ENDLESS ADVENTURE! Opening July 1
We can’t wait to welcome you back.infoedmonton.com
Experience the world as it once was. Between the new signature exhibit, the Indigenous Peoples Experience, the expansion of our 1920s-style midway, and the classic historical streets, you’ll design a new immersive adventure every time. fortedmontonpark.ca
feast your eyes here Then take a culinary adventure with diverse local options
gotta cache ‘em all
PHOTOS: INSTALLATION VIEW OF BLACK EVERY DAY, ART GALLERY OF ALBERTA, EDMONTON, 2021; COURTESY CITADEL THEATRE; GROUNDSPEAK INC. (DBA GEOCACHING); ADOBE.STOCK.COM/DIVIARTS; BY SHARON THACH
It’s a treasure hunt, right here in Edmonton
eat your heart out Edmonton’s summer festivals are bigger than you think
black every day The 5 Artists 1 Love anniversary exhibition at the Art Gallery of Alberta
In Every Issue 6–11
the shows must go on
How the local theatre community is persevering
12–17 Eat & Drink 18–22 Shopping 23–31 Festivals & Attractions 32–39 Arts & Culture 40–45 Beyond Edmonton
On the Cover: Local performer Sarah Dowling recommends the rooftop patio at Fox Burger (pg 17). Photo by Jessica Lee.
INFO EDMONTON SEASONAL GUIDE
INFO EDMONTON SUMMER 2021
Tamara Aschenbrenner EDITORIAL INTERN
Margarita Wilson ART DIRECTOR
Erin Murphy CONTRIBUTORS
Sarah Dowling, Marcela Garcia, Jessica Lee, Sharon Thach PUBLISHER
R.H. (Rob) Tanner DIRECTOR OF SALES
Jeanette Petriko ADMINISTRATION & CIRCULATION
Let’s HANG OUT This Summer! Edmonton’s Outdoor ADVENTURE
Enjoy safe, outdoor spaces with your crew at Snow Valley!
Our SUMMER Attractions: Aerial Park Adventure Tower Licensed Outdoor Patio Gemstone Mining Target Golf
Learn more at www.snowvalley.ca 4
TANNER YOUNG PUBLISHING ADMINISTRATION OFFICE
Box 13, 22106 South Cooking Lake Road Cooking Lake, Alberta T8E 1J1 PHONE 780-465-3362 EMAIL email@example.com All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part strictly prohibited. Tanner Young Publishing Group makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it publishes, but cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from errors or omissions. Tanner Young Publishing respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of First Nations and Métis peoples. Thanks in part to support from
To order copies of Info Edmonton City Guide call 780-465-3362 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sun’s Out, Buns Out hether it’s burgers on a patio or bottoms on a beach, summer means it’s time to get those buns out of doors. At the time of writing this, local businesses were re-opening, restrictions were lifting, and local festivals were gearing up with COVID-conscious safety protocols in place. In this first Info Edmonton Seasonal Guide, we spotlight favourite summer adventures in the city and beyond. So what’s on your seasonal bucket list? In the second installment of our Diverse Dining series (pg 12)—the first of which appeared in our annual Info Edmonton City Guide (available now in print and online)—local food blogger Sharon Thach (Eat with Sharon) recommends small family-run spots for a culinary adventure. You can also bask on a patio (pg 17), support a non-profit festival (pg 24), tour a botanical garden (pg 40), grill your own fare (pg 20), search for hidden treasure (pg 10), swim in a nearby lake (pg 42), check out a live outdoor concert (pg 24), and more. No matter how you like to enjoy the great outdoors, there’s something here for you. Be safe, be kind, be adventurous, and support local. Enjoy your summer in Edmonton.
PHOTOS: BY MONIQUE DE ST. CROIX; COURTESY 124ST BUSINESS ASSOCIATION; NELLA MIRANTE; OLD STRATHCONA BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
Tamara Aschenbrenner | email@example.com
WE ASKED: WHAT DOES SUMMER IN EDMONTON MEAN TO YOU?
LUWAM Summer in Edmonton means gardening in my community plot, patios after work, and walks in our beautiful river valley. For patios on 124 Street, I like Tiramisu Bistro, Partake/Urban Diner,, and Blue Plate Diner. My Edmonton summer bucket list this year includes riding the High Level Bridge Streetcar, going camping, and picnic in parks with friends! Picnics are a must at Government House Park (previous location of Royal Alberta Museum) at 9938 Groat Rd. The grounds are beautiful and it’s not so crowded. Luwam Kiflemariam, executive director at 124 Street Business Association
NELLA Long summer nights on patios! To mention only a few favourites, there’s the Fairmont’s Confederation Lounge patio with panoramic views of the gardens and the river valley, the fresh-out-of-France vibe in the French Quarter at Café Bicyclette, and the hidden garden patio of Bodega on 124th. And this summer in particular, I can’t wait to visit the newly refreshed Muttart Conservatory and Fort Edmonton Park. I am a supporter of all things local, and I always encourage guests and friends, if and when the time is right, to visit our attractions and restaurants.
CHERIE As a lifelong Edmontonian, I have a ton of memories of summers in Edmonton. We’re known as the Festival City, and that’s something that I look forward to every year. From the Fringe Festival to Art Walk, there’s always some event taking place every weekend... What better way to enjoy an afternoon or evening than visit Old Strathcona, take in an event, and enjoy one of the many patios or shops on Whyte Avenue? It’s a perfect pairing and one I’m looking forward to. Cherie Klassen, executive director at Old Strathcona Business Association
Nella Mirante, Les Clefs d’Or Concierge
INFO EDMONTON SEASONAL GUIDE
MURAL CITY Get outdoors, take a walk, and always keep your eyes open. You never know where you’ll stumble across local urban artwork. Thanks to various community projects, City of Edmonton initiatives, and the Rust Magic International Street Mural Festival, Edmonton is full of incredible large-scale paintings.
10344-105 St., Silk Bar & Kitchen
As part of the 2019 Rust Magic Festival, self-taught artist ONEQ painted this mural of a mermaid eating a cucumber. She creates modern pin-up illustrations influenced by her love of manga and comic books and her youth spent on the secluded Japanese island of Okinawa.
Cleon Peterson LOCATION
This 80-foot-tall, 24-metre-long mural depicts a bloody sword battle and reflects the themes of violence and power explored by the artist in his other works. International painter Cleon Peterson was brought to Edmonton through the Common Ground Arts Society specifically for this project.
PHOTOS: BY MARCELA GARCIA; ERIN MURPHY; JEANETTE PETRIKO; COURTESY KIND ICE CREAM
8230 Gateway Blvd., El Cortez
Tallulah Fontaine (designer) & Scott Galland (on-site painter) LOCATION
65 St. & 112 Ave., Kind Ice Cream
Jean Paul Langlois LOCATION 6551-111 St., Second Skin Laser
Inspired by Russian fairy tales and Ukrainian folk art, LA-based artist Tallulah Fontaine wanted this mural to convey a sense of community and togetherness. It was commissioned by the owners of Kind to celebrate the opening of their new location and painted on-site by local artist Scott Gallant.
Métis muralist Jean Paul Langlois is well-known for his distinct, colourful style that appropriates scenes from films and art history. In this two-storey artwork, titled The Conversation, he captures a stereotypical Western scene showing two people talking while others ride away. The Vancouverbased artist hopes that viewers will make up their own stories.
INFO EDMONTON SEASONAL GUIDE
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the Eye MORE THAN MEETS
There is always something new to discover about Edmonton, its neighbourhoods, and its history, whether you’re visiting, returning, or have lived here your entire life. Discover hidden gems with local guided tours.
BOOK A TOUR ONLINE Big E Bus Tours | edmonton.tours Talking Rock Tours | talkingrocktours.com the ancient burial grounds, the Legislature grounds, and glacial Lake Edmonton deposits. Both Big E Bus Tours and Talking Rock Tours offer guided experiences in other parts of the city as well! Enjoy a highlight reel of attractions on the Best of the Big E Tour, journey through time on the Roots & Resources Tour to learn about the industries and people who shape our city, or head just outside Edmonton on the Ukrainian Village & Elk Island Tour. Summer 2021 brings new walking tours of Edmonton neighbourhoods, including Downtown and Old Strathcona. You can design your own custom tour with Talking Rock Tours (though they do ask for three months’ notice, as you can choose any geographical location in Alberta and can vary the length to several days), but their ready-to-book experiences include a geo-adventure through Elk Island and the momentous history of the oil strike in Leduc.
