Festivals, Highlights

We put the ‘festive’ in Festivals

We put the ‘festive’ in Festivals

Lots of places host world-class festivals, but in Elora and Fergus, we host THREE. That’s right, three epic festivals in the span of two months. And when we throw a party, the world shows up.

From international musicians and performers, dancers, athletes and the party-goers who know this is the place to be, people travel from all over to come to take part in our epic festivals. You should too.

Prepare to extend your stay. As we like to say: We put the festive in festivals.

The Elora Festival

Now in its 43rd season, the Elora Festival has expanded our musical horizons as Canada’s international choral festival. Celebrating a diverse spectrum of musical experiences and genres, including classical, international music, jazz and folk, and featuring Canadian and international artists, this festival has put Elora on an impressive musical map.

The Elora Festival, opening night at the Gambrel Barn. Submitted photo

In previous seasons, the Elora Festival has drawn renowned talent, from the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the Trinity College Choir, the State Choir LATVIJA and lyrical legends like Gordon Lightfoot, Holly Cole, Sarah McLachlan, Jesse Cook, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Randy Bachman, Ben Heppner, Chantal Kreviazuk, Natalie Macmaster and Measha Brueggergosman.

The Elora Festival takes place over three weekends from July 8 – 24, 2022. This season promises to fill our hearts with music. With local venues including the iconic Gambrel Barn, St. John’s Anglican Church and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, in Fergus. During the Elora Festival weekends, Music in the Village performances will take place for free at Green Space in Elora, on the corners of East Mill and Metcalfe Streets.

The hallmark of the festival is the ensemble-in-residence, The Elora Singers, one of Canada’s finest professional chamber choirs, under the helm of Mark Vuorinen, artistic director and conductor of the Elora Festival. This season The Elora Singers will launch the festival with a performance of Bach B Minor Mass, and perform Evensong. They will also perform with two of the festival’s guest artists: Sarah Slean and the Canadian Brass.

When the Elora Festival is on, Elora sounds beautiful. For the full line-up of artists and performances visit www.elorafestival.ca

Riverfest Elora

Gather your friends and head down to the river for three awesome days and three epic nights of more than 50 of the hottest acts you’ll see at any music festival anywhere, ever. Seriously. Riverfest Elora is literally the coolest ticket in town.

From August 19th to 21st, Riverfest Elora turns up the amps and gathers the masses to dance beneath the summer sun until the stars blanket the night skies and the stage lights cascade over the crowds of thousands. It’s a sea of happy souls dancing together. We call it being a #RiverFriend. You can be one of us too.

Check out the some of the best big name Canadian bands, international headliners, indie acts and eclectic performers you may not know yet, but you will. Careers get launched here. But you’re thinking small town, small festival, right?

Riverfest Elora in 2016. Submitted photo

Nope. Riverfest Elora is a BIG deal. Here’s just a few of the acts that have rolled into town in the past years of the little festival that has grown to welcome the likes of City and Colour, Monster Truck, The Sheep Dogs, The Beaches, Blue Rodeo, Arkells, K.Flay, Carly Rae Jepsen, Dear Rouge, The Flaming Lips, K-OS, A Tribe Called Red, July Talk and more. So many more.

This year’s line-up includes headliners Alessia Cara, The Glorious Sons, Mother Mother and more than 40 performers. It’s going to be a good time.

Take it all in from the beautiful greenspace of Bissell Park in the heart of Elora, on the edge of the Grand River.

Riverfest Elora celebrates all the charm of the village that hosts the epic music festival, respecting the environmental impact and offering fresh, clean water from the Water Buggy. This year, enjoy local beers and ciders in recyclable cans. There are food trucks that bring flavourful creations to keep everyone happy, an Artisan Alley to check out some fine artisan creations and some very cool outdoor art to make the whole scene just that much more unique. Seriously. It’s that cool.

Head down to the river and dance with us. It’s a good time. All #RiverFriends welcome. For this year’s line-up, tickets and more visit www.riverfestelora.com.

The Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games

Ya dinnae have to be Scottish to take part in the best celebration of all things Scottish this side of the pond, because if you love great music, serious athleticism, dancing and the sound of bagpipes and drums, and perhaps a wee dram of Scotch (whisky), you’ll enjoy never forget the fun you had at the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games, from August 12-14th, 2022.

Organizers call this festival experience “Scotland without the airfare.” That sums it up nicely. Celebrating Scottish heritage, culture and sport, you’ll be immersed in the sights, sounds and flavours of Scotland.

From the tradition of the Friday night Festival Tattoo, a moving welcoming procession that welcomes the gathering of the Clans. Follow that up with lively performance by The Red Hot Chili Pipers who will be sure to tilt yer kilt on opening night, sure to have everyone dancing.

Everywhere you look there is an experience to be had at the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games. Bring the whole family and join in the traditions of ancestry, representation from over 40 Clans, a heritage tent for storytelling, everything you need to trace your Scottish roots.

The McKiddie’s Centre will make the wee ones happy with crafts and hands-on activities.

With vendors selling wares from near and far, you’ll enjoy them in amongst the food vendors that bring the flavours of Scottish fare here. You don’t have to eat haggis, but you know … when in Fergus. Why not? Of course, the beer tents are always a great place to relax with old friends and new ones.

Music is a celebrated part of this festival. Take in the competitions in Highland Dance and the Pipes and Drums, and more. As you walk the grounds, the sounds are alive with the patter of drums and the haunting melodies of the bagpipes. You’ll swear you’ve been transplanted to the Highlands of Scotland. There is nothing quite like it.

If you’ve never seen someone toss a caber, a hammer or a sheaf, what are you waiting for? Because if you have witnessed the spectacle and the fun of the crowd’s enthusiasm as some of the biggest and strongest athletes you’ve ever seen, (in a kilt, no less) set to the task of serious competition, it’s truly something to experience. People travel from across the globe to compete in Fergus. The competition is fierce, but lifelong friendships are made here.

Come join in the fun of the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games. We’ve got something for everyone, Scottish or nae! (Kilts optional, but strongly encouraged). www.fergusscottishfestival.com

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