Summer Festivals & Events

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!



 

 

 


JUNE 2018

ULUKHAKTOK JAMBOREE
Ulukhaktok, June 15 - 17
(867) 396-8000
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.

Salt River First Nations Treaty Land Entitlement Days Celebration
Fort Smith, June 21 - June 24, 2018
Visitors welcome at this annual event! All events free to the public.There will be a traditional men's hand game tournament which goes throughout the event, and live entertainment (Presley, Perkins, Lewis & Cash impersonators) on Saturday, June 23.
https://www.saltriveronline.com/

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS DAY
June 21
Territorial holiday with events in all communities. Contact town offices for details.

CANADIAN NORTH MIDNIGHT SUN GOLF CLASSIC
Yellowknife, mid June 22 - 23
(867) 873-4326
yellowknifegolf.com
A long-standing highlight of the summer season. Tee off under the sun at midnight. Banquets and pro workshops. Lots of prizes.

BEER BARGE
Yellowknife, June 23
(867) 873-6078
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.

ARCTIC MARKET
Inuvik, Saturdays mid-June through early September
facebook.com/arctic.market
Promoting local growers, artisans, crafters and bakers. Held in Jim Koe Park.

YELLOWKNIFE FARMERS MARKET
Tuesday evenings early June through early September
http://www.yellowknifefarmersmarket.ca/
Open 5:15 to 7:15 pm on Tuesdays at Somba K’e Civic Plaza

TROOPER - IN CONCERT
Norman Wells, June 23

CANADA DAY AND SPRING MUSIC FESTIVAL
Aklavik, June 29 - July 2
(867) 678-5426

ANNUAL OPEN SKY FESTIVAL
Fort Simpson, June 30th
(867) 695-3005
http://www.openskycreativesociety.com/
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.


JULY 2018

CANADA DAY
July 1
National holiday with events in all communities. Contact town offices for details.

HAY DAYS
Hay River, July 3 - 7
info@haydays.ca
https://www.facebook.com/haydaysfestival/
Hay Days Music, Arts and Cultural Festival takes place in July in Hay River NWT.

INUVIK - TUKTOYAKTUK HIGHWAY GRAND OPENING
Tuktoyaktuk, July 6 - 9
Celebrations and Northern Games

ANNUAL FLY FISHING DERBY
Great Slave Lake, July 7-9 
(867) 873-4334
enodah.com
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!

BILLY JOSS OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT
Ulukhaktok, July 13 - 15
(867) 396-8000
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.

GREAT NORTHERN ARTS FESTIVAL
Inuvik, July 13 - 22
(867) 777-8638
gnaf.org
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.

INUVIK'S 60th ANNIVERSARY CELBRATIONS
Inuvik, July 20 - 22
Featuring food, dancing, a retrospective photo exhibit, gaes, music and much more. 
https://www.facebook.com/Inuvik60/

FOLK ON THE ROCKS
Yellowknife, July 20-22
(867) 920-7806
folkontherocks.com
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.

PARKS DAY AT THE PINGOS
Tuktoyaktuk, July 21
parksday.ca
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.

LAND OF THE PINGOS MUSIC FESTIVAL
Tuktoyaktuk, July 27- 29
(867) 977-2153
Music festival featuring local performers, jigging contest and cookout.


AUGUST 2018

OLD TOWN RAMBLE & RIDE
Yellowknife, August 3-6
http://oldtownrambleandri.wixsite.com/oldtownrambleandride 
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!

SLAVE RIVER PADDLEFEST
Fort Smith, August 3-6
(867) 872-3593
http://slaveriverpaddlefest.ca/
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.

THEBACHA & WOOD BUFFALO DARK SKY FESTIVAL
Wood Buffalo National Park - Fort Smith, August 23 - 26
(867) 872-0243
http://www.tawbas.ca/dark-sky-festival.html
Thebacha and Wood Buffalo Astronomical Society invites you to come check out the amazing night sky! 

FARMERS MARKET
Norman Wells, August 25
http://www.iti.gov.nt.ca/en/newsroom/norman-wells-hosts-first-farmers-market


SEPTEMBER 2018

ANNUAL TRADITIONAL HANDGAMES TOURNAMENT
Tulita, September 1 - 3
(867) 588-3341
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.

DIZZY DAYS
Aklavik, September 1 - 3

YELLOWKNIFE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Yellowknife, September
(867) 766-2586
The Yellowknife International Film Festival (YKIFF) consists of film screenings with workshops, artist talks and discussions.


