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Edmonton

Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Under the Sky

Symphony-Under-the-Sky-3

Photo courtesy Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

There is no better way to end summer than with four days of music! The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra heads to Hawrelak Park for an incredible repertoire that will include the music of Simon & Garfunkel, Hollywood hits, and the classical sounds of Mendelssohn, Strauss, and Rimsky-Korsakov. Sunday night will end with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

The following weekend, the ESO moves to the great outdoors of the city to perform a FREE concert in Churchill Square! Enjoy family-friendly performances of favourite songs from Disney films, including The Little Mermaid,Beauty and the Beast, and The Jungle Book. Come early for activities in the square and remember to bring your own chair.

Symphony Under the Sky | August 25 – 28 | 7 pm
Hawrelak Park | 9930 Groat Rd. | 780-428-1414

Symphony in the City | September 2 & 3 | 5 pm & 3 pm
Churchill Square | 102 Ave. & 100 St. | 780-944-7740

Chef Spotlight: Serge Jost

Chef-Jost-by-Pedro-Escobar

Photo by Pedro Escobar.

The head chef at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Chef Jost is originally from the Alsace region of France that borders Germany. His father was a winemaker in the region, and so he was raised working on the family winery and learning how to make and appreciate the nuances of wine.

The transition from wine to food was a natural one for Jost, who trained in Strasbourg, France, and then spent the first years of his career working at hotels in Paris, Germany, and Hong Kong. After his international foray into the culinary world, Jost returned to France to open his own restaurant, but found the complicated French permit process was preventing him from doing what he really wanted — creating great food and delighting diners.

So, he left France and came to Canada, arriving in Quebec where he worked for 17 years at three different exclusive hotels. Before making the move to Edmonton, Jost visited the city and the food scene got him excited: “I saw that the food scene was moving in Edmonton, and it felt exactly the same as when I started 17 years ago in Montreal. There was huge potential and I wanted to be a part of that.”

And a part of it he has become. Jost has created fantastic, must-try menus for the Harvest Room, Confederation Lounge, and the new Gold Floor at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald that feature dishes made with local, high-quality ingredients. Visit the website to see the full menus. —Lindsay Shapka

And They’re Off! Horse Racing in Edmonton

Canadian-Derby-1

Photo courtesy Northlands.

It’s official, this is the last year of operation for the historic Northlands Racetrack, and they are going out with a bang! The sand and clay track opened in 1900, and during its 116 years of operation, it has served as one of Western Canada’s top racetracks and been the official home of the Canadian Derby since 1957.

To celebrate the final season, the 87th Canadian Derby on August 20 is going to be bigger and better than ever before. This prestigious race began in Winnipeg as the Manitoba Stakes in 1930, and when it evolved into the Canadian Derby, it drew top competitors from all over Canada to Winnipeg from 1941 to 1956. It has only grown in size and prestige since it moved to Northlands in 1957.

This year, not only will you be watching the exhilarating races, and enjoying fantastic food, you will also be entertained by Canadian country superstar Paul Brandt who will be performing in the evening. Tickets for the event range in price from $20 to $150 depending on where you would like to sit and dine.

And don’t forget to dress your best! This is the time to show off your fanciest hat, boldest party dress, or perfectly tailored sports coat. The derby attendees are hands down one of the most well dressed crowds of the summer!

Not going to be here for the Derby? No problem! There are races every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday throughout July and August. Don’t miss Park After Dark on Friday nights with specialty food, drinks, and sunshine on the patio while you watch the thrilling races — post time is at 6:30 pm. —Lindsay Shapka

Canadian Derby | August 20
Northlands Racetrack | 7410 Borden Park Rd. | 780-471-7210

5 Spots to Watch the Olympics in Edmonton

OlympicsRunnerFeel united with the rest of Canada while you cheer along with other passionate fans as the country’s top athletes earn medals during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio! Don’t miss a single thrilling moment by stopping in to one of these ideal spots to watch Team Canada compete with ice in their veins.

