Winner, winner! It’s official, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) has confirmed its final attendance for the 144th edition of the Fair, totalling approximately 1,604,000 visitors who passed through its gates during the 18-day event from August 18 – September 4, 2023. The tally marks the highest attendance in recent history dating back a quarter century; and surpassing the relevant record of 1.601 million set in 2015*.
The 2023 CNE drew massive crowds with marquee attractions such as the return of programming to the waterfront with the Fountain Show and the Canadian International Air Show, the largest Ferris Wheel to grace the Toronto Skyline, the Ice Skating and Acrobatic Show starring Elvis Stojko, The Pink Floyd Exhibition; as well as a star-studded Bandshell line-up featuring Grammy-winning icon Dionne Warwick and Canadian superstars Jann Arden, Amanda Marshall, Kim Mitchell, Tynomi Banks and Kardinal Offishall among the headliners.
“Last year, we attributed the impressive attendance in part due to pent-up demand following the pandemic; however, this year is validation that the CNE remains steadfast as one of the most enduring, resilient, and beloved annual events that continues to evolve and resonate with people across generations,” says Darrell Brown, CNE CEO. “Despite inflation and challenging economic times for many, we want to thank our patrons for coming out to enjoy the Fair. The CNE is an important tradition for so many Ontarians, and we’ll continue to connect and create memories for new audiences each year.”
The CNE marked an historical milestone in 2022, which saw the event bounce back from a two-year closure with resounding success attracting over 1.56 million visitors; and generating significant economic impact. An economic study conducted in 2022 indicated that the annual 18-day event contributes an economic impact of approximately $112 million for the Greater Toronto Area and $142 million for the province of Ontario each year.
45% of attendees in 2022 were from outside the GTA, generating valuable tourism dollars for the city. Not only was attendance up, but spending per capita was also up, resulting in CNE vendors and businesses increasing their revenues over the last two years. There are 110 vendors in the Food Building, more than 100 concessions and games in the Midway, and over 700 indoor and outdoor retail vendors who rely on the CNE as a significant contributor of their sales and revenue.
So happy to be back at my happy place!Running August 18 – September 4, 2023, Toronto institution THE EX (Canadian National Exhibition) is back again and in full flight, heading into its second weekend. We’ll never forget how empty our Summers felt without.
In addition to a Las Vegas-style Waterfront Fountain Show and skating icon Elvis Stojko bring back and taking to the rink for the first time in four years, fan favourites like SuperDogs, International Stage performances from around the world, Celebrity Kitchen Stage, Food Truck Frenzy, and 18-day Gaming Garage sponsored by Intel, are back!
And of course, it wouldn’t be The Ex, without the The Canadian International Air Show taking to the skies on Labour Day weekend. Recently-added fixture, the nightly Drone Shows presented by Vinfast, are back again with 100 drones and breathtaking formation, giving you a reason to come and stay all day.
The Ex has always been about the festivity and the food for me. There are several amazing new food options in the Food Building and also the Midway. We try a few of the fun new options and wouldn’t be surprised to visit again once more before Labour Day!
Let’s go to The EX! Ontario’s favourite fair and end-of-summer rite of passage returns in just over a week to delight, and indulge the senses. This year, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) will feature an all-new Superwheel, the first and largest observation ride of its kind to grace the Toronto skyline. The 150-ft tall wheel features 36 enclosed observation pods that deliver spectacular 360 views of the city day or night. Whether it’s people watching high atop the CNE Midway, soaring high above to catch the nightly drone show, or getting aerial views of the CNE’s new fountain extravaganza Sparkling Symphony — the Superwheel is sure to become one of the most Instagrammable spots in the city.
More NEW attractions include the Monster Compound, featuring Monster Energy’s Skateboard Team showing off on a custom halfpipe, DJs and a Barber Shop offering complimentary cuts and styling (located at the north end of Bandshell Park); and a Cirque-tacular Spectacular outdoor acrobatic and trampoline show outside of the Enercare Centre. Sashay this way to the CNE for Toronto drag queen icon Tynomi Banks who will be joined by fellow queens Mo Heart, Jan Sport and Ivory Towers for an all-out Drag EXtravaganza (Aug. 29), bringing drag to the CNE Bandshell Stage for the first time ever; and award-winning duo the fabulous Fay & Fluffy will bring their famed drag storytime to the all-new Storybook Nook in Kids’ World.
