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Edmonton

20 Holiday Activities in Edmonton Under $20 in 2014

Celebrate the season throughout December at the Alberta Legislature!

1. Celebrate the Season
Cost: Free!
Where: Alberta Legislature Building, 10800-97 Ave.
When: December 4 – 23
About: The first day of this month-long event features a choir performance and the Premier’s ceremonial turning on of the colourful lights outside the Legislature buildings. During the rest of the month, guests can enjoy afternoon and evening choir performances and hot chocolate when visiting the Legislature rotunda.
More info here!

2. All Is Bright on 124 St.
Cost: Free!
Where: 125 St. and 102 Ave.
When: Saturday, November 22, 3 pm – 8 pm
About: Celebrate the coming of winter with a stunning showcase of fashion, food, and entertainment on 124 St. Enjoy holiday-themed storefront displays, hot holiday drinks and food truck specialties, live music, sleigh rides, and a pop-up Christmas market to start your holiday shopping!
More info here!

3. Christmas on the Square Holiday Light Up
Cost: Free!
Where: Churchill Sq. Downtown
When: Saturday, November 15, 4 pm – 7 pm
About: Kick off the festive season with activities and entertainment for the whole family, including free balloon artists and face painting, stilt walkers, mascots and carollers, singers and musicians. Santa himself will be around to light up the majestic 72-foot tree adorned with more than 14,000 LED lights, cascading snowflakes and stars, followed by an impressive fireworks display.
More info here!

4. Luminaria
Cost: $11.50 Adult; $9.50 Senior; Children 7-12 $6.25; Children 6 and under are free
When: December 6 & 7, 5 – 9 pm
Where: Devonian Botanic Garden, 5 kms north of Devon on Hwy 60, 15 minutes from West Edmonton
About: Thousands of hand-lit candles sparkle along the paths of the Kurimoto Japanese Garden. Strolling singers, ice sculptures, hot apple cider at the bonfires, illuminated Snow Sprites. An enchanting display! Call for tickets 780-987-3054 ext. 2223 to avoid lineups or order them online.
More info here!

5. Festival of Light
Cost: $9.50 Adult; $5.50 Child; $30 per Family
When: December 5 – 14, 5 – 10 pm
Where: Edmonton Valley Zoo
About: The Festival of Light will stage a spectacular exhibition of artistic light installations, live music, dancers, skating, and animal encounters within the unique setting of the zoo. Be sure to check out the gift shoppe, cafe, zoo school, multi-purpose room, and The Wander pathway.
More info here!

6. Cory Christopher Christmas Market & Holiday Workshops
Cost: Free to browse the market; prices vary for workshops and special events
When: November 1 - December 23
Hours: Tues – Wed 10 am – 5 pm; Thu 10 am – 9 pm; Fri 10 am – 5 pm; Sat – Sun 10 am – 5 pm; Closed Mon
Where: 10914 105 Ave. (alley entrance)
About: A treasure trove of yuletide delights awaits shoppers, showcasing the talents of local and Canadian artists and designers. Enjoy freshly brewed apple cider as you find the perfect holiday gifts, accents for your home, and of course something special just for you! Special events and creative workshops take place throughout the market; get creative and get in the spirit of the season!
More info here!

7. Theatresports Improv
Cost: $12
When: November 7, 14, 28, December 5, 12, 19
Where: Citadel Theatre, 9828-101A Ave.
About: Edmonton’s renowned improv comedy troupe Rapid Fire Theatre performs Theatresports weekly, where teams of talented improvisers do their best to win over the audience in a series of improv challenges. Shout out your suggestions and watch a scene evolve — you never know what they might say or do, but they will make you laugh! And with the holidays on everyone’s mind, you’re sure to witness a few pokes at Christmas classics or holiday traditions.
More info here!

8. Candy Cane Lane
Cost: Free, though donations for the Edmonton Food Bank are accepted and appreciated. Extra fee for sleigh rides.
When: December 12,2014 – January 4, 2015
Where: 148 St. between 100 Ave. & 92 Ave.
About: Grab a hot chocolate and take a stroll down Candy Cane Lane — a ten-block stretch of impressive residential displays of colourful Christmas lights and decorations. Or, see the sights while taking a festive sleigh ride!
More info here!

