Around the world, Canada is known for its beautiful mountains, its impressive wilderness and its maple syrup. As a touristic destination, it does not draw that much attention as a sporting country; however, many huge competitions happen throughout the year and sport passionate could definitely regret not synchronizing their trip to Montreal or Calgary with its most famous competitions! This guide will offer you a short guide on some of the most interesting events that you’ll find across the country.
The Montreal Grand Prix
The 2013 Montreal Grand Prix is sure to attract, this year again, a lot of people. With its capacity of over 100 000 spectators, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is one of the most appreciated tracks of the F1 races thanks to its unforgiving configuration. Almost every year will see one of the main pilots crash because of its famous “Welcome to Quebec” wall or its sharp turns. The Circuit is based on Notre-Dame Island, a beautiful spot that is very appreciated by racers and by cyclists all year long.
Aside from the main event, party adepts are sure to find a lot of things to do in Montreal at that time. VIP parties, special night clubs events and jet-setters will be legion in Montreal from June 7th to June 9th. Some entertainment companies even offer special packages to party directly with some of the F1 drivers! The city is extremely lively throughout the event, attracting many internationals as well as a crowd of Canadian race fans.
The Stampede, a huge tradition in Calgary
Canada’s western provinces are known to be a land of farmers and cowboys, but it is never as true as during the Calgary’s Stampede. This festival, which lasts from July 5th to July 14th, was created almost 100 years ago and it kept growing to become one of the main events in Alberta. The biggest competition of this festival is definitely the rodeo, a sport where cowboys will wrestle to stay as long as possible on a bull’s back. It attracts cowboys from all over the world and delivers more than 1 million dollars in prizes. Another sporting competition to take place during the Stampede is the Rangeland Derby, a horse race event.
Families will also find many things to do on site. Kids will love educational activities that will be organized around the theme of farms and animals. An amusement park will also be installed during the festivities and many games will be played by the visitors. Many concerts will take place during the evenings, including a performance from Kiss, a legendary rock band!
The Stanley Cup finals
Not always will Canadian hockey teams reach the last rounds of the NHL playoffs, but be ready to meet a crowd of explosive fans if they do. Canada currently hosts seven hockey teams which have a very strong rivalry with their American counterparts. Hockey is Canada’s most loved sport and even though the temperature is starting to rise all across the country, fans are eager to mass in the stadiums and watch the international celebrities fight for the puck on the ice rink. Currently, teams from Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa are still competing for the famous Stanley Cup.
Many more events will take place during the year: the Red Bull Crashed Ice (extreme skating), the Grey Cup (American Football), the Canadian Open (golf)… you’ll find something to do at every time of the year!
Charles Bernard is a Canadian that has many great souvenirs of watching Formula 1 races and hockey games with his family. He now writes for Formula tours, a company offering Formula one Montreal packages to potential tourists.