1. As close to Team Canada headquarters as you can get, Hudson’s Canadian Taphouse will be celebrating every medal and offering delicious, no-frills pub food.
10307 Whyte (82) Ave. | 780-433-4526

2. Though Fionn MacCool’s place serves traditional Irish favourites, you won’t have to worry about its allegiances — pub-goers will be cheering on Team Canada!
10200-102 Ave. | 780-424-4330

3. A dedicated sports bar, 1ST RND now has a location downtown and will always be close by for you to catch the latest Olympic event.
11248-104 Ave. | 780-428-7177

4. Guaranteed to be playing sports all the time, the friendly Kelly’s Pub will welcome you in with a pint as you hang around to catch up on the Olympic standings.
10156-104 St. | 780-451-8825

5. With many wide-screen TVs throughout the bar, you can see Olympic action from any angle at Schanks Sports Grill.
9927-178 St. | 780-444-2125

—Matthew Stepanic

Artful Grouping at Lando Gallery

Adele-Knowler-'Canola-Late-Season'

“Canola Late Season” by Adele Knowler.

A collection of works will take over the Lando Gallery for the month of August and will feature artists Ruby Mah, Adele Knowler, and Karen Rieger. Mah’s vibrant abstract paintings are in private collections all over Canada, Knowler (pictured) is known for her landscape and figurative work, and Rieger creates whimsical still-life and figure paintings. —Lindsay Shapka

August Group Selling Exhibition | August 2 – 27
Lando Gallery | 10310-124 St. | 780-990-1161

Author Spotlight: Tracey Lindberg

Tracey-Lindberg-Photo-by-Stacy-Swanson

Photo by Stacy Swanson.

At the outset of Tracey Lindberg’s debut novel Birdie, Bernice “Birdie” Meetoos, a Cree woman, resets her life, moving from her home in northern Alberta to Gibbons, B.C., on a quest to meet her teenage crush, Pat John of The Beachcombers. However, when her aunt and cousin join her, Bernice’s waking reality and dreamscape merge together as she’s forced to confront the trauma in her past.

Though this is her first experience writing a novel, Lindberg has won awards for her academic writing, and she teaches and practices indigenous law. Her prose doesn’t borrow much from the academic style, except for her ability to influence and challenge your perceptions through story. Birdie was a finalist for this year’s Canada Reads, where it fit tidily in the theme of “starting over”.

BirdieThe narrative moves forward in a nonlinear fashion, blending moments of Bernice’s past: her time in foster care, on the streets of Edmonton, and in a psychiatric hospital. Readers may feel unsettled in the story, but Lindberg binds it tightly together through the use of Cree poetics and story-telling traditions. Imbued with a dark and complex humour, the book’s a mindopening exploration of the consequences of sexual trauma and present-day First Nations issues. This shifting novel is a story of reconciliation — for Bernice and her past, and for Canadians living on indigenous lands and looking to renew relationships with its peoples. Bernice’s voice and story is a powerful and necessary challenge to colonial perspectives and indigenous stereotypes. —Matthew Stepanic

Buy a copy at local bookstore Audreys Books.

Exciting August Festivals in Edmonton

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Photo by Jennifer Linford.

Edmonton Folk Music Festival | August 4 – 7
International stars of blues, Celtic, bluegrass, gospel, and world music perform at this open-air festival, where a hillside serves as a natural amphitheatre. This year’s headliners include Calexico, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Tallest Man on Earth, and Passenger.
Gallagher Park | 9411-97 Ave.

