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Top 5 Cities in Canada for Art and Culture

Canada is a diverse nation and a melting pot of culture, and that is no secret. The country has always celebrated the unique and the creative. From street art to theater performances, world-renowned festivals to art galleries, Canada has so much to celebrate.

We have curated a list of the top five Canadian cities that honor creativity, artists, and entertainment. Not many destinations elevate urban living to an artistic way, carefully blended with culture. 

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto

It wasn’t easy to pick Canada’s Top Cities for Art and Culture, but we have done it nevertheless. These top 5 Canadian cities have several local cultural celebrations, indigenous heritage, and a display of Canadian creativity. If you are an art enthusiast or a culture vulture like us, we are sure that you will fall in love with these Canadian cities. 

Explore these destinations to find hundreds of year-round events and exhibits, city-owned public art, cultural centers for all ages, art classes, and galleries. Go beyond the regular sightseeing, landmarks, and adventures, discover these top Canadian cities for art and culture. Without further ado, let’s dive right in. 

Toronto 

Toronto one of Top 5 Cities in Canada for Art and Culture
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

Toronto is one of the topmost multicultural destinations in the world. Toronto celebrates every origin and culture with an incredible blend of local, migrants, and indigenous populations. When in the city, admire the city’s architecture, be a part of the international cultural diversity, explore the historic landmarks and exhibits.

Some of the best spots in and around Toronto that showcases art and culture include the Aga Khan Museum, Alton Mills Arts Centre, Art Galleries in Toronto, and Royal Ontario Museum.

Events at the ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO

For more action and performances, Beaches International Jazz Festival, BuskerFest, and CAA Theatre are must-visit places in Toronto. Toronto’s cultural centers and galleries host art classes, exhibits, and community events. During the COVID 19 restrictive measures, Toronto exhibits were displayed through immersive technology out on the streets. For travelers inspired to learn more, we recommend you take advantage of the guided tours. They are more than just a learning experience, and these guided tours give you as a traveler exceptional insights into the art and culture scene in Toronto. 

For instance, one of the most prominent spots in Toronto is the art gallery of Ontario. Apart from the massive Canadian collection of art exhibits, they also have European masterworks. The art tour of the gallery will take you through a journey of 80,000 masterpieces that include paintings, photographs, sculptures, and other works, not just from Canada but also from different parts of the world.

Another renowned tourist spot in Toronto is Casa Loma. A massive 18th-century Gothic castle that is a display of grandeur in itself. St. Lawrence Market is another example. This spacious market with over 100 vendors has been awarded the title of the world’s top food market from National Geographic. It is fantastic to see how food from different parts of the world come together to connect people. With hundreds of exciting exhibits and festivals throughout the year, Toronto is a fun destination to visit. 

Vancouver

Vancouver one of Top 5 Cities in Canada for Art and Culture
Art Installation at Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver is another one of the top Canadian cities that thrives on the culture and art scene. This city is always bustling with creativity, music, dance, theater performance, designs, architecture, and art exhibits. Fun fact, Vancouver has the fifth-largest art gallery in Canada. This neoclassical building was built-in in 1931 by a renowned designer, F. Rattenbury. From world-class art exhibits to cultural and performance spaces, there are many things to do and see in Vancouver.

Some of the most popular spots in Vancouver to witness the best of contemporary art includes:

  • Access Artist Run Center 
  • Catriona Jeffries Gallery, which was established in 1994
  • Monte Clark Gallery is renowned for conceptual photography and photographic art, and the Contemporary Art Gallery is one of the longest-standing independent public art galleries. 

The Annual Vancouver Art Festivals and Events are also held every year to support the local artists in Canada. Vancouver Art Gallery has impressive exhibitions with representations from different countries. Structures and sculptures by famous artists like Jason Borofsky are also installed outdoors, where the community gathers.

Several significant spots around this ethnically-diverse city represent culture. For instance, Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.

Calgary

Calgary one of Top 5 Cities in Canada for Art and Culture
Art Installation, Calgary

From public galleries to artisan shops, Calgary is one of Canada’s most happening arts and culture scenes. This Canadian city’s effort into creating vibrant and active communities is quite evident. It’s incredible to see how this city embraces the traditional and modern culture through performance arts, creativity, and music. The National Music Centre and jack Singer Concert Hall are of high prominence for a music lover. When it comes to the art scene, here are some of the most popular and visited art museums and galleries to visit: 

  • The Glenbow
  • Esker Foundation
  • The Aerospace Museum
  • Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
  • National Music Centre
  • The Military Museum
  • Truck
  • Stride Gallery
  • Nickle Galleries
  • The New Gallery
  • Contemporary Calgary
  • Youthlink Calgary
  • Alberta Craft Gallery

Both local and international artists have tremendous opportunities awaiting them in this beautiful city. Visit Calgary and discover the best of museums and art galleries. 

Montreal 

Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum

Diverse art, blended culture, and different culinary experiences are at the heart of this unique Canadian city. Juliet Mackie, Chelsea Rae, and Mélanie Demers are renowned Montreal-based artists who have contributed immensely to global art and culture. As one of the top Canadian cities known for creative sites, artsy cafes, museums, and galleries, Montreal attracts art enthusiasts from all over the world. 

The Contemporary art museum of Montreal, since it opened in 1964, they have had several exhibits by international artists. Explore the exhibitions, watch live performances, and enjoy the best day out in Montreal. Another must-visit museum in Montreal is the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Here, you’ll see over 41,000 exhibits that include paintings, sculptures, photographs, and more.

While you are busy exploring the city, we recommend stopping by the artistic cafes that feature artisanal coffee and seasonal treats. Some of the must-visit artisanal cafes include Café des Arts and Arts Café. Artsy restaurants like Rumi and Haitian-themed restaurant Agrikol 

Diversity, culture, and art are also celebrated through interactive festivals like the Mural Festival. You could also enjoy an afternoon stroll around the city and enjoy the brilliance of street art. 

Edmonton 

Top Cities in Canada for Art and Culture
Alberta Art Gallery, Edmonton

The art and culture scene in Edmonton in Alberta is pretty vibrant. No wonder why this city was ranked Canada’s cultural capital in 2007 and is still called Canada’s Festival City. Lively music, dance scenes, and theater performance are a part of the cultural commitment. Over 30 festivals are held annually to bring the community together and celebrate diversity.

Tourists gather globally to attend the Edmonton International Street Performers and Fringe Theater Festival. That’s not all; Edmonton Opera, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and the Citadel Theater are considered among the best performing arts organizations in Canada. 

For art enthusiasts, the Art Gallery of Alberta, designed by Los Angeles architect Randall Stout is a masterwork in itself. Spread over 80,000 square feet, this gallery features some impeccable work of Canadian and First Nations works art. The authorities have been heavily involved in promoting a diverse group of artists and putting together events to promote them locally. 

The Canadian art scene is rich and layered. There are numerous renowned personalities from sectors relating to visual arts, music, and theater performances from Canada. Maintaining authenticity and relevance, most of the prestigious art galleries have consciously promoted local artists.

Home to the most prominent art galleries of North America, these top Canadian cities have features significant collections and exhibits that depict ethical diversity, which is a part of Canadian culture. From the newest contemporary art inspiration to old European masters, your journey in search of the best art and culture destinations ends here.  As a true art lover, these Canadian cities are a must-visit. 

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https://travel.destinationcanada.com/covid-19-traveller-guidance

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