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Alberta

Frightful Nights: 10 Halloween Events in Calgary

(Photo: Viktor Hanacek/picjumbo.com)

(Photo: Viktor Hanacek/picjumbo.com)

Things that go bump in the night are causing monstrous mayhem in Calgary this October. Get scared silly at these events in the spirit of Halloween.

KID-FRIENDLY

Halloweekends at Calaway Park
Weekends through October 10
Don your costume and explore Hallo-Street, complete a scavenger hunt, and be thrilled on the rides. Line up to ride the roller coaster if you dare! This is a family-friendly event full of tricks and treats.

Calgary Corn Maze Flashlight Nights
September 30 & October 7, 14, 21
Navigate the Calgary Corn Maze after dark with just a flashlight and watch out for things that go bump in the night. Get there before dark to see pigs race and choose your own pumpkin from the farm’s patch.

Ghoul’s Night Out
October 27 – 30
This kid-friendly night at Heritage Park is perfect for families looking for a Halloween activity that is safe and fun. Dress in your costume and for the weather—the event is held outdoors—and get ready for carriage rides, witches’ flying school, a mad tea party, a monster mash dance, and more.

Thrill Calgary Zombie Flash Mob
October 29
Fans of Halloween, zombies, and Michael Jackson join forces for Thrill the World, an attempt to set a world record for the largest simultaneous dance to the horror anthem “Thriller.” Dress like a zombie, learn the Thriller dance, and join the flash mob—all participants welcome.

Monster Mash-Up
October 29 – 30
Kick-start your Halloween celebrations at this family-friendly event at TELUS Spark, Calgary’s Science Centre. Enjoy activities like pumpkin decorating and mad science. Or, perhaps the toy mash-up is calling your name—channel your inner Frankenstein and cut, sew, and glue together toys. (Grown-ups should check out the science centre’s blood-themed Adults Only night on October 13—prepare to get messy.)

ADULTS ONLY

Screamfest
October 14 -15, 21 -22, & 27 – 31
Not recommend for children or the faint of heart, Screamfest is truly the event to be at for scare enthusiasts. Haunted houses (themes include The Bates Motel and Clown Town), chilling entertainment, and scary carnival games all make for a creepy and fun evening.

Zombie Evasion
October 22
A 5k race like no other, Zombie Evasion will have participants on the run through North Glenmore Park trying to outlast and outwit a pack of vengeful zombies. Fortunately, the runners will have a slight head start over their pursuers. (There’s also a 1K Zombie Dash suitable for kids ages three and up.)

The Sinister SideShow
October 22 & 29
What happens when a ringmaster who doesn’t always play by the rules brings back something extra from one of his trips? Find out in this hair-raising interactive adventure from Calgary Ghost Tours that’s sure to amaze, mystify, and terrify.

Dracula (Classical Ballet)
October 27 – 29
Get swept away to a Transylvanian village where something sinister lurks in the castle above. This legendary and opulent masterpiece is brought to life by the Alberta Ballet with mesmerizing choreography and extraordinary special effects. From the first kiss to the last bite, you’ll be entranced by this lavish production.

Ghosts and Gourmet
October 31 – November 2
Enjoy a frightfully delicious dinner, including ghastly ghost stories between each course, followed by a ghost tour through the dark and deserted streets of Heritage Park Historical Village. Get an exclusive after-dark look inside the park’s heritage homes to experience firsthand hauntings and spine-tingling stories.

Talent Spotlight: Stewart Lemoine

Stewart-Lemoine-1-Photo-by-Andrew-MacDonald-Smith

Photo by Andrew MacDonald-Smith.

From a young age, Edmonton playwright Stewart Lemoine has been an avid viewer of plays. “I started as a theatre-goer in high school,” says Lemoine. “As a teenager I always loved going to things.” He earned an English degree in university, and was later encouraged to write plays for his actor friends. “Around the time I was trying to figure out what to do,” explains Lemoine, “the Fringe started, and suddenly it became possible to put on theatre all on your own… It was really a fortuitous thing that happened when I needed it to.”

