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Alberta

Wander The Edmonton Valley Zoo!

Congratulations to the new The Wander Trail System at Edmonton Valley Zoo — our pick for the WHERE Edmonton Magazine 2014 Best New Attraction!

Since 2010 Edmonton Valley Zoo has undergone expansive renovations to complete three new phases of the zoo. The Wander is a new themed walkway that connects the new entry plaza to the rest of the zoo, andre-enacts the story of the North Saskatchewan River with features that mimic its origin as glacial water in the Rocky Mountains, to its presence in Edmonton. “We’re so connected to the river in Edmonton and with The Wander we want everyone to understand a little more about it” Denise Prefontaine, Director of the Zoo, says.

The Entry Plaza, where you’ll find a Wild Earth Cafe and the Zoo-tique Gift Shop, represents the urban city of Edmonton. Sharp eyes will notice that the floor of the plaza is formed by non-uniform concrete squares of various sizes — it’s because they depict the dominion grid of how Edmonton was settled. Non-artificial rocks, a mosaic path, and water features make up the rest of the walkway, which ends at a structure resembling an ice cave in the Columbia Icefields. With coloured stained glass-like windows and a reflective surface that keeps things cool, the structure is a serene spot to take a break on a hot day.photo

Between the two points, the “river” takes guests by a beaver dam play structure that children can climb on, a beach area with sand and a wading pool, a trout pond and wetland marsh, rock steps and benches, shallow streams of water that are meant to be walked and splashed in, and smaller rocks that children can move and stack within the water. Despite its intricate setup, there are flat pathways around the features so that The Wander is completely accessible for those with mobility issues.

Of course, an attraction at the zoo wouldn’t be complete without some animals, and all of the enclosures that surround The Wander contain animals from mountainous regions to fit with the theming: “[w]ith the re-designs in the zoo, we wanted to educate people about the habitats and land that animals live on as much as the animals themselves” Tammy Wiebe, Executive Director of the Valley Zoo Development Society says.

Though The Wander serves to make the animal enclosures at the zoo more easily accessible, all of its features make it an attraction itself. It’s fun, it’s functional, and it’s also beautiful. The spot at the very top of the attraction provides a stunning view of the deep green trees in the river valley, and it’s the perfect place to snap a few group photos and commemorate the outing to the newest phase of the fantastic Edmonton Valley Zoo! —by Breanna Mroczek 

Fringed and Confused: The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival

Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival

Photo By Pedro Escobar

The 33rd Annual Fringe Theatre Fest will be the grooviest one yet, with the official theme “Fringed and Confused” being a throwback to the grassroots spirit of the festival that encourages guests to experience something new and different. At its core, the fest is a showcase of theatre; troupes from around the world participate, and hundreds of shows are performed. The performances take over theatre venues and spaces in Old Strathcona, and the whole area is bustling with food trucks, children’s activities, street performers, beer gardens, live music, and laid back attitudes. There are comedies, musicals, dramas, original material, classics of the stage, and everything in between — it’s a live entertainment destination with something for everyone. “You come and experience the Festival and it leaves you feeling not quite sure about what just happened” the festival’s Executive Director, Jill Roszel, says. “But you had fun… and you can’t stop talking about it.”

Fringe Tips

  • Guests are invited to get groovy and dress up in disco or 70s inspired fashions, so pull on some bell bottoms and platform boots, don a flower headband, or wear some fringe to the Fringe. While festival spirit is encouraged, there’s no dress code required for any of the shows — your usual summer or fest attire will do!
  • Most shows require tickets ($5-$20), and 100% of the ticket revenue goes to the artists. Don’t have the dough for a show? Just head to the festival site and soak in the atmosphere, plus buskers perform theatre, dance, music, poetry, and comedy around the festival site. Their shows are always free to watch — but if you enjoy the show, tossing a few coins their way is a welcome gesture!
  • Prove you’re the coolest cat at the festival with a Fringe Fan Club membership! A new addition to the festival this year, membership allows festival-goers to celebrate their love for the Fringe with benefits like contests, a members-only block party, a program guide, and a signature t-shirt. Fans can sign up for a basic membership for free, or receive more exclusive perks with a $25 or $50 membership.

The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival runs August 14-24 at various venues in Old Strathcona. Call 780-409-1910 or visit fringetheatre.ca for more information.