Returning favourites are bigger and better than ever including the nightly Drone Show Presented by VinFast with more drones and impressive new formations to light up the night sky; and Gaming Garage Sponsored by Intel, which is getting a makeover to include even more free games and new tournaments with larger prize pools such as Street Fighter 6 Tournament (Aug. 19 & 20), Valorant Tournament (Aug. 26) and League of Legends Tournament (Aug. 27).
Elvis Stojko is back in the building (Cola-Cola Coliseum) with an all-new ice skating and acrobatic show; Food Truck Frenzy and Celebrity Kitchen Stage will inspire and tantalize the taste buds; and the Canadian International Air Show will close out another spectacular season with the beloved Snowbirds, U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and returning fan-favourites showcasing skill, strength, and speed over Lake Ontario on Labour Day Weekend.
2023 HIGHLIGHTS AT A GLANCE:
NEW: SuperWheel – North America’s tallest travelling ferris wheel is coming to the CNE! The Superwheel is truly an elevated experience unlike any other soaring 150-feet in the sky. Escape the heat and bustle of the Midway to enjoy unparalleled lake and city views inside one of its 36 climate-controlled observation pods that comfortably seat 4 to 6 guests. (South of the Midway).
NEW: Sparkling Symphony – The CNE’s new Vegas-style fountain show “Sparkling Symphony” is a daily choreographed aquatic spectacle on Lake Ontario combining high-energy music with 11 fountains and dancing streams of water soaring as high as 100ft in the air, with colour-changing lights and lasers to illuminate the show at night. (Daily, 1:30, 3:30, 5:30 & 8 pm, Lake Ontario).
EXTENDED: The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains – The CNE and S2BN Entertainment are co-presenters of the Toronto premiere of this globally acclaimed exhibition on one of the greatest bands of all time. Visitors can embark on a chronological journey through Pink Floyd’s storied history from 1976 to the 2000s, featuring 350+ artifacts, personal memorabilia including instruments and handwritten lyrics, album art covers, and iconic songs from their ground-breaking catalogue through an audio-visual experience. Tickets to The Pink Floyd Exhibition (which includes CNE admission) can be purchased in advance at www.TheEx.com or www.PinkFloydExhibition.com, or on-site during the Fair. (Better Living Centre).
Nightly Drone Show Presented by Vinfast – Once the sun sets, the drones rise, and the skies above the Food Building are transformed into a mesmerizing symphony of dancing lights. Get ready to be captivated by 100+ dazzling drones creating a breathtaking display of colours and images that will leave visitors in awe. Designed by masters of drone formation spectacles, North Star Entertainment, the nightly drone show is back by popular demand. (Nightly at 10:15pm, above the Food Building).
4th Annual Gaming Garage sponsored by Intel – Level up your gaming experience at the Innovation Garage and Gaming Garage sponsored by Intel, which is in its 5th year as a live event and popular attraction. Gamers of all levels can immerse in free play, pinball tournaments, competitive esports and video game tournaments to win up to $8,500, VR experiences, or show off their moves on the video game dance floor. A Robotics Competition will also take place September 2- 4, where contestants and their creations will spar head-to head to determine which bot will take the crown, along with other competitive showcases from start-ups, student video game creators, and more. (Daily, Enercare Centre, Hall B).
NEW – Monster Compound Experience – Monster Energy is taking over the Bandshell Park with the all-new Monster Compound featuring daily performances from the Monster Energy Skateboard Team riding a custom-built halfpipe, live DJ performances, racing simulators, and even the chance to grab a free fresh fade from the Monster Barber Shop! (Daily, 12pm – 7pm, Bandshell Park).