He started Teatro La Quindicina with another friend in the early 80s, and has built up a strong repertoire of plays and regular actors, including Leona Brausen, Davina Stewart, and Jeff Haslam. All of Lemoine’s plays are comedies on some level because, he says, “comedies can have very serious and sad moments, but there’s always a comic twist because I think that reflects life.” More than a laugh, people who see a Teatro production can expect to expand their vocabulary. Lemoine says, “Our language is a good one; I like to use all of it.”

Teatro’s home, the Varscona Theatre, recently re-opened after a major rebuild. “It’s now a purpose-built theatre,” says Lemoine (who’s also general manager for the building), “as opposed to a converted building, as it was previously a fire hall.” Though everything is new except three brick walls, the theatre has a familiar feel because they built it from a similar floor plan. The auditorium seats more people in much comfier chairs, according to Lemoine, and the sightlines make more sense. He’s looking forward to how the new theatre will improve Die-Nasty’s annual Soap-A-Thon. He says, “It always tested the limits of the building before to have people there for that long.”

On top of the upcoming shows and rebuilt Varscona, the playwright’s excited for the future of theatre in this city. Lemoine says, “We’re constantly being fed new great young actors, and that’s endlessly stimulating.”

Visit Varscona Theatre’s website to learn more about the theatre and upcoming shows. —Matthew Stepanic

Don’t miss Lemoine’s upcoming play:

Witness to a Conga | September 29 – October 15 
When a bride-to-be asks, “Should we have a conga line at our wedding?” she accidentally unearths her fiancé’s family secrets. A Fringe hit from 2010, this darkly funny play will connect with anyone who’s experienced a bit of family drama while planning a wedding.
Varscona Theatre | 10329-83 Ave. | 780-433-3399

Dreamspeakers Film Festival

Dreamspeakers

Image courtesy of Dreamspeakers Film Festival.

A Dene elder once said that when you make films, “you are speaking your dreams”. Since then, Indigenous filmmakers have referred to their craft as “Dreamtalking”. This festival has become an annual international gathering of Dreamtalkers — filmmakers, performers, and artists — from around the globe who gather to share this common bond and link with the natural world through film. All film screenings or only $12, and their are a variety of panels and workshops where you can learn more about Indigenous cultures and filmmaking. Visit the website for a full program and to buy tickets. —Lindsay Shapka

Dreamspeakers Film Festival | September 23 – 28
Metro Cinema at the Garneau | 8712-109 St. | 780-378-9609

Get Your Geek on at Edmonton Expo

Edmonton-Comic-Expo_Alex-Kingston-3

Alex Kingston as River Song in Doctor Who. Photo courtesy Edmonton Expo.

Get ready to celebrate science fiction, comic books, fantasy, animation, pop culture, and much more at the Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo! Attendees of this three-day convention will be able to shop hundreds of vendors, take part in cosplay contests, check out panels and workshops, and meet some of the creators and stars of their favourite films, television shows, graphic novels, and comic books. This year’s list of guests includes Carrie Fisher from Star Wars, Alex Kingston from Doctor Who and Arrow, John de Lancie from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Breaking Bad, and Natalia Dyer and Shannon Purser from Stranger ThingsTickets are available at the door, but it’s safer to buy them in advance hereFor more information on panels and special guests, visit the Edmonton Expo website. —Lindsay Shapka

Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo | September 23 – 25
Edmonton EXPO Centre | 7300-116 Ave. | 780-471-7210

Beyond Calgary: Autumn Events in Alberta

By JANET DAVIE

Dark Sky Festival in Jasper National Park. (Photo: by Jeff Bartlett, courtesy Tourism Jasper)

Dark Sky Festival in Jasper National Park. (Photo: by Jeff Bartlett, courtesy Tourism Jasper)

Venture beyond city limits to experience some of the amazing events happening in Alberta this fall.