July 2019

MIDNIGHT SUN FLOAT PLANE FLY IN

Yellowknife, July 6-9, 2019
(867) 873-4036
floatplaneflyin.com
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.

Our Stories

Intriguing tales from Canada's Northwest Territories

Up here, it's just a bit different

Pull off you shoes and socks and stride across the Salt Plains, nature's very own foot-spa...

Hooking a Great Slave trout is even easier than you thought. The secret? Just stand up....

This 10 day canoe adventure begins with two nights of camping and a full day of exploration at Virginia Falls. Experience rarely explored viewpoints or take in the spectacular view from the summit of Sunblood Mountain. Your friendly and engaging guides ensure one on...

Explore, experience and enjoy Indigenous culture and the scenic East Arm of the Great Slave Lake, one of the largest lakes in the world! This tour offers you a truly genuine Indigenous culture experience while enjoying the wonderful, breathtaking landscape of northern...

Thrilling, friendly whitewater for novice, intermediate or advanced paddlers. The Keele’s turquoise waters flow through the towering Mackenzie Mountains, offering spectacular mountain vistas, superb fly-fishing, and wildlife viewing. In 2012, Canoe North was...

The Mackenzie Delta has the highest concentration of pingos on Earth – approximately 1,350 of them. Eight, including famous Ibyuk PIngo and Split Pingo, are protected by Parks Canada in the 16-square-kilometre Pingo National Landmark outside Tuktoyaktuk. They...

Aulavik National Park Aulavik is our northernmost park, reaching across the pristine, wide-open lowlands of Banks Island. It’s famous for two things: the Thomsen River and muskoxen. The Thomsen, calm and crystal-clear, slides through this...

Wood Buffalo National Park Bigger than Switzerland, this is Canada’s largest park – and maybe its most intriguing. Founded to protect the Western Hemisphere’s most hefty land animal, the rare wood bison, the park bestrides the NWT/Alberta...

Nahanni National Park Reserve Nahanni, the best-known Northern park, showcases the South Nahanni River, possibly Canada’s most epic waterway. Framed by four towering canyons, the river spills through the alpine habitat of broad-shouldered...

Adjacent to the visitor information centre, this park has a scenic picnic area overlooking the beautiful Hay River, plus seven non-powered campsites nestled amongst birch and aspen trees. Entering the Northwest Territories from Alberta, the friendly staff at...

Located on Madeline Lake, this park is a perfect place to enjoy a meal at one of its several picnic sites equipped with tables and firepits. Use the boat launch and dock area to access the lake for powerboating and watersports. Madeline Lake is usually calm due to...

Located on the south bank of the mighty Mackenzie River where it empties out of Great Slave Lake, just a short way from the Mackenzie River ferry crossing at Fort Providence, this us great spot to take a break before continuing your journey north or south....

Located in the heart of Inuvik, this park offers 19 powered and eight non-powered sites, and convenient access to the town’s attractions. The park is situated on a bluff overlooking the east branch of the Mackenzie River, with a view of the Richardson Mountains....

This park is perched on a cliff overlooking the Peel River and surrounded by stands of white birch and white spruce trees. It's an ideal place to unwind for a few nights on the long journey up or down the Dempster. The visitor centre offers a fascinating glimpse of the...

Just outside Inuvik, this park features an observation tower with excellent views of the surrounding scenery and prime bird-watching. Watch for falcons, eagles and ducks, our summer residents. There is an abundance of cranberries, blueberries and cloudberries that...

On the banks of the Mackenzie River in Norman Wells, MacKinnon Territorial Park offers a great view of the Mackenzie Mountains and is a perfect stop for river-trippers. There are eight non-powered campsites, washrooms, firewood, a picnic area and a playground...

Two peninsulas on Great Bear, covering 5,565 square kilometers, were designated as a national historic site in 2009. At that time, Parks Canada and the community of Délįne signed a first-of-its-kind deal where the sites – called Saoyú (...

This big boreal reserve protects Canada’s northernmost population of wood buffalo, which are almost inevitably seen browsing along Highway 3. Roadside parks in the area – including North Arm and Chan Lake – provide an opportunity to stretch your legs and explore the...

The North's most colourful neighbourhood bobs on the waves of Great Slave Lake, just offshore of Old Town. Rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore this floating community – or bunk down at the houseboat bed-and-breakfast. 

Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Nááts’ihch’oh, meaning “the mountain that’s sharp like a porcupine,” is named for a spine-like peak long sacred to the region’s First Nations. Nááts’ihch’oh is the Northwest Territories’ newest national park,...

Meaning “Land of the Ancestors,” Thaidene Nëné is a park-in-waiting, slated for federal and territorial protection in the next few years. The park will guard the glorious East Arm of Great Slave Lake – 27,000 square kilometres of spectacular...

This idyllic park overlooks the confluence of the Mackenzie and Liard rivers, yet is within walking distance of the centre of town. The adjoining Papal Site commemorates the 1987 visit of Pope John Paul ll. This is a great location for bird-watching,...

Between Fort Liard and Fort Simpson on the Liard Trail, Blackstone Territorial Park boasts stunning mountain views and a prime location on the Liard River, downstream from its confluence with the South Nahanni. This is an excellent starting or...

Reid Lake is also an excellent base for fishing, swimming, canoeing, hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, power boating, and for extended canoe trips into the surrounding lake systems. From here, canoeists can access the Lower Cameron River...

The largest developed park on the Ingraham Trail, Prelude Lake Territorial Park offers a variety of facilities. There are trails,a sandy beach for swimming, a dock and boat launch, and boat rentals. The island-filled lake, about 16 kilometers long, forms part of...

Swim at Long Lake’s sandy beach. Camp, picnic, canoe or enjoy the amenities and attractions of nearby Yellowknife. Hike the four-kilometre Prospector’s Trail, highlighting the gold-bearing geology of the area. Or follow the Jackfish and Frame Lake trail...

This picturesque spot features six non-powered campsites. The area was devastated by a forest fire in 1981; nearly 40 years later it is now an ideal spot to observe how nature replenishes the land. Relax by the small waterfall, launch your canoe in the gorge...

Enjoy great fishing, bison and bird watching, and take advantage of the services available in nearby historic Fort Providence, featuring visitor services, tours, fishing, groceries, a motel and restaurant. The campground is on the north bank of the Mackenzie River...

Located on Vale Island in Hay River, (follow the signs; it’s about 10 kilometres past the information centre), this park offers fantastic swimming on the sandy shores of Great Slave Lake, unique views of barges and fishing vessels plying the waters, and great...

This popular park and campground are located at the junction of Highway 1 and the Trout River (Sambaa Deh in the Slavey language). The river was a traditional transportation route before and during the fur trade. The falls forced travellers to portage around...

Located just outside Fort Smith, this large, lushly wooded campground features 17 powered campsites, showers and washrooms, a kitchen shelter, firewood, a playground, and a walking trail leading to great views of the Slave River Rapids. 

Make the trip to see the falls, even if you do not plan to camp overnight. From the Mackenzie Highway, an access road leads 6.8 kilometres south to the park. From the parking lot, a short trail leads to Lady Evelyn Falls. The falls form a giant curtain of...

For a pretty little hike through classic Northern shield-country, drive 45 kilometres east of Yellowknife to the Cameron Falls Trail. The path twists through evergreen forests, across boardwalks and over undulating outcrops until, 20 minutes later, you...

Following the rim of the gorgeous Hay River canyon, the easy Twin Falls Gorge trail begins at the community of Enterprise and leads south for eight kilometres through luxuriant boreal forest. Along the way you'll enjoy interpretive signage, great views...

Forming a seven-kilometre loop around the shores of Frame Lake in the heart of Yellowknife, the city's favourite walking trail has a little of everything. The eastern half of the loop is a paved, sedate urban path, leading you past architectural marvels such as...

What in the world? Just west of Fort Smith in Wood Buffalo National Park lies a shimmering, pearly desert, stretching to the far horizon. A quick hike downhill will bring you to the bizarre Salt Plains, where saline minerals leach from an...

There's hiking, and then there's the Canol. Possibly North America's most rigorous backpacking trail, this 355-kilometre trek follows the route of a defunct military road that once transected the Mackenzie Mountains. Tackling it is an exercise in...

Erupting from the pancake-flat tundra just outside the community of Tuktoyaktuk, this bulbous, ice-filled mound is the second-largest "pingo" on Earth. Called Ibyuk, it's 1,000 feet wide at its base and rises to the height of a 15-storey building, making its...

