Ottawa: Ottawa Folk Festival
This year, the Ottawa Folk Festival has the best possible line up. It honestly couldn’t get any better. You’re about to roll around in the grass like a hippie and cry like an emo and enjoy a ridiculously awesome show. Highlights of the weekend include City and Colour, where Dallas Green will make you swoon with his new album Little Hell, while taking you back to the days when you tried to learn guitar. The Rural Alberta Advantage have come out to throw some rock into the folk for a Canadian grittiness you won’t want to miss. But likely, the best part will be you standing in the sunshine with tears streaming down your face as Conor Oberst belts out tremulous verses with Bright Eyes. You’ll enjoy every single minute of Ottawa Folk Fest, I promise.
When: Now through August 28th
Where: Hog’s Back Park
Cost: Starts at $30 per day

Toronto: Fan Expo
I’m honestly not sure I can explain to you how amazing the Fan Expo is. EVERYONE is there. Comic book artists, science fiction and horror writers, actors and creators and a slew of professional gaming nerds. Everyone from Jeff Smith (creator of Bone) to Marko Djerdovich (artist for Thor, Fantastic Four, and Spider-man) and Tony Moore (artist for The Walking Dead) are rocking the the comic book part of the expo. And make note of the super cheap graphic novels, comics and merch everywhere. There are countless tables of horror, anime, sci fi and gaming lectures, booths and tournaments throughout the expo to let you learn a bit and show off your excellent nerd skills. The absolute best part? The chance of running into your idols – and trust me, it happens. A friend of mine met Stan Lee outside a bathroom and he even drew her a sketch.
When: Now through August 28th
Where: Toronto Convention Centre
Cost: Starts at $25 per day

— Photo courtesy of Ming Wu