Cariwest Festival | August 5 – 7
Dance the song of life at this lively festival of celebrations, including a colourful costume parade, calypso competition, dance performances, block party, and steel band competition.
Various Venues

Animethon | August 5 – 7 
This annual event celebrates Japanese animation and design through workshops, gaming, costume contests, film screenings, and more. Special guests include Ladybeard, Misa Chiang, and AKIRA!
MacEwan University | 10700-104 Ave. | 780-497-5040

Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival | August 11 – 21
This alternative theatre festival is the largest of its kind in North America, featuring over 1,200 uncensored and non-juried shows and performances from over 200 theatre companies from around the world! Venues are located in the Old Strathcona area with roving street performers, beer gardens, delicious food, and great street shopping adding to the festive spirit. Now in its 35th year, the festival is celebrating its history with this year’s theme: That Was Then, This Is Fringe.
Various Venues

Edmonton Blues Festival | August 19 – 21
Top local and international acoustic and electric blues acts shake the house with everything from funk to zydeco. Hear popular blues musicians such as Shemekia Copeland, Paul Barrere, and Fred Tackett.
Various Venues

Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival | August 19 – 21
An intense series of Dragon Boat racing competitions on the North Saskatchewan River celebrate the city’s Chinese-Canadian community and the skills of several impressive athletes.
Louise McKinney Riverfront Park | 9999 Grierson Hill Rd. | 780-442-5311

Symphony Under the Sky | August 26 – 28
Enjoy some favourite familiar classical scores, contemporary hits, and Hollywood soundtracks at this annual outdoor music festival featuring the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
Heritage Amphitheatre Hawrelak Park | 9930 Groat Rd. | 780-423-5311

Dance to Psychedelic Tunes at Miike Snow in Edmonton

Miike-SnowRepresented by the strange and mythical jackalope — a jackrabbit with the horns of an antelope — Swedish indie band Miike Snow have a similarly strange origin story and iconic pop sound. They took the name of their band from a mutual childhood friend, who’d emailed them during a name brainstorming session, and added an i. You’ll feel like an “Animal” as you dance to the psychedelic tunes and next-level sound from their new album, iii.

Miike Snow | August 10
Winspear Centre | 4 Sir Winston Churchill Square | 780-428-1414

CONTEST ALERT
WHERE Edmonton is giving away a pair of tickets to the concert! To enter to win, follow us on Twitter (@whereedmonton) and watch for tweets about the contest. Tickets will be drawn for on Wednesday, August 3.

Burgers & Shakes in Edmonton

Burgers-Priest

The Vatican City burger at Burger’s Priest.

This combination is a classic for a reason, so satisfy those old-school cravings at one of these fantastic spots!

The Burger’s Priest
Sometimes, simplicity is best. At least, that’s the belief upheld by The Burger’s Priest, which cooks over a flat-top griddle and offers fresh, premium beef and simple toppings. Try the gooey cheese-stuffed breaded Portobello burger or brave the fiery bacon cheeseburger with crushed hot peppers. Or for a potentially religious experience, try your burger sandwiched between two grilled-cheese sandwiches. Wash it all down with a Jarge-style (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry mixed) or black & white shake.
10148-119 St. | 780-760-0777

Delux Burger Bar
If you’re looking for a chic setting for your burger consumption, look no further. Delux gives its patrons a chance to dress up not only themselves, but their burgers too! Check out their online Burger Builder, which displays both the customizable options and their nutritional value. The restaurant prides itself on its environmentally sustainable Certified Angus Beef, to which you can add anything from creamy goat cheese to onion rings to buttered lobster. Then indulge in a three-scoop handcrafted milkshake, either virgin or spiked with whiskey, Kahlua, or schnapps.
9682-142 St. | 780-420-0101

The Downtown Diner
This casual dining restaurant in Fort Saskatchewan has a plethora of comfort food options. If you enjoy classics, the Downtowner burger includes brown-sugar bacon, smoked cheddar, and crispy onions. However, if you’re craving real comfort, choose the Meatloaf Burger with smoked bacon or the Shepherd’s Pie Burger with a crispy fried potato pancake. And no diner experience is complete without a milkshake — choices include chocolate cherry, pineapple, Rolo, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
10209-100 Ave., Fort Saskatchewan | 780-998-1435

Fatburger
Make sure you bring a big appetite! Particularly if you try the Triple Kingburger, which features one-and-a-half pounds of their juicy Alberta Angus beef and quadruple cheese, or even the veggie option loaded with guacamole, double Swiss, and a fried egg. The cooked-to-order burgers are beyond satisfying, but you’ll definitely still be tempted to add a thick and creamy milkshake (like a classic vanilla or fancier mocha java) to your order.
1755-102 St. | 780-469-8180