Perched on the banks of the Mackenzie, this placid, timber-shrouded campground is an ideal basecamp for fishing the big river and exploring the town of Fort Providence, three kilometres downstream. You’ll find powered campsites, potable water, showers, picnic tables,...

For roadtrippers, this is an ideal spot to stretch your legs, lay out a picnic and enjoy your first glimpse of the big Mackenzie River as it begins its 1,750-kilometre odyssey to the Arctic Ocean. Situated just a few kilometres shy of the Dehcho Bridge and the...

A four-kilometre dayhike downriver from Alexandra Falls or upriver from Enterprise, this tiered, 15-metre-high cataract in the Hay River Canyon can be viewed from one of the finest (and most popular) campgrounds in the Northwest Territories. 

A mandatory stop on the drive North of Sixty, this booming, 10-storey spillover on the Hay River is the centerpiece of Twin Falls Gorge Territorial Park, not far from Enterprise. Shockingly, in 2003, an American daredevil kayaked the falls – and lived.

About 45 minutes by road east of Yellowknife, a short, scenic trail leads over the undulating outcrops to 17-metre Cameron Falls. Here, the Cameron River takes a tumble en route to Great Slave Lake. A bridge straddles the river, allowing picknickers to access...

Roaring directly beneath the Mackenzie Highway not far from the community of Jean Marie River, flashy, splashy Sambaa Deh Falls gets deserved attention from motorists. And here's a bonus: Take a stroll upstream and you’ll come to Coral Falls, a...

So perfect it seems planned, this road-accessible cascade is just outside the little village of Kakisa. It occurs where the Kakisa River jumps off an ancient coral reef, forming a crescent-shaped, 17-metre-high curtain of spray.

On blazing hot days, Hay River’s driftwoody beach draws travellers from the nearby campground – some of whom are bold enough to dunk themselves in Great Slave’s cool water.

The finest beach and campground in Wood Buffalo National Park, Pine Lake features soothing sand and shallow, warm, aquamarine waters, ideal for swimming or paddling when you're tired of gawking at the park's amazing wildlife. 

Weekends in late summer, Yellowknife’s beach is peachy, with changing rooms, a campground, a kitchen area, volleyball and more water-skiers than you can shake a beer at.

Built in 2009, Inuvik's Road’s End Golf Club boasts a grassy, 250-yard driving range and a three-hole course. Keep an eye out for ravens as you swing – the course once had to close when the sneaky birds made off with all the golf balls. 

Located next Norman Wells' Heritage Hotel near the banks of the Mackenzie River, the grassy, evergreen-lined Ptarmigan Ridge course offers the only golfing in the Sahtu region, with four holes – soon to be expanded to six.

Within easy walking distance of downtown Fort Simpson, the Seven Spruce Golf Course in features rolling, grassy fairways and a laid-back vibe. Rent clubs and tackle the sun-soaked nine-hole course or put up your feet in the clubhouse for a relaxing afternoon.

With artificial greens atop the tundra, Ulukhaktok is the coolest place you’ll play golf. The town’s nine-hole course if the world’s northernmost, and the annual Billy Joss Open draws visiting celebrity golfers. Word to the wise: Let the muskoxen play through...

Eighteen holes. Sand fairways. Grassy putting greens. Jackpines, bedrock and ravens. It’s safe to say you’ll never play golf anywhere like the Yellowknife Golf Club – especially if you come for the Midnight Sun Golf Tournament, which tees off on the summer...

This manicured nine-hole course follows the curvaceous contours of Hay River’s namesake river. Grassy and aspen-shrouded, it’s a duffer’s delight. There’s also a driving range and a beautiful log clubhouse with a deck overlooking the water – a great place to spend...

Tuktut Nogait National Park Tuktut Nogait, meaning “young caribou,” is one of Canada’s least visited parks, protecting the calving grounds of the 68,000-strong Bluenose caribou herd near the shores of the Northwest Passage. Most visitors...

Nááts’ihch’oh, named for a sacred mountain in its midst, is our newest park. Tucked against the Yukon border, it guards the headwaters of both the Nahanni and the Natla/Keele river systems. Paddlers can traverse the South Nahanni’s “rock garden,” featuring 50km of...

For most of its length the broad Slave River plods over the boreal plains, sliding listlessly toward Great Slave Lake. But at the point where it hits the Northwest Territories border, it is suddenly stirred by the Canadian Shield and detonates into a maelstrom....

