Leaf-shaped bottles of maple syrup are lined up on a shelf
9 April, 20203 minute read

Immerse yourself in Canada's local culture and traditions

Head to Canada and you’ll discover the true meaning of the ‘great outdoors’. It has cities that are at the forefront of good food, cultural hubs and strong ethnic ties, as well as cool and laidback chic. Endless landscapes are made up of glistening glaciers and soaring mountains, secluded beaches and richly dense forests, combined with roaring waterfalls and turquoise lakes. It is the ultimate natural playground.

But in the second largest country in the world where regions span six different time zones and where there are two official languages, its multi-cultural diversity is at its core. You will find it in the warm welcome, in the eclectic dishes such as moreish poutine [made up of fries, cheese and gravy], buzzing arts scene and passionate traditions that are deeply rooted in history.

Our Canada tours will give you the chance to immerse yourselves in the spectacular scenery, history and culture, as well as meeting the local people who are the beating heart of this wonderful country. But did you know there are many Canadian traditions that have been celebrated every year over eons of time? Here are some of our favourites.

Calgary Stampede

Every year, over one million people head to Alberta to watch one of the ‘greatest outdoor shows in the world’ – the Calgary Stampede. This annual event, which kicks off with a fantastic parade, celebrates western heritage, culture and community spirit with a gasp-inducing rodeo show, live music, shows and carnival rides. If the bull riding and dizzying heights of the ferris wheel hasn’t given enough thrills, then the awesome fireworks, adrenaline-induced motorbike stunts and chuckwagon races will astound.

Gaelic roots

Although native Mi’kmaq tribes lived and fished in Nova Scotia for thousands of years, it is Gaelic that still remains Nova Scotia’s dominant culture - more than half of residents are descendants from Scottish and Irish immigrants. Gaelic is still spoken in many communities, with timeless traditions including fiddle and bagpipe music, as well as a famous kitchen party called céilidh. Explore these in Sydney and its famous fiddle landmark along the waterfront and listen to the sounds of the past in Cape Breton. You’ll be dancing like the locals…

The Viking Trail

Stretching over 480km across Newfoundland’s west coast is the epic Viking Trail. Known as the Valhalla of Canada, there are Viking tales to be heard, fjords, forests and trails to be explored and eclectic cuisine to be tasted - fancy a moose burger, or pan-friend cod tongues? There is much history to be discovered along the route and Norse culture and traditions that date back centuries. Listen to the stories from the locals and retrace their ancestors’ tracks in this fascinating destination.

Maple season

Quebec is the producer of 80% of the world’s maple syrup. In spring time, the tradition of ‘sugaring off’ is celebrated.  Once maple trees have been tapped, locals head out to ‘sugar shacks’ to try all the delicious sweet gooeyness. Sit down with the locals and over ham, split-pea soup and beans. There are many opportunities to try maple syrup treats in not only traditional French-Canadian fare but even in drinks such as maple wine and maple spirits.

If you’d like to learn more about holidays to Canada, we have many Canadian tours which will take you to the Viking Trail, Calgary and beyond for a truly immersive experience. 

Image of blog author Ting Dalton
Ting

Ting has a serious case of wanderlust. Having travelled to over 40 countries, it’s her mission in life to make her way through her ever-growing list. Her two young sons have also caught the travel bug, and recent trips have seen them making snow angels in Iceland while watching the Northern Lights, as well as walking alongside elephants in South Africa.

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