Edmonton INFO Jan/Feb 2023 YOUR LOCAL DINING, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE NEW YEAR MORE ADVENTURE Plan the Perfect Snow Days with family festivals, date nights, winter road trips & more Winter FUN
3 INFO EDMONTON MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023 On the Cover: Snowshoeing is just one of many winter activities available in and around Edmonton! These folks are having a friendly race in the nearby Elk Island National Park (pg 28). Photo courtesy Travel Alberta Contents IN EVERY ISSUE 6 City Scene 9 Arts & Culture 14 Eat & Drink 20 Shopping 23 Attractions 26 Beyond Edmonton 9 Through FrozeColoured Glasses Spotlight on a beloved family festival Put Your Fest Foot Forward Edmonton’s annual winter festival lineup PHOTOS: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY, ROAM CREATIVE, RIVERSIDE BISTRO, EEDC Dome-Court Advantage Winter patios commit to coziness 18 26 A License to Skill Indigenous-led outdoor experiences CONTENTS 12 20 That's More Bike It Local shop inspires winter cycling
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JAN/FEB 2023 Edmonton INFO
Favourite winter activity? New year’s resolution? Share your thoughts with me!
OH SNOW WE DIDN’T!
Oh wait—s'yes we did. We made an entire issue dedicated to winter adventuring, because we know our readers love it as much as we do! Right?
When you live in a city this far north, you learn to roll with the snowfalls, and Edmontonians prove time and time again that they can roll with the best of ‘em. This means never stopping the famous festival season and instead dedicating ones specifically to cold, ice, and dressing up overtop a snowsuit (pg 9). It means finding ways to still eat outside (pg 18). It even means loading your car with a recommended emergency kit for peace of mind on winter roads for those favourite day trips and activities (pg 28).
Don’t worry, we’ve also got you covered if you’d rather adventurize indoors! You can let a chef decide your fate with a decadent set menu (pg 16), take in a local performance (pg 6), or try a new way to play video games (pg 25), all right here.
Ready to brr-ing on this new year? Be safe, be kind, be adventurous, and support local.
1) Years ago, our family decided that we needed to really embrace winter and enjoy it. We decided to take up crosscountry skiing, and we all signed up for lessons at the Edmonton Nordic Ski club, as it’s right in the river valley. Since then, it’s something I look forward to every year! I’d recommend the ski club for lessons and the many trails our river valley has. The best part is that it’s an activity we can do right in our city, and it’s free!
2) I’m excited to launch our 3rd annual Sweet Treats & Latte Festival in Old Strathcona in February! And I always look forward to attending Ice on Whyte—now called CHISELED—at the end of January.
Cherie Klassen, Executive Director at Old Strathcona Business Association
1) Because a new year for me also means a chance to refresh old or inspire new goals, my personal goals prioritize self-awareness and self-care, while professionally I want to expand my knowledge and learn something new. (This year I’m trying a new language— Spanish!) I do also love the segway tours with River Valley Adventures, and snowshoeing in the River Valley!
2) I am looking forward to one of my fave festivals: Flying Canoë Volant. I always love the outdoor activities, food and music, and First Nations and Métis traditions! I also love the local art, culture, activities, and family fun available at the Silver Skate Festival.
Nella Mirante, Les Clefs d’Or Concierge at Fairmont Hotel Macdonald
1) It’s fun to try out different things at the art gallery, for something that enlightens your mind and soothes your heart. Join an art-making class, tour the current exhibitions, or check out the work of local artists.
2) We’re most excited for the opening of two new exhibitions that celebrate local art and local artists on January 20. One, In Black and White by Edmonton-born Dean Drever, a member of the Haida First Nation, explores reciprocal functions of cultural identification, specifically the variations between individual freedom and social oppression.
Alice Leung, Head of Marketing & Communications at the Art Gallery of Alberta
5 INFO EDMONTON MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023
& 2) what
your favourite winter activity
are you most excited for?
PHOTOS: OLD STRATHCONA BUSINESS ASSOCIATION, NELLA MIRANTE, ALICE LEUNG
PHOTO: MONIQUE DE ST. CROIX
Tamara Aschenbrenner (she/her) firstname.lastname@example.org
Fasten your seat belts, the Alberta Art Gallery is taking you on a road trip! From highways to hotels, this exhibition contains over 100 different works of art depicting classic vacation moments. youraga.ca
Everything is not as it seems in this new tragicomedy by Chris Dood. Following deaf public speaker Nathan Jesper, Deafy combines spoken words, ASL, and captions to take audiences on a journey through relationships, deafness, and belonging. citadeltheatre.ca
Join children’s music artist Beppie for a Pay-What-You-Can show at the St. Albert City Arts Space! Audiences can expect sing-alongs, storytimes, and tons of opportunities to dance. With Beppie’s modern takes on old classics, this concert is sure to appeal to audiences of all ages. ardentheatre.ca
Country music star Aaron Goodvin is returning to his hometown of St. Albert for a remarkable night of music at the Arden Theatre. Named Canadian Country Music Association’s Songwriter of the Year in 2018, he’ll be playing crowd favourites like “Lonely Drum” and “Lucky Stars.” Goodvin will be accompanied by Hailey Benedict, another St. Albert artist who is currently making waves on the country music scene. ardentheatre.ca
Since its founding in 2012, Toque has been paying homage to Canadian classic rock. This band made a name for itself with impeccable covers of iconic songs by Loverboy, Streetheart, Prism, and more! Check them out at Century Casino for a celebration of homegrown tunes. cnty.com/edmonton
T SWIFT DANCE PARTY
Dance the night away to all your favourite Taylor Swift tracks! Popular across Canada, these events are run by Swifties for Swifties, with a portion of ticket sales going to Canadian charities. starliteroom.ca
JAN TILL 25 JAN
21 < JAN 12 FEB 3
6 info edmonton .com CITY SCENE
PHOTOS: CHARLES COUSINS, CITADEL THEATRE, BEPPIE, T SWIFT DANCE PARTY, TOQUE ENTERPRISES, AARON GOODVIN