—By Breanna Mroczek

Where to Golf in Calgary: Top 10 Local Public Courses

Blue Devil Golf Club is Calgary's newest course. (Photo: courtesy Blue Devil Golf Club)

Blue Devil Golf Club is Calgary’s newest course. (Photo: courtesy Blue Devil Golf Club)

Fooooore! Whether you’re looking to sharpen your game or just get in a few relaxing swings, Calgary has everything a golfer could desire—challenging courses, well-maintained greens and stunningly beautiful views. Here are Where Calgary publisher Brian French’s picks for the best public golf courses in the city and surrounding area.

1. Heritage Pointe Golf Course
Located 20 minutes south of the downtown area in Pine Creek Valley, this 27-hole facility is surrounded by scenic forested area, cliffs and beautiful flowing water. Heritage Pointe is among the best-maintained courses in the city and features the quickest greens. Green fees $55 to $118.
• 1 Heritage Pointe Dr, DeWinton, 403-256-2002, www.heritagepointe.com
Map and reviews

2. Silvertip Golf Course
Silvertip is perched on the benchlands of Mount Lady MacDonald in Canmore, 50 minutes west of Calgary. It’s a little further away from the city, but most definitely worth the drive. It seems like each of the 18 holes on this championship layout are signature holes, many with breathtaking elevations. Green fees $95 to $165.
• 2000 Silvertip Tr, Canmore, 1-877-877-5444, www.silvertipresort.com

3. Blue Devil Golf Club
Calgary’s newest golf venue, Blue Devil offers an 18-hole championship course and an executive nine-hole track aptly called “Lil Devil.” The big course features wide undulating fairways that present ample deception. The surrounding fescue, numerous sand bunkers and subtly breaking greens provide a great challenge for players of any skill level. Green fees $34 to $89. Lil Devil 9-Hole: $20 to $23.
• 2300 – 194 Ave SE, Calgary, 403-452-7892, www.bluedevilgolf.com

The Links of GlenEagles overlooks the scenic Bow Valley. (Photo: courtesy The Links of GlenEagles)

The Links of GlenEagles overlooks the scenic Bow River Valley. (Photo: courtesy The Links of GlenEagles)

4. The Links of GlenEagles
Northwest of Calgary in the town of Cochrane, this 18-hole course overlooks the stunning Bow River Valley. The course has multiple signature holes with dramatic elevation changes and several holes are wound tightly through a residential development, placing a premium on accuracy from the tee. Green fees $29 to $109.
• 100 GlenEagles Dr, Cochrane, 403-932-1100, www.gleneaglesgolf.com
Map and reviews

5. Hamptons Golf Club
Once one of Calgary’s most exclusive private golf clubs, The Hamptons is now open to public play. Situated in Calgary’s northwest region, it offers a tremendous challenge with tight fairways framed with foliage and well bunkered, rolling greens. Green fees $50 to $120.
• 69 Hamptons Dr NW, Calgary, 403-239-1455, www.hamptonsgolfclub.com

6. D’Arcy Ranch Golf Club
Located in the town of Okotoks, 30 minutes from Calgary, this 18-hole course is situated on the site of a former racetrack and horse ranch and is surrounded by prairie farm fields and tree-covered escarpments. The 503-metre (550-yard), par five #7 may be the best (and most challenging) golf hole in the Calgary area. Green fees $25 to $75.
• Highway 2A and Milligan Dr, Okotoks, 403-938-4455, darcyranchgolf.com
Map and reviews

7. Redwood Meadows Golf and Country Club
Overlooking the Elbow River, this 18-hole course is located west of Calgary in a scenic forested area near the town of Bragg Creek. Redwood Meadows is a long course with many narrow fairways. From the back tees, it plays over 6,580 metres (7,200 yards) and is not for the faint of heart. Green fees $70 to $95.
• 100, 1 Tsuu T’ina Dr, Redwood Meadows, 403-949-3663, redwoodmeadowscom.webstarts.com
Map and reviews

8. River Spirit Golf Club
With an excellent view of the Elbow River Valley in the city’s southwest, this 27-hole course is scattered among prairie fields, grassy marshlands, a river valley and magnificent trees. Green fees $39.50 to $88.
• 241155 Range Rd 34, Calgary, 403-247-4837, www.riverspiritgolf.com

