Until July 2 Join local talents like Alex Moxon and Rubim de Toledo and international acts like Emmet Cohen, The Bad Plus and the legendary Chris Botti for a weekend of excellent music at TD Edmonton International Jazz Fest. Sit back and enjoy the vibes, or join in with some of the community-hosted jams.
July 1 African Fashion Week struts down the runway for its 10th anniversary, and it’s looking better than ever. This event introduces Edmonton to the latest and most extravagant designs from the Black community and brings together stylists, designers and fashion enthusiasts. The day starts off with a pop-up shop, followed by the runway event, and to tie a bow on it, The Backyard will be hosting an afterparty.
July 2 The National Track and Field Tour will be at Foote Field this month for the Edmonton Athletics Invitational. This competition will pit Canadian athletes against some of the fiercest competition in the world at elite skill levels. In addition to the track and field events, there will be food trucks and music to fuel the crowds. Come see what these athletes are capable of.
July 2 to 9 The Edmonton and District Historical Society has been putting on this festival for over 27 years now and will be back again to brush you up on your YEG history — and this year’s Historic Festival and Doors Open is all about the Prohibition Era. Enjoy one of the many walking tours like 100 Years in Strathcona, which focuses on buildings that are over a century old in Old Strathcona, or go for a home tour of some of the most famous still-standing buildings in Alberta history, like the 1930s Dr. Wood’s House Museum, McDougall United Church or the Alberta Protocol Office.
July 5 to 9 All the funniest people in town are going to be in one place, and that’s the Grindstone Comedy Festival. This year, one of the legendary members of the Kids in The Hall, Scott Thompson, will be headlining along with Nikki Payne and Neema Naz. Get your nose (and the rest of you) to the Grindstone Theatre, and don’t bring a full bladder.
July 7 to 9 On a regular day, you can walk down Whyte Avenue and be thoroughly entertained with all the things to look at, whether it be murals, interesting shops or interesting people. The Whyte Avenue Art Walk is a yearly event that amps that experience up by giving a space for local artists to showcase their work. If you’re in the market to start an art collection or want a visually enticing experience, wander down to Whyte Ave for the Art Walk.
July 7 to 16 This festival was the first of its kind in Canada when it debuted back in 1985, and it continues to push the envelope and set the precedent for what a buskers’ festival can be. The first festival featured 20 performers, but this year, that number is up to 47. If you’ve ever wondered where you can see a man juggling plastic chairs whilst cracking jokes and accepting his only payments into a top hat, this is the place to be.
July 7 to 16 Art, music and creativity take over Churchill Square for the second annual The Works Art & Design Festival. For this week in Churchill Square, programming alternates between the Street Performers Festival and The Works. In addition to displays of art and performances, there will also be workshops, receptions and artist panels, and an all-ages patio.
Starting July 6 Fort Edmonton Park is putting together its own spooky escape room fitted with the finest and eeriest trimmings they can put together. You and your group stop in the small community of Edmonton for a night’s rest but then awaken an ancient curse that starts driving everyone mad. Figure out a way to stay in one piece, and maybe you can make it out of this nightmare at the Fort.
July 8 If you’ve ever thought a traditional race might be a bit dull for you, then perhaps you need leaping inflatable obstacles, a mud crawl, a rope climb and many more challenges — all while covered in foam! The 5k Foam Fest is a fun run that brings the most interesting obstacles to get people moving. Grab a friend, get your steps in and get foamy!
July 9 The Moose is Loose! This running event is an annual staple for Edmonton joggers and takes a gorgeous scenic tour of Sir Wilfred Laurier Park. All are welcome for this event, so pick your poison of difficulty with either a half-marathon walk or run, or the big 10k.
July 12 to 22 Don’t wait until The Fringe to scratch that community theatre itch. Get out to the Walterdale Theatre to check out the production of Ausetentatious, a backstage musical where Jane Austen goes comically wrong.
July 13 It’s time to get a bit of TLC, and don’t forget to include Mr. Boombastic himself, as these classic R&B and hip-hop acts bring good vibes to the Edmonton Expo Centre. TLC is a cultural icon that transcends genre and medium as its influence defines a generation of music and style.