PHOTOS: BIG E TOURS, LTD
The capital experience comes to life with both bus and walking tour options from Big E Bus Tours—and guides who share facts and stories about local landmarks and areas. Their new Prairie Sky Power Plant Tour brings guests behind the scenes in the historic Rossdale Power Plant, a decommissioned power plant located along the North Saskatchewan River that was designated as an Alberta Historic Resource in 2001. Not only do they share stories about the building and city, but they also share Indigenous perspectives. The Rossdale area once included burial grounds for Indigenous Peoples and Fort Edmonton settlers, including the burial ground for Chief Papaschase. When the human remains were discovered, they were reburied in a protected area, and a monument and memorial site were erected in Rossdale to honour the respective ancestors. You can learn more about the sacred connections Indigenous Peoples continue to have to the river valley on the Talking Rock River Valley Discovery Tour. Guides for Talking Rock Tours are university geoscientists and/or historians who share traditional stories passed from local Elders. Stops on the River Valley Discovery Tour include
INFO EDMONTON SEASONAL GUIDE
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Gotta Cache ‘Em All It’s a treasure hunt, right here in Edmonton
by margarita wilson
PHOTOS: GROUNDSPEAK INC. (DBA GEOCACHING)
In 2000, a group of friends in Oregon began attempt once you’ve gained some experience. hiding containers in the woods, posting their Rumour has it that you can find caches across geographic coordinates online. This treasure the downtown core, in Old Strathcona, and hunt quickly grew in popularity, and geocacheven in West Edmonton Mall! Chances are, no ing—using a GPS to find hidden matter where you are in the city, ‘caches’ containing logbooks and there’s a cache nearby. prizes—soon became a global If you’re travelling beyond phenomenon. Today, there are over Edmonton, make sure to include FUN FACTS two million geocaches worldgeocaching on your itinerary. If you’re ever on the wide, including hundreds in the Over 1000 geocaches are hidden International Space Station, Edmonton region. throughout Alberta’s provinyou can search for a The term geocaching might cial and national parks, including geocache! There’s been one bring to mind advanced tactical Earthcaches, which are unique hidden onboard since 2008. gear and rugged terrain, but the geographical features rather than truth is that this activity can be a container. Another local cacher, The second-ever geocache enjoyed by everyone, everywhere. Les, noted a time when he rallied in Canada was hidden in “Geocaching is something we do his family to travel half an hour Strathcona County. as a family almost every weekend. away for a new cache. “We not We incorporate it into park visits, only discovered the cache itself, A traditional way for geocachbike rides, while exploring new but found a lake that I didn’t know ers to sign off on a logbook is areas in the city,” wrote Taylor, existed. We found a bucket and “TFTC,” which means an Edmonton-based cacher, picked some fresh berries. Then “Thanks For The Cache.” when asked for local geocaching we jumped in the lake which was tips online. crystal clear,” wrote Les. “What a The Edmonton region’s many fantastic day!” parks, bustling downtown, and proximity to You probably already have everything you nature make it a geocacher’s dream. The river need to start geocaching! To start, you’ll need valley is a great place to start, with dozens of a GPS (such as the one on your smartphone) caches to discover. Urban caches are usually and a pen to write in the cache logbook. smaller and harder to find, so these are best to Valuable resources range from the official
Geocaching app to local organizations like The Geocaching Edmonton and Area Association (GEAA) and the Edmonton Public Library. Geocaching is a fantastic way to see the city in a whole new light, introducing you to new areas that you may not have discovered otherwise. It’s also a great way to get outside and get moving, no matter your activity level. With a wide variety of caches to find and terrains to explore, geocaching can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be. Who knows, you might just find your new favourite spot. Happy hunting!
Here are some basic tips to get you started. Visit InfoEdmonton.com for expanded descriptions. 1 Gather your supplies, including a GPS, pen/ marker, snacks, water, and comfy shoes. 2 Choose your target cache, taking into account your experience, ability, and skill level. 3 Program the GPS coordinates, and note any hints included with the geocache listing. 4 Search for the cache! 5 Log your find, both in the logbook and online at geocaching.com.
Geocaching Dos and Don’ts DO leave a trinket behind if you’re taking one with you. Great trinket ideas include marbles, keychains, and arcade prizes. (DON’T use illegal/dangerous materials, edible/scented items, or items that could melt or expand in different temperatures.) DO comment on the geocache’s listing at geocaching.com once you’ve found it. This lets others know the cache is still there. DO get permission from landowners before searching for a cache on their property. DON’T leave a cache out in the open. Put it back the way you found it, including covering it back up if it was underneath rocks or bark. DON’T leave behind garbage or vandalize the cache site. Be a good neighbour!
DON’T feel bad if you can’t find a cache. You can always try a different cache tomorrow!
We not only discovered the cache itself, but found a lake that I didn’t know existed.
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Feast Your Eyes Here
This cozy little café specializes in artisan-crafted Mexican espresso, tea, and coffee. Owner Jersen Reyes originally lived in Tijuana, Mexico, where he owned a popular espresso bar with his wife. Once they moved to Canada, they thought they’d be done with the coffee business, but quickly realized the passion for it was still there and opened the Edmonton version of Caffé Sole. If you love chocolate-based drinks, tea, or espresso in any form, this is the place to be. I recommend trying any of the frappés or one of their signature drinks—my personal favourite being the Stela—and pairing it with one of their sandwiches. Their Mexican flan cake and churros are also must-tries!
There are many well-loved Korean restaurants in the city, but I always find myself going back to Daore for their big menu, authentic dishes, and awesome service. You can count on Daore for a good meal; their family has over two decades of experience in the restaurant business! Owner and head cook Namsoon Lee used to manage a Korean spot at the University of Alberta before opening Daore in 2017. The food here is delicious and the portions are big, making them perfect for sharing. My go-to items are the Soontofu (soft tofu stew), Jeyukbokeum (spicy pork), Haemulpajeon (seafood/green onion pancake), and the Budaejjigae (army stew, which is spicy sausage stew).
Daore | 9332-34 Ave NW, 780-433-0526. daore.ca
PHOTOS: BY SHARON THACH
Caffé Sole | 9911-72 Ave, 825-436-9972. caffesole.ca
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TAKE A CULINARY ADVENTURE THROUGH EDMONTON
Kanto 98 St | 10636-98 St., 780-860-1471. kanto98st.com
Chef and owner Edgar Gutierrez has quite the experience under his belt, previously running Mexican eateries Rostizado and Tres Carnales. He eventually moved on to open Kanto 98 St. to pay homage to his Filipino roots, creating a menu with a bold and unique take on classic Filipino street food. The space is casual, laid-back, and definitely a great spot to visit if you’re looking for some good comfort food. Think meat-centric, carb-heavy dishes, aka the ultimate combination for a (bittersweet) food coma. Come with an empty stomach and fill up with the Sisilog (thrice cooked pork belly over garlic fried rice), their BBQ skewers, and Taho (a tofu dessert drink).
Acajutla Restaurant | 11302-107 Ave., 780-426-1308, acajutlarestaurant.ca
This hidden gem serves up authentic El Savadorean and Mexican food, and—despite not having much of an online presence (doesn’t get more local than that)—they have been in the Edmonton food scene for over 20 years. While my experiences with El Salvadorian cuisine are minimal, Acajutla has never disappointed, and— because it’s reasonably priced, locally owned, family-run, delicious, and “low-key” on the web—it’s certainly one of those places I have to recommend through word of mouth. If you plan to visit, definitely order some Pupusas (corn flour cakes stuffed with meat/cheese/beans) and the Pasteles (crispy corn tortillas stuffed with corn and potato).
An Chay | 11203 Jasper Ave., 780-752-2203. facebook.com/anchayyeg
While there are numerous Vietnamese restaurants in the city, An Chay stands out in a particular way: it is the only Vietnamese restaurant in Edmonton that has a fully vegetarian menu. The family-run and -owned business—which includes mother Lieu Nguyen, who ran a vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver for several years—serves up vegetarian-style Vietnamese favourites. As a regular
by sharon thach
meat-eater, I am always impressed with my meals at An Chay, which have been consistently tasty and flavourful. Their Bun Hue (a vegetarian version of spicy lemongrass noodle soup, normally made with beef) and the Bun 3 Mau (tri-color vermicelli) are delicious—but truthfully, everything here is worth a try.
