• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Edmonton

Ride a Wave in Edmonton!

TsunamiYour hair is tussled by a light breeze as water glides under your board. Your body shifts seamlessly with the wave, balance on point, and it hits you: you’ve mastered surfing — in the middle of the prairies. Now you can catch a sick — and endless — wave sans beach and sharks at World Waterpark in West Edmonton Mall! Challenge yourself or try to outsurf a friend, as Tsunami is the only attraction in Canada that is large enough for two to surf simultaneously. Just starting out on your surfing journey? Take a lesson from one of the experts and you will be shouting, “hang ten” in no time! (Surf slang lessons not included.)

Want to see the Tsunami in action? Watch the preview from WEM below:

World Waterpark, West Edmonton Mall
8882 – 170 St. | 780-444-5313

—Matthew Stepanic

Festival City Heats Up! Your Guide to Summer 2015 Festivals in Edmonton

Summer-Campaign-Image-credit-TravelAB-cmyk_lores

Edmonton Folk Festival
Photo Courtesy Travel Alberta

Nuova Opera & Music Theatre Festival | Various venues | May 22 – July 4
Canada’s only summer opera festival celebrates emerging Canadian vocal artists through an accessible blend of classical performances that will engage and entertain all audiences. This year’s featured productions include Dead Man Walking, Our Town, and Oklahoma!

International Children’s Festival | St. Albert | May 26 – 30
Musicians, dancers, storytellers, artists, and puppeteers from around the globe converge to delight the young and young-at-heart with upbeat music, crafts and games, and funny stage performances.

NextFest | Various venues | June 4 – 14
There is something for everyone at this multi-disciplinary showcase of over 500 emerging young artists with 50 events encompassing theatre, music, dance, art, film, creative writing, and fashion.

Edmonton Pride Festival | Various venues | June 5 – 14
Celebrate diversity and acceptance of the LGBTQ community with a colourful parade, musical performances, parties, theatre performances, and more!

Edmonton Craft Beer Festival | Edmonton EXPO Centre, 7515-116 Ave. | June 5 – 6
Samples of over 700 different varieties of beer — from breweries in 44 countries! Sample beer and food from Edmonton’s best eateries, attend Brew Masters seminars, Cooking with Beer seminars, and Food and Beer Pairing workshops to learn more the characteristics and flavours of various beers.

Improvaganza Festival | Citadel Theatre, 9832-101A Ave. | June 17 – 27
Be prepared to laugh until it hurts at Canada’s largest improv festival where talented artists from across the country will compete in a series of hilarious theatresports matches and host improv comedy workshops.

The Works Art and Design Festival | Various venues | June 19 – July 1
Outdoor exhibits transform downtown Edmonton into the largest outdoor art gallery in North America with live artist demonstrations, an outdoor street market, music, and more!

Edmonton International Jazz Festival | Various venues | June 18 – 29
The Bad Plus Joshua Redman headline this annual festival that heats things up with performances by talented jazz musicians from around the world.

Freewill Shakespeare Festival | Hawrelak Park | June 23 – July 19
Local theatre troupe the Freewill Players bring back their Shakespeare double feature to Edmonton’s beautiful river valley. This year’s festival features the romantic comedy As You Like It and the violent drama Coriolanus.

Canada Day | Various venues | July 1
Celebrate our nation’s birthday with events and activities across the city, including free family activities and fireworks at the Alberta Legislature grounds and City Hall in Churchill Square.

Historic Festival & Doors Open Edmonton | Various venues | July 5 – 12
Celebrate Edmonton’s historic past with hands-on pioneer experiences including a horse-drawn carriage, tours of a church, cemetery, garden, and other historical buildings, streetcar rides, storytelling, live music, and more.

Street Performers Festival | Churchill Square | July 3 – 12
You never know who you’ll run in to when over 1,500 roving artists take to the streets for a variety of shows featuring magic, comedy, puppets, juggling, storytelling, music, fire tricks, and more!

Sand on Whyte | South Scona Parking Lot, 81 ave. & 105 St. | July 3 – 12
Sand carving exhibits are coming to Old Strathcona! Award-winning artists from B.C. and the Netherlands will be working on giant sand-carving creations throughout the festival.

