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8 must-attend summer festivals in Quebec

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Quebec lives and breathes the summer festival seasons, offering visitors and locals a fantastic variety of musical, foodie and cultural extravaganzas. 

The list of festivals in the French-Canadian province is endless, so we've done the hard work and rounded up a handful of the must-attend celebrations this year. 

For Foodies

Saguenay World Beer Festival

Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean (19th – 22nd July 2018)

Quebec is experiencing a beer renaissance. Over the last 25 years, 150 microbreweries and 30 hop producers have sprung up in the province of Quebec, as part of a growing artisan industry specialising in high-quality craft beer. To try out these unique brews head to the World Beer Festival of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, which takes place in the port area of Chicoutimi. Whilst enjoying a tipple and a snack, enjoy musical entertainment from Sean Paul and Eric Lapointe.  

Festival de la Poutine

Drummondville, Centre du Québec (23rd – 25th August 2018)

Quebec is the home of poutine; a dish of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. A local specialty and favourite snack of drunk students, it is the perfect introduction to Quebec! The Festival de la Poutine takes place each August, spanning over three days and celebrates the provincial staple dish with music, entertainment and of course, poutine of all different varieties!

For Music Lovers

Abitibi-Témiscamingue Emerging Music Festival

Abitibi-Témiscamingue (30th August – 2nd September 2018)

The annual Abitibi-Témiscamingue Emerging Music Festival is a great place to source some of the biggest and best new emerging talents in Canada and further afield. This year it celebrates its 15th anniversary, so it's sure to be a big one. Head to Rouyn-Noranda, in western Québec, over Labour Day Weekend and be spoilt by over 70 performances spanning genres from metal and rock to hip-hop, R&B and more. 

Québec City Summer Festival

Québec (5th – 15th July 2018)

The Festival d’été de Québec takes place in July each year and is renowned for its star-studded headliners. This year, Quebec will play host to the Foo Fighters, Neil Young, Lorde and The Weeknd. Over 11 days, 300 shows take place in different venues within the heart of Québec City. After the concerts have finished the party doesn’t need to stop. Head to Imperial Bell for the best late night DJ sets. 

For Thrill Seekers

Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival

Outaouais (30th August – 3rd September 2018) 

The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, located in Québec’s Outaouais region is the fifth largest in the world. Over the five-day festival, visitors will be able to enjoy a range of entertainment and activities with comedians, talented musicians, arts and crafts and much more. If you feel brave enough, take a hot air balloon ride for incredible panoramic views of the capital. 

St-Tite Western Festival

Mauricie (7th – 17th September 2018)

Want a taste of the wild west? Visit the St-Tite Western Festival for 10 exciting days at Canada’s largest Rodeo. The annual event showcases professional rodeos showcasing hair-raising displays of bucking bulls, authentic music performances and western food that is sure to bring out your inner cowboy.  

For Culture Vultures

‘Just for Laughs’ Festival

Montreal (1st – 31st July 2018)

Named the world’s largest comedy festival, Just for Laughs, graces Montreal with it hilarious stand up acts, galas, street art, and theatre performances. There are over 1,700 artists from 19 countries with big names like Kevin Hart and Jimmy Carr starring this year. Join the two million festival-goers heading to Montreal for a tummy tickling time.

International Jazz Festival

Montréal (28th June – 7th July 2018)

It will be the 39th year that Montrealers and music lovers from all over the world alike will descend on Montreal for the International Jazz Festival. This summer's program features over 150 concerts spanning across 10 days, making it one of the largest jazz festivals in the world. There are a number of high profile acts including Seal, Jann Arden, and Kamasi Washington, along with a number of Montreal artists including vocalist Ranee Lee, Geoffroy, and the François Bourassa Quartet.

Images courtesy of QuebecOriginal UK

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