The hottest happenings
It would be hard to find a week without a festival in the summer in the Northwest Territories. From funky celebrations to music and arts festivals, the NWT is in full get-together mode celebrating warm weather and long days and visitors are invited to join in!
Fort Resolution, mid May
Spring fishing derby just in time to catch Inconnu. Contests for biggest, smallest, etc. $20 per person to participate.
Yellowknife, mid June
Celebrating the mineral story of the Northwest Territories. Free BBQ, mine rescue competition, gold panning and more.
Live entertainment will include music and storytelling. Several dignitaries will speak about Yellowknife history and the importance of the barges. Cost of the event is $25.
CANADIAN NORTH MIDNIGHT SUN GOLF CLASSIC
Yellowknife, mid June
A long-standing highlight of the summer season. Tee off under the sun at midnight. Banquets and pro workshops. Lots of prizes.
Ulukhaktok, Father’s Day Weekend
Celebrate the return of the kingalik (king eider duck) with traditional events such as tea-boiling, duck plucking, fish filleting. Outings with families to greet the ducks, square dancing, traditional events and contests, seal skinning, traditional dress, outdoor events, feasts, bike races, relay races and a scavenger hunt.
Inuvik, Saturdays mid-June through early September
Promoting local growers, artisans, crafters and bakers. Held in Jim Koe Park.
YELLOWKNIFE FARMERS MARKET
Tuesday evenings through summer
Open 5:15 to 7:15 pm at Somba K’e Civic Plaza
DEHCHO OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT
Fort Simpson, June 21
Celebrate Aboriginal Day in Fort Simpson with some friendly competition at the 7 Spruce golf course. The event starts with canoe races. Call golf course for more details.
NATIONAL ABORIGINAL DAY
Territorial holiday with events in all communities. Contact town offices for details.
YELLOWKNIFE SUMMER SOLSTICE FESTIVAL
Yellowknife, June 21
Where music and culture meet community spirit. Lots of live performances at venues all around Yellowknife.
ANNUAL OPEN SKY FESTIVAL
Fort Simpson, early July
Annual multidisciplinary arts festival. A range of art forms including story telling, moose hair tufting, theatre, modern dance, traditional fiddling and new media screenings. Workshops are available for audience participation.
HAY DAYS FESTIVAL
Hay River, early July
Hay Days Music, Arts and Cultural Festival takes place in July in Hay River NWT!
KOLE CROOK FIDDLING CAMP
Hay River, early July
In honour of a young fiddler who died in a plane crash in Norman Wells. Evening performances Wednesday to Friday. Admission by donation.
ANNUAL FLYFISHING DERBY
Great Slave Lake, early July
Hosted at Trout Rock Lodge, come try your hand at flyfishing at one of the most beautiful locations around. Contests, flyfishing lessons, shore lunches and more!
ANNUAL ABILITY CUP REGATTA
Yellowknife, early July
Race starts at 1 pm at the Cruising Club by Giant Mine. Free admission, BBQ, entertainment and fun! Entertainment from 1 pm – 4:30 pm. Everyone welcome!
An opportunity to participate in one of hundreds of unique and fun events taking place at parks and sites from coast to coast to coast. Events take place in several NWT communities. Contact local town offices for details.
BILLY JOSS OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT
Each summer the Billy Joss Open Golf Tournament is held to raise funds for literacy programs in the north. The three-day tournament includes both day and night golfing under the 24-hour sun.
MIDNIGHT SUN FLOAT PLANE FLY IN
Yellowknife, July 6-9
Many types of aircraft dock in Old town for this event. Come down and view these aviation wonders. Many events and activities to take part in, including lakeside dining, a fly past, entertainers and more.
FOLK ON THE ROCKS
Yellowknife, July 14 - 16
Yellowknife’s own music festival takes the stage at Long Lake for a weekend of fine northern and international music, specialty food and arts and crafts.
GREAT NORTHERN ARTS FESTIVAL
Inuvik, July 14 - 23
This annual event occurs in mid-July and lasts for ten days. The festival features up to 80 visual artists and 40 performers from across the north who gather each summer in Inuvik to celebrate the diversity that is Canada’s North. There are Inuit, Inuvialuit, Gwich’in, Dene, Metis and other First Nations, as well as non-Aboriginal artists and artisans.
THEATRE ON THE LAKE
Yellowknife, late July
Theatre on the Lake brings Yellowknifers the experience of the theatre on the stunning shores of Frame Lake. Featuring local playwrights, directors and actors, Theatre on the Lake is the only festival of its kind in the Northwest Territories!
Fort Smith, late July
Guided flat water canoe trips to see the rapids, opportunities for youth and adults to take courses, guided hike to the rapids and more! Check out our website for a listing of all the different pre-PaddleFest events!