Whyte Avenue Art Walk | 82 (Whyte) Ave., between 100 St. & 108 St.July 10 – 12
Art Walk transforms the streets of Old Strathcona into an outdoor gallery and studio featuring hundreds of working artists. Visitors can stroll along Whyte Avenue and admire the diverse selection of art in all mediums and purchase affordable, original pieces from local artists.

Taste of Edmonton | Churchill Square | July 16 – 25
Dozens of Edmonton’s finest chefs create special menus for this white-tented, ten-day affair where hungry guests can sample a variety of delicious food, wine, and beer while enjoying live music and street performers.

K-Days | Northlands Park, 7410 Borden Park Rd. | July 17 – 26
This action-packed extravaganza of carnival activities kicks off with a parade and follows with a non-stop week of live entertainment, midway games, thrilling rides, unique food, chuckwagon races, concerts, and extravagant nightly fireworks.

Interstellar Rodeo | Hawrelak Park | July 24 – 26
St. Vincent and Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires headline this music festival that showcases folk, country, blues, bluegrass, gospel, and rock talents from the Six Shooter Record Label.

Blueberry Bluegrass Festival | Heritage Park 5100-41 Ave., Stony Plain | July 31 – August 2
Take a sunny drive to Stony Plain, just west of Edmonton, for this celebration of roots and bluegrass music with great acts like Seldom Scene, a main stage show, jam sessions, lessons, and demonstrations.

Servus Heritage Festival | Hawrelak Park | August 1 – 3
Outdoor pavilions house a non-stop assortment of music and dancing, arts and crafts displays and cultural demonstrations, traditional costumes and the exotic cuisine of over 75 cultures.

Edmonton Folk Music Festival | Gallagher Park | August 6 – 9
Global stars of folk, blues, bluegrass, and gospel genres from around the world come together for four blissful days at this open-air festival where the Gallagher Park hillside serves as a natural amphitheatre.

Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival | Various venues | August 13 – 23
This phenomenal alternative theatre fest is the largest and oldest of its kind in North America with over 1,200 shows and performances from over 200 theatre companies throughout the event. In addition to ticketed stage shows, its not uncommon for impromptu performances to break out in the streets!

Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival | Louise McKinney Park | August 14 – 16
A  series of intense and exciting Dragon Boat races on the North Saskatchewan River showcase the talents of impressive rowing athletes. Cultural events celebrating the Chinese-Canadian community keep the festive spirit with special events, activities, and plenty of food and drink.

Edmonton Blues Festival | Hawrelak Park | August 21 – 23
Top local and international acoustic and electric blues acts from around the world rock the house with everything from funk to zydecco!

Symphony in the Park | Hawrelak Park | August 28 – 30
The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra is in top form during this three-day al fresco summer extravaganza of classical music, pop-culture favourites and famous film scores. 

Sonic Boom Music Festival | Borden Park | September 5 – 6
Alexisonfire, Tenacious D, and Brandon Flowers headline this year’s two-day, outdoor music festival of amazing modern rock artists.

Kaleido Family Arts Festival | Alberta Avenue, 118 Ave., 90 – 94 St. | September 11 – 13
Over 200 musical and performance acts, visual artists, and artisans from both the professional and emerging arts create across various landscapes of Alberta Avenue including, rooftops, vertical surfaces, alleyways, playgrounds, and more. Admission to the festival is free!

Edmonton Author Spotlight: Timothy Caulfield

Tim-Caulfield-Photo-credit-Akiko-Taniguchi

Tim Caulfield. Photo by Akiko Taniguchi.

Stop your juice cleanse right now — Gwyneth Paltrow may be wrong about everything! In his new book, Timothy Caulfield examines the influence of celebrity culture on the health, diet, beauty, and happiness of North American society. Why do we spend ridiculous sums of money on extreme beauty regimes or the latest superfoods — and do they have any health benefits?

Caulfield is a health-science expert, acting as the Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy and as a professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, so he’s naturally developed a skeptical eye and scientific lens over his career. Considering only evidence-informed research and advice in Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong about Everything?, he searches for anything to back up celebrity health and beauty claims and — unsurprisingly perhaps — finds next to nothing. This book is a follow-up of sorts to his previous bestseller, The Cure for Everything!, which also works to eliminate the many health myths in the media.