One of the most popular parks in the Northwest Territories, Twin Falls boasts a wealth of attractions. The park, 75 kilometres north of the Alberta border, stretches along the rim of Twin Falls Gorge, encompassing 32-metre-high Alexnadra Falls, where the Hay River...

Just a few dozen metres from the heart of Enterprise, the earth falls away and a gaping chasm yawns. This is the Twin Falls Gorge, a Grand Canyon in miniature. Here, sheer limestone walls glitter like shimmering sand, while the rim is lined with a dark wall of...

The Ingraham Trail The Ingraham Trail stretches 70 kilometers east of Yellowknife threading together over a dozen lakes. There are picnic spots, hiking trails, campgrounds and boat launches all along the highway. It is terrific fishing, hiking, boating and...

Cirque of the Unclimbables A challenge for world class mountaineers, the Cirque is located in the Ragged Range, near Glacier Lake, Northwest Territories. The Cirque's most famous peak – a must for every serious climber - is the Lotus Flower Tower, featured in Fifty...

Enjoy a break from driving at this roadside park, offering washrooms, a kitchen shelter and a boat launch. Stop and rest on the picturesque shores of Great Slave Lake to take photos or simply to relax with a picnic. Be sure to look around you – the scenery...

Powder Point Day Use Area is located within Hidden Lake Territorial Park on the Ingraham Trail, a little more than 45 kilometres east of Yellowknife on the eastern arm of Prelude Lake. Powder Point offers access to both the the Lower Cameron River Canoe Route and...

The Dempster Highway serves as a boundary for this 8,800-hectare park, which includes two campgrounds (Vadzaih Van Tshik Campground and Gwich’in Territorial Campground), two day-use areas (Ehjuu NJik and Nihtak) and Tithegeh Chii Vitaii...

This seven-kilometre loop around Frame Lake is the recreation trail for activity in the heart of the capital. While the eastern half is paved and passes by residential neighbourhoods, the western half consists of boardwalks over muskeg and wayfinding over...

The closest thing to whitewater on the mighty Mackenzie River, this fast-flowing section occurs a few kilometres upstream from Fort Good Hope where the river is choked between 40-metre-high limestone cliffs.

This municipal campground is located about four kilometres along the access road to Fort Liard. It's next to a small lake, and offers a kitchen shelter and several campsites.

Towering 400 metres above Tulita, sacred Bear Rock is said to be where Yamoria, the great law-giver of Dene lore, confronted a gang of giant beavers that had been drowning hunters. Yamoria killed three of the beavers and draped their vast pelts on Bear Rock – forming...

Swim at Long Lake’s sandy beach. Camp, picnic, canoe or enjoy the amenities and attractions of nearby Yellowknife. Hike the four-kilometre Prospector’s Trail, highlighting the gold-bearing geology of the area. Or follow the Jackfish and Frame Lake trail system, leading...

Located on Vale Island in Hay River, (follow the signs; it’s about 10 kilometres past the information centre), this park offers fantastic swimming on the sandy shores of Great Slave Lake, unique views of barges and fishing vessels plying the waters, and great...

Midway between Fort Simpson and Fort Liard on the Liard Trail, Blackstone Territorial Park boasts stunning mountain views and a prime location on the Liard River, downstream from its confluence with the South Nahanni. This is an excellent starting...

This popular park and campground are located at the junction of Highway 1 and the Trout River (Sambaa Deh in the Slavey language). The river was a traditional transportation route before and during the fur trade. The falls forced travellers to portage around...

Located in the heart of Inuvik, this park offers 19 powered and eight non-powered sites, and convenient access to the town’s attractions. The park is situated on a bluff overlooking the east branch of the Mackenzie River, with a view of the Richardson Mountains....

Just outside Inuvik, this park features an observation tower with excellent views of the surrounding scenery and prime bird-watching. Watch for falcons, eagles and ducks, our summer residents. There is an abundance of cranberries, blueberries and cloudberries that...

This park is perched on a cliff overlooking the Peel River and surrounded by stands of white birch and white spruce trees. It's an ideal place to unwind for a few nights on the long journey up or down the Dempster. The visitor centre offers a fascinating glimpse of the...

On the banks of the Mackenzie River in Norman Wells, MacKinnon Territorial Park offers a great view of the Mackenzie Mountains and is a perfect stop for river-trippers. There are eight non-powered campsites, washrooms, firewood, a picnic area and a playground...