9. Festival of Trees
Cost: $10 Adult, $5 Senior (65+), $5 Youth (13-17), $2 Children (2-12), Infants under 2 are free
When: November 27 – 30
Where: Shaw Conference Centre, 9797 Jasper Ave.
About: The University Hospital Foundation’s annual fundraiser (this year in support of a gamma knife to perform delicate brain procedures without making an incision) is a family-friendly event with magnificently decorated trees, festive displays, uniquely decorated cakes, and the most intricate gingerbread houses you have ever seen! Enjoy family scavenger hunts, live entertainment, and a special visit from Santa.
More info here!

10. The Best Little Newfoundland Christmas Pageant Ever
Cost: $20 – $22
When: December 18 – 22
Where: Varscona Theatre, 10329 83 Ave.
About: What could be so hard about directing a Christmas pageant? It’s always the story with the same carols. But no one was expecting the Herdmans — “the worst kids in the world” — to show up for auditions! What has the potential to be the worst pageant ever turns out to be the best one as everyone learns the true meaning of Christmas in this funny, heartwarming play.
More info here!

11. Santa’s Arrival at West Edmonton Mall
Cost: Free
When: November 15, 10 am – 8 pm
Where: North Pole Place, West Edmonton Mall, 8882-170 St.
About: Come and welcome Santa to his home-away-from-home for the holiday season! Exciting entertainment includes a magician, face painters, a balloon artist, and Rapid Fire Theatre will be there with a special improv performance of Disney’s Frozen!
More info here!

12. Crafters Christmas Sale
Cost: Free!
When: November 28 – 30
Where: Devonian Botanic Garden, 5 kms north of Devon on Hwy 60, 15 minutes from West Edmonton
About: Shop for seasonal handmade crafts like wreaths, centrepieces, dried floral arrangements, potpourri, candles, cards, unique gifts, cookbooks, and much more. Products are handmade by members of the Devonian Botanic Garden’s Crafters Association, many with materials harvested at the garden.
More info here!

13. Holiday Bazaar at The Roxy!
Cost: Free to browse!
When: December 4; 5 pm – 9 pm
Where: Roxy Theatre, 10708-124 St.
About: Join the 124 Grand Street Market for a holiday-themed market place with festive energy and grand vendors, in a unique theatre setting! Fill your bags with quality goodies from local makers that will impress all your secret santa’s with a one-of-a-kind gift.
More info here!

14. North Pole Christmas
Cost: $12 Adult; $10.60 Senior (65+); $10.60 Student (13-17); $6.50 Child (2-12): Children under 2 are free.
When: Sunday, December 14, 12 pm – 4 pm
Where: Muttart Conservatory, 9626 – 96A St.
About: The Muttart Conservatory is throwing an event to get you into the Christmas spirit! Activities include a seasonal craft, face painting, and Christmas cactus planting! And live music will fill Centre Court with the warmth of the season. You can even pick up a Muttart Conservatory–grown poinsettia!
More info here!

15. Print Affair: Pretty Paper
Cost: $20 (for members, $25 regular)
When: Saturday, December 6, 8 pm
Where: SNAP Gallery, 10123 121 St.
About: Enjoy a fun and elegant evening of holiday cheer with a community of members, volunteers, artists and art patrons. Enjoy great music from local DJs, wonderful food, exquisite drinks and, of course, high-caliber contemporary print art. This event focuses on the sale of contemporary print works at all price ranges and the Edmonton community is encouraged to support local arts and culture by purchasing art as gifts this holiday season.
More info here!

16. Royal Bison Craft & Art Fair
Cost: $2 General, Kids get in free!
When: November 28 - 30 & December 5 – 7
Where: Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre, 8426 Gateway Blvd.
About: Browse the beautiful boutique-like displays from local, independent vendors selling unique handmade clothing, jewellery, accessories, artwork, toys, and zines. This is the perfect fair to find a speciality, hand-made holiday gift! New this year: the fair will run for a second weekend in December that will feature the best crafts and wares from across the prairies!
More info here!