Experience Dr. Dre’s landmark album, 2001, unlike ever before! Head down to The Starlite Room to immerse yourself in this iconic album with the help of a full orchestra and breathtaking visuals. starliteroom.ca
BEETHOVEN LIVES UPSTAIRS
Celebrate Family Day with a fun, educational concert featuring over 25 excerpts from Beethoven’s music. Drawing inspiration from the composer’s life, this show follows young Christoph and the “madman” who has moved into his home. Suitable for ages 6 and up. winspearcentre.com
“With my country, it’s a never ending love story.” Join L’Unithéâtre for Robert Suraki Watum’s Passeport, a touching collection of stories about homelands, immigration, and hope. lunitheatre.ca
Seamlessly blending Cuban and North American music, singer-songwriter Alex Cuba will be serenading audience members at The Arden Theatre with his Grammy awardwinning tunes. Join him for a memorable night of music that perfectly showcases Cuba’s skill in soul, funk, jazz, and pop styles. ardentheatre.ca
SPECIAL OLYMPICS ALBERTA WINTER GAMES
Special Olympics Alberta has been providing opportunities for Albertans with disabilities since 1980! This year’s Provincial games will be hosted in Strathcona County and will feature 8 unique winter sports including bowling, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing, and speed skating. The events will be hosted at 5 different locations across Strathcona County. specialolympics.ca
PHOTOS: ALTERNATIVE SYMPHONY, CLASSICAL KIDS LIVE!, L'UNITHEATRE, SPECIAL OLYMPICS ALBERTA, CHRISTINA WOERNS
< 26 FEB
18 FEB 24 FEB There’s way more winter fun to explore! Find your favourite outdoor festivals on page 9. 22 FEB < 26 7 INFO EDMONTON MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023 | city scene |
SOME COLD, HARD FACTS
SOME COLD, HARD FACTS
The city’s longest-running winter festival, SILVER SKATE FESTIVAL (pg 11), first launched in 1990.
The Edmonton area is home to 4 LOCAL SKI HILLS, with one even adjacent to downtown.
January might be our COLDEST MONTH of the year, but its average daily temperature is only -11.7°C!
While our shortest winter day has only 7.25 HOURS of daylight, we are still considered one of Canada's sunniest cities—with about 2300 HOURS of shining sun each year.
During the famous 55 KM BIRKIE (pg 9), participants also carry a 12-POUND pack to represent the legendary prince.
The best rink surface for outdoor skating happens when average daily temperatures are -10°C
Festival City never hibernates, with 1/3 OF OUR PUBLIC CELEBRATIONS happening in winter!
8 info edmonton .com | city scene |
PUT YOUR FOOT FORWARD
Embracing the winter season is something Edmonton does best, with its famous festival lineups continuing even during the coldest, snowiest months.
Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival
Multiple start locations | canadianbirkie.com
This epic cross-country ski saga is one of only three in the world, based on a Nordic legend depicting the rescue of an infant prince. According to the tale, a civil war endangered the baby heir, sparking the actions of two brave Birkebeiner warriors (or Birchlegs, based on their distinctive use of birch to keep out snow and protect them in battle) to spirit him away across mountain ranges. They travelled on skis for 55 km—impressive even without a baby. When the prince was later crowned the King of Norway, he was instrumental in ending the civil war that almost killed him.
The first inspired marathon took place in Norway in 1932, and Edmonton began its own rendition in 1985. The festival has since grown to become the largest classic-style cross-country ski event in Canada, attracting more than 2000 skiers from around the world every year (pre-pandemic).
The main event, of course, recreates the legend by strapping a 12-lb (5.5 kg) pack to participants for their
imitation princely cargo before they trek the 55-km journey through the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area. You can also try the same trek without a pack or even a range of recreational events as short as 500 metres.
Celebrations wouldn’t be complete without the Vikings’ Feast—a cutlery-optional buffet that includes carved roast beef, chicken, roasted potatoes, and pasta—or the official Birkie Baby, selected each year by nomination to represent the rescued heir. There are plenty of activities so that people of all ages and athletic abilities can join in on the fun!
9 INFO EDMONTON MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023 ARTS & CULTURE
PHOTOS: CANADIAN BIRKEBEINER SOCIETY;
Multiple venues across Edmonton | winterruptionyeg.com
It’s more than a concert series; it’s local, national, and international artists sweeping across 11 Edmonton stages for music, comedy, drag, wrestling, and all things winter. The lineup for this third annual festival includes local acts Girl Brain, wihtikow, Dual Nature, and Faunts, as well as Polaris winner Pierre Kwenders, Calgary's Exit Division, Philadelphia's Ron Gallo, and Treaty 6's Dump Babes. To round out the festivities, there are various outdoor activities at multiple venues, including a pre-game skate in the ICE District Plaza on January 28 in collaboration with the Edmonton Oilers!
ICE District Plaza in front of Rogers Place, 10220–104 St. | iceonwhyte.ca
Formerly known as the Ice on Whyte festival, CHISELED is bringing Edmonton’s prestigious International Ice Carving Competition—one of only three major ice carving competitions in Canada—to the downtown ICE District. Come watch teams of expert artists craft crystal-clear ice into masterpieces before your eyes. These eight teams from around the world will have only 34 hours to finish their 15-block sculptures, and then everyone gets to vote on their favourite! These works of art will remain in the plaza during the district’s activities and festivities throughout February.
Flying Canoë Volant
Mill Creek Ravine & La Cite Francophone | 8627 rue Marie-Anne-Gaboury (91 St.) | flyingcanoevolant.ca
This nighttime festival takes its name from a French legend shared with First Nations peoples. In the legend, a French nobleman loved to hunt so much that he skipped Sunday mass and was cursed to wander the night skies forever in a flying canoe pursued by howling wolves. Perhaps you'll spot him as you wander the Mill Creek Ravine, enjoying music, bannock roasting, and Indigenous art.