STAR LIGHT, STAR BRIGHT

Bill Nye (Photo: courtesy Tourism Jasper)

Bill Nye (Photo: courtesy Tourism Jasper)

One bonus to shorter days and longer nights is that there’s more time for stargazing! Take the scenic trip out to Jasper National Park (one of the world’s largest dark sky preserves) for the Dark Sky Festival, October 14 – 23. This annual event takes place in October due to the ideal weather conditions to see the stars and constellations in the night sky. Visitors will be able to attend numerous events that relate to astronomy, including viewing the super moon through the biggest telescope in the Canadian Rockies on October 15, guided by Peter McMahon, an author and columnist who has written for Discovery Channel and numerous other publications.

George Takei (Photo: courtesy Tourism Jasper)

George Takei (Photo: courtesy Tourism Jasper)

The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra will perform Vivaldi: The Four Seasons under the stunning night sky on October 15, while several talks by some of North America’s brightest astronomy professionals will take place at the Space Talks event on October 22. Join scientist, engineer, author, and inventor Bill Nye, known for his hit educational program Bill Nye the Science Guy, for his keynote presentation “Our Place in Space” on October 15. Star Trek fans won’t want to miss actor and activist George Takei on October 21 as he talks about his life and advocacy. A two-day photography workshop will also be offered to those hoping to take some unique pictures of the night sky, and those looking to warm up indoors can take in a show at the Jasper Short Film Festival.

UP, UP, AND AWAY

(Photo: courtesy Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival)

(Photo: courtesy Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival)

Prepare to be blown away at the Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival! Take the short 30-minute drive south of Calgary to High River, where more than 20 hot-air balloon from across Canada and the world will be competing for the Hot-Air Balloon Championship title from September 21 – 25. On September 23, the annual Glow event will take place. Once the sun dips down, more than 15 balloons will be lit up on display, giving visitors the opportunity to see them up close and to meet the pilots, while food trucks will be on site for some evening snacks. Don’t forget your camera — the entire festival is a photographer’s dream!

A PROVINCIAL TAPESTRY

Alberta Culture Days is a province-wide celebration of diversity from September 30 – October 2 that highlights the province’s arts and cultural communities.

(Photo: courtesy Alberta Culture Days)

(Photo: courtesy Alberta Culture Days)

Dozens of towns and cities throughout Alberta participate with a variety of programming from theatre to live music to children’s activities — there are hundreds of festival events to enjoy. Participating communities include Lethbridge, Chestermere, Medicine Hat, High River, Pincer Creek, and Strathmore. Notable events in the Calgary area include a Build An Orchestra event, where everyone is welcome to play some instruments (October 2), a Brazilian mini-festival complete with musicians, dancers, and martial artists (September 30 – October 2) and a drop in Print It Yourself event hosted by the Alberta Printmakers Society, where guests can get a hands-on learning experience about the printmaking process (October 1). There truly is something for everyone during Alberta Culture Days!

HOME OF HEARTLAND

(Photo: courtesy Town of High River)

(Photo: courtesy Town of High River)

If you’re a fan of the TV show Heartland (which has it’s season 10 premiere on October 2) then you must visit the town of High River. High River and area is where most of the show is filmed, and High River stands in for the town of Hudson on the show. Visit the Museum of the Highwood to see props and costumes from the show on display, or take a photo outside of the set of Maggie’s Diner (on 3 Ave & 1 St SW). You’ll find exclusive Heartland memorabilia to purchase at eight different shops and restaurant throughout the town (including the Museum of the Highwood). If you want a really authentic Heartland experience, check out the Heartland horseback riding experience available through the Heritage Inn.

Ask the Expert: Les Clefs d’Or Corner (September/October 2016)

Nella-Blog

Photo by Jamie Tweedy of Tweedy Studios.