17. A Prairie Christmas
Cost: $12
When: December 13 & 14
Where: Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm, 56311 Lily Lake Rd., Bon Accord, 25 km north of Edmonton
About: Bundle up and enjoy some seasonal family fun at the cozy, rustic setting of Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm. Decorate cookies with the elves, ride the magical Polar Express, get a family photo with Santa, make ornaments and gifts at the craft station, and enjoy hot chocolate and other treats in Mrs. Claus’ kitchen.
More info here!

18. Whyte Christmas Sleigh Ride Shuttle
Cost: Rides by donation in support of the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta
When: November 29 & December 6, 13, 20; 1 pm – 5 pm
Where: Old Strathcona
About: Experience the sights and sounds of the holidays along Whyte Ave. in Old Strathcona with a sleigh ride! And watch carefully because you may spot Santa roaming around Old Strathcona one of those days!
More info here!

19. Edmonton Oil Kings “Sing for Santa”
Cost: Tickets start at $18
When: Saturday, December 6, 4 pm
Where: Rexall Place
About: Watch WHL hockey teams Edmonton Oil Kings vs. Moose Jaw Warriors and enjoy special holiday-themed entertainment.
More info here!

20. It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Show
Cost: $18
When: December 17 – 23; 8 pm
Where: Fort Edmonton Park, 7000-143 St.
Watch the classic holiday tale of despair and redemption performed as a 1940s radio broadcast by a cast in full period costume with live music and sound effects. It’s a perfect holiday treat with classic holiday music and hilarious commercial breaks.
More info here!

— Matthew Stepanic

War Memorials in Edmonton

Courtesy-Musee-Heritage-Museum,-St-Albert-Historical-Society-fonds

Photo courtesy of Musée Héritage Museum.

Over 100 years have passed since the beginning of the First World War, and remembering the sacrifices of past Canadians is as significant an action as ever. If you’re looking to pay your respects privately on Remembrance Day, you can visit one of these memorials in Edmonton to have a moment of silence or place some flowers to honour all the brave lives we lost during times of war.

Edmonton Cenotaph | City Hall
Unveiled Aug. 13, 1936, the cenotaph stands 23 feet high, weighs more than 100 tonnes, and was constructed from B.C. marble, concrete, and steel. The memorial represents the tombs of approximately 3,000 veterans from the Edmonton area who died in WWI.

Aboriginal Veterans’ Monument | Legislature Building Grounds
Placed in 2004, this plaque honours the aboriginal veterans of Alberta who have served in Canada’s military.

Korean War Memorial | Legislature Building Grounds
This cairn is in memory of the Albertans killed in action during the Korean War (1950-1953).

Albertans in the Canadian Naval Service Plaque | Legislature Building Grounds
Placed in 1985, this plaque honours all Albertans who served in the Canadian Navy.

Canadian Merchant Navy Plaque | Legislature Building Grounds
Unveiled in 1996, this plaque commemorates the Canadian Merchant Navy and was placed on the 52nd anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.

War Memorial Pipe Organ | U of A Convocation Hall
Erected in 1925 by Casavant Frères, a Canadian pipe organ company, the organ is in memory of the 80 University of Alberta comrades who gave up their lives during WWI. There are also tablets near the entrance of the hall with the names of the students, staff, and alumni who did not return from the First and Second World Wars.

— Matthew Stepanic

Shadow Play at the AGA

Escobar_AGA

Art Gallery of Alberta. Photo by Pedro Escobar.

Try your hand at shadow play at the Art Gallery of Alberta’s latest late-night art party on November 15! Inspired by the avant-garde shadow theatres of 19th Century Paris, the night promises to be one of whimsy and illusion.

You’ll enter a world of intrigue and enigma as you explore light, dark, and colour in installations by local artists Patrick Ares-Pilon, Kyle Armstrong, and others. DJs will also provide a soundtrack for the night as you move from the dance floor to participating in some fantastical art projects, such as camera-less animation that will allow you to create a visually stunning movie by applying various media to 16 mm film — your short film will even be projected live that night!

