The Niagara region is famous the world over for its wine country and awarding-winning wines. They are over 10 major wine related festivals and events throughout the year. But there’s a lot more to celebrate in the region as seen by the number of festivals dedicated to non-wine related interests.
Non-Wine Focused Niagara Festivals
Niagara Falls Beer Festival
While wine is produced and enjoyed all over Niagara, beer, especially craft beer, too is making its presence felt. A weekend in August 2016 witnessed The Niagara Falls Beer Festival taking place with several people turning up at the outdoor venue on Queen Street to celebrate beer and have a good time. A 19+ event, visitors were able to sample and taste around 40 craft beers while enjoying delicious fare from the food trucks at the venue. Seminars by Kevin Brauch known for the show The Thirsty Traveler as well as live entertainment featuring David Faustino aka Grandmaster B, Big Wreck and Wave (Official Reunion) entertained the crowds.
Niagara Jazz Festival
Music fans had a lot to cheer about when the Niagara Jazz Festival was held at multiple venues in the region including Niagara-on-the Lake and St. Catharines in July 2016. The three-day event was one big celebration of jazz consisting of 40 different acts featuring over 100 artists. These talented performers showcased different types of music all falling under the jazz genre. Canadian instrumental jazz orchestra Manteca was the prime attraction of the festival while Cuban musician Luis Mario Ochoa, and Hilario Duran also entertained the crowds. To introduce young children to the world of music and jazz, the festival also had a ‘jazz petting zoo’ where kids could play with music instruments. Thousands of people gathered at the venue to enjoy and understand jazz besides interacting with fellow community members over food and drinks.
Niagara Integrated Film Festival
Movie buffs enjoyed watching some of the best independent movies across various genres during the Niagara Integrated Film Festival (NIFF). The ten day festival took place in June this year. It was held at different locations in the Niagara region including the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, Seneca Queen Theatre, Stone Mill Inn and Trius Winery at Hillebrand. Some screenings were held at picturesque vineyards with food and wine being served as well. In addition to international films and filmmakers, the focus was also on movies from the Niagara region. Interactive Q & A sessions and seminars too formed an important part of the festival as did gala events where visitors enjoyed a Hollywood-style red carpet experience. NIFF drew in huge crowds at the different venues as a result of the high quality of films showcased from around the world.
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