Timothy-Caulfield-CoverWhile you can expect him to burst your beauty-obsessed bubble, you’ll also laugh at the crazy lengths Caulfield goes to in order to identify and debunk the messages and myths that come from celebrities. Between reading People Magazine cover-to-cover for a year, going on Gwyneth’s goop detox, and auditioning for American Idol, Caulfield unveils the many unhealthy side effects that celebrity culture has on our lives. The book is a fascinating examination of how celebrities and the foolish things they do control our lives, and it may have you second guessing everything Dr. Oz or Gwyneth tells you to do for your “health”. Buy a copy anywhere books are sold, such as local bookstore Audreys Books.

 

The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald Turns 100!

The-Hotel-Mac-Exterior---Garden-Patio-copy

Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald.

Located in the downtown core, The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald (often referred to as Edmonton’s castle) is celebrating its 100th birthday this year!

The hotel has stunning views of the River Valley — particularly from its prestigious patio at the Confederation Lounge, where you can sip and savour an expertly crafted cocktail. Steeped in history, the hotel hosted King George VI and Queen Elizabeth back in 1939. Be sure to check out the events the Fairmont has planned to celebrate its birthday throughout the year!

Alumni Event | July 3 | 6 – 9 pm
All former employees are welcomed back under one roof to share stories of the hotel’s past at this inviting reception.

Birthday Brunch | July 5
A real birthday treat, be sure to reserve a spot at this gourmet brunch in advance as seats will fill up fast!

Birthday High Tea & Tour | July 4 & 5 | 2:30 pm
Wear your most fashionable hat, dine on an exquisite menu, and enjoy High Tea at the Hotel Macdonald. Afterward, you’ll also enjoy a walk through the garden and a historic tour of the hotel.

For more information about these and other events and to reserve tickets, please visit the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald’s website.

—Matthew Stepanic

Your 2015 Edmonton Farmers’ Market Guide

Escobar_2013_06_08-335City Market 
Sat 9 am – 3 pm
(until Oct 10, 2015)
Spend some time at the original outdoor downtown farmers’ market browsing a wide selection of local vendors with the freshest and highest quality products in town. You’ll find everything from gourmet foods to clothing to beauty products to artwork — truly a unique shopping destination! The market is outside until Thanksgiving weekend and then moves to City Hall for the winter months.
104 St. & 102 Ave., 780-429-5713.

124 Grand Market Thu 4 pm – 8 pm (until Oct 8, 2015)
Enjoy a twist on the traditional market with a combination of everything locals love about summer: trendy food trucks, live entertainment, artists, shopping, and of course, fresh and local foods all in the vibrant outdoors!
124 St. & 108 Ave.

Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market Sat 8 am – 3 pm (year-round)
Over 130 of the finest food producers, artisans, makers, and crafters bring a slice of rural life to the city at this year-round, indoor farmers’ markets. Every Saturday a bustling crowd in the heart of Edmonton’s historic Strathcona district unites to shop for unique handmade products, enjoy food at the height of its natural harvest time, and connect directly with local farmers and artisans whopersonally transport their wares to you.
10310-83 Ave., 780-439-1844.

Mother’s Market  Fri – Sun 10 am – 5 pm (year-round)
A three-day market open on weekends, Mother’s Market is the only year-round indoor farmers’ market located downtown. The market features over 130 stalls filled with a variety of in-season, fresh produce from farmers and hand-crafted, artisan goods. Parking here is a breeze with over 450 stalls in the area, including an underground, heated lot.
10251-109 St., 587-521-6255.

Callingwood Farmers’ Market Wed 2 pm – 6 pm; Sun 10 am – 3pm (until Oct 11, 2015)
This outdoor farmers’ market offers the finest of locally grown fresh, organic produce and meats, delicious home made food, garden plants, unique arts and crafts, exclusive hand made products and much more.
69 Ave. & 178 St.