Other installations include Harmony Light, in which Mark Templeton will use video feedback and printed overheads to produce various shapes of colour and light, and Into the Light, for which Leanne Olson will install hundreds of feet of transparent macro photos of the sky reflected in a creek’s sediment. The displays and setting of the gallery that night will make you feel as if you’ve been transported into a dream world!

As with the AGA’s previous Refinery Parties, this one offers you the opportunity to play with some unique fashions. The dress code asks for dark hues or pieces that create dramatic shadows, or you can slip into reflective attire that shimmers with sequins. Take a gander at the AGA’s Pinterst page to be inspired by imaginative new looks you could put together for yourself.

The evening also offers a unique opportunity to see the AGA’s current exhibitions, Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne, A Moving Image, and Amy Malbeuf: kayâs-ago, in a new light! For more information about this evening, be sure to visit the AGA’s website.

ShadowSelfie

Assistant Editor Matthew’s #ShadowSelfie

Contest alert!
The AGA has given us two tickets to the Shadow Play Refinery to give away! And on top of that, Sutton Place Hotel has given a one-night stay for the night of the party!

For a chance to win this fantastic prize package, we want you to try your hand at shadow play! To enter to win two tickets to the Shadow Play Refinery and a one-night stay at Sutton Place Hotel on November 15, send us a tweet @whereedmonton with a picture of your #ShadowSelfie! We’ll draw for the prize package on Wednesday, November 12, at 3:00 pm.

— Matthew Stepanic

Edmonton Theatre Preview (November 2014)

As the cool weather begins to settle in Edmonton, the live theatre starts to heat up! It’s a wonderful relationship, as theatre is great entertainment to seek out when avoiding the cold. Here’s a list of all the comedy, drama, and action that will hit our city’s stages this November — presented in the order of their openings so that you can plan ahead and catch them all!

One Man, Two Guvnors One-Man-Two-Guvnors| Through Nov 16
This British farce is a marvelous concoction of satire, songs, slapstick humour, and one-liners. The play follows the tale of a man who is hired by two different criminals and must keep each from learning about the other.
Citadel Theatre | 9828-101A Ave. | 780-425-1820

Sequence | Through Nov 16
A nearly blind professor receives a surprise visit from an unlucky student, and a pregnant young woman confronts a celebrated author. These two encounters intertwine with unexpected twists and turns in this new work that explores the mysteries of science, destiny, and faith.
Varscona Theatre | 10329-83 Ave. | 780-433-3399

Sherlock Holmes | Through Jan 31
When Dr. Watson throws his friend, the world’s greatest detective Sherlock Holmes, a retirement party, he believes nothing can go wrong — but then a guest is murdered! Everyone at the dinner is a suspect — even you! Set to the best “killer” tunes of all time, this modern spin on a classic tale will make you sing and laugh along.
Jubilations Dinner Theatre | West Edmonton Mall | 8882-170 St. | 780-484-2424

Loveplay | Nov 1, 3–8
Set in one location in London, Loveplay moves through time to explore human nature’s constant quest for love and sex. This satirical romp asks: with every advance in intellect, does our human capacity to feel keep pace or fall behind?
Timms Centre for the Arts, Univsersity of Alberta | 112 St. & 87 Ave. | 780-420-1757

The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble | Nov 6–23
A mother calls her three children to a family meeting to announce the news of her early onset of Alzheimer’s. Drizzled with heart, this play has all the right workings to remind us what keeps families together.
Roxy Theatre | 10708-124 St. | 780-453-2440

Top of the Pops: A British Rock Invasion | Nov 11 ­– Feb 1
For their annual holiday rock ‘n roll revue, Mayfield Dinner Theatre is hopping across the pond to celebrate all things British! From the 60s to today, the show covers the best British idols, from the Beatles to Amy Winehouse. Prepare for an evening of high-energy hilarity!
Mayfield Dinner Theatre | 16615-109 Ave. | 780-483-4051