We asked Edmonton expert and Les Clefs d’Or Nella Mirante at The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald‘s Gold Floor for her advice about fall time and shopping in the city!

1. Where would you send a traveller who wants to take a yoga class?
I like to send my travelling guests to Noorish to maintain their daily rituals of yoga and mediation. Then, after the class, they can indulge at the restaurant with local organic, raw, vegan, and gluten-free options!

2. What is your recommendation for a great spot to try local beer? 
I usually recommend downtown’s Craft Beer Market! There are so many different types of beer to choose from and some great local faves too!

3. What is your favourite thing to have guests do in the fall in Edmonton?
My fave for fall is a segway tour with River Valley Adventure Co. through our river valley. The views are spectacular and you can take in all the beautiful fall colours!

4. Where is the best place to watch an Oilers game (other than the new arena)?
I would recommend watching an Oilers game at 1ST RND — every square inch is a TV!

5. The changing weather means it’s time to shop for new shoes! Where should visitors go to outfit their feet?
Treat your feet to Poppy Barley — the local brand is known for its style and comfort, and you will love their story of true craftsmanship and how their company came to fruition.

Les Clefs d’Or Concierges have been opening doors for hotel guests in Canada since 1976, and today there are more than 150 members from coast to coast and more than 3,500 members worldwide! You can find Nella on the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald’s luxurious Gold Floor.

Die-Nasty or Die Trying in Edmonton

Die-Nasty

Photo courtesy of Varscona Theatre.

An event for only the most daring and talented improv actors in Edmonton, the annual Die-Nasty Soap-a-Thon is a 50-hour continuous improv show. Sleep is for the weak, and the Die-Nasty Soap Opera actors are ready to present a weekend full of laughter, tears, joy, and cheers. This year’s theme is “Airport 1975,” which parodies characters and cliches from 1970s disaster movies.

Head to the newly renovated Varscona Theatre between Friday at 7 pm and Sunday at 9 pm to join in on the fun. Drink a coffee (or three) beforehand and see if you can outlast the actors! If you purchase a Weekend Pass, you can leave the theatre between sets for a dinner or nap break. Call 780-420-1757 or visit TIX on the Square for tickets. —Danielle Mohr

Die-Nasty Soap-A-Thon | September 16 – 18
Varscona Theatre | 10329-83 Ave. | 780-420-1757

Catch an Adrenaline Rush at the FISE World Series in Edmonton

FISE-World-Series-2

Photo courtesy FISE World Series.

The Festival International des Sports Extrêmes (FISE) will be setting up giant ramps and riding features in Hawrelak Park for the fourth FISE World Series stopover of 2016! This extreme sports competition will feature a BMX freestyle park, a demanding, technical cycling competition, and a BMX flat course. There will also be an MTB Slopestyle event, which is performed on a course built to reproduce elements that bikers would find on a mountain, including over-sized features and massive jumps. The fourth event will showcase skateboarding tricks as some of the best in the world compete on huge ramps built specially for the event. Between events, you can hang out in the Beer Gardens, or join in fun activities, such as jumping on a giant airbag or battling in bumper balls! —Lindsay Shapka

FISE World Series | September 16–18
Hawrelak Park | 9930 Groat Rd.

Prost! Your Guide to Oktoberfest in Calgary

By BREANNA MROCZEK and JANET DAVIE

(Photo: Courtesy Tourism Calgary)

(Photo: Courtesy Tourism Calgary)

Don your lederhosen and raise a glass to the most iconic beer festival in the world by indulging in Calgary’s local beers and Oktoberfest events.

Wurst
September 16 – October 2
This German restaurant and bar boasts a restaurant upstairs and a boisterous, authentic beerhall downstairs with boots of beer and schnitzel galore. They’re especially lively during Oktoberfest with live music and Schuhplattler dancers on Friday and Saturday nights, a kick off party on September 16, Steam Whistle’s Oktoberfest party on September 17, a beer pairing dinner on September 21, and a party hosted by Munich brewery Hacker-Pschorr on September 30. Some events require advance tickets (prices vary).

