What's New at the CNE in 2017

Move over TORONTO sign, there’s a new selfie-destination waiting at this year’s Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). In addition to the popular Instagram-worthy photos in front of the Princes’ Gates, the Ferris Wheel at night and aerial views from the Sky Ride, comes a new soon-to-be selfie hotspot. An 8-ft tall CNE sign with a Canadian maple leaf (to commemorate Canada’s 150th) will be illuminated on the west end of the Exhibition grounds near the Princess Margaret Fountain - just one of the many new features and attractions with a True North theme for the 2017 season of The Ex.

Highlights include a specially commissioned Unity Pole designed by Ojibway artist Kris Nahrgang to celebrate Canada’s indigenous heritage, a new panoramic origami exhibit of the Canadian landscape and landmarks, a Canadian-themed Aerial Acrobatics and Ice-Skating show starring Elvis Stojko, the President’s Choice SuperDogs CanaDogs Show and a spectacular CNE Aquarama waterfront show.

Other CNE features include a new and nightly Laser Illusion Experience that will wow audiences of all ages with a combination of cutting edge technology, illusions and electronic music; a “kick up your heels” East Coast Kitchen Party with plenty of live entertainment and traditions including kissing the cod; revisit the “magic of the mustang” during the Mustang Roundup, lining Princes’ Boulevard with a bevy of vintage Ford Mustangs; the CNE Innovation Garage presented by Furturpreneur which is back to showcase the latest in consumer technology; more new ideas will be pitched at the Emerging Innovators Pitch Competition; and an all-new CNE Gaming Garage featuring eSports tournaments, pinball and tabletop competitions and tons of prizes!


NEW - CNE Commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada: Immerse in Canada’s heritage, traditions and beautiful landscapes with a variety of programming and exhibitions including the largest collaborative work of textile art, the Quilt of Belonging, featuring 263 quilted squares representing 71 indigenous groups and 192 nationalities found in Canada, a Celebrate Canada photography and art exhibit and a panoramic origami display of Canadian landmarks complemented by a virtual reality storytelling experience.

NEW - Unity Pole: To celebrate Canada’s indigenous heritage, the CNE has commissioned Ojibway artist Kris Nahrgang to create a colourful Unity Pole that incorporates indigenous universal symbols carved into a 25-ft tall cedar tree.

NEW - Gaming Garage: It’s “game on” at the CNE’s new interactive play space for gaming enthusiasts. For three days only, August 25-27, visitors of all ages can experience interactive virtual reality and gaming demonstrations, eSports games and pinball competitions alongside players of every skill level to win cash prizes! Join in the Chess Grandmaster Challenge, where the audience goes head-to-head against one of chess’ greatest masterminds.

NEW - MZ Laser - Laser Illusion Experience: This electrifying spectacle combines cutting-edge technology and advanced magical feats to create a stunning visual experience. MysterAct is the master of the interactive illusions, putting on a sensational laser show set to upbeat music nightly on Princes’ Blvd. at 8:30 pm, 9:30 pm and 10:30 pm.

NEW - East Coast Kitchen Party: Grab your lobster bib and get ready for the CNE’s first-ever East Coast Kitchen Party, August 19 & 20! Indulge in maritime cuisine, watch world-class oyster shuckers compete, enjoy live music, fiddlers and participate in a Newfoundland tradition of ‘kiss a cod and get screeched in.’ Cheer on the Battle of the Bartenders during The Great Canadian Caesar Competition as eight of the city’s best cocktail creators duke it out vying to win the esteemed prize for the Best Caesar! Visitors who want to elevate their East Coast feast can purchase a VIP experience ($125, plus HST) to enjoy a one-night limited-seating lobster dinner on Saturday August 19 catered by Prince Edward County’s Sand and Pearl restaurant. Tickets available at www.theex.com.

NEW - Trampo Wall: A thrilling acrobatic experience debuts to showcase performers walking on vertical walls, entering into windows and bouncing off roofs. This unique, adrenaline-spiking trampoline show is located south of the Enercare Centre outside Hall C on Princes’ Boulevard.