NEW – Ice Skating and Acrobatic Show: Time Flies – World class ice skaters, extreme skaters and circus artists will hit the ice with dazzling performances. Travel through the last 12 decades with the help of popular songs that have stood the test of time. This high energy show will feature special guest Elvis Stojko, a three-time World Champion, two-time Olympic silver medalist and seven-time Canadian champion. (Daily, 2 pm & 5 pm, Cola-Cola Coliseum).
2023 CNE Bandshell Line-Up – Six-time GRAMMY-winner Dionne Warwick will delight fans on the only Canadian stop on her North American Tour this summer at the CNE. 2023 Bandshell headliners include platinum-selling powerhouse Amanda Marshall, nine-time JUNO winning artist Jann Arden, Bollywood music icon Shafqat Amanat Ali, legendary reggae songstress Marcia Griffiths, singer-songwriter William Prince, and fellow country superstar Brett Kissel. In addition to marquee acts, this year’s CNE Bandshell will present special tribute nights and themed concerts such as a not-to-be-missed show Drag EXtravaganza starring Canada’s Drag Race Tynomi Banks; and a celebration of 50 years of hip hop with Toronto’s own Kardinal Offishall, Choclair, and the first woman to win the Juno Award for Best Rap Album, Haviah Mighty. All CNE Bandshell concerts are FREE with CNE admission. (Daily, 7:30pm, Bandshell Stage).
NEW – Echoes of Entertainment: A Concert History of the CNE – Step into a mesmerizing world of musical nostalgia with “Echoes of Entertainment: Concert History at the Canadian National Exhibition.” Immerse yourself in a captivating photographic journey, where the past comes alive through a spectacular showcase of the CNE’s iconic concerts, accompanied by an enchanting collection of music. Behold the iconic talent that graced the unforgettable CNE stages, including the likes of the incomparable Freddie Mercury, the legendary Louis Armstrong, the dynamic duo of Sonny & Cher, and the sensational Jackson 5, among many others. (Daily, 12pm to 9pm, Withrow Common).
ON Now! CNE Casino Presented by Pokerstars – A popular annual draw, the CNE Casino presented by PokerStars features a variety of games including Blackjack, Lucky Ladies, Spanish 21, Hold’Em Bonus Poker, Omaha Poker, 3-Card Poker, No Commission Mini Baccarat, Roulette, and a private air-conditioned Texas Hold’Em Poker Room! (Better Living Centre).
Celebrity Kitchen Stage – Celebrity Kitchen Stage returns this year with some of Toronto’s favourite restauranteurs and TV personalities. Get tips and recipes from the impressive culinary skills from the likes of Canada’s Top Chef judge Mark McEwan and 2023 winner of Canada’s Top ChefTre Sanderson, Food Network Canada’s Fire master’s Cindy Fung, and Masterchef Canada judge Claudio Aprile. Get inspired with new cuisines and new chefs each day on the Celebrity Kitchen Stage. (Daily, 1pm & 4pm, Enercare Centre Hall A).
Food Truck Frenzy & Craft Beer Fest – Everyone’s favourite food truck festival is back! This year’s Frenzy will feature more than 20 vendors offering global fare from perogies to Indian Rasoi, Caribbean cuisine to authentic Mexican food, and a variety of local craft brews to wash it all down. (Aug. 19 – Sep 4, Princes’ Blvd).
Immersive Art Experience – A Trip Through 103: Therapy for the Soul – Visitors can take a transformative trip through Salon 103 inside the Enercare Centre to be immersed in a sensory art experience unlike any other. Feel and bask in the surroundings of generative laser art projections courtesy of Scott Draves and the Electric Sheep, mixed with original music and live performance art including dance by Alina Christensen and violinist Dr. Draw. (Daily, 10am – 10pm, Enercare Centre, Salon 103).
74th Annual Canadian International Air Show – Canada’s largest and longest running air show is back with its soaring aerial spectacle! The beloved Canadian Forces Snowbirds, Yak-50, and CF-18s return to dazzle crowds; and the thrilling U.S. Navy Blue Angels will electrify audiences with a captivating show. (Sept. 2, 3 & 4, from 12pm – 3pm, Waterfront, south of Bandshell Park).