St. Albert Outdoor Farmers’ Market Opens June 13! Sat 10 am – 3 pm (until Oct 10, 2015)
You’ll find fresh produce, homemade baking, preserves, woodwork, fruits, pottery, and much more in the over 250 vendors here at Western Canada’s largest outdoor farmers’ market.
St. Anne and St. Thomas St., St. Albert,780-458-2833.

—Lindsay Shapka & Matthew Stepanic

 

Hot Docs: Global Visions Film Festival

Global Visions 2Canada’s longest-running documentary film festival, Global Visions (running from May 7–18, 2015) kicked off this year’s fest with one of the year’s most highly anticipated and critically acclaimed films, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. From director Brett Morgen, this film uses Cobain’s own journals, music, art, films, and audio recordings to paint a definitive portrait of Nirvana’s visionary frontman and highlight his lasting influence on popular culture.

Other notable docs featured this year include:

1 Dead Venues Created by locals Mike Siek and Eden Munro, this is a fond look back at some of Edmonton’s most beloved, “gone-but-not-forgotten” music venues.

2 Made In Japan From director Josh Bishop, this is the poignant and incredibly inspiring story of Japanese country music star Tomi Fujiyama.

3 How to Change the World Using never before seen archival materials, this doc is the story of the pioneers who founded Greenpeace and defined the modern green movement.

Visit the website for screening times, and check out the current issue for more fantastic festivals!

—Lindsay Shapka

Hot Art In Edmonton

The Peter Robertson Gallery and The Front Gallery have both moved to a brand new, modern space on 124 Street. If a new space isn’t enough to entice you to visit, the incredible artists they are featuring is sure to!

PeterRobertson Gallery

Shimmering Light and Shifting Hues
May 1–19, 2015

With a dazzling variety of colours, artist Steve Driscoll presents variations on images of Ontario’s Algonquin Park — a setting that was heavily represented in works by the Group of Seven — using a new form of landscape painting in the exhibit Actually Everything is Just About the Same. Rather than fighting it, he acknowledges that even our view of nature is digitally mediated, and his works seem to be washed with Instagram filters, perfectly capturing the manipulated landscape of memory rather than fact.
Peter Robertson Gallery, 12323-104 Ave., 780-455-7479.

Human Form 
May 2–25, 2015

Provocative sculptural figures challenge viewers to explore the connection between the mind, body, and spirit in Blake Ward’s exhibit Silent Metaphors. Raised in Edmonton, Ward works out of a studio in Monte Carlo and exhibits his stunning figurative sculptures all over the world. The Front Gallery, 12323-104 Ave., 780-488-2952.

Lindsay Shapka

10 Things To Do in Edmonton Before the End of April

Donuts

1. Gallery Walk This Saturday, April 18 from 10–5 and Sunday from 12–4, the art galleries on 124 Street will be showcasing incredible works and will also feature drinks, snacks, entertainment, and even a chance to meet the artists themselves!

2. Enjoy an Evening at the Opera The Edmonton Opera is closing out their stage season with the haunting, tragic opera Lucia di Lammermoor that takes place in the Scottish hillside. Performances are on April 18, 21, and 23.

3. Go House Hunting… but not in the traditional sense. Next week, U of A design students will be installing three tree houses in Churchill Sq. as part of a public art installation called Impose. They are going to look like actual mini houses that can be found in our neighbourhoods.

4. Edmonton Poetry Fest kicks off on April 19 and will feature 8 days packed with events such as slam poetry, vintage poetry, and even a night that pairs poetry with whisky!

5. The California Wine Fair is on April 22 at the Citadel Theatre and it is your chance to try more than 400 different wines from the region.

6. For the sports fans, the always-entertaining Harlem Globetrotters are in town from April 24–25.

7. Movie fans will LOVE the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra’s Bond & Beyond on April 25 that will feature hit songs from James Bond movies.

8. Try the Frickin’ Delights Vegan Donuts from the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market. They are locally made, and are the some of the best donuts we have ever tasted!

9. Avenue Q opens on April 25 at the Citadel. This is a hilarious coming-of-age musical that includes human actors and puppets. Don’t let the puppets fool you though — this is an adult-only show.

10. Lastly, it’s time to update your look for spring! Local blogger Kira Paron of Northern Style Exposure helped us out with some fashion tips this issue like recommending that both men and women pick up something gingham to refresh their look.