Irie Foods | 2807 Millwoods Rd., 780-414-1341. iriefoods.ca
The family-run Irie Foods, located in south Edmonton, is well-known for its Caribbean flavours. Since 1996, the Ricketts family have offered a great selection, including stews, curries, and their famed and affordable Jamaican patties. For something spicy, try the Jerk Chicken Meal—the chicken is always so moist (like, fall-off-the-bone tender) and vibrantly flavoured with all the jerk spices. Keep an eye out for their daily specials for some great deals, too!
Al Salam Bakery & Restaurant | 10141-34 Ave., 780-944-0000. alsalampita.ca
What makes Al Salam a unique spot is that half of the establishment operates as a bakery and grocery store selling imported Mediterranean groceries and goods, while the other half is a restaurant serving Mediterranean food, including their amazing pitas. The Araji family opened Al Salam in 2009, when owner Abe Araji wanted to open a bakery like he had back in Lebanon and create a convenient one-stop shop. The restaurant portion, inspired by his three sons, opened in 2020. I often frequent Al Salam for their shawarma, but they have a lot of great options on their menu, which includes halal and vegetarian or vegan choices. The best bangfor-your-buck menu items are definitely the platters, which come with your choice of protein, rice, a side of fattoush salad (with fresh lettuce/veggies and an olive oil, sumac dressing), house-made hummus, the best garlic sauce, and a ginormous fresh pita. The friendly service and quality food will have you wanting to visit again. Every dish is made to order, and you can even watch from the counter as they slice the vertical slabs of meat or bake your pita bread from scratch.
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Scoop n Roll Creamery
Choose your flavour and tasty mix-ins, and then watch your ice cream be made fresh before your eyes. At Scoop n Roll, your dessert is chilled on a cold sheet and rolled into cylinders, creating a unique (and delicious!) treat known as “Tim Pad” (“ไอติมผัด” in Thai), or stir-fried ice cream. When founder Nader (Andrew) Rafeh launched the first truck in summer 2015, it was Edmonton’s—and Canada’s—first introduction to the popular Thai dessert. Now with trucks all over the city, including the MishMash Parfait sister truck, Scoop n Roll is opening its first brick-and-mortar shop in the Griesbach neighbourhood.
Why do you think people love it? It is unique and different. People appreciate the hard work put into it by turning the ice cream milk base into rolled ice cream. They also like the variety of options where they can add different mix-ins
that satisfy all cravings. We also thrive to work with fresh fruits and high-quality ingredients to keep our product so special. And not to forget, our awesome team and amazing customer service that I push my employees to keep up. What’s your go-to flavour combination? If you love fruits, go with the mango flavour, mixed with strawberries and mangoes. I also recommend pistachio with strawberries and Nutella. What prompted the expansion for the MishMash Parfait truck? We wanted to also bring a soft-serve option for people who prefer a soft serve. But we also wanted to bring it in a different way, and that’s where we brought in the parfait idea. This edition will also be included in our first shop that will launch in July 2021 in North Edmonton, Griesbach Centre.
HOW POPULAR ARE THEY? They had to expand to meet demand, and now you can spot these tasty trucks parked around the city! scoopnroll.com/locations
PHOTOS: BY TAMARA ASCHENBRENNER
INFO EDMONTON: How was Edmonton a great fit for Canada’s first rolled ice cream spot? NADER RAFEH: Edmonton is my home now and we as Canadians wait patiently for those summer months to come. I wanted to bring something unique and different to our city, but also something that brings people together and puts smiles on their faces. Seven years ago, Edmonton did not have too many ice cream options. The community did not disappoint—we’ve received, and still receive, lots of support from our community. We did bring people together and we keep putting smiles on faces.
rediscover E D M O N T O N ’ S F O O D F E S T I VA L
PRE-SALE TICKETS ON SALE NOW SAVE $10/SHEET OF TICKETS JULY 22 - AUGUST 1, 2021 | CHURCHILL SQUARE TASTEOFEDM.CA INFO EDMONTON SEASONAL GUIDE
Info Edmonton’s Online Restaurant Director y
There’s a local restaurant eager to serve you, no matter which area of the city you’re in—and many we’ve highlighted here have outdoor patios! Choose the area you’re in or plan to be in, then scan the QR code to see the full list of dining options. Wherever you are in Edmonton, let’s find an answer to your cravings this summer. SCAN
Downtown Casual Campio Brewing Bistros Riverside Bistro French The Marc Pubs & Bars Rocky Mountain Icehouse Steak Japanese Village Tapas Baijiu
QR CODE FOR MORE SOUTH CENTRAL DINING
Bistros Two Brown Dogs Bistro Burgers Fox Burger Cafés Spinelli’s Bar Italia Casual OTTO Food & Drink Ice Cream Kind Ice Cream Pubs & Bars Browns Socialhouse Manning
QR CODE FOR MORE SOUTH EDMONTON DINING
Bistros Grindstone Theatre & Bistro Burgers Next Act Pub Cafés Café Bicyclette Casual Sugarbowl Ice Cream Made by Marcus Italian Rosso Pizzeria
Cafés Toast Culture French Partake Italian Tiramisu Bistro Diners Blue Plate Diner Pubs & Bars Three Vikings Tapas Bodega
QR CODE FOR MORE DOWNTOWN DINING
QR CODE FOR MORE WEST CENTRAL DINING
South Edmonton Albertan Workshop Eatery Cafés Crum Coffee Bar Casual Alley Kat Brewing Company Ice Cream Peters’ Drive-In Japanese Nomiya Vietnamese XO Bistro+Bar
West Edmonton Bakeries Vi’s For Pies Bistros Nak’s Bistro+Catering Cafés Café Blackbird Diners Rockin’ Robyn’s Fusion Homefire Grill Indian Guru Fine Indian Cuisine
QR CODE FOR MORE NORTH EDMONTON DINING
QR CODE FOR MORE WEST EDMONTON DINING
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Buns Out on the Patio
Nothing says summer like quality burgers, cold beer, and a sunny patio. Here’s where you can find all three.
NEXT ACT PUB
This cool, casual eatery offers juicy specialty burgers, a varied beer selection, and a patio for people-watching just off Whyte Avenue. Purists will enjoy the classic house-made patty with lettuce, tomato, and pickles, while the more adventurous can test out the PB&J (patty with crunchy peanut butter and housemade bacon jam). If you want to learn more about the secretive Cameo Burger, you’ll just have to drop by and find out for yourself! | 8224-104 St., 780-433-9345. thenextactpub.com
This patio located on the roof of the historic Gibbard Block overlooks the quaint Highlands neighbourhood. Choose between a fresh-ground beef patty, housemade veggie burger, or the Crispy Buffalo Chicken with house buffalo sauce and jalapeño ranch, plus enjoy a side of garlic fries, pitcher of draught beer, and an ice cream sandwich for dessert. Keep an eye out for their new food truck, which also stocks rotating flavours of Kind Ice Cream! | 6423-112 Ave., 780-250-0369. foxburger.ca
Both the 124 Street and Ellerslie locations offer patio seating and serve handmade Holstein beef burgers with fresh-baked buns from Bon Ton Bakery.
Try the Woodshed with Irvings Farm Fresh bacon or the Smurf with roasted mushrooms and blue cheese aioli, and pair it with a milkshake or one of the rotating taps of local craft beer. | 10723-124 St., 780-752-2874; 2307 Ellwood Dr., 587-635-9663. thewoodshedyeg.com
DELUX BURGER BAR CRESTWOOD
Enjoy a wide variety of seven-ounce Angus beef burgers paired with hand-cut fries served on a dogfriendly patio! Beyond hamburgers, Delux’s menu also features tacos, sliders, milkshakes, mini donuts, beer, and cocktails. Pre-order a Delux Burger Box Special for pickup on Sundays to bring the BBQ goodness to your backyard or favourite park. | 9682-142 St., 780-420-0101. deluxcrestwood.com
BLUE PLATE DINER
With its cozy atmosphere and unique fare, this is a local favourite. People-watch on the patio and enjoy a Grilled Bison Burger topped with crispy fried onions or their new Crispy Vegan ‘Chicken’ Caesar Burger. To beef up your next backyard barbecue, pick up a 32-ounce jug of craft beer and a pack of groundchuck burger patties or their famous beet-based veggie patties. | 12323 Stony Plain Rd., 780-429-0740. blueplatediner.ca
If you’ve picked up your own burger patties and need a way to grill them, check out the biodegradable option on page 20!
