It’s showtime, folks!

The Cold Lake Air Show is ready to put on a thrilling spectacle July 20 and 21 at 4 Wing Cold Lake. 

The grounds will be packed with opportunities to see amazing aircraft up close and meet with their crews, fun learning activities for the whole family, and lots more.

But the big show will take place in the skies over 4 Wing.

The show has been two years in the making.

“We’re not planning anymore. Now we’re in the execution phase,” said air show lead planner Major Renaud Thys. 

Thys said this year’s show will be even bigger and better than past events, as Cold Lake Air Show celebrates the Royal Canadian Air Force’s centennial.

“We have a lot of static displays, more than previous years. You are going to be able to see a lot of aircraft that you can’t see anywhere else,” he said. 

“We took lessons from previous years, there’s going to be everything—things for kids, a whole area dedicated to science, technology and mathematics. There is a big area that’s to learning as well and all kinds of experiential things that we didn’t have in previous years where people can go hands on  and try their hand at different things that are related to the military or aviation.”

While the flying program will be exciting from start to finish, two acts stand out: the famous Italian Frecce Tricolori jet demonstration team; and the F-35, which has been chosen to replace the CF-18 Hornet as Canada’s new fighter fleet.

Thys, who has toured the European air show circuit with the Belgian air force, says Frecce Tricolori will be a showstopper.

“I saw them flying multiple times, and people are going to be wild. It’s probably the most impressive thing they’ll see, definitely that weekend, and probably in their lives,” he said. “They’ve really tried to prioritize military air shows because one of the reasons they’re here is that some of the 75th anniversary of NATO and they really want to emphasize that.”

“We’re the only air show in Western Canada that they’re stopping at, so we’re expecting a big turnout for them.”  

Thys said the air show organization has been working with the F-35 demonstration team for years trying to bring them to Cold Lake. Now that the aircraft has been named as Canada’s new fighter, he says their appearance here will give locals a glimpse into 4 Wing’s near future. 

“It’s a great, great opportunity for people here to start seeing and hearing the new jet. I know a lot of people are really curious, and their show  is really impressive. So that’s going to be a really good showcase,” Thys said.

Among the other performers will be one of only two Lancaster bombers still flying. The “Lanc” will perform in flight and will be available for up-close visits on the ground. It will also perform in a Heritage Flight with active CF-18 Hornets and a Second World War vintage P-40, flown by an RCAF veteran.

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team, and the Skyhawks parachute team will be among the other Canadian military performers. Several United States aircraft will be on display, including a static display of the F-22 Raptor that wowed the crowds in the last two Cold Lake Air Shows.

For a complete listing of military and civilian performers, and an overview of the show, visit

Thys said the airshow is a great time, and as such it attracts plenty of people. A little patience and preparation will make the experience even more enjoyable for spectators.

“It’s going to be a great show,” he said. “It’s going to be very crowded, it’s going to be very hot, so I want to advise everyone to be patient when you’re in traffic. Everyone is doing their best to get you there. And don’t forget to bring sunscreen and hearing protection.”

The Italian Air Force’s Frecce Tricolori demonstration team will be a highlight. KONFLIKTY.PL