—Lindsay Shapka

Poetry Moves at Edmonton Poetry Festival

Iman Mersal Photo credit Randall Edwards

Poet Iman Mersal reading at last year’s Edmonton Poetry Festival. Photo by Randall Edwards.

Poetry is so much more than the dreadful rhymes your teacher forced on you in grade school. This sundry art form includes engaging styles such as spoken word in which poets focus as much on the performance of the piece as they do on the actual words, adding in clever word play and storytelling. When you hear poetry live, you connect with new ideas and perspectives through the poet’s use of images and metaphors to
convey their message.

Edmonton Poetry Festival returns to the city every April (or National Poetry Month as in-the-know beatniks call it) to bring poetry to the people over 8 days of unique events with music, dance, food, and anything that lifts words off the page. Founded in 2006 with the principle that poetry is a source of energy, entertainment, and joy shared by all societies, the festival aims to celebrate those elements with audiences across the city.

This year, Edmonton is welcoming a star-studded guest list of local and national poets, including the current World Poetry Slam Champion Ikenna Onyegbula and the Parliamentary Poet Laureate Michel Pleau. Another must-catch performer Taqralik Partridge blends in throat singing with her readings, while her work explores issues of Aboriginal rights. If you want to sample any of these poets’ words, head to YouTube to watch some of their live performances! (Warning: You may lose track of time as you jump from video to video.)

If you’ve never considered yourself a poetry fan, Executive Director Rayanne Doucet says the festival will have many surprises for you. “You never know when you are going to fall in love with words,” she says. “Poetry has a way of hooking you. You just need that one experience where someone touches you with their language.”

One of the festival’s goals is to highlight electrifying poets that you can only hear in Edmonton. “We have an amazing depth of spoken word talent in this city,” says Doucet. Programming for this year includes a Bring Your Own Venue Day on April 19, which showcases the skills of local poets who’ve organized their own unique events.

For an eclectic experience of the poetry scene, head to the Saturday night poetry party, “Poetry Meets” on April 25. At this eccentric event, poets will collaborate with a range of artists, including musicians and burlesque dancers, to bring their words to life through sound and movement. Or, attend “Whisky and Words from Wise Women” on April 22 to sample both whisky and the wisdom from four exceptionally talented female poets from across Canada.

“The Gala: Bouffant Poetry” (ou en français: «poésie décoiffante») on April 24 is a fantastic gala at the Pavillon Lacerte that embraces Canada’s two official languages. The night will merge New Orleans and Parisian culture, and you’ll want to show off your chicest fashions as you mingle and have your breath taken away by the evening’s performers.

No matter what event you catch at the festival, Doucet says, “I hope that audiences are struck breathless by a new poetic voice we introduce them to, and I hope they search for even more voices after seeing how our visiting poets move them.”

When you encounter “two roads diverged in a yellow wood”, don’t be sorry you could not travel both — follow the one that leads to Edmonton Poetry Festival! For full details on events and tickets, visit the website.

5 Spots for Pho in Edmonton

EdmontonPho

We’re still a few weeks away from a “true Spring” in Edmonton, so stop by one of these great spots for a warm bowl of pho if the weather’s giving you a chill!

1. Hoang Long Casual Fare follows in the footsteps of traditional Asian street vendors in making their pho as fresh and healthy as possible, while still making it convenient for the grab-and-go crowd.
10037-109 St., 780-486-6998

2. A family-run restaurant, King Noodle House serves up a side of character — particularly in its friendly and charismatic owner Moustache Man — with its family pho recipe.
10613-97 St., 780-428-8983

3. Doan’s Vietnamese Restaurant prides itself on making authentic Vietnamese cuisine, especially with its flavourful beef pho.
10130-107 St., 780-424-3034 & 7909-104 St., 780-434-4448

4. With hearty bowls of pho featuring tasty options of satay or spicy beef at Pho King, you’ll quickly discover why this restaurant considers itself a royal in the pho kingdom!
9103-118 Ave., 780-757-7277

5. Delicious Pho offers dozens of choices for toppings, including brisket, flank, and tripe in steaming bowls of pho with a balanced flavour.
10418-124 St., 780-488-9943

10 Things To Do in Edmonton in March

Mormon-(Question-1)

The Book of Mormon. Photo courtesy of Broadway Across Canada.