Experience an amazing day of family fun and entertainment just a few km north of scenic Twin Falls Gorge. Music! Food! Crafts!
OLD TOWN RAMBLE & RIDE
Yellowknife, August 5-7
An eco-friendly festival that brings together Old Town merchants, artists and musicians. Event highlights old town’s uniqueness to tourists and Yellowknifers alike. Activities for the whole family!
Fort Good Hope, August
A community festival with cultural and traditional events, including tent setting, tea boiling, dryfish making, duck plucking, and canoe races along with a weekend of evening entertainment that consists of fiddle music, drum dances, and talent shows.
SLAVE RIVER PADDLEFEST
Fort Smith, August 4-7
Fort Smith Paddling Club invites you to join the paddling community for the festivities! Guided river trips on flat water and whitewater for all skill levels, flat water and canoe picnic and canoe race (tandem canoe and voyageur canoe), raft rides, double whitewater kayak rides with a pro, guided hikes, feasts, Aboriginal games, prizes and more.
ANNUAL COMMISSIONER’S CUP RACE
Yellowknife/Hay River, late July or early August
Great Slave Cruising Club- one of the longest fresh-water races in North America. The race starts on Friday at 9 am. Races resume from Hay River on Sunday at 9 am. Boats return sometime Monday.
PINGO MUSIC FESTIVAL
Tuktoyaktuk, early August
Music festival featuring local performers, jigging contest and cookout.
CULTURE WEEK ON MISSION ISLAND
Fort Resolution, mid-August
Local instructors teach dry meat making, bannock, canoeing, rabbit snares, drumming, moosehide tanning, and setting fish nets. Participants rotate among the demonstrations. Camping encouraged. Road access.
MIDWAY LAKE FESTIVAL
Fort McPherson, August
Celebrating its 31st anniversary in 2016, Midway Lake attracts old-time fiddlers, as well as local bands. There is bus service from Fort McPherson. Bring a tent, food and crafts available at this annual family festival. Held at Midway Lake, 30 km from Fort McPherson on the Dempster Highway.
Fort Smith, early August
Fort Smith's annual Summer Splash Art Festival. Enjoy activities through the week such as art workshops, family events, arts festival, farmers market and more.
HAPPY DAZE IN BEHCHOKǪ̀
Join the community of Behchokǫ̀ for Happy Daze 2015. Talent shows, tournaments, dances and more. Don’t miss this fun filled weekend for the whole family. Contact the town office for more details. Online schedule available at tlicho.ca.
Celebrate the return of the Arctic Char with traditional games and drum dances. Crib night, Opening Ceremonies, Jamboree King & Queen, Good Man/Woman competitions.
ENDLESS SUMMER SUNDAYS
Yellowknife, end of August
Join us at the Folk on the Rocks Beer Gardens to listen to some fantastic local musicians, and celebrate another incredible Yellowknife summer!
Canoe races, talent shows, jigging/dancing contest, drum dancing.
THEBACHA & WOOD BUFFALO DARK SKY FESTIVAL
Wood Buffalo National Park - Fort Smith, August 17 - 20
Thebacha and Wood Buffalo Astronomical Society invites you to come check out the amazing night sky!
ANNUAL TRADITIONAL HANDGAMES TOURNAMENT
Annual Traditional Men’s Handgame Tournament takes place at the beginning of September during the Labour Day weekend. Over 200 people gather in Tulita to watch the exciting Traditional games with over 30 teams participating.
Great Slave Cruising Club race to Moose Bay. Departs on Saturday and returns on Monday. For those who do not want to race, come out for a great weekend of sailing and stories!
INUVIK FALL FAIR
Held at the Community Greenhouse. Games for all ages. BBQ, face painting, and gardening competition. Contact Inuvik Community Greenhouse for more details.
FIDDLING AND JIGGING TALENT SHOW
Hay River, September
The biggest fiddling and jigging championship North of 60! The event raises funds for music programs, preserves the culture and promotes northern artists.
Fort Resolution, end of September
Join in or watch triathlon, baseball, canoe and boat races, traditional games and cultural activities for all ages.
FESTIVAL OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN
Extend your Summer! Come out and enjoy tons of local Yellowknife talent at Northern United Place. Arts Market starts at 1 pm, live music starts at 2 pm. Beverages and cake will be served and a pizza party wraps up the evening.
YELLOWKNIFE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
The Yellowknife International Film Festival (YKIFF) consists of film screenings with workshops, artist talks and discussions.
HANNA STEWART MEMORIAL LOCHE DERBY
The annual ice-fishing derby is fun for the whole family. The event dates depend on the river ice. Prizes for the heaviest, longest, lightest and shortest Loche (Burbot or Mariah, a cod-like fish).