Maggie-Now | Nov 14–22
A favourite of the Fringe, The Maggie-Now Cycle of Plays includes a cast of 9 portraying 72 characters on an epic journey from 1890s Ireland to 1930s Brooklyn. This bold, bittersweet tale covers the themes of life, disappointment, love, and redemption for a Brooklyn Irish immigrant’s family.
ATB Financial Arts Barn | 10330-84 Ave. | 780-409-1910

Flashdance | Nov 25–30
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, this iconic film is now a live musical! With electrifying dance numbers, Flashdance tells the inspiring story of Alex Owns, a Pittsburgh steel mill welder by day and a bar dancer by night, who dreams of becoming a professional performer. In addition to big hits like “What A Feeling”, 16 catchy new songs have been written for this show!
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium | 11455-87 Ave. | 780-427-2760

A Christmas Carol | Nov 29 – Dec 23
A favourite holiday tradition, this Dickens’ classic is sure to delight audiences young and old. Now on its 15th consecutive year of performance, this show provides exceptional entertainment with its unforgettable story, rich characters, and dazzling special effects.
Citadel Theatre | 9828-101A Ave. | 780-425-1820

— Matthew Stepanic

Join Indiana Jones on an Adventure in Edmonton!

Indy4

Solve puzzles to collect pieces of a lost artifact as you explore the exhibition!

Dust off your high-crowned sable fedora and unbury your whip from the sock drawer — it’s time for an adventure! Indiana Jones™ and the Adventure of Archaeology offers you the perfect opportunity to practice your hand at archaeology!

The exhibition features authentic relics from ancient societies around the world that were selected by archaeologist and National Geographic fellow Dr. Fredik Hiebert. The artifacts represent some of the most significant discoveries in archaeology, including the oldest known map written on a Mesopotamian cuneiform tablet and gold artefacts from the Royal Cemetery at Ur.

As you learn about the science of archaeology, you’ll explore 14 different locations where Indy himself has travelled. You’ll also encounter actual props from each of the movies and sketches from iconic scenes, alongside cool movie trivia. For instance, did you know rimless glasses were invented for Sean Connery’s character in The Last Crusade? There’s more to learn about the movies and archaeology at the exhibition—so unfold your map and plot your course to the TELUS World of Science to begin your search for “fortune and glory”!

Indy2

A sketch from the famous boulder scene.

Indy5

The oldest known map.

TELUS World of Science—Edmonton | 11211-142 St. | 780-451-3344
Daily 10 am – 5 pm | Exhibition runs through April 6

— Matthew Stepanic

Six Free & Fun Events in Edmonton for Alberta Culture Days

Alberta-Culture-Days-credit-Justin-Wondga

Photo by Justin Wondga

All across Alberta this weekend, communities will be hosting FREE activities to highlight their unique arts culture — and Edmonton is no exception! The selection in this city for Alberta Culture Days seems endless with movie screenings, dance performances, visual arts, live music, and tours of historical attractions, so we rounded up a few great possibilities — all of them free and all of them fun!

1. Art Before Dark | Sep 26 | 5 – 7 pm
The Alberta Jubilee Auditoria Society is partnering with many prestigious arts organizations in Alberta, including Theatre Alberta, Guru Digital Arts College, Edmonton Opera, and more for this educational event! Take a backstage tour of their world-class facility, learn some musical insight from local performers, and enjoy tasty treats from Bully Food Truck and One Cool Cookie!
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium | 11455-87 Ave. | 780-427-2760

2. Alberta Culture Days at Metro Cinema | Sep 27 – 28
Metro Cinema will be celebrating the wealth of talent and creativity in the community with a variety of short and feature-length films, all of which will be family friendly! Films will cover topics of prairie tales, indigenous perspectives, and more! For a full listing of what’s playing, check out Metro Cinema’s website.
Metro Cinema at the Garneau | 8172-109 St. | 780-425-9212

