2017 is the best year to visit Canada. Here’s why.

When Canada celebrates its “Sesquicentennial” in 2017, it will throw open its doors to the world with a year-long party!

It’s not every day that a great nation turns 150. So here’s our round-up of the best places to join in the fun:

But wait - what’s it all about? In short, it’s all about coming together. The Canadian Confederation occurred when the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were federally united on July 1, 1867.

To mark this momentous occasion, Parks Canada (pc.gc.ca) is waiving the entrance fees to its national parks and attractions throughout Canada for the entire year. That means you can explore 47 parks and 168 historic sites for FREE!

History buffs will love the festivities at Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island – the birthplace Canada’s Confederation. In 2017, the city will go all out with a 10-hour concert showcasing local talent, a 21-gun salute and a giant birthday cake. Around 40 traditional tall ships will dock in Charlottetown’s harbour for a celebratory Regatta and revellers are invited to come aboard.

For a French-Canadian twist, say bonjour to Montreal, where a double-celebration will unfold in 2017. The city will celebrate a whopping 375 years since its founding to coincide with Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations. Be there when giant marionette puppets take to the streets and 174 other spectacular events are in store, including cake, canons, hockey and plenty of musical performances.

Meanwhile, in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, a year’s worth of events are in the planning – many of them food and wine-related (our favourite kind). Top picks are an enormous picnic on Alexandra Bridge, which will be carpeted in grass, and “Sky Lounge” ¬– a fine-dining experience 150 feet in the air. Things will come to a head on 1 July (Canada Day) at Parliament Hill with a huge birthday bash. Expect a giant street party and a series of free concerts and events in Ottawa’s new cultural village, constructed out of sea containers. Rumour has it the Queen may even make a surprise cameo!

Head west to Toronto to kick off the “Sesquicentennial” with a bang on NYE with free live music in front of city hall and a spectacular fireworks display. The city’s Canada Day festival, is set to be a four-day flagship celebration featuring First Nations, Inuit and Metis artists as well as international performers.

On the other side of the country, Vancouver will get into the spirit with an 11-day “The Drum is Calling” festival at Larwill Park. The indigenous-themed event will acknowledge the city’s location in the unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, and its status as a City of Reconciliation.

Presented by Destination Canada

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