scottish. Music, dance, song and visual arts take equal place of honour. All shows are free.
|Camp de Souches à Oreilles – fr/en
|Presented by Maréemusique, Camp de Souches à Oreilles is THE camp for the old traditions in Québec! Enjoy the experience of a cultural immersion in Kamouraska, where all generations intermingle; learn and share the rich cultural heritage of music, song and traditional dances directly from passionate bearers of tradition!
|Festival folklorique de St-Octave-de-L’avenir – fr
|The festival of folklore from Saint-Octave-de-l’Avenir is in fact the return of the festivals of the 90s with a Friday night show by La famille LeBlanc, many participant galas, festive foods and a folk mass on Sunday morning. Everything is set to music by excellent musicians.
|August 31 – September 4
|Festival Trad Montréal – fr
|A multidisciplinary traditional arts festival that takes place from Wednesday, the 31st of August to Sunday the 4th of September at the Maison de la Culture Ahuntsic and in the Parc Ahuntsic in Montréal. On the program: concerts, dance demonstrations, storytellers, conferences, workshops, music sessions, children’s entertainment, parades… Both free and paid entertainment available.
|Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon – fr | en
|An international event, the Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon is an annual festival that has taken place in Montmagny each Labour Day for 32 years. The program presents artists from Québec but also from dozens of other countries that showcase the full extent of the sonic possibilities of the accordion.
|Festival de contes et légendes en Abitibi-Témiscamingue – fr | en
|Over the years we have welcomed Jocelyn Bérubé, Alain Lamontagne, Joujou Turenne, Joséphine Bacon, Jihad Darwish, André Lemelin, Sylvain Vigneau, Renée Robitaille, Jeanne Ferron, Benoit Davidson, Robert Seven Crows, Pascal Misturo Guéran, Ivy, Pierre Labrèche, Marta Saenz de la Calzada, Michel Faubert, Natache Kanapé Fontaine, Les charbonniers de l’enfer, and countless others!
|Festival Ripon Trad – fr
|The Festival Ripon Trad is a unique musical experience in all of Québec. It takes place deep in the heart of Ripon from the 15th to the 18th of September, this warm village opens wide all its doors for intimate shows in its homes and streets, as well as grand evenings under a marquee stage. Definitely an event not to be missed!
|Rendez-vous des Grandes Gueules – fr
|Every fall for the last 25 years, the festival of stories and tales, Rendez-vous des Grandes Gueules, offers a rich and diverse program, spiced with fantasies and tales from the four corners of the French-speaking world. From the traditional speech to contemporary performances, these word crafters come and perform their most recent creations, revealing both the darkness and light of the human experience.
|Festival international du conte Jos Violon de Lévis – fr
|« Sacatabi, sacataba, à porte les ceuzes qu’écouteront pas ! » It is in this way that Jos Violon, in person, began his stories, each evening at the veillée, around the lime kiln on St Laurent Street. The stories, the histories and the legends, he has told them in this corner of the country, at which point Louis Fréchette had transcribed them and reset the words into 19th century speech. So well that the roots of the residents of Lévis and all French Canadians are proud to have a piece of these stories transplanted by Fréchette into their soul. Since 2003, it is in this little white house with a red roof that we welcome this festival as well as the storytellers of today and times past that we listen to their surprising and enchanting tales!!
|Festival Les Rendez-vous ès TRAD de Québec – fr
|Since 1991, the Rendez-vous ès TRAD of Québec offers 5 days of music, song, dance and workshops to (re)discover contemporary and current aspects of traditional music! The 2022 edition will be an opportunity to welcome a Breton delegation to the delight of local artists and audiences.
|Festival La Virée Trad – fr | en
|From the 7th to the 9th of October, 2022, the Festival La Virée Trad presents its 21st edition: shows in salons and on the MRC Avignon stage, an evening of social dance, workshops, expos, conferences, an on-site installation about the Micmac traditions, children’s entertainment and the largest public market in all Gaspésie.
|Festival de musique trad Val-d’Or – fr
|The Festival de musique Trad Val d’Or (FMTVD) is the fruit of traditional music enthusiast who, in 2018, were keen to share their passions. We want to bring families together in a village festival atmosphere. We have created a participatory event that brings together amateur and professional musicians, dancers and music lovers who wish to share their passion with people in the community, regardless of their origin or cultural background.
|Camp Danse-Neige – fr
|For almost 30 years, the annual Danse Neige workshop has gathered together fans from all over Québec and elsewhere each winter for a weekend filled with beautiful encounters and exchanges with artists who bring the traditional community to life for workshops, concerts, dance evenings and musical sessions.
|May 18-20, 2023
|Festitrad de St-Jean-de-Matha – fr
|An indoor festival of traditional music, Festitrad aims to promote the different music of the world as well as all of Québec’s living heritage. In addition to the festival in May, Festitrad hosts an evening of dance in October, a holiday party in December, an on-line music school and a web cast.
|Festival du folklore québécois-Réseau Québec Folklore – fr
|(Ed: From last year’s description) The Festival du folklore québécois takes place in Coteau-du-Lac in Montérégie from Jun 3rd to 5th in 2022. Many workshops and activities of folk music and dance will be held as part of the festivities as well as performances by artists such as the group Kin Ben ta Tuque and Les Violons d’Amérique.
|July 1-3, 2023
|Festival Chants de Vielles – fr
|Since 2003, Chants de Vielles welcomes large crowds to an enchanting location in the heart of the Richelieu valley. The festival promotes a place of sharing and openness to the diversity of traditional folk and acoustic music, as well as the chance to be immersed in the roots and sounds of Québécois, French, Irish, Scottish, and Indigenous traditions in particular.
Thanks to the folks at Conseil québécoise du patrimoine vivant who put together this great list at 25festivals.com! They also have started publishing a new magazine about the living heritage called Culture Trad Québec.
By supporting the work done by CQPV, you support the preservation and dissemination of the wonderful music and culture that wells up from the souls of French Canada.