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PHOTOS: WINTERRUPTION, FLYING CANOE, TRAVEL ALBERTA, SILVER SKATE FESTIVAL
Silver Skate Festival
Hawrelak Park, 9930 Groat Rd. | silverskate.ca
Not only is this Edmonton’s longest-running winter festival, it’s chock full of free winter activities for the whole family. Fun in the park includes traditional Silver Skate races, figure skating presentations, birkie ski races, sleigh rides, live musical and theatrical entertainment, snow and fire sculpting, and free snowshoe, skate, and ski rentals. Plus you can try the classic Canadian treat of maple taffy, and watch movies on the big screen with the partnering annual International Festival of Winter Cinema, the world’s only free outdoor winter film festival.
11 INFO EDMONTON MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023 | arts & culture |
We also spotlight the magic of the Deep Freeze Festival on the next page!
THROUGH GLASSES Froze-Coloured
By Kristen Thomas
12 info edmonton .com | arts & culture |
“We were quite disillusioned about the cold and all that comes with it,” shares Christy Morin, the festival’s founder and executive director. But, as the conversation continued, this group of artists found a convenient way to put an end to their cold weather blues: a winter festival that paid homage to all the vibrant cultures and artists that formed the Alberta Avenue District. “That’s how we started, saturated in community,” she says.
Initially, the festival began as a single-day celebration of Ukrainian and Indigenous cultures, but soon expanded to a two-day affair with Francophone, Franco-African, and Latino influences. Now, 16 years later, Deep Freeze is one of Edmonton’s hottest winter festivals. For two days, visitors roam 118th Avenue and enjoy music, axe throwing, live ice carving, and so much more. There’s also Pipon Village, where you can gather around the fire for Indigenous teachings with tea and fresh bannock.
Over the years, many new additions to Deep Freeze were created in direct response to community member suggestions. For example, the famous Deep Freezer Races came from a community police officer, who purchased a deep freezer from the ecocentre, took off the lid, removed the freon, and attached some donated skis to the bottom. This unique addition is now a key feature of the festival, and even caught the attention of television personality Rick Mercer when he visited the festival in 2018. There’s several other instances of this communal spirit: the festival’s Street Hockey Competition came from
former City Councillor Scott McKeen and the Lamppost Cozy Challenge came from a local fibre artist who was itching to get involved. “When we see beautiful people, they always come with beautiful gifts,” says Christy.
What does 2023’s festival hold? Primarily, a return to its roots. Deep Freeze is back on 118th Avenue after two years away due to COVID-19. While they were grateful for the festival’s temporary home in Borden Park, Christy and her team are excited to be back on the Ave, bringing beauty to the streets and showcasing all the vibrant businesses their community has to offer. Another exciting addition includes the Heritage Village, which will feature several small buildings filled with artisans practicing their crafts, such as willow weaving and jam making. This new project is being developed with the help of Blacksmith Tim Moreland, who is a longtime Deep Freeze participant—readers might recognize Tim from his famous mobile forge!
As our conversation wrapped up, I asked Christy the impossible question. What is your favourite part of Deep Freeze? She reflected for a moment and settled on this: the way it ignites her senses. “It's hearing the sleigh bells come down the Avenue, hearing kids screaming on the slides, smelling chestnuts roasting on the fires. It’s so different from what we normally hear. It feeds your soul.”
Deep Freeze Festival will take place January 21–22 | deepfreezefest.ca
If you flipped
PHOTOS: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY 13 INFO EDMONTON MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023 | arts & culture |
The Deep Freeze Festival began like many things in Canada: with a group of people complaining about the weather.
have missed the full 2023 winter
lineup—so go check them out! And watch for updates on InfoEdmonton.com
As temperatures dip, there’s nothing more comforting than a big bowl of something hot and hearty. Take your taste buds on a journey and satiate your soup cravings with these dishes from Edmonton restaurants!
From their perfectly cooked pork belly to the fluffy Honey Butter Toast, every item on Hanjan’s menu is a hit—and their Budae Jjigae is no exception. Otherwise known as “Korean army stew,” this flavourful and spicy broth is filled with ham, sausages, rice cakes, and ramen noodles. Served in a giant stoneware pot and great for sharing!
Hanjan | Downtown: 10166–114 St., 780-758-3033 | South: 3735–99 St., 587-454-3333 | hanjan.ca
Arguably one of Edmonton’s most famous dishes, Continental Treat’s Pickle Soup is a cult classic. Cream-based and chock full of chopped veggies, this soup is infused with pieces of pickle and a tiny
bit of brine. Pair it with one of Continental Treat’s gluten-free sandwiches for the perfect coldweather meal.
Continental Treat | Downtown: 9698 Jasper Ave., 780-758-0442 | Old Strathcona: 10560–82 Ave., 780-433-7432 | ctfinebistro.com
Chicken Truffle Shoyu Ramen
Founded by the team behind DOSC and Japonais Bistro, Dorinku will transport you to Japan through their unique takes on classic street food dishes. This chicken, clam, and soy based broth offers the ultimate umami flavour. Add tender noodles, rolled chicken thighs, and a perfectly jammy egg and this is a bowl of soup you could get lost in.
Dorinku Osaka | 10328 Jasper Ave. | 780-761-9990 | osaka.dorinku.ca
14 info edmonton .com EAT & DRINK
PHOTOS: ADOBE STOCK
There’s nothing more beautiful than a bright red bowl of borscht. This tart Ukrainian soup gets its colour from fresh beets and often also contains dill, potatoes, and cabbage. While there’s tons of variations on this classic dish, High Level Diner’s award-winning take deserves all the hype it receives. Their exclusive borscht is only available on Thursdays as part of their Ukrainian platter, but we promise it's worth it! Plus who can say no to house-made perogies?
