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10 Best Canadian Summer Festivals

10 Best Canadian Summer Festivals

Posted by Juan Gavasa on May 17, 2014

You may have noticed that as soon as sprouts of greenery spring up, Canadian summer music festivals begin to tease us with their stellar lineups.

This summer looks like an especially good one for Canadian indie lovers. Constantines are reuniting, Sappyfest was saved for another year and CBC Music is backing its festival with scenic Burnaby, B.C.

With so many choice Canadian summer music festivals to pick from, you could suffer from option paralysis. To help narrow down the picks, we've highlighted the top 10 best Canadian summer indie music festivals.

Festival: Dawson City Music Festival

City: Dawson City, Yukon

If you're looking for an adventure, Dawson City Music Festival is for you. Imagine trekking through Yukon to find Rural Alberta Advantage playing in a saloon-type venue. This could be the "find yourself" kind of experience you've been looking for.

Festival: Hillside Music Festival

City: Guelph, Ont.

Hillside keeps its finger on the pulse by curating events throughout the year. This dedication enables it to expertly curate a lineup that promises to satiate all generations of indie lovers. It features both the best of emerging bands (see: Alvvways) and the most cherished of veterans (the Superfriendz).

Festival: MoSo Fest

City: Saskatoon, Sask.

This baby festival may soon become a must-stop. Its focus on the au courant in music, technology and design may see this festival grow into a mini-SXSW.

Go now before it gets too big.

Festival: Osheaga

City: Montreal, Que.

Chalk it up to the laissez-faire nature of the city that houses it, but Osheaga is one of the few massive festivals that maintains its indie feel.

You get a sense of the genuine love for the artists from the crowd, even when an artist like Eminem plays.

Festival: Sled Island

City: Calgary, Alta.

Sled Island takes over downtown Calgary to offer a wider variety of venues that cater to the sound of the artists. Feist outdoors in the rain? Yamantaka // Sonic Titan in a soft-seat theatre? You don't have to worry about your favourite bands not sounding like themselves here.

Festival: CBC Music Festival

City: Burnaby, B.C.

CBC Music is in its second year of curating festivals, and it's expanding its reach to the West Coast. Burnaby, B.C., will provide a scenic backdrop to Tegan and Sara blasting their indie pop anthems to a sun-kissed crowd. Yes, please.

Festival: Arts & Crafts Field Trip

City: Toronto, Ont.

Arts & Crafts have booked the only listed Constantines show since the band announced that they're reuniting. Sorry, did you need another reason to make the trip to Toronto?

Festival: Mutek Montreal

City: Montreal, Que.

Usually, Canada's electronic community has to venture overseas to get love. Luckily, Mutek has created a tastefully booked home for these forward-thinking artists in Canada.

Festival: Evolve Festival

City: Antigonish, N.S.

Boost your music knowledge and your conscience with this eco-friendly/centric festival in Nova Scotia's countryside. With equal focus on environmental issues and music, it creates twice the feel-good experience.

Festival: Arboretum Festival

City: Ottawa, Ont.

This festival has a more holistic approach to its festivities. It's a creative experience that focuses as much on the music as it does on its craft food stalls.

Arboretum was co-founded by the Acorn/Silkken Laumann frontman, Rolf Klausener. You can trust a festival that is run by a person who's both an active member of the arts community, and a proud leader of it.

Festival: Sappyfest

City: Sackville, N.B.

Sappyfest has the unique ability to make you feel as though you're at the centre of it all. Due, in part, to the fact that it's literally in the middle of downtown Sackville, with the stage sitting right on the lane divider.

But even the artists feel it. When Arcade Fire made a surprise appearance a few years back, they played with unabashed joy.

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