INFO EDMONTON SEASONAL GUIDE
South Edmonton Common A shopping & dining experience unlike any other in Edmonton
It’s hard to imagine now, but just 25 years ago, the Edmonton area south of 23 Avenue was only empty fields. That all changed in April 1998, with the beginnings of what would become one of Edmonton’s—and Canada’s—premier shopping destinations.
PHOTOS: COURTESY SOUTH EDMONTON COMMON
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Designed by artist Lance Cardinal, this showroom features real cultural items from a Samson Cree Nation and Montana First Nation family living near Maskwacis...
“South Edmonton Common was the first of its kind,” says Harold Pacheco, marketing director for Cameron Development Management, one of the developers managing the space. “The collection of big-box and outlet stores in a single location was new to Canada.” It also remains one of the largest spaces of its kind in Canada to this day. Among the first stores to call SEC home were Home Depot and Walmart. Today, there are over 150 stores comprising over 2.3 million square feet of retail space and a wide variety of stores to meet Edmonton’s shopping needs, as well as extensive dining and entertainment options. Still locally owned and operated, South Edmonton Common continues to offer an exceptional experience for shoppers. Many of its stores, including Nordstrom Rack and IKEA, are these companies’ only presence in Edmonton, and are also unique in their own right. The Edmonton IKEA, for example, was the first in Canada to unveil an Indigenous showroom. Designed by artist Lance Cardinal, this showroom features real cultural items from a Samson Cree Nation and Montana First Nation family living near Maskwacis. This showroom has been so well-received that a similar showroom was installed in the Halifax IKEA in partnership with Mi’kmaw educators. Another major draw is the area’s flagship Canadian Tire,
the largest in Canada. Since 2015, Edmontonians have flocked to the two-storey, 140,000-square-foot store for hardware, outdoor supplies, home goods, and more—including state-of-the-art virtual reality and simulation technology that allows guests to test-drive tires and plan their dream backyards right in-store. Other boast-worthy mentions include The Rec Room and Buy Buy Baby, each of which (if now not the only in Edmonton) was the first in Canada. “Even if some of the same stores are found in different areas, the ones at South Edmonton Common either have the lowest prices or the largest size and selection,” says Pacheco. For hungry shoppers, there are plenty of casual and upscale dining options, including nearly 20 patios for sipping in the sunshine. New as of June 2021 are Earl of Sandwich—a restaurant based out of Las Vegas offering artisan sandwiches and salads—and Bro’kin Yolk, Edmonton’s first taste of the wildly popular Calgary-based, farm-to-table brunch restaurant. Other dining options include Copper
Branch, which serves up delicious, plant-based meals, and Famoso Pizzeria, whose Neapolitanstyle pizzas are prepared and baked the same way it’s been done in Naples for centuries. As if you needed even more excuses to visit, South Edmonton Common also offers entertainment and attractions for the whole family. With current reopening plans in place for the summer, Cineplex Odeon will offer the big-screen experience while keeping safety front and centre. Kids can also enjoy a good old-fashioned day at the arcade with Chuck E. Cheese, one of only 10 locations in Canada. Safety continues to be paramount as restrictions begin to lift. The SEC website offers a complete store directory with options for curbside pickup, in-store pickup, and local delivery—and on weekends, stop by the South Common Farmers’ Market for local produce, prepared foods, and artisan goods. The open-air format of the centre also makes social distancing easier, so you can enjoy retail therapy with your summer weather. | southedmontoncommon.com
by margarita wilson
INFO EDMONTON SEASONAL GUIDE
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Level up Your Barbecue Game Cook on-the-go, anywhere you go
For many people, barbecuing and outdoor grilling are synonymous with summer. But what do you do if you don’t have the space or money for a permanent setup—or you want to enjoy your spoils in a more remote location? Last summer, RGE RD Butchery found an answer: a portable, lightweight eco-barbecue.
PHOTOS: TAMARA ASCHENBRENNER
“Having these eco-grills available, barbecuing becomes much more accessible and hopefully less intimidating,” said Caitlin Fulton, director of operations for RGE RD and The Butchery. “Also the fact that you can now have tasty, hot food almost anywhere is a game changer! I hope that eating well becomes synonymous with being active, enjoying the great outdoors, exploring more of Edmonton and Alberta’s back roads, and, of course, ‘eating off the beaten path’—our RGE RD tagline.”
Made from all-natural materials, including bamboo, cardboard, and charcoal, the one-time-use grill from CasusGrill Canada is biodegradable. It heats up in five minutes and provides over an hour of cooking time, making it perfect for hikes, picnics, backyard gatherings, camping, and more. And according to the RGE RD team, the “more” can even include small-space urban cooking. “We gave it a go out in the back alley when our shop was still under construction and loved the fact that it legitimately cooked,” shared Caitlin. “Once we tried it, we thought that it would be such a great value to add to all our products in the Butchery, especially with the fact that, with COVID, everyone is being encouraged to spend time outdoors.” You can pick up your own CasusGrill in-store from The Butchery by RGE RD, currently the only shop in the city that stocks it. They also carry fresh cuts, hot dogs, burger kits, and charcuterie to make that summer event complete. 12229-107 Ave., 780-443-0000. thebutcheryyeg.ca
INFO EDMONTON SEASONAL GUIDE
Info Edmonton’s Online Shopping Director y
No matter which area of the city you’re in, you can find options for fashion, gifts, markets, accessories, toys, wine, and more. Choose the area you’re in or plan to be in, then scan the QR code to see the full list of options.
Downtown Bookstores Audreys Books Eyewear Women with Vision Farmers’ Markets Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market Gifts & Keepsakes The Artworks Jewellery Azurys Jewellery Lingerie Night Owl Designer Lingerie
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Fashion: Children Head Shoulders Knees & Toes Florists Flowers By Merle Gourmet Food Meuwly’s Health & Beauty Afrodisiac Natural Hair Shop Lingerie Nightshade Corsets Specialty Shops Carbon Boutique
North Edmonton Antiques Chickie’s Antiques Fashion: Unisex Simons Fashion: Women Yasmin House of Islamic Clothing Florists Zocalo Wine & Spirits Sherbrooke Liquor Store Pet Supplies Bone & Biscuit
Bike Shops United Sport & Cycle Eyewear The Observatory Opticians Farmers’ Market Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market Gifts & Keepsakes Wish List Gifts Health & Beauty Kent of Inglewood Shoes The Running Room
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South Edmonton Farmers’ Markets South Common Farmers’ Market Fashion: Unisex Oak + Fort Gifts & Keepsakes Wildbird General Store Outdoor Wear & Accessories MEC Swimwear Currents Sun & Swimwear
West Edmonton Bike Shops Revolution Cycle Collectibles West Edmonton Coin & Stamp Farmers’ Markets Callingwood Farmers’ Market Fashion: Children Alligator Pie Swimwear Bikini Village Wine & Spirits Wine & Beyond
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fe stival s & at tr ac tio n s
All-New for the Tried & True Faves return with new exhibits
New features in the renovated Muttart Conservatory include a living wall, water fountain, and fireplace in the central courtyard, as well as upgrades to the on-site restaurant, patio, and gift shop. They’ve also included COVID-safe protocols like one-way paths and hand sanitizing stations. First built in 1976, the famous glass pyramids closed in July 2019 for a $13.3-million renovation project to update its mechanical, electrical, and structural systems. While it was ready for visitors to return in early 2021, pandemic restrictions postponed the reopening—which the public got to enjoy starting June 11, 2021. The four iconic pyramids—arid, temperate, tropical, and feature—house a spectacular display of flowers and vegetation, including more than 700 species of plants and one of North America’s largest collections of orchid species. The reopening theme for the Feature Pyramid is called Reflection and displays bright annual flowers. Pre-book your timed-entry ticket online! | 9626-96A St. muttartconservatory.ca
FORT EDMONTON PARK
More than 50 Indigenous Elders, historians, educators, and community members helped develop the new signature Indigenous Peoples Experience (iyiniwak okiskêyihtamowiniwaw) at Fort Edmonton Park. The highly anticipated addition to Canada’s largest living history museum was part of its $165-million expansion project, which also included an expanded 1920s-style carnival midway and a new front entry plaza. The Indigenous Peoples Experience includes 30,000 square feet dedicated to the rich histories and cultures of First Nations and Métis peoples, recounted from their perspectives and voices, with hands-on exhibits, multimedia displays, interpreter interactions, and more. Pre-book your tickets online! | 7000-143St.,780-496-7381. fortedmontonpark.ca
PHOTOS: COURTESY TELUS WORLD OF SCIENCE
TWOSE’S EXPEDITION: DINOSAUR
With the partial reopening of Edmonton’s world-class science centre on July 1 comes the opening of its newest feature exhibit. Expedition: Dinosaur invites dinosaur enthusiasts young and old to immerse themselves in the age of these prehistoric giants. Come up close to life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, learn about the field of paleontology and the human interest in fossils, and even try your hand at the delicate art of excavation. You can also continue the prehistoric fun at home with a visit to the TELUS World of Science’s Galaxy Gift Shop, which is also available online. Their dino-themed goodies include plushies, hand puppets, dig kits, and activity books. | 11211-142 St., 780-451-3344. twose.ca
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fe stival s & at tr ac tio n s
Eat Your Heart Out
Edmonton’s summer festivals are bigger than you think
IMAGES: BY STOCK.ADOBE.COM/EDNURG; STOCK.ADOBE.COM/DIVIARTS; COURTESY EDMONTON HERITAGE FESTIVAL
ENBRENNER BY TAMARA ASCH
fe stival s & at tr ac tio n s
Great fun for the whole family, inclusive ways to experience the diversity and talents in Edmonton, and community-driven social consciousness—what doesn’t Festival City have? We’ve certainly got a lineup to be proud of.