The CNE Foundation Grand CNE 50/50 is back! – The CNE Foundation supports the urgent need to digitize and preserve the historically and culturally significant images of the CNE’s archival collection, including thousands of photo negatives that are at risk of being lost forever. In addition to the CNE Archives Project, the Foundation supports various youth and community programs, as well as the Smiles of Faces Program that provides all-expense-paid visits to the CNE each summer for 25 vulnerable children and their families. Support the Foundation for a chance to win BIG in this year’s Grand CNE 50/50 fundraiser with a $100,000 guaranteed minimum cash Grand Prize and more; and check out the new Silent Auction to bid on great auction items and CNE memorabilia. Visit CNEfoundation.com or CNEF5050.com for more information.
SuperDogs – SuperDogs are back again this year with their new show Barkade! Jump into the world of video games and animation as the SuperDogs take the stage and perform adorable tricks and entertain with their unique personalities. (Daily, 2:00, 4:30 & 6:30pm with an additional show at 12 (noon) on the weekends, Enercare Centre Hall D).
NEW – National Geographic Exhibit – National Geographic’s all-new exhibit: Pristine Seas, highlights the importance of marine protected areas through photography and film. Visitors will get a lens-view of the NatGeo team’s expeditions from the colourful and vital coral reefs of the Southern Line Islands to the melting icebergs of the Antarctic. (Arts and Crafts Pavilion).
NEW – Selfie Hallway – With plenty of Instagram-worthy moments to capture from the crazy foods to the views from the SuperWheel and Sky Ride, the CNE is giving visitors even more to smile about. Take a selfie with all-new creations including a giant floral aquarium, an 8-ft tall shimmer wall, and oversized models of iconic CNE foods such as a giant cotton candy and ice cream waffle. (Enercare Centre, East side Heritage Court).
NEW – Cirque-tacular Spectacular – Combining trampoline, gymnastics, and aerial acrobatics, the Cirque-tacular Spectacular is a high-energy show that will wow audiences of all ages. (Outside of Enercare Centre Hall B).
The Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations Exhibit – Visit the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation’s booth for games and an interactive experience focused on their rich history and culture. A daily activity schedule will be posted each morning at the booth and on its social media page at Facebook.com/MNCFN. (Enercare Centre, Heritage Court).
Shopping at the CNE – With more than 700+ retailers from fashion brands to global artisans and Canadian-made products, visitors can shop ‘til they drop at the CNE throughout the grounds. Check out the international markets and warehouse sales inside the Enercare Centre, shop from hand-made and local products at the Arts & Hobbies Building, or find great deals among the outdoor vendors at almost every corner.
The 144th annual CNE takes place from August 18 to September 4, 2023 at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Canada.
General Admission Advance Tickets (purchased before Aug. 18): $20 General Admission (14 to 64 years): $25 Adults 65 & Better: $20 Children (ages 5 to 13): $20 Children 4 & under: FREE CNE Family Pass (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children): $75
*Plus HST and applicable fees. To purchase tickets, ride passes, and for more information on discounts and promotions, go to www.TheEx.com
About the Canadian National Exhibition The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is governed by the Canadian National Exhibition Association (CNEA), comprised of a volunteer Board of Directors. The CNEA is responsible for the planning and presentation of the annual Canadian National Exhibition at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario. Founded in 1879, the CNE generates an economic impact of approximately $112 million for the Greater Toronto Area and $142 million for the province of Ontario each year (when in operation). In 2022, the CNE attracted 1.56 million visitors over its 18-day fair.
The Ex is almost back! August 18 to September 4, 2023. And this year we’re getting anew Vegas-Style Waterfront Fountain Show!
WHAT: Toronto’s end-of summer tradition is gearing up for another spectacular return, following near record attendance of more than 1.56 million in 2022 that was one of the highest in more than seven years. Some of the beloved favourites of the Fair will return starting August 18 – September 4, including the SuperDogs, International Stage performances from around the world, Celebrity Kitchen Stage, Food Truck Frenzy, and 18-day Gaming Garage sponsored by Intel. The Canadian International Air Show will take over the skies during on Labour Day weekend, while the popular nightly Drone Show presented by Vinfast will be back with 100 drones and new awe-inspiring formations.
