First Festival?

Is this your first time attending a Kadampa Festival? Welcome. Our annual Canadian National Festival is a special event where people come together from all across Canada to enjoy meditations, teachings and connect with spiritual friends. If you’ve never attended a Kadampa festival before, see below for some useful information regarding the event.

Festival FAQs


Is the Festival appropriate for beginners?

Yes! What is so ingenious about Buddha’s teachings is that they can be heard and understood at many levels, and therefore can appeal to a great variety of people regardless of their experience. Whether you know a little about Buddhism or nothing at all, the Festival is designed to touch your heart.


Where does the Festival take place? 

The Canadian National Festival 2020 will be hosted by Kadampa Meditation Centre Canada, the national temple for Kadampa Buddhism in Canada. Located in downtown Toronto, near Little Italy, KMC Canada is a peaceful and relaxed environment where people can discover the benefits of meditation and modern Buddhism for themselves.


How do I get there? 

KMC Canada is easily accessible, although we ask that people do not park on Crawford Street, out of consideration for our neighbours. Please see the Travel Information page to find out more about parking and directions.


How is each day structured? 

The Festival starts with welcome and introduction on Friday evening. The main event, the empowerment blessing ceremony, is on Saturday morning, followed by teachings from Saturday afternoon to Sunday. Monday and Tuesday are dedicated to retreat days where there is a greater emphasis on meditation and taking the teachings more deeply into our hearts and minds. There are a variety of optional activities throughout the day, including browsing our book and gift shop, enjoying a tea or coffee in our seating area or simply taking some time to relax and contemplate. Each evening there are chanted prayers held in the temple.


Where do I stay?

Onsite accommodations are available at KMC Canada and there are also a variety of off-site options. Please see the Accommodation page for more information.


Are meals offered at the Festival?

There is a Sunday lunch meal offered, and can be purchased at the time of registering for the festival.  No other meals are offered at the temple but there will be a variety of snacks and small bites for sale in the Festival cafe. There are also plenty of local eateries, restaurants and cafes in the surrounding area.

Can I bring my kids? 

Absolutely! Children are very welcome at the Canadian Festival. During sessions, a video link will be provided in the seating area downstairs for parents with children. Please visit the Children page for more information about registering your child.


Is it appropriate to come alone? 

Yes, absolutely. We have plenty of people who come on their own and leave having made many new friends.


Can I volunteer if this is my first time? 

Yes! Volunteers are always appreciated. There are a variety of jobs to suit everyone, from cleaning to helping out in the gift store. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact us at  Each centre is assigned a task during the festival; and, therefore you can contact your local centre to offer your help during the festival.

Wish to volunteer before or after the festival? Visit our Volunteer page to signup!

Do you cater to people with special needs? 

There is wheelchair access to the Temple and gift shop. We also offer hard of hearing options in the Meditation Room. Please let us know about any special needs in advance when completing the booking form, or by emailing and we will do our best to help.