RUSH: Parkour Competitive Demonstrations: Adrenaline flows on the west end of the grounds with parkour, where athletes free-jump from one obstacle to another during a sensational gravity-defying show outside the Food Building.

Bandshell Concert Series:  The CNE Bandshell stage is ready to rock this summer! These Eyes will be on Burton Cummings on Opening Day to kick off an all-star line-up of musical acts that will follow nightly on the CNE Bandshell. Cool down at sunset and enjoy an exciting line-up of FREE concerts showcasing Canada’s rich array of musical talent including Sam Roberts Band, Kiefer Sutherland, the ‘Queen of Reggae’ Marcia Griffiths with Jay Douglas, John Kay & Steppenwolf, Pavlo, The Sheepdogs, Shawn Hook, Dear Rouge, Brett Kissel, USS and A Tribe Called Red. All FREE with admission!

CNE Innovation Garage: Following its spectacular 2016 debut, the CNE Innovation Garage is back and even better, showcasing the latest innovations in technology, consumer products and services. The Emerging Innovators Pitch Competition has added three exciting NEW categories: Women Entrepreneurs, Fintech and Cleantech. Also new this year, young innovators from K-Days in Edmonton, Alberta will be participating in the pitch competition with the top two winners from Edmonton and top two winners in Ontario going head-to-head for the Grand Prize of $25,000 at the 2017 CNE!

NEW – Mustang Roundup: For three days only, September 1 to 3, the CNE is inviting visitors to experience the “magic of the mustang” – one of the most popular cars of all time - with a retro rally of 25 to 35 vintage Mustangs on display along Princes’ Boulevard, mere steps away from the Automotive Building (now the Beanfield Centre) which hosted countless car shows beginning in 1929.

Oh Canada! Aerial Acrobatics & Ice Skating Show: Canadian figure skater, three-time World champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist, Elvis Stojko headlines an all-new production of the Aerial Acrobatics & Ice Skating Show to celebrate Canada 150! The ice-skating show runs twice daily at 2 pm and 5 pm and is the perfect way to cool off after a fun-filled day at The Ex!

CNE Aquarama: Back by popular demand, the CNE’s sensational in-water show returns to make an even bigger splash this summer with the CNE Aquarama show, a Canadian-themed show chockfull of waterskiing tricks, fly boarding, ballet skiing and human pyramids.

Celebrity Chef Stage: Calling all foodies and fans, your favourite Canadian and internationally renowned celebrity chefs are cooking up something special for the CNE! Global flavours will be showcased from culinary stars including Jamie Kennedy, Michael Smith, Francisco Alejandri, Vikram Vij, Rob Rainford, Nick Liu and David Wolfman, an internationally recognized expert in wild game and traditional cuisine of the indigenous peoples of North America.

Inter-NATIONAL Stage: Take a trip around the world as global acts head to the CNE’s Inter-NATIONAL Stage for a range of spectacular performances. Exciting performers on the stage this year include Asham Stompers, Sagkeeng’s Finest & Inuksuk Drum Dancers from Manitoba and Nunavut, DDC Breakdance from Germany, Kalabanté from Africa and Quebec, and many more!

President’s Choice SuperDogs CanaDogs Show: The popular SuperDogs are joining in to celebrate Canada 150 with its all-Canadian production, CanaDogs! In this colourful new show, CanaDogs showcases adorable canine versions of the Dragons’ Den: “Dog House,” Heritage Minutes and a race in honour of some of our favourite Canadian NHL teams!

68th Annual Canadian International Air Show: The unofficial grand finale of the CNE, the Canadian International Air Show will be taking flight over Labour Day weekend, September 2 – 4. Audiences will be thrilled by the impressive high-speed, formation aerobatic performances by The Canadian Harvards Aerobatic Team & the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

DATES: August 18 to September 4, 2017

Exhibition Place, Toronto, ON
Via Princes’ Gate (Lake Shore Blvd. and Strachan Ave.)
or Dufferin Gate (foot of Dufferin St.) or GO/TTC Exhibition Gate

For more information about the 2017 CNE, tickets, programming, directions and hours, visit: www.theex.com.

Photo credit: Greg Paupst
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