With the summer heat wave, CNE visitors will be able to cool down in more ways than one at the indoor Skating Show, starring Canadian champion Elvis Stojko and friends. All-new this year is the CNE Fountain Show “Sparking Symphony,” a daily choreographed spectacle on Lake Ontario that will combine high-energy music with 11 dancing fountains that can sprout up to 100ft in the air, and colour-changing lights and lasers to illuminate the show at night.
Skating icon Elvis Stojko stars in the CNE’s Skating Show, twice daily inside the Cola-Cola Coliseum. The Skating Show returns for the first time since 2018.
Konterschwung, acrobats from Switzerland, are among the exciting line-up of artists representing global entertainment and Canada’s vibrant cultural mosaic.
Of course, the CNE experience wouldn’t be complete without enjoying some great concerts and live performances on any of its seven music stages; and to indulge in the cornucopia of food from fair staples such as ice cream waffles and Tiny Toms doughnuts, to out-of-the ordinary gastronomic creations that the CNE is renowned for. Stay tuned for the 2023 Bandshell Line-up announcement and the reveal of must-try new foods!
DATES: August 18 – September 4, 2023
TICKETS: Starting at $20 before August 17
After August 18: Adult Admission: $25 Seniors: $20 Youth: $20 Children under 4 years old: FREE Family Pass: $75
WEBSITE: Visit the CNE website for programming details, ticket information and special promotions, www.theex.com
After a two-year break due to the Pandemic, our beloved Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is back! The celebration of the end of Summer is back on for 18 days, ending Labour Day (September 5, 2022) and 1.4 million+ visitors are projected for the run!
We were so thrilled to visit again and can we say it was even more bustling than ever for a Saturday? People have an appetite for fun after having missed The Ex, and also an appetite for fun, inventive foods you just can’t get anywhere else! Even popular local restaurants with actual store fronts use this opportunity to test creative menu items you can’t normally get at their stores.
There is no shortage of amazing food options. As soon as you pass through the iconic Princes’ Gates you are greeted with a long strip of Food Trucks and right now there is the Food Truck Frenzy & Craft Beer Fest (Aug. 25 – 28), with the new Celtic Food Truck Festival (Sept. 1 – 5) next.
Everything we love about The Ex is back. The Midway, the Gondola rides, the Superdogs Show (this year it’s a PAWVENGERS theme), all the vendors! It’s as if we never skipped a beat at all.
New this year, every night above the Food Building after dark, is a show consisting of 100 Drones putting-on a dazzling spectacle.
Get a good idea of it here:
Of course, the big culinary draw this year are Ketchup and Mustard Ice Creams, located on the south side of the BMO Field! The vendor is drawing long queues of curious guests looking to see what the buzz is all about! Check-out our Reel as my BFF Habeyah and I take you through our LET’S GO TO THE EX 2022 Adventure and see our reactions to Ketchup Ice Cream!
THE CNE HAS JUST REVEALED ONE OF THE CREATIVE NEW FOOD CONCOCTIONS THAT WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE FAIR THIS YEAR…
Get Ready for Ketchup and Mustard Ice Cream!
Each year, more than 1.4 million visitors flock to the Canadian National Exhibition to satisfy their taste buds, appetites, and curiosities for the zany new foods that have become synonymous with the CNE experience. And while organizers are tight-lipped around the full line-up of crave-worthy and crazy concoctions this year – the CNE has dropped a breadcrumb…Ketchup-Flavoured and Mustard-Flavoured Ice Cream!
It’s a battle of the condiments – in soft serve form! Local Toronto vendor Harrison Swift has been serving up some of the most memorable treats at the CNE Midway since 2013 (ala Pickle Lemonade). New this year, he has come up with a sweet and savoury twist on ice cream offering a ketchup-flavoured and mustard-flavoured soft serve with appropriately fun accoutrements such as a pretzel or fries. For those who love both ketchup and mustard – try them swirled together! The ice creams will be available at a new booth on the CNE Midway called So Cute Ice Cream.