High Level Diner | 10912–88 Ave. | 780-433-0993 | highleveldiner.com
With offerings ranging from Green Papaya Salad to their meatless Vermicelli Special, An Chay has been slinging all-veggie Vietnamese food in Edmonton since 2017. Check out this family-owned restaurant
for a delicious bowl of plant-based Pho that appeals to meat-eaters and vegans alike. With five-spiced broth, fresh tofu, and enoki mushrooms, this soup is healthy, warm, and the perfect antidote to all your cold weather blues.
An Chay | 11203 Jasper Ave. | 780-752-2203 | anchayrestaurant.business.site
15 INFO EDMONTON MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023 | eat & drink |
February may be the month of love, but Edmonton’s dining scene is filled with romance all year long. With top-notch tasting menus and award-winning wine pairings, these spots are the perfect backdrop for anniversaries, birthdays, or any other intimate occasions. So dress to impress and let Edmonton’s restaurants take care of the rest!
A juggernaut in Edmonton’s fine dining scene, RGE RD has been setting the standard since 2013. Inspired by farm dinners in Central Alberta with friends and family, this restaurant uplifts all your favourite Prairie flavours with a special focus on sustainability and traditional techniques that span multiple generations. Put your trust in their team and try the tasting menu, The Road Trip, which takes your table on a surprising multi-course adventure featuring both classic and experimental dishes.
10643–123 St. | 780-447-4577 | rgerd.ca
The Butternut Tree
This restaurant entered the Edmonton dining scene with a bang in 2017, combining a tantalizing menu designed by Edmontonborn chef Scott Downey
and an intimate room with a panoramic view of the Legislative Grounds and river valley. Rejoice in flavours from all across Canada with their seasonal tasting menu featuring local ingredients.
#101, 9707–110 St. | 780-760-2271 | thebutternuttree.ca
The Harvest Room
What’s more romantic than breakfast at Edmonton’s most picturesque hotel? Featuring breathtaking views of the North Saskatchewan River, the Harvest Room offers classic cuisine with an award-winning twist. Their Breakfast Board is perfect for sharing with your better half and includes all the brunch essentials: farm-fresh eggs, fluffy pancakes, and crispy bacon.
10065–100 St. | 780-429-6424 | fairmont.com
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PHOTOS: ADOBE STOCK, THE BUTTERNUT TREE, RGE RD
The brainchild of two longtime friends, SABOR pairs excellent flavours with comforting hospitality for a dining experience unlike any other. This restaurant uses Spanish and Portuguese influences to transport diners to the oceanside, which is easier to imagine while enjoying the three-course Seafood Family Dinner. Enjoy live music and a warm ambience while indulging in three appetizers, two types of fresh fish, lobster risotto, and dessert.
10220–103 St. | 780-757-1114 | sabor.ca
Billed as a “modern trattoria,” Uccellino specializes in contemporary takes on classic Italian dishes. You’ll be transported to Tuscany with their take on a panzanella, and fall in love with Florence thanks to their house-made crostini. For a truly immersive experience, order their tasting menu, which is available every night and features select antipasti, two pastas, and a main, and wine pairing. You can also visit Uccellino’s sibling restaurant, Bar Bricco, right next door to sample their expertly curated wine list and immaculately executed small plates.
10349 Jasper Ave. | 780-426-0346 | corso32group.com
17 INFO EDMONTON MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023 We cover even more option at InfoEdmonton.com!
A little bit downtown, a little bit river valley; a little bit indoors, a little bit out—what’s not to love? Known as having one of the best views in the city, the trail-blazing Riverside Bistro dazzled guests when they first opened their heated domes in 2019—the first patio of its kind for both the Marriott chain and for Edmonton. These private seating areas gave a new twist on the winter patio, which other local bars and restaurants continue to roll out every year to extend the beloved patio season.
To posh up the experience this winter, Riverside Bistro has now added themes, influencing both the décor and the three-course menus created by executive chef Pawanjit Singh. For instance, Love in Paris includes a mini lit-up Eiffel Tower and sparkly tablecloth, as well as options for escargot in garlic parsley butter, duck confit, and crème brûlée.
Lanterns light up the Scandinavian dome as you sit around a plush fur table covering enjoying scallops, pan-fried salmon, and bison osso bucco. And of course, wine pairings are available for each menu.
Each heated dome can seat up to six guests for 1.5 hours, and it’s always recommended to dress warm and bring layers. Thankfully, the bistro also provides blankets to keep everyone cozy.
More Winter Patios TIRAMISU BISTRO: 10750–124 St. | 780-452-3393 | tiramisubistro.ca CAFÉ BICYCLETTE: 8627–91 St. | 587-524-8090 | cafebicyclette.ca ROCKY MOUNTAIN ICEHOUSE: 10516 Jasper Ave. | 780-424-3836 | rockymountainicehouse.ca LITTLE BRICK: 10004–90 St. | 780-705-1230 | littlebrick.ca CASK & BARREL: 10041–104 St. | 780-498-1224 | thecaskandbarrel.ca FU’S REPAIR SHOP: 9902–109 St. | fusrepairshop.ca RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURE CO.: 9735 Grierson Hill NW | 780-995-7347 | rivervalleyadventure.com Year-round outdoor dining is possible even in a northern city in the middle of winter. DOME-COURT Riverside Bistro: 1 Thornton Crt., 99 St. & Jasper Ave. | 780-945-4747 Advantage OUR WINTER PATIOS COMMIT TO COZINESS PHOTOS: RIVERSIDE BISTRO 18 info edmonton .com | eat & drink |
By Tamara Aschenbrenner
ELITE OFFERINGS AT THE WELL-KNOWN CANADIANA SPORTS BAR Twice
You’re all bundled up in your winter gear, heading to dinner. Once inside, you take off your jacket, sit at your table, chat, order appetizers—and then you get back up again. Someone hands you a completely different coat, and you step back into sub-zero weather. Only, you’re still in the restaurant.