July 14 The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, New Order, the Smiths and a whole bunch of moody New Wave? I can’t tell if this lineup of music is from the upcoming Dark Eighties Dance Night at 99ten or from our Editor Steven Sandor’s driving playlist. Either way, I’m digging it and suddenly inspired to find some black eye shadow and eyeliner…
July 14 to 16 As Anime and Japanese culture continue to grow further into the cultural zeitgeist, it’s no wonder that the local Anime convention continues to grow as well. After becoming too big for its old stomping grounds at MacEwan University, this convention now takes hold of the entirety of the Edmonton Convention Centre. It features exclusive merchandise, top vendors, and local artists, with everything centred around East-Asian pop culture. On top of that, it is one of the best places for competitive gaming, with tournaments in Super Smash Bros. and the newly released Street Fighter 6.
July 14 and 16 This Canadian comedy festival brings some of the best international acts in the world up north to Edmonton for two days of hysteria. Great Outdoors Comedy Festival features headliners Bill Burr, known for his rage-fueled comedy, and stand-up comedian and popular podcaster Theo Von. As the name implies, this show is outdoors, rain or shine, at Kinsmen Park.
July 15 Smoke BBQ hosts the hottest and smokiest performers in town for a mouthwatering combination of burlesque and barbecue. See performances from local burlesquers like Holly Von Sinn, Charlee Queen XO and Scarlett Von Bomb while enjoying the best in brisket, ribs and burgers. The Hush menu is also back for this event which allows guests to request special burlesque bonuses like birthday songs or a chance to sit in the hot seat.
July 16 The Grindstone Theatre doesn’t rest long during festival season and will host the folks from Dram Fine Podcast and all their whisky-loving friends for the first-ever Street Spirit Festival. Dram Fine is all about making whisky accessible to everyone, breaking down barriers and creating a safe, inclusive space for people to enjoy the age-old tradition of whisky. Sample some of the best whiskies from around the world, see presentations from Dram Fine Podcast, and even catch a drag show at this spirited event.
July 19 John Petrucci and Tosin Abasi are currently two of the best guitar players in the entire world, and they will be performing under the same Edmonton roof with their respective bands, Dream Theatre and Animals as Leaders, this month. Joining them is Canadian metal legend Devin Townsend (of Strapping Young Lad fame), so make sure to warm up your neck muscles for some serious head banging.
July 20 to 30 Taste of Edmonton is like a great big family reunion — that is, if all my family members were fantastic cooks (some of them are), I had many musically talented cousins, and I didn’t actually have to see my family at all. So maybe it’s not like a family reunion, but it brings Edmonton’s food scene together in a way that puts them front and centre and showcases just how fantastic our culinary community really is. And don’t forget the outstanding performances from local musical talent like FKB and Mercy Funk.
July 21 to 30 If I close my eyes, I can paint a perfect picture of Edmonton’s K-Days festival — the sweet, greasy aroma of deep-fried Mars chocolate bars, the screams of soaring passengers aboard the Crazy Mouse Roller Coaster, the crushing centripetal force of the Polar Express, the echoing sounds of Billy Talent in the distance — many fond summer memories are made here, and this year will be no different with all the classics returning and performances from Three Days Grace, Tegan and Sarah, Big Wreck and more.
July 22 to 23 Experience the best in Latin Culture at Edmonton Carnaval. This year’s festival will be a tribute to Cumbia, the traditional folk dance of Colombia. In addition to performances, there will be food, vendors, salsa classes and many activities for both adults and children. Admission is free at the Alberta Avenue Community League.
July 24 Summer is the perfect time to get out to the Edmonton Public Library and develop a new skill. The various classes at the Stanley L. Milner branch’s makerspace let people of all ages get hands-on experience with equipment like Cricut vinyl cutters, 3D printers, sewing machines and more. Cricut 101 classes are a great way to get started in making your own stuff.
July 28 Come out to an intimate musical experience at the Lois Hole branch of the Edmonton Public Library. Edmonton vocalist, ukulele player, and songwriter Beth Portman will put on a solo performance enhanced with layers of percussion and harmonies, all recorded live with a looping station.
July 29 The Elk Island Express bus service takes passengers from two different pickup locations in Edmonton to Elk Island National Park for a one-day trip, and get this — the only thing they charge is the regular fee for entering the park. This means you can enjoy one of Alberta’s most beautiful parks without having to spend money on gas, or forcing yourself to stay awake on the return journey at the end of the day.