3. Pro Coro Canada: Everything Under the Sun | Sep 28 | 2:30 pm
Pro Coro Canada will be joined by the Richard Eaton Singers to perform the powerful “Path of Miracles” by Brit Joby Talbot. Tickets are free, but must be reserved through the Winspear Centre box office, so don’t delay in reserving yours! More details are available on their Facebook page.
Winspear Centre | 4 Sir Winston Churchill Sq. | 780-428-1414

4. Winspear Centre Tour | Sep 26 | 12 pm
Take a free tour of the Winspear Centre and discover shows are run and put together! Winspear will also be hosting other free events throughout the weekend, such as an instrument petting zoo and a big drum workshop, so be sure to check out the website for more information.
Winspear Centre | 4 Sir Winston Churchill Sq. | 780-428-1414

5. LEGO Competition with MADE | Sep 27 | 11 – 2 pm
Compete to win a golden brick of LEGO with your team as you build your version of the Art Gallery of Alberta’s building from the past, present, or future! This is a great challenge for any age! Find out how to register here.
Art Gallery of Alberta | 2 Sir Winston Churchill Sq., 99 St. & 102A Ave. | 780-422-6223

6. All provincial and historical sites and museums have FREE admission, so don’t miss out on amazing exhibits, such as “Finding Place: Exploring Home Through Field Journal Art” at Royal Alberta Museum or “Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne” at the Art Gallery of Alberta!

For a complete listing of all the wonderful free events you can check out this weekend, visit the Alberta Culture website!

Fall Fashion From the Front Row

The change in season brings with it a change in fashion, and with Western Canada Fashion Week coming to Edmonton this month, people are curious about what’s trendy to wear. Here’s a look at some of the exciting new fashions writer Janis Galloway picked up at Toronto Fashion Week!

Texture Play: For both men and women, touch-worthy fabrics from fur, wool, velvet and leather were mixed and layered for interesting ensembles. Menswear line HD Homme showed us dapper texture at its best with velvet suits in festive green, red and blue. We’re favouring these suits as the perfect fit for swanky holiday parties. The designer also paired leather pants with a silk lapelled blazer, a bit daring for most, but strong inspiration for mixing up fabrics in your own wardrobe. For the women, one of the best layered textured looks was Mackage’s sleek interpretation of a modern, urban witch — a faux fur skirt topped with a leather jacket.

Roll Call: Scholarly dressing passed the test as a major trend for both the sexes. Edmonton’s own luxury womenswear designer, Malorie Urbanovitch, sent svelte models down the runway in pastel miniskirts accessorized with mini, white leather backpacks and sheer knee high socks. Urbanovitch’s muted and sophisticated colour palette means the private schools looks are very wearable, easily taken off campus and mixed and matched for both water cooler chat or a fashionable function. In the Outclass menswear presentation, varsity jackets were the star quarterback of the show in versions of yellow and red plaid with leather sleeves. We can see Edmonton’s young and hip taking these jackets to the streets on their way out to a night on say, The Common’s dance floor.

WorldFashionWeek

Photo by George Pimentel; Courtesy of World MasterCard Fashion Week

Fancy Fur: The fur was flying in many collections, and in such vivid colours it was hard to miss. Brightly coloured faux fur as well as the real deal (sorry, PETA) were wrapped around hoods, shoulders and torsos in numerous collections from some of Canada’s biggest style influencers such as Joe Fresh and Pink Tartan. Line Knitwear had the most exemplary designs, with an ultra sleek feminine collection of body hugging, brightly hued angora pieces in bold fuchsias and blues. One of the strongest looks was a simply sweet pairing of fuzzy, royal blue angora shorts and matching cropped sweater. Practical for an Edmonton winter? Probably not, but we’ve never preferred function over fashion. Still not convinced? Make the look more cold weather friendly by layering a pair of nylons under the shorts and slipping on heeled ankle booties.

Think Pink: Every season, one colour always reigns supreme and, similar to 2013, pink is on designers’ minds. Designer Mikhael Kale played up the shade in stunning splattered silk prints to create slinky cocktail dresses, while Mackage let pink pop on sophisticated, tailored outerwear. The happy hue is a welcome concept amongst what is normally a sea of black parkas on Edmonton’s dreary winter sidewalks.