When Roger Newton first imagined his Canadiana-themed sports bar in Edmonton, it wasn’t with an ice room. And it wasn’t adjacent to his favourite team, the Edmonton Oilers. “He was a very passionate, patriotic Canadian, and a huge sports fanatic,” says Jim Martyn, the Canadian Brewhouse’s Vice President of Human Resources. “And we obviously now are big supporters of all local sports teams.” You can walk into any Brewhouse and find various games televised around the room, from hockey and soccer to curling and darts.
It’s the same at the new Canadian Icehouse in Edmonton’s expanding downtown Ice District, but with a twist. The signature tasting room, kept at -35°C, is made entirely of handcrafted ice and snow. Since spirits taste best when cold and ice dilutes flavour, the ice room provides an ideal tasting temperature—and a vodka connoisseur guides guests through the taste, type, and characteristics of each sample.
They currently stock 26 different vodkas— including chili pepper, maple, and walnut—with plans to rotate flavours throughout the year. One of Jim’s personal favourites is the E.T.51 Espresso, which is vodka filtered through espresso beans.
“I like it because they tell a fun little story about their vodka, where extraterrestrials landed in Canada,” says Jim. “And they left behind, as a reward for our courtesy, their signature secret recipe.”
Of course, bundling up before entering is important. Guests are equipped with a goose-down jacket and mittens to endure the average time of 10–12 minutes in the freezing room, which probably feels way longer than it sounds. “We had a guy go in there in shorts and a t-shirt because he refused to wear a jacket, because ‘he’s Canadian’,” says Jim with a laugh. If you can last, it’s certainly enough time to sip, learn, and take Instagrammable photos on an ice throne.
In more agreeable temperatures are a rapid shot hockey cage to test your slapshot velocity, new and classic menu features, multiple big-screen TVs, and the sibling Banquet Bar and its bowling alley. Plus once the weather starts warming up, they’ll complete their highly anticipated rooftop patio, the largest in Canada. Not only will it fit 500–700 people, it’ll also have batting cages and an unbeatable view of the Ice District.
PHOTOS: THE CANADIAN ICEHOUSE
AS ICE The Canadian Icehouse: 10332–103 St. | 587-686-7221 | thecanadianicehouse.com
19 INFO EDMONTON MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023 | eat & drink |
Thanks to better infrastructure, advancements in technology, and local shops selling the newest wares, Edmonton’s bike lanes continue to be filled with cyclists no matter the weather! But, in order to safely cycle in our winter climate, you might require some special gear. That’s where the folks at Mud Sweat and Gears come in.
Founded in 2006 by Paul and Donna Burgess, this local business has humble beginnings. “Cycling has been a lifelong passion,” Paul emphasizes, explaining how he first got into the business, fixing bikes at a local shop in order to help pay for this expensive hobby. After a couple years of learning the ropes, Paul decided to take the plunge and open his own service business, which he initially operated out of his laundry room. His property was quickly overflowing with bikes, and it became clear that the business had legs. Now, over 15 years later, Mud Sweat and Gears has five different locations servicing customers in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove, and Red Deer.
While the shop sees the most customers in the summertime, winter business has grown thanks to fat biking and an increased interest in outdoor sports during the pandemic. In addition to top tier bikes,
By Kristen Thomas
Mud Sweat and Gears has also been offering winter gear since the very beginning at their Sherwood Park location. Today, you can browse a selection of snowboards, skis, and outerwear from a variety of brands. Plus, it's never too early to start planning for any cycling season!
Although Paul began his business with a focus on bringing the best products to his customers, he’s been pleased to watch Mud Sweat and Gears evolve over the years. “It’s been very special to watch staff we hired as kids now buying houses and having babies,” he shares. “It’s really become a family, and that’s a real joy to watch develop.”
Look out for Mud Sweat and Gears at Edmonton’s local ski hills and upcoming winter sport events, including the 2023 Canadian Birkie Ski Festival (pg 9)!
Mud Sweat and Gears | mudsweatandgears.ca
Sherwood Park: 2030 Sherwood Dr. | 780-449-2453
Spruce Grove: 3417–1 Ave. | 780-571-2855
Red Deer: 3417–50 Ave. | 403-340-2463
Edmonton West: 15007 Stony Plain Rd. | 780-483-2188
Edmonton South: 4790 Calgary Tr.| 780-400-7411
CYCLE THE CITY WITH MUD SWEAT AND GEARS
Did you know that 1 in 6 Edmontonians continue to ride their bikes during the winter?
PHOTOS: MUD SWEAT AND GEARS
20 info edmonton .com SHOPPING
21 INFO EDMONTON MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023
STYLE SNOW UP IN
Whether your type of adventuring includes trekking the trails, getting rosy-cheeked at a festival, or sipping hot chocolate on a casual stroll, there’s still snow, ice, and cold to contend with this time of year. We rounded up a few neat products that could make these activities just that much better.
Rocky Mountain Blizzard 10, $1900
Fat bike in a range of sizes with 26-inch wheels, massive tire clearance, ultrawide rims, and “true trail geometry.” mudsweatandgears.ca
to boost safety. Max weight is 90 lbs (41 kg). breatheoutdoors.ca
Ice Cleats, $38 Cleats on regular winter footwear give better traction on slippery ice. These have 1.4 mm stainless steel coils (rather than spikes) and are good in temperatures as low as -41°C. unitedsport.ca
Solo Camping Hot Tent, $289 1–2 campers can fit in the 35.5-square-foot sleeping area, next to a built-in stove jack to keep warm. polliesoutdoorgear.com
Extreme Sleeping Bag Liner, $90 Liner traps insulating air to increase the warmth of a sleeping bag by up to 15°C. Length is 210 cm (6 ft 10 in). breatheoutdoors.ca
Beeswax Fire Starter, $10 One set comes with 6 fire starters, with each able to burn for 15–20 minutes. themakerskeep.com
22 info edmonton .com | shopping |
DOES IT Icy Icy
One of our favourite ways to get outdoors during the winter months is by checking out one of Edmonton’s many ice skating spots! With expertly maintained rinks spread all across the city, there’s no better way to experience the beauty of Edmonton’s winters.
