Bienvenue to Canada's rich francophone culture!

  • 500,000 visitors to Québec's Winter Carnival
  • 9.5 million French speakers in Canada
  • 400 years of Acadian history

If French cuisine like sweet maple sugar pie and artisanal cheeses come from the heart, French culture touches your soul. Expect open arms and warm hearts as you rendez-vous at festivals, kitchen parties, and in the homes of L’Acadie. Acadians are descendants of French colonists who settled in what is now Canada's Maritime provinces. Quebec is Canada’s francophone core, home to 85% of the country’s French Canadians, but culture à la française is also found in the far corners of the country. Ride a horse-drawn calèche through the cobblestoned streets of Québec City. Tap your toes to wicked-fast fiddling at the Atlantic Fiddlers Jamboree. Party in the streets at les FrancoFolies de Montréal music festival. Take a road trip through New Brunswick's Acadian country. Catch the fur trading spirit at Winnipeg's Festival du Voyageur. Whether you sleep in a chateau or dance next to a red-capped snowman, you'll arrive saying hello, but soon be smiling bonjour. French Canada electrifies all the senses. And you’re always welcome, whether you parlez le français, or non.

Manitoba

  • Forge a connection with the Métis--a people of mixed First Nations and European heritage--at The Forks, Winnpeg's lively crossroads of culture and community.
  • French-Canadian and Métis cuisine will feed your spirit on a fly-in fishing adventure where wolves howl and Walley and pike teem in deep waters amid the historic trade route of voyageurs.

New Brunswick

  • Feel the musical heartbeat of the Caraquet Acadian Festival, with a 25,000 strong street parade waving their red, white, and blue.
  • Wind your way through Village Historique Acadien where you can sink your teeth into molasses cake, watch barrel makers, tour a general store and chat with Acadian costumed interpreters.
  • Imagine visiting an island where a cast of costumed characters leap to life from the pages of a famous Acadian novel, to help you experience l’Acadie through your five senses [SEC - Le Pays de la Sagouine].

Nova Scotia

  • Stop at Chéticamp, along the Cabot Trail, a busy fishing village steeped in Acadian culture. Pick up a prized handmade hooked rug.
  • Slip on your lobster bib and pass the butter along Cape Breton's Fleur de Lis trail, stopping to enjoy the food at picturesque Acadian fishing villages Petit-de-Grat and Little Anse.
  • Step into a misty 18th Century harbour town and enter a world of French trade and military strength in the New World, at the Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada [SEC - Time Travel – Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada].

Ontario

  • Ottawa, Canada's Capital, is home to countless national attractions--from museums to world-class festivals--offering services in both French and English.
  • Enter the world of French "voyageurs," and fur trade life at Fort William Historical Park.
  • Become a voyageur and paddle a canoe following the historic journey of French explorer Samuel de Champlain.

Quebec

  • Pass cliff-side villages and vineyards on a sea to mountain odyssey to New France via Quebec's Eastern Townships.
  • Linger in an ice palace, watch a dogsled race, dance with a snowman, ride on a romantic carriage at the Québec Winter Carnival.
  • Sniff the sweet air at an authentic sugar shack, where you can hop on a horse-drawn sleigh, sleep in a log cabin, stomp your feet to fiddle music and savour maple-flavoured treats.
  • Take an intimate walking and tasting tour, pairing wine and cheese with tours of a famous chateau and the historic charms in Québec City.
  • Dancing, music, and street performances evoke life as it was in New France, breathing dramatic life into historic old Québec City during Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France [SEC - A Celebration of French-Canadian Heritage - Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France].

Weather

When to go
  • Driving through Ontario, Quebec and Canada's Maritime provinces is extraordinary year-round with warm weather beginning from mid-June to mid-September.
  • Grape growers and apple orchards thrive in fall when the colourful countryside is ripe for exploring.
  • Montréal hosts countless summer festivals from June to August, including Les Francofolies in June.
  • Quebec Winter Carnival season begins in early February, while Ottawa hosts countless festivals, the most well attended being Winterlude and, of course, the incredible Canada Day Celebrations July 1st .
  • August brings New Brunswick's electrifying Festival Acadien de Caraquet to town, while Nova Scotia hosts Festival Acadien de Clare in July and August, the oldest Acadian festival in Canada.
Need to know
  • Charm the locals by learning to say "bonjour" and "merci" in your best French accent.
  • Brush up on Acadian history by reading award-winning novel, Pour sûr, evoking Acadian life in Moncton, New Brunswick.
  • Quebec's sugar shacks host their "sugaring-off" parties from late February through early May.
  • Bring your camera to capture Quebec City's Chateau Frontenac, the most photographed hotel in the world.
  • To enjoy the fabulous night and day parades at the Quebec Winter Carnival, be sure to bring along a warm hat, mitts and boots.