To catch up on more exciting trends in fashion, read Janis’ blog Dress Me Dearly. Or to discover the best new fashions for yourself, check out Western Canada Fashion Week: September 19 – 27! (ATB Financial Arts Barns | 10330-84 Ave. | 780-409-1910)

5 Spots for Perfect Pints

Visit any of these great Edmonton spots for a perfect pour!

BeerMug1. O’Byrnes Irish Pub (10616 Whyte (82) Ave.)
Guinness aficionados know that it needs to be poured just right — and the bartenders here know how to serve it up as smoothly as at a pub in Dublin.

2. The Underground Tap & Grill (10004 Jasper Ave.)
Craft beer fans will appreciate Underground’s dedication to being a true craft beer bar, with a menu full of unique brews in lieu of big-name macro-brew beers. In September their rotational taps include beers from Selkirk Abbey Brewing Co. and Evil Twin Brewing, and in October the taps will feature beers from Hopworks Urban Brewery.

3.Beer Revolution (11736-104 Ave.)
The beer here is fresh — you can see for yourself on the airport-style arrivals and departures board exactly when the kegs were tapped. Their 24 draught beers are all on rotation so every day there is something new to try.

4. Sugarbowl (10922-80th Ave.)
The food here is so delectable that it’s given this eatery its good reputation, but don’t skip over the beer list. Their impressive selection of bottled beer includes gluten free varieties, ciders, lambics, dubbels, and saisons.

5. Sherlock Holmes Pub (Three locations in Edmonton; click here for a complete list)
Want a no-frills pub experience? This cozy, British-style pub has got familiar lagers and ales served just right with traditional pub fare.

— By Breanna Mroczek

Country Music Stars Mosey Into Edmonton

Edmonton country fans are polishing their boots and spurs in preparation for next week’s big events: the Canadian Country Music Association Awards and Country Music Week are riding into town, and Edmonton fans have many reasons to hoot and holler in celebration.

This year marks the second year that Edmonton has hosted the events, which CCMA President Don Green attributes to the hugely successful event back in 2010. “There are many reasons why we love [hosting the event in] Edmonton,” says Don Green, “including: incredible government, business and community support, spectacular venues, a dedicated and solid volunteer base, and many local enthusiastic and passionate music lovers.”

Not only should Edmontonians celebrate for their fantastic hosting skills, but homegrown Brett Kissel — recent winner of the 2014 JUNO Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year — leads the pack with 8 CCMA Award nominations, including Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Songwriter of the Year! “It’s an indescribable feeling to be leading the way,” says Kissel. “I remember watching my first CCMAs in Edmonton with my mom, Brenda, and telling her that, ‘One day I’ll be up on that stage!’”

Brett1Kissel’s happy to be visiting Edmonton, and admits that what he misses most about the city is attending an Edmonton Oilers game. “Whether I’m with friends, family, or business associates, it’s always a blast watching a game in Oil Country!” The city holds a special place in Kissel’s career, as it’s had a strong influence on his music and songwriting. “Growing up on a cattle ranch outside of Edmonton allows me to sing about country music freely and from a special point of view,” says the country star. “Having performed thousands of times in the Edmonton area, I’ve been able to develop my craft and morph into the entertainer I am today.”

Kissel’s also looking forward to being back in the same city as one of his top 5 favourite restaurants in all of Canada: Hardware Grill. “The servers Garry and Steve take excellent care of my wife and I when we come in, and I feel as though we’re family there. Not to mention it’s likely the best restaurant in the city for presentation and flavour.”

The CCMA Awards take place on Saturday, September 7, and Kissel will perform along with other greats such as Terri Clark, Jann Arden, Kira Isabella, and Dallas Smith. And Country Music Week starts Thursday, September 4 with artists taking the stage at various venues throughout the city including the Citadel Theatre, Shaw Conference Centre, and West Edmonton Mall. These events will feature performances from Tom Cochrane, MacKenzie Porter, Paul Brandt, and many more!

For full details on performers, event times, and purchasing tickets, visit the CCMA website here!

— By Matthew Stepanic

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

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