Near 10220–104 St.
Located in the heart of downtown, the ICE District Skating Rink is the newest addition to Edmonton’s skating roster. Open daily 10 am–10 pm, this conveniently located rink is perfect for a relaxing lap around the ice after a stressful day at the office. Although skate rentals are not available at the time of publication, the ICE District team hopes to offer them soon, so stay tuned for further details!
Amenities: The best feature of this spot is its proximity to all of the ICE District’s top-tier businesses. After you skate circles around the competition, grab a bite at the newly opened Canadian Icehouse (pg 19) or pick up some iconic Oilers merchandise at ICE District Authentics.
9330 Groat Rd. This spot is a favourite among Edmontonians, and it's easy to see why! Boasting a five-hectare lake, Hawrelak Park has one of the largest skating rinks in Edmonton. Plus, it’s also suitable for a variety of skill levels, making it a perfect activity for the whole family. The park is also home to the Silver Skate Festival, Edmonton’s longest-running winter festival (pg 11).
Amenities: Skate rentals, fire pits, concession: you name it, Hawrelak Park has got it in their nearby pavilion! Make sure to also check out the Community League Plaza, located on the southeast side of the lake. This public amenity was launched in 2021 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues and features a gas fireplace, artwork, and educational info about the local movement.
Victoria Park Oval & IceWay 12030 River Valley Rd.
Everyone’s favourite Instagram spot, the Victoria Park IceWay is arguably the most picturesque rink on our list. This dreamy path snakes through the park’s trees, with colourful lights projected onto the ice surface. Warm up your skating skills with a couple laps on The Oval, a large and expertly maintained rink that is suitable for all ages and skill levels. But make sure to check the rink’s opening hours before heading out! Since the Oval is also utilized by the Edmonton Speed Skating Association, it is unavailable to the public on Mondays and Wednesdays 5 pm–7 pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays 5 pm–9 pm.
Amenities: Stay warm with the on-site heated pavilion equipped with washrooms, lockers, and a useful spot to fill up your water bottle.
Rundle Park IceWay 2909–113 Ave.
Located in the northeast part of Edmonton’s River Valley, Rundle Park is home to some of the best activity facilities in the city! While this park is bustling in the warmer months, there’s still tons of fun to discover as temperatures drop. Their popular IceWay spans almost two kilometres and is accompanied by a shinny pond and a smaller family rink.
Amenities: Skate rentals, washrooms, and a changing area are located in the Rundle Family Centre. For a true day of winter fun, make sure to bring your toboggan to test out the park’s several hills!
Let’s Get Vertical!
For a new perspective, try the city’s first and only ice climbing facility. At the Edmonton Ski Club hill in the river valley, the Alpine Club of Canada offers drop-in climbs, intro lessons, and rental gear for their three-storey wall. 9613–96 Ave. | yegice.ca
PHOTO: TRAVEL ALBERTA
23 INFO EDMONTON MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023 ATTRACTIONS
By Kristen Thomas
Did you know there’s a stone carving depicting a skier that dates back to 5000 BC? Once a crucial method of transportation, this historic hobby has turned into a fun activity for the whole family! With the help of the Edmonton Nordic Ski Club, we’ve collected everything you need to know about crosscountry skiing in Edmonton.
Get your gear. Before you get going, you’ll need a couple essentials: skis, poles, boots, and some warm clothing. “Edmonton is really fortunate to have two long-time locally owned shops dedicated to cross-country skiing,” shares Edmonton Nordic Ski Club President Jim Rickett. Both Track ‘N Trail (trackntrail.ca) and Fast Trax (ftrs.ca) offer tons of specialty Nordic skiing equipment and are long-time partners of the Edmonton Nordic Ski Club. If you aren’t ready to invest in your own set of equipment, Totem Outfitters (totemoutfitters.ca) offers daily rentals so you can try out the hobby before taking the plunge.
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No need to travel, we’ve got over 12 kilometres of expertly groomed trails right here in the city! “We’ve got some of the best trails in Alberta,” says Jim. The Edmonton Nordic Ski Club maintains an expansive lit trail network in Gold Bar, Goldstick, and Capilano Parks which are groomed daily by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers. Plus, this is one of the only places to cross country ski on man-made snow in all of Alberta! “As our weather has become less predictable, we can extend the length of our season this way,” explains Jim. “It’s so unique! The next closest place [with artificial snow] in Alberta is the Canmore Nordic Centre.” The best part? Access to the trails is completely free. “We are really proud that our trails are available for all citizens, not just people who are registered in our programs and lessons,” he says.
Just starting out? Join a class or recreation group. While taking a class is not required, it can definitely help with navigating the more difficult parts of the sport.
Edmonton Nordic Ski Club offerss tons of different lessons suitable for all ages and skill levels. If you don’t have time to commit to a class, don’t despair!
Edmonton Nordic Ski Club offers a recreational ski group, which leaves from the Gold Bar Pavilion every Wednesday at 7 pm. They also have over 300 youth registered in their Jackrabbit program, which introduces children aged 4–12 to the sport and are led by Nordic Canada certified instructors.
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Maintain proper trail etiquette. Edmonton Nordic Ski Club puts a lot of effort into ensuring that the trails in Gold Bar Park are top notch, so help them out by doing your part! Don’t walk on the designated cross country skiing paths since footprints can cause holes in the tracks which disrupts the flow for beginner skiers. Once you set out, don’t stop in the track for longer than a couple seconds, and always step out if a longer break is required. Slower skiers should yield the right of way if a faster skier catches up with them. Finally, make sure to obey any one-way tracks. Feel free to ask another skier for assistance if you are unsure!