Calgary Oktoberfest
September 23 – 24
Taste a selection of craft beers from 50 breweries, including brews straight from Germany and all of Calgary’s local craft brewers. Live music, including an authentic oompah band, will occur throughout the evening as well as snacks (including pretzels, of course) from 12 of Calgary’s favourite restaurants. Sample tokens are $1 each, and most 4 oz samples of beer are 2 tokens each. General admission is $19 – $30. Use code WHERE15 to get 15% off your tickets!

→ WHAT TO DRINK
Many bars and restaurants in the city support local breweries by serving their beers on tap or in bottles; just look for these breweries on the beer list:

Big Rock Brewery
Calgary’s oldest and largest brewery is known for their classic Grasshopper Wheat Ale but have dozens of offerings. Look for their new seasonal Hollow Tree Red Ale for something unique. Book a tour or try Brewga (that’s beer + yoga, naturally).

Dandy Brewing Company
This nano brewery has two signature beers — a pale ale and a stout — but is constantly releasing seasonal editions and collaborating with other local breweries and brewpubs. Stop by Dandy’s Tap Room to sample eight brews on tap and get a casual tour.

Tool Shed Brewing Company
Their three beers — an IPA, a dark red ale, and a cream ale — are approachable, flavourable, and easy-drinking. Book a tour to see the magic happen.

Wild Rose Brewery
They have six signature beers including a unique kettle sour called Cowbell (you can always use more of it). For fall, try their new AF23 pale ale that’s crisp, refreshing, and mildly hoppy, perfect for enjoying on a warm fall day. Get tickets to their Beer 101 tasting class, or schedule a tour of the brewery.

Village Brewery
Their four signature beers range from crisp and light to dark and malty, so you’re sure to find something you like and join the Villagers. Tours are every Saturday, or book a private tour in advance.

Banded Peak Brewing
Calgary’s newest brewery has three signature beers meant for discerning palates: a hopped-up pale ale, a hoppy red ale, and a spicy saison. Head to their on-site tap room for a taste.

→ WHERE TO DRINK
Belly up to the bar at some of Calgary’s finest beer-drinking establishments:

Last Best Brewing and Distilling
This restaurant and bar brews and serves their own beers. They’re always pouring five mainstays (the Dirty Bird Black Lager is a malty German lager that’s perfect for Oktoberfest) and always have a few seasonal releases.

Brewsters
This provincial chain has eight flagship beers (and a few rotating varieties) that you can only get on tap at their bars — there’s lots of variety but they’re all easy drinking.

Trolley Five Restaurant & Brewery
This new brewpub has two floors, a growler fill station, two great patios, brewery tours, and lots of craft beers — their own and a few limited edition collaborations with other breweries.

The Unicorn Superpub
A longtime fixture of Stephen Avenue, this unpretentious, inviting three-story bar has lots of local and Canadian craft brews on tap and in bottles.

Craft Beer Market
Calm and casual during the day and loud and lively at night, the communal tables at this spot are always a great place for enjoying one of their 104 beers with friends.

National 
All of the National Bars serve up an excellent selection of craft beers year-round, and often host special events. From September 27 – 30, 2016, the 17th Avenue location will be celebrating a different Alberta brewery each day with tastings, $5 pints, and special casks.

Calgary Brewery Tours
Want to try ’em all? This is your best bet! Hop aboard a climate-controlled vehicle which will transport you between breweries where you can hear the stories behind the local brews and try some samples. All tours include a meal, snacks, and discounts at brewery stores. There are currently three different tours available — with two more to come soon — and a choose-your-own-adventure tour if you’d like to customize your stops.

Book of Mormon Returns to Edmonton

Photo by Joan Marcus.

Photo by Joan Marcus.

