Growing up in Winnipeg, I have fond memories of the Festival du Voyageur. I was quite excited to see that Calgary’s French-Canadian community has a festival of its own.

Festival des Sucres (Maple Festival) is held at Canada Olympic Park and although it may seem small is a very busy festival! If your child is in French Immersion this is a great place for them to practice their French! It’s still a great festival if you don’t speak or understand the language at all.

We bought tickets at the entrance for $20/adult (kids under 6 are free) which included buffet meal. For the extra $3 we felt this was worth the extra cost. The buffet consisted of juice/coffee, fresh fruit, pea soup, hash browns, scrambled eggs, sausages & crepes. The food was served in a heated tent with plenty of tables at which to sit and eat. Live music was performed on the stage. My kids only complaint was that it was very loud and I couldn’t hear them asking me things. My complaint was that the music was not age appropriate.

Outside there’s a bouncy area with 3 large bouncy attractions for the kids. Line ups were minimal and it was well organized with volunteers.

In the 2nd tent there were several booths with information and items for sale as well as a kids area. We headed in for the music performances which were great! My son was tapping his feet the entire time! There were free balloon animals, face painting and colouring. Most kids however were singing along with the performers. It was nice to hear “Voyageur va faire tes bagages” and “Rame, rame, Rame, donc!” again! The kids absolutely loved when they passed out wooden spoons to all the kids for them to play along. Outside they also have the famous maple treats. For $1 you get a popsicle stick which you use to roll up the maple syrup that they heat and pour on the snow and let it cool and harden into candy (why this was not included in the cost I am not sure). This is a big highlight for the kids!

Next year if you get a chance take the family down and “parle Francais!”