9. Speargrass Golf Course
Speargrass is a golf course with multiple personalities. Lulling players into a false sense of security with an approachable design through the first 15 holes, the course takes a significant turn with its final three holes, winding down through and back up out of a river valley that requires heart-stopping gamble shots. Green fees $42 to $89.
• 82 Speargrass Blvd, Carseland, 403-901-1134, www.speargrass.ca
Map and reviews

10. McKenzie Meadows Golf Club
This 18-hole course in the city’s deep southeast is positioned right next to the Bow River. McKenzie Meadows has recently been renovated as a result of the significant flood damage in 2013 and offers some of Calgary’s lushest fairways and truest greens. Green fees $34 to $71.
• 17215 McKenzie Meadows Dr, Calgary, 403-257-2255, mckenziemeadows.com

LOOKING FOR RECREATION IN CALGARY? CHECK OUT:
Reelin’ In the Fun: Fly-Fishing on the Bow River
Cycle the City: Explore Calgary by Bike
Freewheeling Fun: Roller Derby in Calgary

Calgary Can’t-Miss Events in August

By KARRY TAYLOR

GlobalFest is an international fireworks competition, featuring entrants from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and France (Photo: courtesy Travel Alberta)

GlobalFest is an international fireworks competition with entrants from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and France (Photo: courtesy Travel Alberta)

It’s the height of summer in Calgary and fun is in full swing. August is bursting with sports, performances and festivals. Check out our roster of can’t-miss dates for this month.

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6 Local Celebrations of Global Culture

By KARRY TAYLOR

Dancers spin and twirl at Calgary's Expo Latino. (Photo: Ken Mann)

Calgary’s Expo Latino is the largest Latin festival in Western Canada (Photo: Ken Mann)

Calgary is proud of its diverse cultural heritage, and August is packed with festivals celebrating the music, food and culture of the city’s international communities.

Afrikadey!
Aug 6 – 9
American Grammy Award-winning hip-hop group Arrested Development headlines the festival’s closing-night concert. The four-day celebration of African music and cultural identity also features lightning-fingered Congolese guitarist Diblo Dibala and Zimbabwe’s Mokoomba, an energetic, afro-fusion band.

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The Good Old Days: Historic Calgary Week

By RACHAEL FREY

Carved sandstone detail on the old Calgary courthouse building. (Photo: Rachael Frey)

Carved sandstone detail on the old Calgary courthouse building. (Photo: Rachael Frey)

Calgary has a reputation for being a brash, new city that always looks to the future. But the history of how the city came to be is a fascinating tale, rife with the echoes of pioneers, scoundrels, mavericks, activists, dreamers and—if you go back far enough—even dinosaurs.

To celebrate Historic Calgary Week, July 25 to August 4, the Chinook Country Historical Society has organized an absolutely jam-packed schedule of more than 60 talks, tours, concerts and family events. They are all open to the public and most events are free of charge (though donations are appreciated).

A highlight from each day is listed below, but these are only a drop in the bucket—there are three to nine events scheduled every day. Check out the Historic Calgary Week brochure (PDF link) for a complete list of events with descriptions.

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The Dream World of Odysseo: A Review and Tips for a Great Viewing Experience

Odysseo2

There’s a buzz of excitement from grown men in cowboy hats and giddy laughter running through the stands from little girls sitting with their parents. The audience clearly can’t wait for the curtains to part and the stage to light up. The moment suddenly arrives. The screen transforms from a wall of black into a scene of a forest. A heavy silence falls on the audience and out of the darkness a vision appears: a woman in an ethereal gown of rose pink walks up from a mossy green hill, her angelic voice singing in Italian. Then, a pack of snow white horses comes charging in across the stage, as if out of a dream. Petite women with the train of their cloaks flapping behind them stand on the backs of two horses. They strut side by side, making their way from one end of the stage to the other, disappearing through the stage left doors with their riders — but this is only the beginning of the show and there are many more surprises to come.

Cavalia’s Odysseo is a show that heightens the senses and leaves you with a strange sense that you’ve entered into another world –– like something out of a magical page of a Narnia book, or The Shire from The Lord of the Rings, or even a Game of Thrones realm. It’s a show for both children and adults to escape the realities of the real world and to remember that as humans we are made of dreams. This break from everyday living is being offered in Edmonton from July 13 – August 10, 2014.

