Sudbury is an ideal weekend getaway spot to enjoy festivals and Canadian culture any time of the year.

Every year, all year round, the city of Sudbury hosts fun festivals of all kinds to celebrate music, art, and culture. Thanks to this ever-moving cycle of events, Sudbury makes for the perfect year-round weekend getaway destination, with a cool cultural experience for everyone in your party to enjoy. 

Sudbury festivals have something to offer art aficionados, music nuts, Canadian food connoisseurs, or anyone who just enjoys a day of fun. Indulge all your senses and enjoy a fun-filled weekend getaway with one of these cool and interesting Sudbury festivals.

Sudbury Film Festival: Cinéfest Sudbury

Since 1989, Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival has been a destination event for passionate film junkies. This event showcases high-caliber independent films over the course of nine days. This festival occurs every year in September and, with an average of 35,000 attendees, is recognized internationally as one of the most impactful and exciting premiere film events in Canada. 

Cinéfest Sudbury showcases both domestic and international cinema, so both French and English speakers can enjoy these hand-selected works of cinematic art. The festival’s feature-fiction, documentary and short film programming has a strong emphasis on artistic quality and inclusion, making it a cultural home run for anyone looking for a creative, interesting experience during their escape to Sudbury.

Up Here: Independent Art and Emerging Music Festival

Held every summer in self-proclaimed “weird and wonderful Sudbury,” Up Here unites dozens of installation artists, musicians, and creatives to convert downtown Sudbury into an immersive, interactive urban art gallery. The festival is an annual event held by We Live Up Here, a Canadian non-profit organization founded on the simple principle that art makes our communities stronger, more exciting, and overall a more interesting place to live. 

At Up Here, artists quite literally paint the town all morning in a celebration of color and creativity, and live musicians take the stage at night. This is a can’t-miss summer event for any music and art aficionado. Don’t forget your camera – with so many street murals, art installations and colorful creations to see, you’re bound to get some great shots in. 

Sudbury Music Festival: Northern Lights Festival Boréal

Northern Lights Festival Boréal is a music festival held annually in Sudbury. It is one of the longest running music festivals in Canada, and has been a locally and nationally beloved event since 1972. Northern Lights Festival Boréal is a bilingual music festival that features a diverse array of both international and local performers and musicians, so travelers who speak either French or English can enjoy the music together. 

What sets the Northern Lights Festival Boréal apart from other festivals is its unique program and schedule. Musicians at this festival typically perform in both standard concert performances and workshop-style sessions where they collaborate with other musicians in the festival’s lineup. Overall it’s an exciting, engaging event that brings music enthusiasts to Sudbury every year. This is a summer festival, so be sure to grab your tickets before the warm weather rolls back around.

Pride: A Rainbow Event

Sudbury is a destination city for art and culture enthusiasts of every interest and background. Sudbury Pride is the city’s annual, week-long celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and its impact on Canada as a whole. 

This festival has been held every year since 1997 and has rendered Sudbury a travel destination for festivities during pride month. Sudbury Pride is unique in that it celebrates Pride as not just a single event, but a weeklong celebration with activities anyone can enjoy. Fierté Sudbury Pride (FSP), a Sudbury-based non-profit organization, holds events like Gay Prom and Big Gay Cabaret, so be sure to pencil in a visit during Pride month to make the most of this fun, colorful event calendar.

Sudbury Food and Beer Festivals

The Northern Ontario Microbrew Festival is the perfect destination event for anyone looking for an exciting getaway in the winter months. This annual festival is held in February but, don’t worry, there’s plenty of craft beer and spirits available to keep you warm. 

Festival goers can indulge in samples from breweries, distilleries, tons of local restaurants—all local to Northeastern Ontario, of course. There’s even live music and entertainment to keep the party going while you sip and snack. This flagship Sudbury event is ideal for craft beverage aficionados and food connoisseurs alike, and has a tasty, local option to satisfy every palate.

If food is more your thing, you’re in luck when it comes to festivals in Sudbury. The annual Canada Day festival always involves plenty of great food and live entertainment. Besides scrumptious Canadian favorites, there’s plenty of multicultural fare to sample at this Sudbury event. Later in the summer, get a taste of the Mediterranean at the Italy and Greek festivals as the Italian and Hellenic communities of Sudbury celebrate their food, heritage, music, and culture.

Top your festival season off with a visit to the Sudbury Blueberry Festival. With multiple venues around the city, the celebration allows you to fill up on blueberry pancakes, take part in pie eating competitions, enjoy blueberry hikes and garden parties, and plenty more blueberry-centered fun.

Films, food, and fun, Northeastern Ontario has it all. However you choose to travel, this diverse destination provides plenty of opportunity for adventure. Read our Northeastern Ontario Travel Guide to see more of what the region has to offer.