While full list of new food items will remain Top Secret for another few weeks, CNE fans can start contemplating whether they are Team Ketchup or Team Mustard.
We are so excited about this! After a two-year break, the CNE is back August 19 to September 5, 2022 for 18 fun-filled days of all-new features and returning events expected to attract more than 1.4 million visitors through the iconic Princes’ Gates.
This year, the CNE has raised the bar sky-high (literally) with a dazzling nightly Drone Show, created for The EX featuring 100 drones that will light up the night with precise formations and colourful images. Drones also play a role in the CNE’s new multimedia show, NEVAEH & The NorthStar presented by VinFast, that merges the most cutting-edge theatrical technology, pyrotechnics, and augmented reality, to take audiences on an immersive odyssey through time, land, sea and galaxies.
A quick highlight of some of the new and returning things you can expect this year!
NEW: Nightly Drone Show – Watch the skies above the Food Building come to life in a spectacle of 100 dancing drones! (Nightly, above the Food Building)
Festival season culminates at the CNE with special events including a Mardi Gras Food Truck Festival (Aug. 20 – 23, evenings), Food Truck Frenzy & Craft Beer Fest (Aug. 25 – 28), and new Celtic Food Truck Festival (Sept. 1 – 5) celebrating Celtic heritage, music and food. Fan favourites return with new twists such as a new SuperDogs show “PAWVENGERS,” the 2022 Canadian International Air Show featuring the Canadian Armed Forces Parachute Team & Canadian Forces Snowbirds, and Gaming Garage Powered by AMD is back for all 18 days of the fair in a new expanded location inside Hall B of the Enercare Centre with more tournaments, prizes, and free play games. The Celebrity Kitchen Stage is also back for the first time since 2017, to dish up some inspiring meal ideas from chefs Claudio Aprile (MasterChef Canada), Corbin Tomaszeski (Dinner Party Wars), Bob Blumer (Surreal Gourmet), and Matt Dean Pettit (Rock Lobster Food Co.) to name a few.
There has never been a shortage of photo opportunities at The EX, whether it’s in front of the illuminated CNE Sign, or overlooking the fair on the Sky Ride (celebrating its 10th anniversary) – and NEW this year on the Midway, it will be hard to miss the 34ft tall Double-Decker Merry-Go-Round, a picturesque menagerie of lights and colours offering a new Instagram-worthy POV of the CNE. Whether capturing the views, creating new memories, or enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of the CNE, there are plenty of reasons to say, “Let’s Go (Back) To The EX!”
NEW RIDE: The Double-Decker Merry-Go-Round that is 40ft wide and 34ft tall for a bird’s eye view of the CNE Midway!