Find updated trail reports, programs, and more at Edmonton Nordic Ski Club’s website (edmontonnordic.ca) or on the Edmonton Nordic Ski Club group on Facebook.
24 info edmonton .com | attractions |
Maybe you want to pretend you’re a spy, want to try that light-up square game you saw on TikTok, or just love getting sweaty while playing video games—or maybe you’ll try anything new you see in this magazine. Regardless, there’s a new active gaming facility in south Edmonton to get both your heart and your mind pumping! One visit to Activate gives your group of 3–5 people 75 minutes to bounce between 9 kinds of interactive rooms, with your choice of 10 levels of difficulty. Playing cooperatively or competitively with your team, you can run, jump, crawl, and climb to dodge laser beams, navigate a maze, sink perfectly timed baskets, hide from glowing eyes, memorize patterns, and more. The possibilities may not be endless, but they’re close enough to keep you busy all winter long.
The best place if you’re interested in learning more about the cold but want to be indoors? The biggest permanent gallery ever installed at the TELUS World of Science explores the Canadian Arctic through the eyes of both modern science and Traditional Knowledge, bringing together First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures. Quotes from Elders are included around the room, and one display features recorded personal stories you can listen to. More features include videos of Inuit
drumming, dancing, and throat singing, as well as a simulated dog-sled experience. Of course, environmental science and global changes are also addressed, including how animals like the polar bear and Arctic fox survive and the impacts on not only them but also Inuit traditions.
An indoor beach vacation in the middle of a snowstorm might sound too good to be true if you weren’t in Edmonton. But you are! The World Waterpark has an average temperature of 31°C and features the world’s largest indoor wave pool, where you can even learn to surf. There’s a no-depth splash area for toddlers, hot tubs for relaxing, and epic waterslides for adventuring (including ones with trap doors!), which essentially makes it fun for the whole family. And for those who absolutely do not like water but still want some warm thrills, they can book separately to soar overhead using the world’s largest indoor zipline.
STAY IN, NOTBored Activate: 1949–98 St. | 587-480-7446 | activate.ca/edmonton-south TELUS World of Science: 11211–142 St. | 780-451-3344 | telusworldofscienceedmonton.ca World Waterpark: West Edmonton Mall | 8882–170 St. | wem.ca If it’s too cold out or you just want some fun indoors, you’re in luck—Edmonton has many ways to keep the whole family entertained no matter the season. PHOTO: ACTIVATE CANADA 25 INFO EDMONTON MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023 | attractions |
A LICENSE TO
By Tamara Aschenbrenner
INDIGENOUS-LED OUTDOOR EXPERIENCES SOUTH OF EDMONTON
ot only is Tracey Klettl a national archery champion, her ancestors were some of the very first guides and scouts in Jasper National Park. Now, she continues to share those skills and experiences with visitors.
“My whole life, I’ve been kind of following what my ancestors did, without any really conscious thought to it,” says Tracey, whose first main job was as an outfitter and guide in the same national park. “We didn’t really keep our songs and stories, but my grandmother really taught us our land-based skills that we have.”
These land-based skills are exactly what visitors can expect to learn at Painted Warriors Ranch, which Tracey co-owns and -operates with her partner, Tim Mearns. On 80 acres of land southwest of Olds, Alberta, the ranch includes heated trapper tents, a riding arena, mezzanine area, ample wilderness, and opportunities to preserve and share traditions.
26 info edmonton .com BEYOND EDMONTON
“There’s lots of places that offer trail rides where you’re put on the horse and then go for a beautiful ride in the mountains. And they’re great. But what sets us apart is that Indigenous perspective, because we go back into how the horse became a part of our culture,” explains Tracey. “Before they even ride the horse, they work with the horse on the ground and they build that connection.”
Tracey is a descendant of the Cree and Mohawk people from what is now Jasper National Park, and Tim is Saulteaux and a member of the Cote First Nations band. Before Painted Warriors, they taught archery and equine training for kids’ culture camps, and then decided they could create something incredibly unique.
Operating since 2010, Painted Warriors is one of the only facilities of its kind in all of Canada, so highly respected that even European groups send their guides to Alberta for certification. “They have such an appreciation of the vast wilderness we have here,” says Tracey. “There’s not many Indigenous training centres out there that work with training guides.” These groups mostly work in the tourism sector, including hiking guides, museum interpreters, horse wranglers, and even actors, coming to train in anything from wilderness first aid and horse packing to archery and hunting skills.
Both Tracey and Tim are certified instructors in various programs, including Equine Canada
Trail Riding, Hunter Education, Outdoor Council of Canada, and Standard and Advanced Equine First Aid.
They are both also archery championship winners on Team Canada. “We just started doing archery and liked it, and had this opportunity in 2011 to go and do it with the Canadian team, which was very cool,” says Tracey of her time in Austria for the World Championships.
While she still competes once in a while, she shoots now to practice for hunting and to teach others. And she’s personally swapped her usual compound bow for a traditional one. “I think they’re the most beautiful bows in the world,” she shares. “I like the simplicity of it. But it’s also really unforgiving. It’s really just you and the bow.”
As a visitor to the ranch, you would train using a Genesis bow, a simple compound bow without a sight, so you get some assistance from the equipment while still learning traditional methods. Other visitor experiences, for both first-timers and outdoor experts, include glamping, snowshoeing, horseback riding, and wildlife tracking.
Whatever you choose, Tracey has one goal in mind: to help people reconnect. “You’re putting your cellphones away; you’re reconnecting to the land again. That one’s important—you’re reconnecting to old skills that somewhere in your history used to part of your daily life.”