The Montreal based production Cavalia has brought one of the largest touring tents in the world to our city. Inside the white pavilions, 69 different breeds of horses hit the main stage –– each one clearly bringing a different personality to the production, making the show charmingly spontaneous at times. Audiences who are fans of Cirque du Soleil will recognize a similar use of acrobatics and dance sequences from male and female performers throughout Odysseo. All the choreography is based on the imagination of the director, Normand Latourelle, who was one of Cirque du Soleil’s co-founders.

The show itself is two hours long with a half hour intermission in-between. To make the most of your time at this dreamlike show here are some logistics and insider tips:

  • When buying your tickets, spend a little extra on the VIP package if you can. It has great perks, like a buffet in the Rendez-Vous tent an hour and a half before the show starts. Delicacies include melted brie cheese smothered in pecans, feta and spinach stuffed spanakopita, smoky and thinly sliced, cured salmon, and more. For adults, there are beverages such as prosecco, white and red wine, and beer. For the little ones, there are sodas, juices, and waters. To top it off, during intermission, the buffet is cleared away to make room for deserts – including a chocolate fountain!
  • Inside the VIP Rendez-Vous tent or at the Box Office in front of the tent buy a keepsake or gift like a recording of the beautiful music (which will be performed live during the show) or a stuffed toy horse for that special someone.
  • Parking can be found on site for $15, or $12 if it’s purchased ahead of the show on the show’s website. If you want to save your dollars, park across the service roads by the gas stations for free. There’s no cross walk to get across to the big tents, but if you’re polite, there will be police officers on site stopping traffic when you need to cross.
  • When buying tickets for seats, aim for rows in the middle (like rows HH and A) so you can see the whole vista of the stage. There’s also a great scene involving a lot of water towards the very end of the production, so if you don’t want to get a bit wet, avoid the very front row.

Visit cavalia.net/en/odysseo for driving instructions, ticket prices, and more information.

Enjoy the show!

— Becky Hagan-Egyir

Reelin’ In the Fun: Fly-Fishing on the Bow River

By IAN DOIG

Out Fly Fishing guide Naoto Aoki prepares to release a freshly caught Bow River brown trout. (Photo: courtesy Josh Nugent)

Out Fly Fishing guide Naoto Aoki prepares to release a freshly caught Bow River brown trout. (Photo: courtesy Josh Nugent)

Fly-fishing outfitter and guide Josh Nugent loves his work. A day at the office involves wading and/or floating along the Bow River. Practicing catch-and-release fishing, Nugent and his team of seasoned guides help clients match wits with the river’s world-famous trout.

What kind of fishing experience do you offer clients?
We offer a really large variety of trips. The first question our guides ask customers in the morning is what do you want out of this day?

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10 Summer Patios in Edmonton

linfordj_sugarbowl-31

The Sugarbowl in Edmonton. Photo by Jennifer Linford

When the sun is shining nothing beats dining outdoors with a cool drink in hand. Here are ten restaurants with great patios in Edmonton to get some sun and good food:

1. Craft Beer Market — One of the newest patios in the city, and one of very few rooftop patios, this spot comes with an incredible view of downtown and more than 100 beers on tap to enjoy in the sun.

2. Leva — Located on the corner of a sleepy, historic street just a few steps off the U of A campus, this shady spot is a great place to relax with a cappuccino or while away a warm afternoon with homemade gelato.

3. Earls Downtown — The perfect spot to see and be seen, you can snuggle in a booth, perch at high tables, or lounge on a couch in this sleek, always-busy outdoor space.

4. MKT — Comfortable picnic-table-like seating and a massive outdoor bar makes this space a local favourite during the warmer months.

5. Wildflower Grill — This cozy, street-level patio is surrounded by fresh flowers and is the perfect spot to indulge in summer menu items like the incredible Miso Seabass and the Watermelon Salad.

6. Urban Diner on 102 Ave. — Tucked behind the restaurant is a tree-shaded outdoor space that has such a relaxed vibe, you might mistake it for your own deck!

7. Chiantis — Escape the hustle and bustle of Whyte Avenue, on this sunny patio that comes with the scent of beautiful flowers and freshly made pasta.