Our city’s summer festival season is legendary. In non-pandemic years, people would flock from around the world for food, entertainment, and family-friendly fun. While the 2020 season saw many cancellations, this year’s organizers have been working cautiously and excitedly to present visitors with safe, accessible programming. The running theme for Edmonton’s summer festival season seems to be this: support local. Local artists, local restaurants, local organizations, local charities—everyone wins with community engagement, even you. The Edmonton Heritage Festival partners with cultural groups throughout Alberta to share and celebrate various traditions of song, dance, and food—and approximately 100,000 to 150,000 people visit Hawrelak Park each day of the festival to experience it. “The whole point of this event is to celebrate multiculturalism, which is really a nod in the way towards fighting racism,” says Jim Gibbon, executive director of the Edmonton Heritage Festival Association. “It’s giving people a chance to come together and experience firsthand people whose backgrounds—whose dancing, cultures, foods—are not the same
as theirs, and realize how lucky we are to have those people as part of our lives.” It’s considered the world’s largest festival in multiculturalism and is rare in how it celebrates numerous cultures at once. In fact, it’s one of only two festivals in Canada recognized as an important cultural asset by UNESCO and the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts (CIOFF). For Multicultural Month in 2020, Heritage Festival shared a video on their website that was then shared by UNESCO—resulting in the video reaching over 100,000 views from over 80 countries. “We have this incredible reach, and every day more and more countries learn about Edmonton and the Heritage Festival, and how great Edmonton is as a result,” says Gibbon. And that will still include the 2021 season, which kicks off with the inaugural World Music Week. Priding itself on its inclusivity and accessibility, Heritage Festival has always offered entrance and entertainment free of charge. While this year will bring changes to a wellloved festival that’s run since 1976, including the addition of pre-booked timed-entry tickets to manage capacity and promote
Check out the evolving summer lineup for this year's festival season at infoedmonton.com.
We want people to come back, but we also want them to feel safe by coming back.
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fe stival s & at tr ac tio n s
Taste of Edmonton running,” says Vienneau. “It crushed me a little bit in 2020.” New this year, they’re hosting their first-ever 50/50 raffle to increase their fundraising efforts. Showcasing 100% local cuisine with local participating restaurants, Taste of Edmonton is considered Western Canada’s largest food and entertainment festival, which also meant several changes to ensure compliance with Alberta Health Services. While the festival grounds will cover the largest area it’s ever had and include more food trucks, the number of represented restaurants will decrease—all to increase social distancing and promote safety. There will also be standalone sanitization stations, more ticket booths, spaced seating areas, and electronic counting systems to manage capacity. And to increase your sampling potential? About 85% of the participating restaurants will include a new third menu item with a max value of two tickets, meaning more options for each sheet. Check out the many festivals around the city this summer and get ready to have fun with your loved ones. “There’s a lot of great things and great memories when people come to these outdoor events, whether it’s somebody going to Heritage Days and supporting that amazing scene, or it’s going to Fringe or the Street Performers’ or The Works,” says Vienneau. “The list just goes on and on.”
TAKE NOTE Jul 22–Aug 1 Taste of Edmonton Jul 25–30 World Music Week Jul 31–Aug 2 Edmonton Heritage Festival Aug 1–31 Multicultural Month
PHOTO: BY JENNIFER LINFORD
safe distancing, those tickets will still be free. They’ve also partnered with Kids Up Front and the Edmonton Food Bank to create Heritage Youth, a new community initiative to bring children to the event who may not have a chance to attend otherwise and provide those children with food tickets to experience the festival. While the numbers are small this year due to the pandemic, Gibbon hopes to expand the program in the future. “If we could do thousands and thousands every year, that would be huge. Then you’re doing real outreach and helping real people to learn about different cultures,” says Gibbon. Along with free timed-entry tickets to stagger attendance, the 2021 Heritage Festival will also have fewer pavilions than they’ve hosted in the past to increase distancing in the park. You can find more information about the health and safety protocols on their website, including eating spaces, plexiglass windows, and moat spacing between stages and the audience. The website is also where you can access Multicultural Month, a virtual festival live for all of August to share more performances, local cultural restaurants, and crafts and artworks. Spreading out the open-air festivals is a common strategy, though it can be more difficult if you’re established in an urban core. This is Taste of Edmonton’s first year back in downtown’s Churchill Square after being displaced for two years due to construction. “It feels like we’re going home,” says Donovan Vienneau, general manager of Events Edmonton, the non-profit group behind the festival. “We want people to come back, but we also want them to feel safe by coming back.” Volunteer-driven, the team is excited to launch the 2021 festival season after the necessary cancellation in 2020. While losing the festival and being temporarily laid off were difficult, Vienneau was particularly crushed over the losses experienced by the Taste of Edmonton Community Fund. In 2019, Events Edmonton and Taste of Edmonton gave back over $100,000 to local charities, including Kids Sport, Hope Mission, and the Christmas Bureau. “We are non-profit, and we work with amazing charities that need the support, and they benefit from
INFO EDMONTON SEASONAL GUIDE
by margarita wilson
There are three ingredients to the perfect summer adventure: new thrills, new perspectives, and family-friendly fun. You’ll find all three in spades at Snow Valley Aerial Park. Opened in 2017 next to Rainbow Valley Campground, this 50-foot-tall climbing tower is the first of its kind in Canada, and only the third in North America. It’s an all-ages jungle gym, taken to the extreme, with a combination of challenging obstacles and uniquely Edmontonian features that will put your balance, endurance, and guts to the test.
From the moment you’re strapped into your safety harness and safety line (which are worn at all times within the tower and include specialized locking), it truly is a choose-yourown-adventure experience. There are over 100 games and obstacles to encounter, each marked with their difficulty level: green for beginners, blue for intermediate, and black for advanced. As you climb higher, the challenges get harder. On your climb, you can take on everything from kayak and snowboard balance bridges to hanging ropes, a climbing wall, and freefall drops. There’s even a mining cart, a throwback to the river valley’s history of coal mining. “The hardest elements not only test your strength and stamina, but your problem-solving ability as well,” says Tim Dea,
PHOTOS: COURTESY SNOW VALLEY AERIAL PARK
Put your climbing skills to the test
manager of marketing and communications at Snow Valley. “It’s a great way to physically and mentally challenge yourself.” Snow Valley, the nonprofit organization that manages Snow Valley Ski Hill and Rainbow Valley Campground within Whitemud Park, envisioned the attraction as a way to provide guests with adrenaline-fuelled thrills even when the ski hill was closed. Ideas for a summer attraction sparked in 2013, but it wasn’t until the Snow Valley team attended a trade show in 2016 that they came across KristallTurm, a German company producing climbing towers. Plans were quickly put in place for such a tower to be installed in Edmonton, and the Snow Valley Aerial Park opened to the public in May of 2017. Since then, the park has welcomed visitors of all ages looking for sky-high fun. All-new for 2021 is Whitemud Creek Mining Company, perfect for young adventurers,
explorers, and collectors—and those who want more ground-based activities. Purchase a bag of ‘rough’ and use the mining sluice to sift through the sand and find all sorts of treasures, from gemstones to fossils! Nearby, you can also test your accuracy and practice your swing with the new Snow Valley Target Golf. This irons-only range is terrific family fun and includes targets ranging from a kayak to an entire campsite. And if you’re feeling peckish after an energy-burning day, you can head over to the licensed Tito’s Patio in front of the main lodge. With adventure, thrills, and fun galore, Snow Valley Aerial Park truly is a one-stopshop for summer fun. Book your reservations in advance. | 13204 Rainbow Valley Rd (45 Ave.), located on 119 St. off of Whitemud Fwy. 780434-3991. snowvalley.ca/aerial-park.
