Here's what to expect at the CNE's virtual events this year

Aug 19 2021, 7:53 pm

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is virtual this summer due to COVID-19 restrictions, and its series of online events kick off Friday.

This year’s lineup includes cooking classes, musical performances, a broadcast of SuperDogs, and a virtual beer tasting.

Some events are free, and some are paid — and a subscription to this year’s virtual event comes with a one-day complimentary ticket to the 2022 CNE.

“In light of the City of Toronto’s decision to cancel all permitted large festivals through to September, organizers have been vocal about the financial impact of closing its gates for the second year in a row that has put the fair in a deficit of millions,” the CNE’s organizers said in a Thursday news release.

The CNE’s executive director Darrell Brown said he’s grateful for expressions of support from guests, and hopes the virtual experiences will bring people joy until they can return to the CNE in 2022.

“We can’t wait to welcome the public back in person next year,” he said.

Here’s a look at some of the things CNE subscribers can tune into virtually this year:

Chef-guided cooking lessons

Celebrity chef Michael Smith will teach attendees to make a potato bacon cheddar tart and his famous flaming peaches. Other chef tutors include Massimo Capra, Matt Basile, and Little Kitchen Academy.

Big Rock Beer Tasting Experience

Purchasing a CNE subscription comes with a 10% discount at Big Rock Brewery, and guests can register for a live beer tasting on August 31 or September 9 to thoroughly get to know the flavour notes they’re sipping.

Virtual escape room

Players need to work together to get out of detention in a creepy virtual classroom.

Kemetic Yoga presented by Black Speculative Arts Movement Canada

This type of yoga originated in Egypt and fosters mind-body connection through movement.

Mural competition

Six emerging artists will share their artistic vision, and the final two will paint a large mural for the 2022 CNE.

Little Rebels Music and Development

These are 45-minute music classes that incorporate movement for children age two months to four years. Subscribers get three classes for free and a discount on a yearly subscription.

Virtual concert with iskwē

This JUNO Award-winning Cree and Metis artist will give a memorable performance for CNE subscribers.

Peppa Pig live

The famous pig will host storytimes where kids have opportunities to win prizes.

Virtual concert with Carol Pope

This British-born Canadian rocker has won three JUNOs, a Genie, and has both gold and double platinum certified albums.

Kids e-World

These events include magic shows and a virtual tour of the Royal Ontario Museum’s new whale exhibit.


In addition to this year’s event, CNE fans can access training videos for their own pets.

100th Anniversary of the Warriors’ Day Parade

This August 21 event is a virtual tribute to veterans.

Sand Sculpting Tutorials & Competition

Artist Karen French will show audiences how to create larger-than-life art pieces. Participants can use sand found at the beach or follow step-by-step instructions to create their own sand at home.


Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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