The Calgary Stampede rodeo is held over a ten-day span in early July and brings parades of bagpipers, chuck-wagon racing (Calgary’s version of a chariot race around a track), and world-class rodeo professionals who ride, rope, and try not to get stomped. Later in the month, the city features the far more subdued but still entertaining Calgary Folk Music Festival, which the Toronto Globe and Mail called “one of the seven musical wonders of the world.” The setting for it couldn’t be better, nestled within the forest of Prince’s Island Park. Expect hotel prices to be at their steepest in July, and the weather to be surprisingly warm for such a northern city.
Calgary, home to the 1988 Winter Olympics—who can forget that brave Brit, Eddie the Eagle, flying through the sky on the ski jump—is probably best known as a winter destination. Canada Olympic Park is still a training ground for the country’s premier athletes, but it’s also open to the public for bobsledding in the winter and mountain biking and zip-lining in the summer. Three premier ski resorts in western Canada—Norquay, Sunshine, and Lake Louise—are a little over an hour’s drive to the west.
This being Canada, it can snow well into April. By June, when the white stuff is gone, folks are ready to laugh off the long winters at FunnyFest, the largest comedy festival in western Canada.