 

To celebrate the first day of spring, here is a list of 10 things to do before the end of March!

1. It is International Macaron Day today! (Yes, that is a thing.) It started, of course, in Paris and cities around the world have started picking up on it over the last few years. If you haven’t before, we challenge you to head to Duchess Bake Shop (10720-124 St.) on 124 Street, and give these delicious treats a try!

2. There are still limited tickets available for the Book of Mormon that is at the Jubilee Auditorium from March 24–29 — the show is supposed to be thoroughly entertaining.

3. Western Canada Fashion Week is from March 26 – April 4. If you have never been to a runway show, this is your chance! The event is a lot of fun and the talent that we have in this city is incredible.

4. Why not eat like they do in Barcelona, and head to a tapas bar for small plates and wine? We featured Bodega (10220-103 St.), Tzin (10115-104 St.) and the new Tapa Vino (11011 Jasper Ave.) in the recent issue of the magazine — all three are fantastic and have really great old-world atmospheres.

5. For those of you who haven’t yet, check out Mother’s Market (10251-109 St.) this weekend for some local fresh food and vegetables. It’s a really cool space, and is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10-5.

6. If an entertaining lunch is more your style, I suggest taking a lunch tour of the Winspear on March 25. The tour will take you backstage and provide lunch and beverages. There is no charge, but you have to RSVP — check their website for details.

7. Pick up University of Alberta Professor Ted Bishop’s book, The Social Life of Ink. We featured it in the magazine this issue, and it looks at how ink has shaped and changed culture, history and the way we connect with other people. It’s a really great read, and you’re supporting an Edmonton author!

8. Spend an hour flipping through the vintage vinyl at the Old Strathcona Antique Mall (10323-78 Ave.). They have a huge collection, and for those of you who just recently jumped on the vinyl train, it is a great place to start building your own library.

9. Check out the stars in our clear spring skies at the University of Alberta Observatory, or the observatory at the TELUS World of Science. Both are free and have regular public viewing hours.

10. Take a walk through the Legislature Grounds and over the High Level Bridge while it is all lit up at night. It is a really cool experience, and a lovely walk!

Are you doing something fun in the city? Tweet to us about it @whereedmonton for a change to have your tweet featured in our next issue!

Catch the Chilling Conclusion to Crashed Ice in Edmonton

Crashed-Ice-Sebastian-Marko

Photo by Sebastian Marko, courtesy of Red Bull Crashed Ice.

For three exciting days from March 12 – 14, tough athletes from across the country and around the globe will hurtle down an ice track at breakneck speeds reaching 55 km/h. Their goal? To beat out the other racers and win Red Bull Crashed Ice!

The skaters will push, slide, and sprint down the longest track of the 2015 season, which measures over 415 m in length. The track is built with massive drops — the biggest vertical drop is 45 m! — gaps, steps, and hairpin turns. The field of 64 riders will be whittled down to four athletes in the exhilarating final run on March 14.

To prepare the frozen track, 20 cases of crushed ice (each weighing 1,700 lbs.) are dumped onto the track, and water is then sprayed to create the first frozen layer, and then sprayed again and again over the week it takes to prep the ice and ensure it’s perfect.

One of the brave athletes, Ben Hilborn — who’s an Edmonton resident — wasn’t expecting to make it to the final, but was “pretty pumped” when he heard he’d made the cut. Hilborn mentions that though there’s no special training he went through to prepare him for this type of sporting feat, he’s played hockey for his whole life, so he plans on drawing from many of the skills he’s learnt while playing.

To face such a steep and slippery slope, you need a strategy, and Hilborn has prepared one. “There are lots of experienced guys running it,” he says, “and I’ll watch how they perform for any tips and strategies.” He’s feeling mixed emotions about the event, but overall he’s pretty excited. “I’m nervous about doing it in front of 100,000 people,” he says, “but hopefully I’m prepared.”

The event is free for all spectators to take in, and you can also stream the event live from the website if you’re not feeling brave enough to brace the weather. For tips on where best to watch the event and more information, please visit the website.

—Matthew Stepanic