Jack’s Burger Shack
This family-owned business focuses on fresh food in both their St. Albert location and mobile shack. The ground beef and specialty buns are made and delivered daily, which they use to enhance their unique menu. Enjoy a beef patty topped with blue cheese, bacon, and fresh tomato relish, or try the mouth-watering poutine-inspired Quebecer (a classic patty topped with fries, cheese curds, and gravy). The unique milkshake menu includes such flavours as Cap’n Crunch, Darth Vader (vanilla and Coke), and Nutella.
15 Perron St., St. Albert | 780-458-0055

Jack’s Drive-In
The 50s have yet to go out of style at this iconic blast-from-the-past in Spruce Grove, where you can enjoy their extensive menu from atop a classic red stool! Try a tasty buffalo patty with BBQ sauce, Swiss cheese, and bacon, or a 99-cent teeny Buck Burger. Then get a large milkshake in one of the classic flavours or go for a rum and butter, licorice, or maple!
123 First Ave., Spruce Grove | 780-962-2727

The Next Act Pub
This casual pub just off Whyte Ave. offers juicy specialty burgers and a varied beer selection. Purists will enjoy the classic housemade patty with lettuce, tomato, and pickles, while the more adventurous can test out the PB&J (patty with crunchy peanut butter and housemade bacon jam) or the shrimp patty with sriracha tartar coleslaw. If you want to learn more about the secretive Cameo Burger, you’ll just have to drop by and find out for yourself!
8224-104 St. | 780-433-9345

Red Robin
This family restaurant has a burger for anyone and everyone! Options range from the garden burger with country Dijon sauce to a grilled turkey patty with zesty chipotle aioli to a beef patty with hardwood-smoked bacon and melted Pepper Jack. And you can’t go wrong by pairing your choice with a Monster Milkshake: a creamy classic (like vanilla, strawberry, or peach) with a bonus refill tin.
Multiple locations.

Rodeo Burger
A family-owned and -operated company, Rodeo Burger uses 100% Alberta Angus Beef, natural ingredients, and their own secret “rodeo sauce.” Choose a predesigned burger like the Western Burger with green chillies and guacamole or the Aussie Burger with a fried egg and pickled beets, or add your own veggies to a single or double patty.
8525B-112 St. | 780-435-6733

Soda Jerks
If you’re naturally indecisive, you may want to steer clear! Not only does Soda Jerks offer amazingly enticing choices like a burger with bacon, a fried egg, and hashbrowns or a beef patty with double bacon and chicken fingers, but you can create your own from an extensive list of options. Load up your chosen protein with a range of sauces and veggies and crazy fixings like chocolatedipped bacon, Doritos, and even gummy worms. Pair it with a classic milkshake like strawberry or peanut butter — or kick it up a notch by adding a shot of vodka, rum, or whiskey.
17520-100 Ave. | 780-486-5375

Artist Spotlight: Leo Arcand

Leo-Arcand-courtsey-Bearclaw-Gallery

Photo courtesy Bearclaw Gallery.

A Woodland Cree sculptor from the Alexander First Nations reserve in Northern Alberta, Leo Arcand began carving in soapstone the day that his daughter was born in 1991. Since then, it has been his medium of choice, drawing inspiration from his deep spirituality and the idea of balance in all things.

Carving in this medium is no easy feat, as sculptors actually have no idea what colour and texture the stone will have while they are working it. In its rough form, soapstone has a talc-like white film covering it until it’s sanded with five to six grits of sandpaper, heated, and polished with an oil or wax. Arcand’s natural talent and ability is apparent in the grace, movement, and refinement of his finished sculptures.

la-courage

Leo Arcand’s “Courage.” Photo courtesy Bearclaw Gallery.