The hilarious hit musical is back in Edmonton! Dubbed “the best musical of the century”, by The New York Times, this show from the creators of South Park follows the adventures of two Mormon missionaries who are sent to a remote Ugandan village to spread the Good Word.

Their attempt to share the scriptures meets resistance from locals who are more concerned with famine and oppression, so the young men decide to get creative. For as much as it may offend some attendees with vulgar moments, the show also offers some heartwarming lessons about believing in yourself and achieving your dreams.

Buy your tickets through Ticketmaster today!

Book of Mormon | September 13 – 18
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium | 11455-87 Ave. | 1-855-985-5000

 

12 Over 12: Celebrating Pubs, Bars & Entertainment Venues in Edmonton

Guyot_20160719_NextAct_23

The burger at The Next Act Pub. Photo by Adrien Guyot.

Edmonton’s nightlife thrives off these pubs, bars, and entertainment venues whose longevity — they’ve all been in operation for at least a dozen years — is a testament to how they draw crowds and shape the character of the city and its neighbourhoods.

The Hat
Opened: 1912
Come for: Classy atmosphere and longevity
Location: 10251 Jasper Ave., 780-429-4471
An Edmonton institution born the same year the Titanic was launched, this well-loved pub shows no signs of sinking! The long, narrow bar creates a cozy, old-fashioned atmosphere. For food, the burgers are your best bet, with regulars’ favourites including the Signature — with double-smoked bacon, Monterey Jack, barbeque sauce, and banana peppers — or for those who like it hot: the Jalapeno Cheddar Burger. Located in the centre of downtown on the happening Jasper Ave., The Hat is a tasteful joint and convenient spot to gather after a thought-provoking show at the Citadel Theatre or Winspear Centre. —Matthew Stepanic

Yardbird Suite
Opened: 1957
Come for: A cozy and intimate atmosphere
Location: 10203-86 Ave., 780-432-0428
The Edmonton jazz scene owes a great deal to this local club. In 1957, a group of musicians with unparalleled passion for jazz opened the first location of the Yardbird Suite in a basement space on Whyte Ave. Although the location of the venue has changed multiple times since then, the current incarnation on 86 Ave. has been in operation since 1984. The club gives artists a creative and interactive space, while also offering Edmontonians a chance to see top jazz talents up close. Part of what makes the venue so popular is the casual, hip, and intimate atmosphere it provides for musicians and audiences alike. —Danielle Mohr

Rose & Crown Pub
Opened: 1978
Come for: Pre-game beers
Location: 10235- 101 St., 780-426-7827
Located next to the new Rogers Place, this popular English pub is a hot spot for pre- and post-game drinks and eats. Historically, the pub is noted for being the first “stand-up bar” in the city after the AGLC changed the liquor laws, allowing Edmontonians to consume drinks while standing. Expect Olde English style comfort food, a friendly atmosphere, and plenty of televisions to satisfy your sports cravings. Sit back with a scotch at the bar, enjoy a pint with friends after a game, or book a party in their private dining room. —D.M.

Guyot_20160720_BluesonWhyte_5

The stage at Blues on Whyte. Photo by Adrien Guyot.

Blues on Whyte
Opened: 1984
Come for: Unpretentious, non-stop blues
Location: 10329 Whyte (82) Ave., 780-439-5058
With the classic feel of the blues bars of a bygone era, this welcoming spot will have you returning for some of the best live music in the city. No matter what night of the week, this well-loved bar is a haven for live bands. An entirely down-to-earth venue, anyone is welcome to swing their hips on the dance floor — or in their seats — where the only rule is to have a good time. Play some pool, enjoy a cold beer, and chat with the regulars. Be sure to swing by on a Saturday afternoon for the Blues Jam, when musicians riff each others’ songs, and a new group takes to the stage about every 20 minutes. —M.S.