2022 HIGHLIGHTS AT A GLANCE
NEW: Nightly Drone Show – Cap off a fun-filled day at the fair with a colourfully dynamic Drone Show featuring 100 drones that will illuminate the night with an array of stunning images. The show is designed by Canadian company and leading drone formation specialists, North Star Entertainment, who have wowed audiences at major events for the NFL, NBA and NASCAR. (Aug. 19 – Sept. 4, at 10:45pm above the Food Building)
NEW: NEVAEH & The NorthStar presented by VinFast – Making its stunning debut at this year’s CNE, “NEVAEH” and her trusty drone “NorthStar” embark on a never-before-seen odyssey through time and space featuring ground-breaking projection mapping, augmented reality, laser, pyrotechnics and indoor drones. Cutting-edge theatrical technology takes audiences on an epic journey in this spectacular new multimedia show. (3 Shows Daily, Coca-Cola Coliseum)
NEW: Celtic Food Truck Festival – To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses, a new festival takes over Princes’ Boulevard for a rousing weekend that celebrates Celtic culture with music, entertainment and food. (Sept. 1 – 5, Princes’ Blvd)
4th Annual Gaming Garage Powered by AMD – Back by popular demand, the CNE’s Gaming Garage Powered by AMD & Innovation Garage are bigger and better than ever! New this year, the gaming extravaganza will run throughout all 18 days of the fair featuring everything from esports and pinball tournaments to Dungeons and Dragons, board games, VR, Video Game Dance Floor, and more. As well, The Emerging Innovators Pitch Competition takes place Aug. 28, convening Canada’s brightest innovators to pitch their inventions and compete for cash prizes; and a Robotics Competition takes place Sept. 2 – 4, where contestants and their creators will spar head-to-head to determine which bot will take the crown. (Daily, 2 & 5 pm Enercare Centre Hall B)
Celebrity Kitchen Stage – Celebrity chefs are back for the first time since 2017! The CNE’s Celebrity Kitchen Stage will feature a roster of renowned chefs, Canadian culinarians, and mixologists such as MasterChef Canada’s Claudio Aprile, Corbin Tomaszeski of Dinner Party Wars, and Food Network star Bob Blumer. Get inspiring meal ideas with Caribbean-inspired flavours from La-Toya Fagon or learn how to properly cook with seafood from Rock Lobster’s Matt Dean Pettit. (Daily, Enercare Centre Hall A)
73rd Annual Canadian International Air Show – Canada’s largest and longest running air show returns with its soaring aerial spectacle! The beloved Canadian Forces Snowbirds are back to dazzle crowds; and new this year, Canada’s only military parachute demonstration team, the Canadian Armed Forces SkyHawks, will electrify audiences with an awe-inspiring show. (Sept. 3 – 5, Waterfront) Food Truck Frenzy & Craft Beer Fest – Everyone’s favourite food truck festival is back! Food Truck Frenzy & Craft Beer Fest will feature more than 20 vendors offering global fare from perogies to Egyptian street food, Caribbean roti to pho dumplings. Wash it all down with a selection of icy cold craft brews. (Aug. 25 – 28, Princes’ Blvd)
SuperDogs – Get ready for a paw-some good time with the SuperDogs! Celebrating their 40th anniversary, these incredible canines will unleash their superpowers in a high-energy, high-flying adventure show, PAWVENGERS. (Daily, Enercare Centre Hall D)
Celebrating CNE Heritage – Step into Doorways to the Past displayed throughout the grounds for an interactive journey of The EX through the eras; travel back in time and walk through the iconic history of the CNE and its storied grounds with the CNE Heritage Immersive Experience (Enercare Centre Heritage Court Gallery); or join the CNE Ghost Walks to learn about the fair’s haunted history and legendary spirits.
CNE Bandshell – Enjoy summer nights outdoors while rocking out with Tom Cochrane or Marianas Trench; jammin’ to the reggae tunes of Jay Douglas; singing along to Gordon Lightfoot’s greatest hits — or discover new music from JUNO-winning artists including Indigenous singer-songwriter iskwē and 2022 Breakthrough Group of the Year MONOWHALES, and more! All concerts and performances are FREE with CNE admission. New this year, the Bandshell is shining the spotlight on some of Canada’s funniest acts, headlined by America’s Got Talent judge and one of the most successful comedians in the world, Howie Mandel, on Aug. 19.