His name recently became forever tied with Prime Minister Trudeau’s and President Obama’s when the prime minister presented the American president with one of his sculptures titled “Courage.” The piece was purchased from the Bearclaw Gallery right here in Edmonton!

Visit Bearclaw Gallery’s website to learn more about the artist and purchase his work.

Bearclaw Gallery | 10403-124 St. | 780-482-1204

Talent Spotlight: Edmonton’s Nuela Charles

Nuela-CharlesDespite her international, alternative-soul sound, Nuela Charles has a close connection to the city. She’s lived all over the world — including Kenya, Switzerland, the Bahamas, and Vancouver — but her big break came when she moved to Edmonton to be closer to family and began work on her album Aware. It was the inaugural winner of the Edmonton Music Prize in 2013. She believes the music scene here gave her more opportunities to grow as an artist: “It’s why I’m still here. It’s a community that supports you.”

Having headlined a show at the Edmonton International Jazz Festival before, Charles is excited to play a bigger venue at the Interstellar Rodeo — but it does pose some new challenges due to a shorter set-up time. “We’re normally a five- or six-piece band, so we’re going to cut it down to half of that,” she says. Though they’ll be rearranging some of the songs to fit the smaller band, she says you can still expect a cinematic experience.

When not touring, she prefers to chill at home but does enjoy checking out local music acts. “My favourite venue right now is the Needle,” she says. She was impressed when she performed there, noting, “They’ve put a lot of thought into building the room.” As for eating out, Charles loves the tacos at Tres Carnales — “Oh my God, I die every time,” she says.

Later in the year, Charles will be touring again for her next album out in the fall: The Grand Hustle. “It’s a concept album about the ultimate comeback,” she says. “I feel like it’s something everyone can relate to at one point in their life, because I went through it and have seen friends go through it.” —Matthew Stepanic

To learn more about Nuela Charles and her upcoming performances, visit her website.

5 Fantastic Family Day Trips near Edmonton

Jurassic-Forest

A dinosaur in Jurassic Forest.

Gather up the family and load up the car for a day of fun at one of these nearby Edmonton attractions. Everyone will have a blast exploring the province’s past, admiring its natural beauty, or playing entertaining games!

1. Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farms
Since first homesteaded by Franklin and Florence Pierce in 1898, this farm has always welcomed tourists. And now, with over 50 fun activities — including a petting farm, a corn maze, and rubber duck races — it’s easy to fill a day with your kids at this family-friendly farm. End your eventful day with some fresh-picked strawberries to take home.
56311 Lily Lake Rd., Bon Accord | 780-921-2272

2. Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village
Discover this incredible living-history museum, which re-creates the pioneer experience from 1892 through the 1930s with refurbished buildings and costumed interpreters. Try your hand at grinding grain, working the fields, or making horseshoes. And grab a bite to eat with tasty, handmade perogy and cabbage rolls on offer.
Located only 25 minutes east of Edmonton along Yellowhead Highway (Hwy 16) | 780-662-3640

3. Devonian Botanic Garden
Flora and fauna abound over 240 acres filled with gardens, greenhouses, and outdoor displays. Visit the butterfly house to see nature interact, stop in the traditional Kurimoto Japanese Garden, or taste some edible flowers in one of the feature gardens.
Located on Hwy 60, 5 km North of Devon | 780-987-3054

4. Jurassic Forest
Journey back in time to this prehistoric park, where many of the dinosaurs come alive — and some are tame enough to ride! Enter a dig site to hunt for and identify real fossils or go on a self-guided scavenger hunt through the forest searching for prehistoric clues.
Located just 15 minutes North of Edmonton on Hwy 28, Gibbons | 780-470-2446

5. Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre
Learn about the innovative history of the oil industry in Alberta at this innovative historical site! Kids will love the hands-on learning lab and the virtual ride on a giant drill bit. For the budding scientists, the site offers day science camps featuring cool experiments in geology and chemistry.
#6, 20 Haven Ave., Devon | 10 minutes S on Hwy 2, 10 minutes W on Hwy 19 | 780-987-4323