8. The Confederation Lounge — No one can argue that the view of the river valley from this patio is anything but breathtaking. A summer menu full of items straight off the BBQ makes this spot one that can’t be missed.

9. Sugarbowl — With the garage-door-style windows at the front of this trendy spot rolled open wide throughout the summer, you will feel like you are outside even if you don’t snag a coveted seat on their always-busy patio.

10. Julio’s Barrio — Arguably the best spot in the city to people watch, this patio spills out onto the Whyte Avenue sidewalk in the summer months and is filled with people celebrating the season with margaritas, nachos, and tacos.

Perfect Patios: Where to Dine Outdoors in Calgary

By RACHAEL FREY

The Living Room's patio is an excellent spot to people-watch on 17th Avenue SW. (Photo: courtesy The Living Room)

The Living Room’s patio is an excellent spot to people-watch on 17th Avenue SW. (Photo: courtesy The Living Room)

When summer arrives, the city’s outdoor restaurant patios bloom. Here is a sample of Calgary’s best places to eat, drink and socialize in the sun.

THE LIVING ROOM
514 – 17 Ave SW, 403-228-9830, livingroomrestaurant.com
Hours: Mon – Fri, 11 am – 2 pm and 5 pm – 12 am; Sun, 5 pm – 12 am.
Venue and Vibe: Plush and contemporary, serving family-style dishes meant to be lingered over in good company.
Patio Appeal: Two outdoor fireplaces and light-wrapped trees cast a warm glow.
Sun and Shade: Mostly shade with dappled sunlight.
The View: Great street-level people watching on 17th Ave Retail & Entertainment District.
Recommends: Cheese fondue with aged white cheddar, black truffle and truffle oil, plus your choice of meat, seafood and veggies to dip. Pair with a light, dry white wine.

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What’s New at Edmonton Valley Zoo—Edmonton’s Best New Attraction 2014

Glacier exterior (1)

Congratulations to the new The Wander Trail System at Edmonton Valley Zoo — our pick for the WHERE Edmonton Magazine 2014 Best New Attraction!

If your most recent memory of Edmonton Valley Zoo involves posing for a photo with the statue of Humpty Dumpty, it’s time to plan another visit. A lot has changed since its days as Storyland Valley Zoo, and the new additions are proof that change is good.

Since 2010 Edmonton Valley Zoo has undergone expansive renovations to complete three new phases of the zoo. The Wander is the second phase of the re-design and parts of the attraction have been open since December 2013, with the Grand Opening taking place on July 11, 2014. The Wander is a themed walkway that connects the new entry plaza to the rest of the zoo, andre-enacts the story of the North Saskatchewan River with features that mimic its origin as glacial water in the Rocky Mountains, to its presence in Edmonton. “We’re so connected to the river in Edmonton and with The Wander we want everyone to understand a little more about it” Denise Prefontaine, Director of the Zoo, says.

The Entry Plaza, where you’ll find a Wild Earth Cafe and the Zoo-tique Gift Shop, represents the urban city of Edmonton. Sharp eyes will notice that the floor of the plaza is formed by non-uniform concrete squares of various sizes — it’s because they depict the dominion grid of how Edmonton was settled. Non-artificial rocks, a mosaic path, and water features make up the rest of the walkway, which ends at a structure resembling an ice cave in the Columbia Icefields. With coloured stained glass-like windows and a reflective surface that keeps things cool, the structure is a serene spot to take a break on a hot day.

Between the two points, the “river” takes guests by a beaver dam play structure that children can climb on, a beach area with sand and a wading pool, a trout pond and wetland marsh, rock steps and benches, shallow streams of water that are meant to be walked and splashed in, and smaller rocks that children can move and stack within the water. Despite its intricate setup, there are flat pathways around the features so that The Wander is completely accessible for those with mobility issues.

Of course, an attraction at the zoo wouldn’t be complete without some animals, and all of the enclosures that surround The Wander contain animals from mountainous regions to fit with the theming: “[w]ith the re-designs in the zoo, we wanted to educate people about the habitats and land that animals live on as much as the animals themselves” Tammy Wiebe, Executive Director of the Valley Zoo Development Society says.