The Next Act Pub
Opened: 1992
Come for: The Cameo Burger, an ever-changing special
Location: 8224-104 St., 780-433-9345
This classic pub is quite literally the next act for the many actors in the area who’ve just finished their innovative play or improv show. (Chances are good you can congratulate an actor or ask a director follow-up questions here!) The bar was purchased by new owners and renovated in 2010, and the upgraded menu is now one of the best reasons to stop in. The burgers at Next Act are a local favourite, and with the Cameo Burger changing from week to week with exciting toppings, there’s always something new to try. Often, the menu borrows smoked brisket or chicken from its sister restaurant next door, MEAT, making the food an extra tasty treat. —M.S.

The Black Dog Freehouse
Opened: 1992
Come for: Rooftop parties under the stars
Location: 10425 Whyte (82) Ave., 780-433-0379
One of the most popular evening hangouts on Whyte Ave., this hip pub always serves great local beers on top of the usual well-known brands. Each of the bar’s three levels offers a distinct experience, from the Underdog basement to the Wooftop Patio. The main floor hosts a cool DJ, while the basement features anything from Thursday-night comedy to live music. Arrive early to claim a spot on the roof, where you’re surrounded by a flourishing garden, the night sky, and a unique view of the bustling avenue below. —M.S.

The Billiard Club
Opened: 1993
Come for: The pool tables
Location: 10505 Whyte (82) Ave., 780-432-0335
Housed in the historic Post Office Heritage building on Whyte Ave., this popular bar has earned its place in Edmontonians’ hearts as a go-to spot for good times. Patrons consider it an “experience” rather than a restaurant. Whether you’re looking for a casual weeknight meet-up over dinner, or hoping to turn it up for the weekend with dancing, drink specials, and live DJs, The Billiard Club will not disappoint. If the delicious menu, theme parties, and live music can’t hold your attention, there’s always a game of pool waiting for you on one of the many pool tables that lend the bar its name. —D.M.

O’Byrne’s Irish Pub
Opened: 1998
Come for: Live local music
Location: 10616 Whyte (82) Ave., 780-414-6766
O’Byrne’s proudly holds the title of “Edmonton’s Oldest Irish Pub”. As one would expect, the Guinness flows steadily here, and the menu offers a tasty selection of traditional Irish dishes created from scratch. Give the Irish Stew a try, or sample their Sausage and Spuds, an Irish classic topped with Guinness gravy. The cozy and welcoming atmosphere of this Edmonton favourite is made lively with regular entertainment throughout the week. Tuesday night Guinness Celtic Jam sessions are popular among patrons, and the Big Rock’n Open Mic shows on Sunday nights give local talent a chance to shine. —D.M.

Filthy McNasty’s
Opened: 2001
Come for: Fabulous food and drink specials
Location: 10511 Whyte (82) Ave., 780-705-6626
Award-winning wings and renowned service will draw you in, but it’s the fun-filled atmosphere that will keep you coming back to this longstanding Irish pub. Think of Filthy McNasty’s as your newest headquarters for special events. Karaoke nights, record release parties, PPV sports screenings, and theme parties are just a few of the legendary festivities they host regularly. Swing by on a Saturday afternoon to take in free live shows by local and touring musicians. While you’re listening, try out some of their fantastic daily food and drink specials, which make this pub a great hangout for students. The bar staff is friendly and attentive, and there is always something interesting going on to draw you in! —D.M.

Allegro Italian Kitchen
Opened: 2002
Come for: Live piano music
Location: 10011-109 St., 780-424-6644
When you arrive at this downtown Italian staple on a Friday or Saturday night, you’ll be greeted by the tinkling of live piano music. The beautiful melody will make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a fine-dining spot in Italy. Lucky patrons can score a seat at the piano bar and enjoy the pleasant music as they sip Sangiovese all night. The food remains authentic and delectable, including their classic Lasagna — layers of homemade pasta, tender veal, creamy béchamel, mozzarella and parmigiano cheeses, and a fresh tomato sauce. After dinner, take a pleasurable evening stroll around the nearby Legislature Grounds and enjoy the striking architecture and fountains. —M.S.

