Looking for an idea for what to do this August long weekend? Each province has their own way of celebrating. August long is known to be one of the busiest days in the year for driving on the highway due to families heading for camping and cottage trips.
The Civic holiday falls on the first Monday of August every year. Although it isn’t a statutory holiday across Canada, it is a public holiday across most of them. That is why it is known as a “civic” holiday – each province and city have their own authority to declare it what they want.
August long is known as British Columbia Day in BC. Since it is a statutory holiday, you have three days to do what you want.
Many events and celebrations that run all weekend on BC Day. There is the Harmony Arts Festival, Pride Parade, the Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival, and lots of fireworks. Whether you plan to stay in Vancouver and hit up as many festivals as you can or retreat to one of the many provincial parks for a quiet weekend, there is plenty to do on BC Day.
- Festivals during BC Day Weekend in and around Vancouver
- BC Day Weekend in Kelowna
- Things to Do During August in BC
In Alberta, the first Monday of August is known as Heritage Day. Though is not considered a statutory holiday, but many businesses and people across the province will still take the day off. It was declared Heritage Day in 1974 as a day for the province to celebrate the different cultural heritage of Albertans.
The Crowsnest Pass Doors Open and Heritage Festival starts the Thursday before and continues into the weekend. There is the Calgary International Blues Festival, Servus Heritage Festival in Edmonton, and the Rock’N Red Deer Super Run as well. In Camrose, there is the Big Valley Jamboree for all the country fans out there.
Saskatchewan Day is what August long is known to the province of Saskatchewan. It is considered a statutory holiday in which the majority of the province has the day off. Many people go away for the weekend or stay to be entertained by some of the events and festivals that occur.
The biggest summer fair hits the capital city of Regina over the long weekend. The Queen City Ex is a massive fair that sees thousands of people each day. In Saskatoon, PotashCorp Fringe Theatre and Street Festival takes over the Broadway Street and the annual Ribfest at Diefenbaker Park is a family friendly event filled with entertainment, activities, and of course, ribs.
- Saskatchewan Day Weekend in Saskatoon
- Saskatchewan Day Weekend in Regina
- Things to Do this August in Saskatchewan
In Manitoba, August long weekend is known as Terry Fox Day. It is not a statutory holiday. The name comes from the Manitoba born Terry Fox, known across the country as a hero for his efforts to raise money for cancer in 1980.
Folkarama, the largest multicultural event around, begins on that weekend (August 5). In Lac Du Bonnet there is the Fire and Water Music Festival, or the Rockin’ the Fields in Minnedosa.
- Terry Fox Day Weekend in Winnipeg
- Festivals in August in Manitoba
- Things to Do During August in Manitoba
August long weekend is unique in Ontario. The major cities across the province each have a different name that is to honour important people in the province’s history. For example, Toronto calls the holiday Simcoe Day after John Graves Simcoe. Ottawa refers to the day as Colonel By Day in honour of John By. It is called Joseph Brant Day in Burlington, Alexander Mackenzie Day in Sarnia, McLaughlin Day in Oshawa, Benjamin Vaughan Day in Vaughan, George Hamilton Day in Hamilton, Founders’ Day in Brantford, James Cockburn Day in Cobourg, Peter Robinson Day in Peterborough, and and John Galt Day in Guelph.
There is no Civic Day in Quebec. But if you are heading to Quebec this August weekend, here is a list of things to do: 50 Things to Do this August in Quebec.
Festivals happening during the weekend include Osheaga Festival.
Newfoundland and Labrador
As with Quebec, there is no Civic holiday in August for Newfoundland and Labrador. However, they do have their own celebrations in St. John’s to celebrate Regatta Day (first Wednesday of August). It is also known as “The Largest Garden Party in the World.” Up to 50,000 people gather to watch the Royal St. John’s Regatta, a rowing race that is the oldest organized sporting event in North America. This event has been going on for roughly 200 years.
Instead of being called a Civic holiday, August long is referred to as New Brunswick day in this province. It is a statutory holiday here for residents to celebrate the history, culture, and landscape of their province.
Awards are presented to businesses and residents who work hard to improve the life of where they live. Lots of communities hold birthday parties for New Brunswick. A notable event to check out is the Area 506 Festival which is full of music and food.
In Nova Scotia, the August long weekend is known as Natal Day. It is a day to celebrate Nova Scotia’s “birthday,” and many residents host birthday parties across the province.
In the communities of Halifax and Dartmouth, you usually will find large Natal Day celebrations that have fireworks, live entertainment, and even a large birthday cake.
Prince Edward Island
First Monday in August is also a known as Civic Day in Prince Edward Island and is observed as a statutory holiday.
Enjoy PEI Truck and Tractor Pull Championship , Atlantic Fiddlers Jamboree, Rock the Boat Music Festival, Jacques Cartier Sandcastle Building Competition and more during this long weekend.
Nunavut celebrates August long as a Civic holiday and is a provincial statutory holiday.
As with Nunavut, the Northwest Territories has a Civic holiday which is a provincial statutory holiday. There are two well-known events over the weekend. The Old Town Ramble and Ride brings together Old Town merchants, artists and musicians to show off the uniqueness of the area. There is also the Slave River Paddlefest for guided river trips.
Yukon does not have a civic holiday on the first Monday of August. Instead, they celebrate Klondike Gold Discovery Day on the third Monday of August. The day is there to celebrate the history of the gold discovered at Bonanza Creek in 1896.
Celebrations are held in Dawson City which is the heart of the Klondike gold rush. The Discovery Days Festival holds many exhibitions, art and craft fair, a parade, and much more.