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Looking for more information on this and other thrilling Edmonton attractions? Visit page 30!
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PHOTOS: BY TAMARA ASCHENBRENNER; MUTTART CONSERVATORY; THE REC ROOM; VILLAGE OF GRIESBACH; EEDC
Find attractions, hotels, restaurants, cafés, pubs, shops, and more—no matter where you are or where you want to be in Edmonton. We highlight popular neighbourhoods and nearby amenities so you can find the best in local.
WELCOME BACK, FRIENDS! We miss you and hope to see you this summer at: Heritage Fest Celebration July 31–Aug 2 in Hawrelak Park World Music Week July 25–30 at the Heritage Amphitheatre Multicultural Month Aug 1–31, online at mcmonth.ca New 2021 COVID Safety Plan includes: • FREE timed-entry passes to enter grounds. Prebook online at heritagefest.ca • Direct debit & credit sales only (no food tickets this year).
DISCOVER EDMONTON'S RIVER VALLEY B IG E TOURS | EDMO NTO N REG IO N A L HELICO P TERS | H A SK IN C A N O E RI V ER VA LLE Y A DV EN T U RES | SN OW VA LLE Y | TA LK IN G RO CK TO U RS
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Black For 15 years, 5 Artists 1 Love has celebrated Black communities in Edmonton during Black History Month, with particular focus on local art, music, dance, and poetry. Their anniversary year includes a featured exhibition at the Art Gallery of Alberta, now on display from June to September 2021 (after being rescheduled due to pandemic restrictions). The lineup of 15 local artists includes Raneece Buddan, AJA Louden, Emily Schouten, and Ash Shumba—all alumni artists who have been featured in 5A1L shows over the years. Unique, diverse artworks fill the entire second floor of the AGA, and curator and 5A1L founder Darren W. Jordan is eager for the public to finally get a chance to experience the exhibition.
PHOTOS: COURTESY PLAN IT SOUND; BY TAMARA ASCHENBRENNER
arts & cu ltu r e
The 5 Artists 1 Love anniversary exhibition by tamara aschenbrenner
Aside from the pandemic, how does the experience of this anniversary compare to the first show you had in February 2006? Darren: I remember the first time that we did this, and this frenetic energy that you just, I don’t know—it’s not anxiety, it’s excitement, and I have a very similar feeling right now. I’m excited because we’re about to do something new. And the other thing is scale: it’s on a much larger scale. The first day that we did this, we were wondering if anybody was gonna walk through the door. You’re wondering if this is gonna click, and it did, and we haven’t looked back. This time, I want to make sure that as many people can see it as possible. It’s funny because we were poised to have a show that should be a full room, but because of the pandemic we won’t have it like that. So although I’m excited and I’m happy to share this work with people, I am a little disappointed that it can’t be done the way it should be done. What about now exhibiting in a main gallery at the AGA? We have been at the AGA for 10 years, thereabouts. While we were there, we had always been relegated to the community gallery—that’s in the basement. I didn’t even realize there was a basement until somebody
pointed that out… My goal has always been to have a show in the main gallery. That’s always been a goal. As the curator, what have you learned over the past 15 years? Every year, it renews my faith in the depth of talent in this city. I think we’re at a world-class level with a lot of our artists here. And the work doesn’t end. You have to keep hustling and you’ve got to keep pushing forward, and then you take these opportunities to move forward when you can. How was your first tour of the exhibit? It was almost the feeling of reverence. It’s not church, but it’s just a very powerful, very vibrant, interesting exhibit. It just kind of breaks down that whole homogeneous view of Black people. It’s very diverse, even visually. Every corner has something different. You’ve got a sculpture over here, and then you’ve got photography over here or a mural over there— it’s just a really diverse, interesting space and a good representation of the art in this city from Black people.
we [usually] do it in Black History Month, it doesn’t necessarily mean it has to do with anything about Black History Month or it doesn’t have to be afro-centric in theme if they don’t want. So if your jam is that you paint flowers—that is what you love, that’s what you do, that’s where your skill lies, and your passion— then we encourage people to do that… This year, for the first time, we’ve got an overarching theme. It’s called “Black Every Day,” but even with that theme, the artists are still free to do what they want… There’s a huge movement right now for people to acknowledge anti-Black racism and take a stand against that, which is great. It’s shining a light on some areas that some people were unaware of. So it’s illuminated some areas and opened up some opportunities, but we’re living our life. Whether it is fashionable or really popular right now to take that stand and get involved—which is fantastic, it is—we’re still here, we’re still Black, we’re still living our lives and doing what we do regardless of what public opinion is.
Could you tell us a bit more about this year’s theme? When we do the art show, the artists are never tethered with a particular theme. The featured artists are encouraged to do what it is that they do. Because
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Visit InfoEdmonton.com for the full interview.
Music Face the
Enjoy the sounds of summer al fresco
Concerts and live music shows have had a big shift since the start of the pandemic, with limited capacity and social distancing restrictions making larger gatherings an almost impossible feat. Despite all of these demands, music aficionados can still catch their favourite bands play a live set this summer thanks to these outdoor concerts happening in Edmonton.
CAFÉ BICYCLETTE’S SUMMER PATIO SERIES
July 16–17 A limited number of guests (up to 80 at a time) will get to enjoy this hybrid live/virtual music festival! The 2021 lineup includes Danielle Dayton, The Confusionaires, Two Late to the Party, Martin Kerr, and more, as well as youth acts from Sherwood Park’s Crescendo Music. Admission is cash only, pay-what-you-can at the door. | 130 Broadway Blvd #195, Sherwood Park. ravenwoodexperience.com
WINTER-IN-SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL
August 12–14 This new musical festival on the hill promises to bring a little bit of winter to the summer months. Gather your cohort in your assigned pod seating to enjoy food trucks and local artists, including the talents of Kane Incognito, Dylan Farrell Band, and The Whale & The Wolf. From blues music to rock, this music festival is sure to satisfy that music fest itch you’ve had since 2020! | 9613-96 Ave. edmontonskiclub.com
PHOTOS: COURTESY BOTTOM LINE PRODUCTIONS
RAVENWOOD EXPERIENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL
Thursdays, June–September Coinciding with the re-opening of le Café Bicyclette, the ever-popular Patio Series is back for the summer, featuring a new chef and new menus. No matter how you get there—bike, bus, car, or foot—be ready for a delightful showcase of local musical talent. Upcoming artists include Andrea House, PJ Perry, Maria Dunn, Marc Beaudin, and King Muskafa. Book your tickets in advance and get there early for general seating. | 8627-91 St. lacitefranco.ca
arts & cu ltu r e
BRINGIN’ THE COUNTRY BACK DRIVE-IN CONCERT
July 18 This drive-in concert is headed to Castrol Raceway for two shows on one night only! Catch headliners George Canyon and Aaron Pritchett as they bring that good ol’ country sound back to the city. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to support the Leduc Community Hospital Foundation. | 50342 Range Road 253, Leduc County. lchfoundation.ca
PATIO MUSIC SERIES
select dates in August Big names are headed to the Racetrack Infield at Edmonton Exhibition Lands (formerly Northlands Park). Aimed specifically to bring a summer of music with COVID safety guidelines in mind, the dedicated outdoor concert venue features reserved private tables, limited capacity, and a cashless phone ordering system to get food, drinks, and even merch delivered to your table. While the August lineup is still being announced, upcoming artists include Dean Brody, Our Lady Peace, Serena Ryder, Nuela Charles, Blue Rodeo, and more. Every ticket purchased will include a donation to Boyle Street and Hope Mission. | 7515-118 Ave. togetheragainyeg.ca
QUALICO PATIO SERIES
Wednesdays, July–August Bluegrass, folk, jazz, pop—there’s a concert for everyone happening in Sherwood Park’s Peace Park. Enjoy a delicious meal and drinks courtesy of The Hat Catering as you and your cohort take in some of the best in Albertan talent, including Mariel Buckley, 0Stella, Shred Kelly, Ayla Brook and The Sound Men, and more! Two acts will be performing per night. | 100 Festival Way, Sherwood Park. festivalplace.ca
Fridays & Saturdays, July–August Starting early July, head over to the Edmonton Ski Club for their outdoor Patio Music Series featuring local musicians. Sit on the hill, take in the fresh air, enjoy the views, and relax with friends as you check out great talent in the city, including Punch Buggy, El Niven & the Alibi, Billie Zizi, Ryu Yokoo, and more. Buy tickets early! | 9613-96 Ave. edmontonskiclub.com
TOGETHER AGAIN OUTDOOR CONCERT SERIES
HOW EDMONTON’S THEATRE COMMUNITY IS PERSEVERING
Shows BY MARGARITA WILSON
Must Go On
PHOTOS: COURTESY FREEWILL SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
There’s no getting around it: this past year has been rough for many industries. Edmonton’s theatre community, in particular, has been hard hit by COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions. Nevertheless, artists are a persevering bunch, and many have found unique ways to overcome challenges and keep audiences entertained, through the summer and beyond.
