Special Events in Québec
Every Season Offers Something for Everyone
No matter when you visit, there are sure to be exciting events in Québec just steps away from your front door. Use this Québec events guide as a start, and ask the concierge about specific festivals, concerts and events going on during your stay.
Winter Carnival (Late January – Early February)
Since the beginning of our French colony, the habitants of New France created a rowdy tradition of getting together just before Lent to eat, drink and be merry. The custom of celebrating from the end of January until mid-February has long been popular. The first large winter Carnival in Québec City took place in 1894. The first official edition of the Québec Winter Carnival took place in 1955. The Carnival snowballed into an undeniable manifestation for the entire Québec City population. Popular activities, such as winter sports, snow sculptures, and activities based on the traditional Québec lifestyle, such as canoe races and dogsled races have been added to the festivities.
Ice Hotel (January – March)
Enter a magical world where snow and ice are transformed into fabulous decors. Since it opened its doors in 2001, the Hôtel de Glace has wowed over half a million visitors! With snow archways towering over 5 meters tall and crystal ice sculptures standing by the warmth of the fire, North America's only ice hotel has made a name for itself not only through its architecture and artistry, but also its warm hospitality. Every year, the Hôtel de Glace is redesigned and rebuilt in its entirety. With time, it has evolved with the technical and artistic wizardry of its creators. Enjoy the experience by booking one night on the city at Loews and one at the unique Ice Hotel.
Sugar Shacks (Mid March – April, depending on the winter)
Maple syrup delights are a very enjoyable attraction during this season. Near mid March, when the days get warmer but the nights are still cold, the sap in the maple trees starts to rise. This maple water is boiled down to syrup, sugar, butter and taffy. During the maple syrup season, you can enjoy an experience that will really give you an authentic taste of life in Québec!
Québec City Summer Festival (July)
Since 1968, this festival has been drawing crowds with its unique holiday atmosphere. For 11 days the city is transformed into a giant outdoor stage where hundreds of performers show off their talents at some 10 venues in and around Old Québec City, all within easy walking distance.
Image Mill (Late June – early September)
The world's largest architectural sound and light projection screen ever seen. It presents the city’s history through images and films on the grain silos of the Quebec Harbour. Retracing the 400 years of the history of Québec City, this immense cement structure stretches to infinity; it gives us the strange impression of coming alive and speaking to us. Discover our fascinating history at this breathtaking Québec attraction! This is a free show presented Tuesday to Saturday, 50 minutes in length.
Cirque du Soleil Street Performances (June – Labor Day)
During the summer in Quebec City there are always a lot of street performances, but none as special as the free performances given by the internationally known Cirque du Soleil. Cirque du Soleil was started in a small town just outside of Quebec City. The world's best fire-breathers, extreme jugglers and acrobats will be on an outside stage for everyone to see! Make sure to get there early because people come from everywhere to catch these free performances.
New France Festival (August)
It was in Québec City in 1608 that the whole adventure of New France began. And every summer for the past 12 years, the New France Festival has been celebrating the arrival of the first Europeans on American soil. It's the perfect opportunity to dress up in period costumes and take a trip back in time right in the heart of Old Québec.
Click here to learn about some of Quebec City's annual Sporting Events.