Painted Warriors Ranch: 31341 Rge Rd. 5.1, Mountain View County, Alberta | paintedwarriors.ca
PHOTOS: ROAM CREATIVE
27 INFO EDMONTON MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023 | beyond edmonton |
Tim & Tracey
HIT THE ROAD Jack
Road trips might be the quintessential summer activity but, with some winter tires and a few cups of hot chocolate, hitting the road in the winter time is just as fun! Whether you’re looking for a speedy escape or a more lengthy journey, there’s tons of adventure to explore beyond Edmonton’s city limits.
CLOSE TO HOME
Strathcona Wilderness Centre
Thanks to world-class trails that are expertly maintained, this location is a favourite among the cross-country skiing community. But you don’t have to be seasoned pro to enjoy everything that the Strathcona Wilderness Centre has to offer. For true newbies, they offer a variety of lessons, ranging from one-time sessions to eight-week programs. Or, if you’d rather explore on your own, you can purchase a day pass and a three-hour equipment rental for less than 30 dollars! Snowshoe rentals are also available.
Located just 50 km from Edmonton, Parkland County is home to some of our favourite summer spots, including Wabamun Lake. But the fun doesn’t stop once the snow falls! In the winter, Wabamun Lake is a popular spot for ice fishing
JUST A HOP, SKIP, AND A JUMP
Located just over 160 km south of Edmonton, a day trip to Sylvan Lake is the answer to all your winter blues. Enjoy iconic ice slides, glowing ice rinks, and exploring all kinds of terrain on snowkarts. Sylvan Lake is also a great spot for beginner ice fishers, with hourly ice fishing hut rentals available from Sunsport Recreation (sunsportrentals.com). On top of these winter activities, Sylvan Lake hosts The Big Jig ice fishing competition in early February. This catch-andrelease tournament features a weekend of competitions, classes, and outdoor games!
and ice skating, Chickacoo Lake Recreation Area has groomed cross-country skiing trails, and Rotary Park is perfect for a wintery walk.
Elk Island National Park
Elk Island offers the ideal retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Their expansive trail system is perfect for a day of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and snowshoes are even available for rent at the Astotin Lake Campground kiosk. Plus, as a member of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve, this National Park also offers unmatched views of the night sky—and the potential to witness the famous northern lights. Sounds pretty amazing right? Get the best of both worlds by registering for their Snowshoe and Stargaze program, which teaches participants how to navigate using the night sky. Call 780-992-2965 for more info.
A year-round destination that highlights Métis stories and culture, Métis Crossing is located 120 km north of Edmonton. If you are the outdoorsy type, embark on one of their signature activities like Tales from the Trapline Experience. This immersive three-hour event invites visitors to explore traditional Métis experiences like snowshoeing, setting snares, and building survival shelters, on a historic river lot farm. If you would rather stay inside, they also host several Traditional Art Workshops in their Cultural Gathering Centre, where you can learn how to bead, finger-weave, and more from a Métis Knowledge Holder.
WORTH THE JOURNEY
PHOTOS: TRAVEL ALBERTA, TRAVEL ALBERTA/CURTIS COMEAU
28 info edmonton .com | beyond edmonton |
Jasper National Park
It’s no secret that Jasper is the ultimate winter getaway, and for good reason! With tons of local shops and an unparalleled skiing experience, this dreamy mountain town is the ideal weekend retreat. Their Jasper in January festival, which runs January 13–29, celebrates all things winter with street parties, ice climbing classes, unique culinary events, and so much more! You can also hit the slopes at Marmot Basin, one of Canada’s best ski resorts, which offers trails for all ages and skill levels. Or you can try out your best tricks at one of their Terrain Parks, climb an icy waterfall (with a guide, of course), soak in a hot spring, or sample one of Jasper’s world-class restaurants. Don’t want to brave the winter roads on your own? MagicBus Tours (magicbus.ca), a no-fuss coach service, has day trips from Edmonton to Jasper every single weekend this winter!
29 INFO EDMONTON MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023 | beyond edmonton |
EDMONTON IS ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC!
Canada’s biggest music celebration is returning to Edmonton for the first time since 2004! Hosted by superstar Simu Liu, the JUNO Awards (junoawards.ca) will be taking over Rogers Place on March 13. The evening’s performers include Canadian rock band Nickelback—who will also be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame that night—and Calgarian Tate McRae, a four-time JUNO nominee. Signature JUNO Week programming will take place leading up to the big night starting March 9, including a three-day music festival in 10+ venues around the city filled with both local talent and JUNO Award nominees.
FEST IS YET TO COME
They don’t call Edmonton “Festival City” for nothing! We’re looking forward to SkirtsAfire (skirtsafire.com), a theatre and multidisciplinary arts festival that is dedicated to celebrating the work of women and non-binary artists from March 2–12. Their mainstage show, The Space Between Stars by local playwright Christine Lesiak, combines acting, puppetry, and projection to tell the touching story of an astronomer and her precocious son. SOUND OFF: A Deaf Theatre Festival (soundofffestival.com) will return March 28–April 2 for their 7th year to feature more Deaf artists from across Canada. And celebrating their 30th anniversary from April 19–23 is the Dreamspeakers Film Festival (dreamspeakers.org), featuring the latest films and new media works by Indigenous artists.
“BIG MISTAKE. BIG. HUGE!” Featuring original music by Grammy winner Bryan Adams and his writing partner Jim Vallance, Broadway's Pretty Woman: The Musical follows freespirited sex worker Vivian and cutthroat businessman Edward as they embark on a unique relationship that begins to develop into something more. Lauded as one of the best romance stories of all time, Pretty Woman: The Musical is taking the stage at Edmonton’s Jubilee Auditorium from April 11–16.
30 info edmonton .com
PHOTOS: CARAS/RYAN BOLTON, MATTHEW MURPHY, NOELLA STEINHAUER