arts & cu ltu r e
s restrictions fluctuated over the past year, theatre was often the first to be cancelled and the last to be reinstated. “Our industry was literally—I think unfairly so—decimated,” says Murray Utas, director of the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. However, the theatre community wasn’t giving up, and many organizations jumped on the new challenges. “We could have just laid down and just waited until it all played out, or we could’ve stepped into something and got innovative,” says Utas. “We wanted to find a way to deliver joy to an audience and work to an artist.” While the 2021 SkirtsAfire Festival already ran in March, they’re a prime example of how local organizations found ways to integrate both in-person and digital offerings, while still keeping audiences and artists safe. The group’s new vision included a digital film, visual art displayed in Old Strathcona shops, and the larger windows of the historic Army & Navy building. “We had singer-songwriters perform on the stage, behind the storefront window, and then we had speakers going out onto Whyte Avenue,” says Annette Loiselle, artistic director of SkirtsAfire. “One singer-songwriter, in
the middle of her set she just burst into happy tears. She was just so happy to be performing live again.” For Fringe, going digital for August 2020 wasn’t only a necessity, but an opportunity. “We had to cancel the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, the first time in its 38-year history, and our 39th was The Fringe That Never Was. But we
One singer-songwriter, in the middle of her set she just burst into happy tears.
were able to pay some artists, were able to deliver some fun online,” Utas says. What was truly surprising for them was how far that fun spread, with viewers from as far as Argentina, Germany, and New Zealand, all now able to participate in the festival because it was entirely online. The future is brimming with possibility. While Fringe Festival’s plans for summer 2021 are still evolving, there’s
palpable excitement. “We’ve been working on a project of our own called Lakes and Streams,” shares Utas. “Where we’re normally 50-some venues and 248 shows, we’re probably going to be more like 8 venues and 48 shows. That’s the one thing that we’ve learned this time—you just do not know. We just keep rolling with whatever’s coming at us.” In the meantime, it’s vital to continue supporting theatre and artists—and there’s plenty of ways to do so. Both Utas and Loiselle recommend looking for different ways to invest in your local arts scene and local businesses. “It’s a long road to rebuild, but the community’s primed. They’re ready,” says Utas, who also recommends visiting their Fringe Grounds Café. “Have some food with us, sit on this beautiful patio that we have now. And the same with the rest of them! Look for what they’ve got going on, see how you can support them... We want to get out and take care of all the other businesses that have been suffering along with us.” Many local theatre groups offer subscription packages and memberships for the upcoming season, as well as host auctions, sell merch and gifts, offer workshops, and more.
ALL OF EDMONTON’S A STAGE Plans are ongoing for live and virtual theatre happening this summer! VIRTUAL SHOWS A Brimful of Asha (Citadel Theatre) till Aug 31 Mary’s Wedding (Citadel Theatre) till Nov 30 The Transformers (Catalyst Theatre) now till TBA Until the Next Breath (Catalyst Theatre) now till TBA
LIVE PERFORMANCES Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing: The Pandemic Variations (Freewill Shakespeare Festival) dates TBA Heaven (Citadel Theatre) Jul 31–Aug 15 Various productions (Edmonton International Fringe Festival) Aug 12–22
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Mary’s Wedding: A Métis Love Story (Citadel Theatre) Aug 28–Sep 12 The Garneau Block (Citadel Theatre) Sep 23–Oct 10 Many more theatres are announcing their upcoming plays, projects, and events every day! Stay up to date with our Events Calendar at InfoEdmonton.com.
Info Edmonton’s Entertainment Director y
Find your Event “What’s on tonight?” It’s not just a question—it’s an invitation. An invitation to try something new, to indulge your passions, to see your city in a new way. From concerts and films to festivals and markets, local talent to international experiences, Edmonton’s got it all.
E AT . D RINK . SHOP . P L AY
Jun 19–Aug 8................................................................................The Scene Exhibit Jun 19–Sep 12................................................................... Black Every Day Exhibit Jul 16–Aug 8........................Edmonton Folk Festival’s Taking It to the Streets Jul 22–Aug 1..............................................................................Taste of Edmonton Jul 25–30.................................................................................... World Music Week Jul 31.............................................................................................Afrodisiac Market Jul 31–Aug 2 ..............................................................Edmonton Heritage Festival Jul 31–Aug 15.................................................................................................. Heaven Aug 1–31.................................................................................. Multicultural Month Aug 6–8............................................................Cariwest Caribbean Arts Festival Aug 6–29 (select)..............................Together Again Outdoor Concert Series Aug 12–14........................................................ Winter-in-Summer Music Festival Aug 12–22..............................Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival Aug 14–15.............................................................................................Porkapalooza Aug 20–22...................................................................ITU World Triathlon Series Aug 28 .........................................................................................Afrodisiac Market Aug 28–Sep 12..........................................Mary’s Wedding: A Métis Love Story Sep 13–26.................................................................... Gotta Minute Film Festival Sep 23–Oct 10..........................................................................The Garneau Block Sep 25..........................................................................................Afrodisiac Market
Explore a world of events right outside your door, all on InfoEdmonton.com. Look for our QR codes around the city and in Edmonton Taxi cabs to access our listings anywhere, any time. You can also stay up to date across social media @WhereEdmonton with #WhatsOnTonight and our weekend event roundups on the Here & Now blog.
Engage with Art! Discover our exhibitions, hear from artists and enjoy interactive virtual programming at youraga.ca
Franklin Carmichael, Sombre Valley (detail), 1936. Oil on hardboard. Art Gallery of Alberta Collection, gift of The Ernest E. Poole Foundation, 1975.
At Homefire, we create and celebrate beautiful, Indigenous-inspired fusion dishes featuring our favourite staples — bison, bannock, and saskatoon berries—integrated through a chef’s touch.
Support First Nations Businesses Indigenous run. Indigenous inspired.
18210–100 Ave // 780.489.8086
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Looking for some gardening inspiration? A relaxing day out? Or do you just want to see something new? You’ll find it all at a botanic garden. Here in Edmonton, we’re only a short distance away from two incredible options—making it easy to fit in both this summer.