The Starlite Room
Opened: 2004
Come for: Intimate band experiences
Location: 10030-102 St., 780-428-1099
The brick building that houses this popular venue — the Old Citadel — was originally built by the Salvation Army as a place of worship. From 1965 to 1978, it was the home of the Citadel Theatre Company, and now it’s become a place for hip music lovers to worship their favourite bands. Line up early enough, and you could be front and centre for an intimate experience with that must-catch rising punk band. But don’t worry if you arrive late — the stage is raised and the floor slopes, so the varieties of musicians (from wild electronic to soothing indie) are in sight no matter where you’re standing. —M.S.

The Comic Strip
Opened: 2005
Come for: The laughs
Location: 1646 Bourbon St., West Edmonton Mall, 780-483-5999
If you’re in the mood for something on the lighter side, The Comic Strip offers up nightly side-splitting shows. Owned by Canadian comedian Rick Bronson, it’s known as “the club that launched a thousand faces” for its expertise in showcasing emerging talent. With over a decade of exceptional entertainment and hospitality under its belt, a night of laughter is guaranteed. Shows feature today’s top comedians and tomorrow’s celebrities, bringing together local and international talent to create first-rate acts. Full dinner and drink service are also available with every show, making the venue a one-stop shop for date night or weekend fun with friends. —D.M.

Edmonton Film Society Presents Favourite Films for Fall

Northbynorthwest1The Edmonton Film Society is changing things up for its fall film program by showing some of the greatest classics that deserve to be revisited, instead of its usual roster of under-appreciated movies. See the masterpieces from some of Hollywood’s finest directors, writers, composers, actors, including Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Katherine Hepburn, James Stewart, Cary Grant, and more! All the screenings start at 8 pm on Mondays at the Royal Alberta Museum. View the schedule below, or find more details on the website.

September 12 | 8 pm
North by Northwest
An ad executive is kidnapped due to a mistaken identity, and he winds up in a convoluted battle with enemy agents and fleeing from both police and the agents. One of Alfred Hitchcock’s greats, many of this film’s sequences will forever resonate with audiences.
Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason

September 19 | 8 pm
The Fortune Cookie
In this Billy Wilder comedy, a TV cameraman gets hurt on the job, and his brother-in-law works up an insurance-fraud scheme to make them both rich, if the injured one can masquerade as a wheelchair-bound invalid.
Starring: Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon

September 26 | 8 pm
All About Eve
An aging Broadway star takes a seemingly naïve fan under her wing, only to discover the waif has a secret. This movie received 14 Academy Award nominations, and Joseph Mankiewicz won three: Writer, Director, and Best Picture.
Starring: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Marilyn Monroe

October 3 | 8 pm
Bringing Up Baby
In this screwball comedy, a non-stop profusion of comic disasters, coincidences and misunderstandings ensue when a naïve professor joins an heiress to look for a lost dinosaur bone.
Starring: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn

October 17 | 8 pm
Ninotchka 
Communist Russian bureaucrats send a serious and businesslike woman to Paris to retrieve three delegates corrupted by the West, but her mission is complicated by a romance.
Starring: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Bela Lugosi

October 24 | 8 pm
Father Goose
An irascible beach bum finds himself reluctantly drafted to man an observation post on a South Pacific island during WWII. An upstanding schoolteacher and her seven female charges invade his domain resulting in a comical battle of the sexes.
Starring: Cary Grant, Leslie Caron, Trevor Howard

October 31 | 8 pm
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
A lonely widow refuses to be scared by the ghost of a salty sea captain who haunts her newly purchased cottage. This fantastical romantic comedy features a beautiful score by Bernard Herrmann.
Starring: Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders

November 7 | 8 pm
Vertigo
In this Hitchcock masterpiece, a man quits the police force because of his vertigo and takes the job of tailing the wife of a friend who’s been behaving strangely.
Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes