Published May 01, 2005As this year's Guide will prove, Canada is just getting better at finding new, exciting and different festivals to host in cities and towns all over the country. And the established ones seem to be pulling out all of the stops as well, striving to make each year better than the last. It's a cliché to say, "This year is going to be the best year yet," but really, from looking at the diverse artists performing and many cultures represented, has it actually been better than this? Leading the way this year with a selection of both new and recurring displays of diversity is Harbourfront in Toronto. As usual they bring a mixed bag of music and culture; this year premiering T.O. Twang, one of Canada's only true alt-country music festival and for a second year, Beats, Breaks & Culture, which will showcase electronic music's cutting edge, along with Montreal's two established and groundbreaking fests, Elektra and Mutek. While it may not be in the right province, Alberta Scene is a grand idea, bringing artists of all kinds to the nation's capital to showcase one of Canada's most artistically fertile locales. And even metal heads will get their fill as a travelling tour of the hottest metal and hardcore acts begins this year when Sounds of the Underground hits some of our major cities. For every new one popping up, there are plenty of established outdoor celebrations to match. How about Miramichi, New Brunswick? This small town of 18,500 holds three distinct festivals each year in what is a fine example of perpetual stamina. However, as good as we have it, it's not all roses for every festival we've come to love. For the first time in seven years, cyber hippie celebration Om will not be taking place this June, as well as Watershed, which has suffered severely from financial complications. Winnipeg's ever-popular hip-hop summit Peg City Holla is another uncertainty in 2005, but organisers are trying their hardest to make it happen and are even more positive that it will be back in 2006. But let's not dwell on the negatives. Simply put, 2005 is going to be the best year yet and don't let the cliché police make you think otherwise. British Columbia Slam City Jam | Victoria Skafest | Shambhala | New Music West | Vancouver Folk Festival | and more! Prairies Winnipeg Folk Festival | Sasktel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival | Calgary Folk Festival | Sounds of the Underground | and more! Ontario Style in Progress | Alberta Scene | Beats, Breaks & Culture | Edgefest | North By Northeast | Wakestock | and more! Quebec Elektra | Suoni Per il Popolo | Mutek | International Festival Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville | Pop Montreal | and more! Maritimes/Territories Rock 'n' Roll Festival | Canada's Irish Festival | Folksong Festival | Folk on the Rocks | Dawson City Music Festival | and more!