This is by no means an exhaustive list but here are the festivals I am aware of and pertinent contact information. I have listed them by date. If I missed a festival feel free to shoot me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will add it.
A couple of interesting tidbits, apparently the Clearwater festival is cancelled this year, I am not sure why. I do not have the Brierly's Whitewater Classic on here either because I cannot recall if it is running this year or not. I also could not find any info online about it. There is usually an informal paddle festival on the Fraser river over the labor day long weekend as well but this has been pretty casual so I did not include it on the list. Finally, there is also usually a gathering of folks out at the Thompson river on Thanksgiving but this is also rather informal so it is not on the list either. Read more for details on dates and locations.
|Three Rivers Rendezvous||May 18-21||Pincher Creek, AB||Popular early season river festival with good paddling options for beginner to advanced paddlers. They also often run clinics and lessons which you need to preregister for. https://zone4.ca/register.asp?id=3059 to register and for more info.|
|Puntledge Fest||May 25-27||Courtenay, BC||Popular festival on Vancouver Island. Good things from what I hear. http://surfkayak.org/?page_id=4 for more detailed info.|
|Grand Cache Wild Rivers Rendezvous||June 8-10||Grand Cache, AB||I have never attended this one but the paddling near Grand Cache is supposed to be phenomenal. Well worth the trip from my sources. http://grandecache.ca/community-living/programs-events/wild-river-rendezvous|
|Shuswap River Festival||June 9-10||Enderby, BC||Don't know much about this one but it looks like a good time! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shuswap-River-Festival/114702075232449|
|Kootenay Whitewater Festival||June 25-26||Creston Valley, BC||I do not know the details of this festival but if you give Endless Adventure a call then I am sure they can sort out the details for you. http://www.endlessadventure.ca/events.html|
|Alberta Paddle Fest||July 20-22||Sundre, AB||Festival focused on paddling the Red Deer River which offers good beginner and intermediate level paddling. They also tend to host a number of clinics here. I am fairly certain these are the dates for 2012 but they have not been officially announced. Check here for more info: http://paddlefest.wordpress.com/|
|Slave River Paddle Fest||August 3-6||Fort Smith, NWT||I am little bit biased because I attended this festival for a couple of years. Amazing river, if you can make the time you should check it out. I believe that Aquabatics is running a shuttle up there this year from the Calgary area. More info here: http://fskayak.webs.com/paddlefest2012.htm|
|Kan Fest||August 10-12||Kananaskis, AB||Very popular late season festival. Usually a few hundred people in attendance as the creeks have all run dry by this point. Lots of events and clinics. http://www.facebook.com/kanfest|