To-Do List for Summer 2022: The Movies, Music, Recipes, Drinks, Festivals and Board Games that are making this a season to remember


Illustrations by Simone Noronha

After two years of false starts and ongoing restrictions, the summer of 2022 looks promising. Music festivals are back, theaters have reopened, and many of us are more comfortable inviting friends and family to join us at home or the cabin for board games on the beach and al fresco dining.

But after two years of limited fun in the sun, you might be feeling a little rusty about making the most of Canada’s warmest months. With that in mind, The Globe has compiled a to-do list of music, movies, picnic recipes, board games, cabin gear and road trips that will make summer 2022 the best it’s been!

Check out a music festival and put together your seasonal soundtrack

Temples perform during Osheaga on August 5, 2017.Tim Snow

Dedicated festival-goers – and festival organizers – have had a tough time over the past two years as the pandemic derailed plans for the coast-to-coast music festival. This year, however, sees the return of many of Canada’s most popular and storied music festivals, including the venerable Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia, Ontario, which (with a small hiatus) is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Returning this summer, Montreal’s Osheaga Music Festival and Winnipeg Folk Festival make our list of top 10 music events for summer 2022, alongside tours by The Weeknd and Avril Lavigne.

Every summer needs a score, and to that end we’ve put together a guide to this season’s biggest releases (think: Lizzo, whose About this time is a strong contender for the Summer Song title, plus Metric and The Sadies). Round out your seasonal playlist with picks from renegade Junos winner Charlotte Cardin, rising Tesher, and some key titles from history Rolling Stones Live at El Mocamboand you have the perfect summer soundtrack.

Book your summer theater tickets

Luke Kimball, the actor who plays Albus Severus Potter, and Trevor White as Harry Potter backstage before the premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in Toronto.CARLOS OSORIO/The Globe and the Mail

Both the Shaw and Stratford festivals are celebrating major anniversaries this year: The Stratford Festival, which hosted its first season in Stratford in 1953, will celebrate its 70th season in 2022, while the Shaw Festival, held in Niagara-on-the- Lake got its start in 1962 celebrating its 60th season. The math doesn’t quite add up as Shaw counts the canceled 2020 theater season but Stratford doesn’t. In any case, both festivals are putting together line-ups worthy of celebration for 2022.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s summer stage season begins with the much-anticipated Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the Potterverse musical set to premiere in 2020. In preparation for the show, which opened May 31 and runs through December, our theater critic Kelly Nestruck read all of JK Rowling’s original books and found an unexpected kinship with the titular Magicians. Also, on opening day, The Globe followed actor Luke Kimball, who plays Albus Potter in the play, for some behind-the-scenes Potterverse action; Check out our photo report here.

And on the west coast, Marsha Lederman has three recommendations for must-see theaters in western Canada, including the touring production of the Broadway hit Hamilton.

Cool off with some must-see TV shows…

For every perfect, sunny summer day, there inevitably comes a rainy day — or one so hot you’d rather curl up inside. Luckily, as John Doyle reports, Summer’s Streaming TV Listing offers easy, breezy viewing, like the premiere of Mrs Miraclea new season of Umbrella Academy and the Game of Thrones spinoff house of dragons, among other small screen escapes.

…or a cinema blockbuster

Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment via AP

Big, bombastic summer blockbusters come when the temperatures are warm. This year’s summer cinema season started with Top Gun: Maverickand will continue with a series of franchise sequels and prequels, including a new Jurassic World film, plus Thor: Love and Thunder and Minions: The Rise of Gru. There’s also non-franchise stuff, such as The gray manwith Ryan Gosling, and the immediately controversial David Cronenberg film crimes of the future. Check out Barry Hertz’s full list of the best movie bets of summer 2022, and if nothing appeals to you, check out this slightly shorter list of under-the-radar movies coming out in the next few months.

Open a book

Summer is, of course, made for light, breezy beach reads, but if you’re craving a truly chilling dystopia, gripping memoir, or deep dive into the Montreal Mafia, there’s a new book release for you this season. Emily Donaldson rounds up 38 of the best readings of the summer here.

Put together a picnic fit for a celebrity chef…

Eating out in summer means one thing: plenty of seasonal produce and al fresco dining. For inspiration on al fresco dining, Gayle MacDonald spoke to three of Canada’s top chefs – Vikram Vij, Susanne Barr and Ryan Oabel – to find out what they’re packing in their picnic baskets this year. From buttered chicken cutlets to cauliflower steak, her recipes add some unexpected, delicious twists to your al fresco feast.

…paired with a to-go sipper

During the pandemic, the popularity of single-serve seltzer and cocktails skyrocketed as they are perfect for outdoor social gatherings. If you’re not sure where to start with canned mixed drinks, or you’re looking for something new to try, Christopher Waters offers eight picnic-ready picks. Or, if you’re looking for something more classic, consider the Aperol Spritz, which can be easily customized to suit your tastes.

For wine lovers, there are many wines that taste great over ice. And with summer temperatures already sweltering in many parts of the country, there’s no better time than now to enjoy a chilled glass (or two). Waters offers some tips on how to enjoy Wine on the rocks.

Non-drinkers, or those simply looking to cut back on their alcohol consumption this summer, will know that sparkling water has never been more popular. From the Mapley Sapsucker to the cannabis-infused Eau Well, there’s plenty to choose from if you’re giving up alcohol.

Try Stanley Tucci’s pasta

Since the start of the pandemic, Tucci has also shared his love of cooking and cocktails on Instagram, either mixing up the perfect Negroni for his wife or demonstrating how to make spaghetti con zucchine alla nerano. Christopher DiRaddio asked Tucci for some of his summer hosting tips, including how to pair food with cocktails and what book he’ll be bringing to the beach.

get going

Nicholas Stepchuk/Bartlett Lodge

If you’re looking to travel this summer but are wary of airport delays and travel restrictions, why not stay close to home? For food-motivated travelers, Gayle MacDonald has compiled a list of restaurants suitable for a road trip across the country, while those looking to explore some of Canada’s lesser-known destinations can glean some tips from this year’s Hidden Canada travel guide, the Highlights includes under-the-radar destinations from coast to coast.

Try a new board game

When you find yourself at the cabin or campground with no wifi, no data, and on a rainy afternoon, few activities can beat a board game. And if you’re tired of Monopoly or Scrabble, there are plenty of new classics to turn a rainy day into one to remember – just ask Vancouver’s Jay Cormier and London, Ontario’s Sen-Foong Li, board game designers who have offered their picks for the best games of the summer.

Gear up

With the right gear, a good summer vacation can turn into a great one. From a portable grill to stylish vegan slides and an impressively powerful Bluetooth speaker, Odessa Paloma Parker rounds up everything you need for the perfect escape from the city.

And finally, don’t forget the sunscreen

Protecting your skin from the sun is especially important in the summer, when the sun’s powerful UV rays combined with spending time outdoors put you at an increased risk of skin damage. For those wary of skincare products loaded with hard-to-pronounce synthetics, there are more all-natural, “clean” sunscreens on the market now than ever before. Not sure where to start? Truc Nguyen is here to help with her guide to eco-friendly sunscreen.

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