Kids’ World – Families can enjoy the mini-Midway for kids, interactive programs such as the Pizza Nova Pizza-Making Shop, and plenty of entertainment on the Kids World Stage from characters such as Bob the Builder, Dorothy & Wags from The Wiggles, and more! NEW this year in Kids World is a topsy turvy cirque-tacular show, Cirque Wonderland; a Dino Dig – where aspiring paleontologists can dig for prehistoric artefacts; and Chalkmaster Dave who will be creating amazing chalk art in Kids World. Art at the CNE
Turn Off the Plastic Tap – Famed Canadian artist, activist, and photographer Benjamin Von Wong presents #TurnOffThePlasticTap, a massive 25’ x 30’ art installation that comments on the overuse of plastics by using discarded plastic. Best known for his environmental art installations and hyper-realistic art style, Von Wong’s masterpiece hopes to inspire audiences to “turn off the tap” on their plastic use. (Daily, Enercare Centre Hall A)
National Geographic’s The Greatest Wildlife Photos Exhibit – The world’s most striking wildlife images will be on display at the CNE. For 115 years, National Geographic has pioneered and championed the art of wildlife photography, and captivated generations of audiences with a steady stream of extraordinary images of animals in nature. (Daily, Arts, Crafts and Hobbies Pavilion & Enercare Centre, Hall A)
Charles Pachter (aka Johnnie at the Fair) Exhibit: A Romance with Canada – The CNE is honouring the work of esteemed Canadian painter Charles Pachter and his unique connection to the fair. Pachter starred in the National Film Board of Canada’s Johnnie at the Fair, which celebrated a five-year old child’s experience at the 1947 CNE after the fair had been closed from 1942 and 1946 due to the Second World War. Some of his most renowned works and favourite subject matter will be on display including The Queen & Moose series. (Daily, Withrow Common Gallery)
Voitek Pendrak Immersive Projections – Toronto-based photographer and multimedia artist Voitek Pendrak presents an all-new 360° immersive experience titled, A Trip Through 103: Therapy for the Soul, that combines his vibrant kaleidoscope-like imagery and cinematography with an original soundtrack to create a truly mind-bending show. (Daily, 1pm – 7pm, Enercare Centre Salon 103)
The Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Exhibit – The CNE invites fairgoers to learn more about the land in which we gather, that is part of the Treaty 13 Lands and the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat. This important exhibit showcases the history and culture of the Mississaugas of the Credit through art, storytelling, and a variety of interactive experiences. (Daily, Enercare Centre)
General Admission $20: Advance Tickets (purchased before Aug. 18) $25: General Admission (14 to 64 years) $20: Adults 65 & Better $20: Children (ages 5 to 13) FREE: Children 4 & under $75: CNE Family Pass (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children)
*Plus HST and applicable fees
To purchase tickets, ride passes, and for more information on discounts and promotions, go to www.TheEx.com
There’s less than two weeks left till September and what normally would be signalling the start of the CNE in Toronto, is instead a much more low-key affair this year. The CNE at Home Virtual Fair runs August 21 to September 7, 2020. The Portal accessible online gives fans of the Summer favourite a chance to still enjoy the Exhibition’s most popular shows, favourite food recipes, tricks of the trade from buskers, historical retrospectives, new music performances and much more.
Funnyman Howie Mandel is even feeling the loss this year. Did you know one of his first gigs was on the Vegas Chicks ride?
Recipes/How-Tos to be shared include:
Bacon Wrapped Grilled Cheese by Bacon Nation
Bulgogi Taco by Far East Taco
Dim Sum Bao by Oriental Express
Granny Smith Apple Fries by Event Foods
Homemade Japanese Soufflé Pancake by FUWA FUWA Japanese Pancakes
Lobster Roll by Jake’s Seafood
Philthy Philly’s Cheese Steak Sandwich by Philthy Philly’s
Primo 99 cent Spaghetti by Primo Spaghetti 99
Rainbow Grilled Cheese by Mac & Cheesery
Spent Grains S’mores Funnel Cake by Liberty Commons – is this a tutoriavl? I thought it is only available at the restaurant
Some activities to be enjoyed are:
CNE Jam sessions online featuring Toronto bands and artists
Gaming Garage powered by AMD online tournaments with cash prizes and giveaways up for grabs (Aug. 21-23)
Rising Star Youth Competition and online voting
Virtual rides, ghost walks, and retrospective specials including a look back at the history of the CNE Grandstand (Bandshell), Best Of the Aerial Acrobatic & Ice Skating Shows, President’s Choice SuperDogs and much more
Special online events include a commemoration the 99th Annual Warriors’ Day Parade with a look back at its history (Sat. Aug. 22); and a virtual edition of the Canadian International Air Show (Sept. 5-7).
Visit TheEx.Com for more! There’s also a 50/50 with tons of lucrative prizing!