Though The Wander serves to make the animal enclosures at the zoo more easily accessible, all of its features make it an attraction itself. It’s fun, it’s functional, and it’s also beautiful. The spot at the very top of the attraction provides a stunning view of the deep green trees in the river valley, and it’s the perfect place to snap a few group photos and commemorate the outing to the newest phase of the fantastic Edmonton Valley Zoo!

Canada Day Celebrations in Edmonton in 2014

SONY DSC

Canada Day Fireworks in Edmonton Photo courtesy City of Edmonton

1. Alberta Legislature | 10 am – 10 pm | Free Admission | assembly.ab.ca/canadaday/event.html
Official ceremonial activities include a 21-gun salute at 12 pm, tours of the legislature building, and welcoming remarks from the Premier of Alberta and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. There’s plenty to do throughout the day, including roaming performers (magic shows! stilt walkers!), food trucks, activities and crafts for kids, and is a good spot to view the evening’s fireworks spectacular. Ten local music acts will keep things rocking throughout the day, with a showstopping performance by elctro-dance group Shout Out Out Out Out to close out the day.

2. Telus World of Science—Edmonton | 9 am – 6 pm | $4 General Admission; $4 IMAX Theatre Shows | telusworldofscienceedmonton.ca
The science centre is celebrating Canada’s birthday—and theirs, too! To celebrate their 30th birthday, Telus World of Science is offering vintage admission prices. For $4, you can see all the great exhibits plus two summer feature exhibits—K*NEX Thrill Rides and Wildlife Rescue—and shows in the full dome theatre. For an additional $4, check out one of the fun 3D films in the IMAX theatre.

3. Edmonton Valley Zoo | 11 am – 4 pm | $13.25 Adult; $11 Senior/Youth; $8 Child (2-12) | valleyzoo.ca
Celebrate the zoo’s 55th Birthday and Canada’s 147th Birthday with Canadian animal enrichments, Canadian Geographic games, crafts, cupcakes, and live entertainment. Plus, check out the new The Wander exhibit with interactive water features and climbing structures for children.

4. Mayfield Dinner Theatre |  Dinner 6 pm; Show 8 pm | $59 | mayfieldtheatre.ca
See a special presentation of The Last Romance at Mayfield Dinner Theatre to celebrate Jamie Farr’s (the star of the show) 80th birthday! Tickets for this night only are $59 and there will be birthday cake served after the show.

5. Edmonton Prospects Game | 7 pm | $14 Adult; $12 Student/Senior; $8 Child (6-14); Children under 6 are free | prospectsbaseballclub.com
Watch Edmonton’s Western Major Baseball League team take on the Regina Red Sox. After the game stick around for an amazing view of the fireworks over the river valley. Join in the tail gate party on the field from 5:30 – 6:45 for live entertainment, a great view from first base, and a barbecue. There’s an additional charge for the tail gate party.

6. Muttart Conservatory | 12 pm – 4 pm | $12 Adult; $10.60 Youth (13-17)/Senior; $6.50 Child | edmonton.ca
View the new display in the feature pyramid, enjoy live music, Canada Day crafts, face painting, activities, and snacks.

7. Fort Edmonton Park | 10 am – 6pm | $18.15 Adult; $13.55 Child (2-17); $63.55 Family | fortedmontonpark.ca/events/dominion-day-2014
Celebrate Dominion Day at the historic village that celebrates Canada’s history all year-round. Special programming for the day includes a citizenship ceremony and a parade.

8. City Hall | 1 pm – 4 pm | Free! | edmonton.ca
Soak up the sun by the outdoor wading pool or take in some of the entertainment and activities including live music, roving performers, and children’s crafts. Plus, cross the street to Churchill Square and take in the fun, free exhibits at The Works Art and Design Festival.

9. Art Gallery of Alberta | 11 am – 5 pm | Free! | youraga.ca
View all of the current gallery exhibitions and enjoy children’s activities and a barbecue.

10. Light Up the Sky: Canada Day Fireworks in Edmonton | 11 pm | Free | River Valley
The High Level Bridge will unveil it’s brighter display when it’s lit up in full for the first time. The lights on the bridge will be synchronized to an Edmonton Symphony Orchestra performance of “O Canada!”, which can be heard on CKUA on your radio or smartphone app. Finally, the evening will end with a majestic fireworks display over the river valley.