Perhaps the busiest month across the North, we’ve got your guide to July and all the fun and festivities to be had. Grab some sunscreen and a blanket and claim your place in front of every Northern stage—as well as a southern one, packed with Northern performers.
Nunavut Arts Festival—Iqaluit
Put on by the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association, this festival has workshops teaching everything from sealskin upholstery to creating your own traditional patterns. It's halfway through, but there is plenty more to take in.
Hay Days Festival—Hay River, NWT
We’re already a day in but you can still catch Priscilla’s Revenge, Local Smoke and a dozen other bands on stage tonight at various venues. Tomorrow the community beach party kicks off and then more music in the evening with Shane Daniels & the Usual Suspects, The Johnnys, Welder’s Daughter and many more.
Atlin Arts and Music Festival—Atlin, B.C.
This small-town festival that just keeps getting bigger starts today. The lineup has storytelling, singers, dancers and a fashion show, pulling in talent from across the North. The Taku Kwaan Dancers, country music’s The Dungarees, and storyteller Ivan Coyote in concert with singer/songwriter Sarah MacDougall will take the stage, as well as Can-rockers Sloan. It’s a great time to visit Atlin and watch it’s population suddenly spike.
Great Northern Arts Festival—Inuvik, NWT
Learn to create art and watch masters at work at this Arctic festival. Running over a week, it offers workshops and exhibitions, as well as live shows with musicians and dancers. This is the 30th anniversary of the festival and it’s sure to be a big one—and you can still experience the 24 hours of sunlight that grace (depending on who you’re speaking to) this town every summer.
Dawson City Music Festival—Dawson City, YT
This is a summer lineup you don’t want to miss—at least we don’t. It’s got local talent like Driftwood Holly and Jesse Smith and some southern names you probably recognize from the festival circuit: Old Man Luedecke, Elliot Brood and Wares. And of course, you’ll find yourself in one of the quirkiest towns in the North.
Folk on the Rocks—Yellowknife
Some big names are headed up for this year’s festival, not to mention the pre-festival event Warm the Rocks, that snagged Tanya Tagaq. Beginning on the Saturday, the lineup has Stars, the Weather Station, Quantum Tangle and Whitehorse. There’s also an arts and crafts market, outdoor yoga classes and a sandy beach to cool off at.
Aariĝaa Festival—Inuvik, NWT
A brand new event for the Beaufort Delta, this is Inuvik's first film festival and runs for three days including workshops on lighting, postproduction and photography. It will also feature some big films out of the North like The Sun at Midnight and Angry Inuk.
This isn’t a Northern festival, but alongside headliners Feist and July Talk, there is a strong Northern presence in its lineup. Nunavut’s Josh Qaumariaq and Riit, and Diga and Jay Gilday from the Northwest Territories will take the stage, as well as Reuben in the Dark (with a proud Yellowknifer in its roster) and a Folk on the Rocks favourite, A Tribe Called Red.
Moosehide Gathering—Dawson City, YT
Bringing together the song and dance, foods and arts and crafts of Indigenous cultures, this event hosted by the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in just outside Dawson City welcomes everyone.
Land of the Pingos Music Festival—Tuktoyaktuk, NWT
Green River Revival is headlining this summer's festival and there will be no shortage of jigging. A cookout and canteen are on site and door prizes will be given away. And this year, you can drive to the festival.
Did we miss anything? Let us know!