Moving to New Brunswick nearly two years ago, my knowledge of the province didn’t go much beyond the fact that it had a lot of trees and friendly people; however, I quickly realized that the province is full of amazing artists and equally amazing festivals. My initiation into the New Brunswick festival season began with the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in September (this year taking place from September 12-17) which takes over the downtown core of Fredericton with large stages along the river and small intimate concerts in the many pubs and restaurants downtown. Festival season in New Brunswick begins long before that however, and this summer there is an incredible line up of festivals, from cultural events, to live music, to theatre and beyond. Read on to see all this province has to offer!
This summer, I would suggest that everyone take the opportunity to engage with the vibrant Aboriginal community in New Brunswick by attending one of the many powwows around the province. The powwow trail moves across the province throughout the summer giving ample opportunity to see some incredible dancing, hear some amazing music and check out some beautiful artwork. There’s the Tobique (Negootkook) First Nation Powwow from June 23-25, the Pabineau First Nation (Oinpegitjoig L’Noegati) Annual Powwow from July 8-9, the Eel Ground First Nation Powwow from July 13-16, the Eel River Bar (Ugpi’ganjig) First Nation Powwow from August 11-12, the Burnt Church (Esgenoopetitj) First Nation Powwow from August 21-23, and the Annual Elsipogtog First Nation Powwow from September 2-3.
After spending last summer in New Brunswick, I saw how much the province has to offer music lovers of all tastes. Free concerts abound the province with the City of Fredericton Outdoor Concert Series in Officer’s Square every Tuesday and Thursday from June 20- September 7, the Acoustica outdoor summer concert series in Moncton with shows every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from July 4-August 22, the St. Stephen Concert Series every Thursday evening from July 6-September 7, and Courtyard Concerts every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday in Uptown Saint John from July 20-August 30. Beyond this, New Brunswick offers many opportunities to engage with music of all different styles including the Edmundston Jazz and Blues Festival from June 23-24, Folly Fest in Gagetown from June 23-25, the Miramichi Rock ‘n Roll Festival from June 29-July 2, the Lameque International Baroque Music Festival from July 27-29, the Tay Creek Folk Festival from July 28-30, and the Larlee Creek Hullabaloo in Perth-Andover from August 9-13, among many others.
Summer is also the season when theatre comes off the conventional stage and into all sort of interesting venues. If you are in Fredericton between June 25 and July 9, take the opportunity to watch some theatre in a beautiful local setting through the Bard in the Barracks Theatre Festival which runs performances in both the historic Barracks Square and the beautiful Odell Park. If, like me, you are amazed by magic and juggling among other strange and wonderful skills, then be sure to check out the Buskers on the Bay Festival in Market Square, Saint John from July 12-16. If something unique and off the wall is what you’re after, head to the Fundy Fringe Festival in Saint John from August 21-26.
The craft community in New Brunswick is incredibly strong and diverse, with many unique and beautiful works being produced. If you want to bring a piece of New Brunswick home, head to From Human Hands: New Brunswick Fine Craft Festival running from August 25-27 in Officers’ Square, Fredericton. If you want to begin preparing for the long winter ahead, then visit one of the province’s many quilt shows, such as the Lupin Quilt Fair and Market in Port Elgin from July 1-2, or the Kennebacasis Valley Quilting Guild Show and Sale in Quispamsis from September 14-16.
If visual arts is your thing, the province has fairs for buyers and workshops for those looking to improve upon their own skills. The Atlantic Visual Arts Festival in Caraquet running from June 21-25 presents the opportunity to full immerse oneself in the arts complete with workshops and lectures, among many other events. If you love the natural beauty which abounds in this province, you won’t want to miss the Paint the Heartland Fine Art Show and Sale in Hartland on July 15.
This is only a small selection of the festivals in the province, check out the map below for even more festivals!
If you know a summer arts festival in New Brunswick which is not featured on this map, please contact us. We will keep updating the map over time!