Explore the Edmonton region’s botanic gardens
ST. ALBERT BOTANIC PARK
Today, the Botanic Park consists of 17 unique gardens to explore across 5 acres of parkland. Take in nature’s finest perfumes in the Richard Plain Rose Garden, a collection of over 100 different varieties of stunning, cold-hardy roses. Enjoy an idyllic stroll through the Cottage Garden, the Botanic Park’s first garden bed, and look for the tiny fairy garden hiding among the blooms. Catch a glimpse of bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds as they flit around the pollinator-friendly Habitat Garden. You can even peek in on experimental vegetables being grown by volunteers in the Trial Garden. What truly sets the St. Albert Botanic Park apart is the sense of
community built into every aspect of the gardens. The park is still primarily volunteer-run, and they’re always looking for more helping hands—green thumb not required! You can even purchase everything from tomatoes to perennial flowers on the park patio. The Park is open every day (sunrise to sunset), and the growing season lasts from mid-May to September. Check out the website for upcoming events. | 265 Sturgeon Rd., St. Albert. stalbertbotanicpark.com
PHOTOS: COURTESY ST. ALBERT BOTANIC PARK; UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA BOTANIC GARDEN
For an intimate experience while still enjoying a showstopping variety of plants, be sure to put the St. Albert Botanic Park on your summer bucket list. This free park, located along the scenic Sturgeon River, was established in September 1990 by former mayor Richard Plain and retired city landscape planner John Beedle, who dreamed of creating a garden to showcase plants that thrived in the Edmonton region’s climate. The park has been operated and maintained by the Society of Friends for the St. Albert Botanic Park since its inception, with support from the City of St. Albert, which also leased the land on which the park now stands.
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THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA BOTANIC GARDEN For over 60 years, the University of says Kerry Mulholland, their Alberta Botanic Garden has been communications and marketing a haven for Edmontonians looking coordinator. Inspired by Mughal to enjoy the beauty of the natural design, the garden contains over world. Originally estab25,000 plants selected lished in 1959 as the for both beauty and Another Botanic Garden and hardiness. Another hidden gem Field Laboratory, can’t-miss area is the in the Garden? it was renamed in Kurimoto Japanese Geocaches! Find the 1970s as the Garden. This out more about Devonian Botanic kaiyou, or strolling geocaching on Garden in recoggarden, combines page 10. nition of donations Japanese elements, made by the Devonian including a pagoda and Foundation and the Friends koi ponds, with cold-hardy, of the Garden. These donations Alberta-friendly plants. Ringing the funded not only necessary repairs enormous temple bell inside the and upgrades after extensive flood belfry is always a thrill. damage, but also an expansion of Elsewhere, you’ll the property. Renamed again in find lots of hidden 2017, it now reflects its connecgems to discover. tion to the University of Alberta’s “Be sure to visit Faculty of Agricultural, Life & John’s Folly, a quaint Environmental Sciences. Today, the little ‘castle’ at the top garden is the largest of its kind in of a hill, and Connie’s Secret Pond Alberta: its 240 acres contain over in the North Alpine Garden,” 2500 plant species. says Mulholland. Another Perhaps the most well-known great stop is the Indigenous of the garden’s attractions is the Garden, containing a wide 11-acre Aga Khan Garden, the variety of plants long used world’s northernmost Islamic by Indigenous Peoples; garden. “Sunken flower beds, established in 1980, it’s the flowing fountains and still pools, first Indigenous display in a geometric patterning in stone Canadian botanic garden. details, and breathtaking vistas Of course, it’s not make this a truly unique feature,” just about the plants at
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the Garden. This summer, be sure to reserve your spot for either a Brunch Box or Twilight Picnic; these packages contain tasty local goodies and deluxe add-ons to make your garden tour that much more magical. The Garden is open daily from May to September. Book your advanced registration online! | 51227 AB-60, Spruce Grove. botanicgarden.ualberta.ca
Better Lake than Never
Our landlocked province satisfies its desire for the open water with lakes, glorious lakes. Many nearby spots offer options for swimming, boating, fishing, and more naturecentric adventures to complete your summer.
Enjoy a relaxing swim in the warm, shallow water at Alberta Beach, located on the southeast part of Lac Ste. Anne. Boating is permitted, camping is available from May–September, and there are nearby parks with playgrounds, ball diamonds, badminton and basketball courts, a skateboard park, and more. albertabeach.com In the heart of Elk Island National Park is the picturesque Astotin Lake and its accompanying recreation area, which includes a campground, beach, soccer field, playground, and golf course. If you don’t have your own gear, rent an Equipped Campsite (with tent and propane stove) or the more glamourous oTENTik (with beds and furniture on a raised floor). pg.gc.ca
Located 65 km southeast of Edmonton (south along Highway 21 and then east along Highway 623), this lake boasts sandy beaches, forested picnic spots, and non-motorized aquatic activities like kayaking and canoeing. Visit the Miquelon Park Centre to rent a Discovery Pack and learn about the surrounding nature, or pick up a geocaching kit and find hidden caches.
This well-loved lake lies 140 km south of Edmonton on Highway 2, and 15 km west on Highway 11A. You can lounge or play beach volleyball on the sandy beach, or head into the water to canoe, fish, swim, or sail.
One of the most popular lakes in Alberta, Wabamun lies 65 km west of Edmonton on the Yellowhead Highway. Known for its large northern pike, this lake is the ideal spot to catch whitefish in the Edmonton area. The area is also home to a diverse range of bird species, including hooded mergansers, bald eagles, and various moulting birds.
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This small, peaceful lake is the city’s closest, located approximately 40 km west on Highway 16. Favourite summer activities include camping, swimming, and canoeing, and it’s a popular spot for scuba diving due to its clear waters and depth (30 m). The lake is stocked with yellow perch and northern pike for fishing.
Get out of the city & into the water
Located 60 km south of Edmonton on Highway 2, and 23 km west on Highway 13, this lake is popular for its plentiful white sand and relaxing picnic areas at Ma-Me-Mo Beach. The spacious campground includes both unserviced and powered lots, as well as rentable yurts with beds for insulated glamping.
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National Parks NEARBY
JASPER NATIONAL PARK
The largest national park in the Canadian Rockies is just over three hours west of Edmonton and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site for over 30 years. Resident wildlife includes moose, beavers, foxes, timber wolves, grizzly and black bears, great horned owls, and so much more. In the town of Jasper, you can book helicopter tours and take a ride on the SkyTram. Book a campsite for your tent or motorhome, or get a backcountry permit to try authentic wilderness camping. For water activities, whitewater raft down a raging river or head to a lake for swimming, canoeing, fishing, boating, and scuba diving. And, of course, you have your pick of trails and mountains to hike. | jasper.travel
BANFF NATIONAL PARK
Another of Alberta’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Banff National Park is located about four hours southwest of Edmonton, or an hour and thirty minutes from downtown Calgary. You can take your pick from rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, paddleboarding, hiking, and more. It includes the hamlet of Lake Louise— Canada’s highest town—and the nearby town of Banff, which features the Banff Gondola Mountaintop Experience and the Cave and Basin National Historic Site. Year-round, you can soak in the natural hot springs of Sulphur Mountain and take in the breathtaking view of Bow Valley and Rundle Mountain. | banffnationalpark.com
One of the world’s most epic drives, the 230-kilometre Icefields Parkway travels through the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains to connect Jasper and Banff.
Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm until September 6, 2021.
ukrainianvillage.ca lamontcounty.ca INFO EDMONTON SEASONAL GUIDE
Info Edmonton’s 2021 Day Trip Guide
Discover rich history, thrilling adventure, and natural beauty in our neighbouring communities. InfoEdmonton.com goes beyond Edmonton.
St Albert Grain Elevator Park Edmonton Skydive Centre Klondike Ferry Crossing
Fort Heritage Precinct Ukrainian Village Métis Crossing
U of A Botanic Garden Canadian Energy Museum Multicultural Heritage Centre
Century Mile Racetrack Telford Lake Trail Reynolds-Alberta Museum
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Whatever you want to do. Whatever the season. This is the place. strathcona.ca/YouCanVisit
Pack it all in!
Cross off these local experiences found within this guide to make the most of the summer months in Edmonton. Visit the new Indigenous Peoples Experience exhibit at Fort Edmonton Park. Book a special brunch or twilight date at the U of A Botanic Garden. Learn local history with a guided tour. Take a selfie in front of an Instagrammable wall in the city. Get outta town to explore Leduc’s vibrant shopping district or a nearby lake. Try a new restaurant! There are so many options, there has to be one you haven’t tried yet. Attend a summer festival, whether virtually or (safely) in person. Test your nerve at Snow Valley Aerial Park. Take in a live outdoor concert with local musicians.
UPCOMING ISSUE Keep an eye out for the fall issue of the Info Edmonton Seasonal Guide, coming October 2021!
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Tour the 15-year anniversary exhibition on display at the Art Gallery of Alberta.
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