2017 Calendar of events

Save these dates and celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary with us all year long!

In 2017, the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation will be celebrated by Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast. At Elk Island we are preparing for a year of festivity by inviting Canadians to celebrate with us all throughout this momentous year. Be sure to mark your calendar with these special events!

Please check back frequently for updates and new events or follow us on Twitter @ElkIslandNP.


Canada’s 150th Birthday Celebration at Elk Island National Park

About 16 people in life jackets sit and wave in a large canoe.

Saturday July 1, 2017

This Canada Day come celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation by visiting your nearest national park: Elk Island.

Join us at the pinnacle of this momentous year with a Canada Day festival that will draw you back to the essence of Canada. To extend festive spirit throughout the year, entry to Parks Canada places will be free all throughout 2017!

Imagine early explorers who navigated Canada’s rivers to map this expansive country, as you explore the many islands of Astotin Lake in a canoe. Later spread a blanket and share a picnic with your family and friends as lively music fills the air. Lift your voice alongside fellow Canadians in singing the Canadian national anthem to celebrate the legacy of this beloved country.

Astotin Lake Recreation Area

11:15 a.m. - Astotin Theatre Opens

12:00 p.m. - Opening Address - Main Stage

12:10 p.m. - Wapiski Mahikan Powwow Dance Troupe - Main Stage

1:00 p.m. - Movie - Astotin Theatre

1:15 p.m. - Live Show: Les Bûcherons - Main Stage

2:20 p.m. - Bison Tails Campfire - Astotin Theatre

2:35 p.m. - Live Music: Le Fuzz - Main Stage

3:30 p.m. - Wapiski Mahikan Powwow Dance Troupe - Main Stage

4:00 p.m. - Movie - Astotin Theatre

4:30 p.m. - Live Music: Le Fuzz - Main Stage

7:00 p.m. - Astotin Theatre Closes

Family Activities at Astotin Lake Recreation area from noon till 4:00p.m. :

  • Pemmican Making
  • Airbrush Tattoos
  • Voyager Canoe
  • Food Trucks
  • Discovery Packs
  • Learn to Camp
  • Resource Conservation
  • Friends of Elk Island Society

Visitor Centre

11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - Bison Backstage Tours – Every hour on the hour; last tour starts at 4:00 p.m.

Parks Day Celebration

A young girl examines a dragonfly’s wing.

Saturday July 15, 2017

We’re continuing our celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation with a fun-filled Parks Day event. Park admission will continue to be free for the rest of 2017!

Celebrate Canada’s anniversary by learning new ways to explore and create memories at Elk Island National Park. Exploring by canoe, camping under star-filled skies and outdoor living are all traditions that have been part of Canada’s 150 year legacy. Come embrace these timeless traditions by learning how to navigate a canoe or gain outdoor adventure skills at a “Learn to Camp” workshop.

Top it all off by bringing a picnic to share with your family and friends as live music by local artists fills the air with festive spirit.

The Bison Festival

A celebration of conservation, culture and cuisine!

Two people watch a group of bison through binoculars.

Saturday August 19, 2017


The Bison Festival celebrates and cultivates an appreciation of all things bison at Elk Island National Park.
© Parks Canada

With the world’s oldest national parks system, Canada has a long history of being committed to conservation. Come celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation and a legacy of bison conservation that is nearly as old. In the festive spirit of this special year, park admission is free throughout 2017!

Elk Island is the cornerstone of Canada’s bison conservation story; without this place and the dedication of its people, herds of plains and woods bison would not thrive in Canada today. Help us commemorate this success story through the themes of conservation, culture and cuisine. Discover the importance of bison to the heart of Canada.

Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve Star Party

A man peers through a telescope pointed at the sky.

September 2nd and 3rd, 2017

Our celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation only continues with this star-filled event. Canada has always been a land of vibrant skyscapes and Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve works to keep Elk Island skies naturally dark, wild and alive. Come enjoy this event, like all days in 2017, with free park entrance to Elk Island.

Taking place over two days at two different locations, the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve’s 12th annual Star Party will be your gateway to the stars. Featuring volunteer astronomers to provide you with stargazing tips, guest speakers to cause you to marvel at the sky, and local musical performances to fill the air with festive spirit, this 2 day event will keep your whole family entertained.

The Star Party will be at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park on Saturday Sept. 2 and at Elk Island National Park on Sunday Sept 3, 2017.