Get your summer bucket list ready because Alberta is open for summer and so are your favourite festivals, events and parks.
By Edify Staff | June 30, 2021
A Period of Reflection
This Canada Day, reflect and educate yourself on Canada’s dark history with Indigenous peoples and residential schools. Take a free course, such as Indigenous Canada from the University of Alberta, or attend one of the country-wide rallies. Take a moment to consider what it means to be a Canadian during this time of mourning and how we can work together to heal.
Take a Walk Down History Lane
Opens July 1
Go back in time to historic Edmonton — no time machine necessary. Fort Edmonton Park is reopening after closing in 2018 for massive renovations. You’ll be greeted by a new entryway before entering the park where you’ll find an expanded midway, a new signature exhibit and Indigenous Peoples experience.
Walk Among Dinosaurs
Opens July 1
Step into the shoes of a palaeontologist and discover fossils at the Telus World of Science. Prefer the real deal? Walk on the wild side among life-size and life-like animatronic dinosaurs. Watch Dinosaurs of Antarctica in IMAX, and explore your curiosity for the prehistoric creatures at Expedition: Dinosaur.
All Things Jerk
Experience the taste of authentic Jamaican-style jerk at the Edmonton Jerk Festival. The second annual festival prides itself on bringing authentic Jamaican jerk spice straight from Boston, Jamaica, the original place of all things jerk. One taste will make you feel like you’re on Caribbean vacation.
Spend a Day at The Backyard
Located in the middle of downtown is the backyard you’ve always wanted, especially if you’re living in a high rise. The Backyard serves local eats from food trucks and local drinks right out of its sea-can bar, and weekly events mean there’s always something going on. Go with the flow every Saturday during the summer yoga classes or bust a move on Sundays at the summer concert series.
124 St. Scavenger Hunt
Until July 14
The hunt is on and there are stickers involved. The 124 Street Business Association is hosting a scavenger hunt, and there are awesome prizes up for grabs, including $50 gift cards to any business on 124th Street of your choice and a VIP curated experience with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Grab a scavenger hunt passport from any participating location, complete the tasks and collect stickers from businesses. There are many businesses to visit and prizes to be won, so grab your passport and take to the street!
Edmonton Bike Club is open for a bite to eat or a refreshing drink, and it’s amped up its patio game. Local artists will be performing live music every weekend throughout the summer. Check out the lineup and buy tickets online, but act fast because, let’s face it, we all miss live music and tickets are selling out quickly.
Immerse yourself under the starry night as you take in the sights of the immersive Imagine Van Gogh exhibit. As you walk through the exhibit, you’ll be surrounded by floor-to-ceiling screens projecting Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous paintings.
Do You Believe in Magic?
Experience the sounds of classic Disney soundtracks like The Lion King, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and more in a candlelit venue fit for a Disney movie. Feel free to wish upon a star while you listen to the Listeso string quartet’s Candlelight Open Air: Songs from Magical Movie Soundtracks concert. You’ll feel like you’re experiencing a whole new world.
Let’s Get Loud
Feel the glitz every Thursday at Spotlight Cabaret. Bourbon and Burlesque mixes comedy, rock ‘n roll and burlesque together with different performers each week. Grab your tickets, sip a cocktail and enjoy the entertainment.
You Will be Found
July 8 – 11
Check out the Founds Grounds behind the Backstage Theatre behind the ATB Financial Arts Barn for the 2021 Found Festival, presented by Common Ground Arts Society. The festival will have a mix of in-person performances and online recordings, so you can partake in the festivities in a way that makes you comfortable.
July 12 – 15
Get creative with your kids and sign them up for Edmonton Opera’s Virtual Summer Opera Camp! The four-day camp is free and designed for kids ages eight to 12. Costume design, scenic design, prop building and music will be covered during the interactive video lessons.
Explore the Light
Immerse yourself in the work of local artists at the About Light exhibit in City Centre Mall. The exhibit is free to enjoy and is immersive, meaning the artwork is projected onto the walls and moves as you interact with it. Not only is it cool, but it will look great on your Instagram feed.
Taking it to the Streets
Starts July 16
In lieu of a festival this year, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival is bringing the music to you with Taking it to the Streets. People can register to host concerts presented by Edmonton Folk Fest in their neighbourhoods. Forty concerts will be played throughout July and August.
One Shell of a Dinner
July 16 – 18
Lobster Fest is back at The Canadian Brewhouse! Get ready to feast as your ticket includes a meal of fresh Atlantic lobster, Caesar salad, baked mac and cheese, and garlic toast. Don’t miss out or you’ll feel crabby.
Bringin’ the Country Back
Hold your horses and head on over to Leduc for the Bringin’ The Country Back Drive-In Concert. After long months of lockdown, live music is back and for a good cause. The concert fundraises for the Leduc Community Hospital Foundation and features Canadian Country Music Association award winners George Canyon and Aaron Pritchett.
Get your fruit fresh from the farm and handpick it yourself! The Berry Farm is open for the summer by appointment only. You can pick apples, strawberries, raspberries and Saskatoon berries throughout July and into August.
Hanging by a Thread
Until July 21
Unravel the narrative threads behind the Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts’ latest fibre art exhibit, Threads of Hope. The in-person exhibition can be viewed during regular ACUA operating hours and features 55 different works of art from 50 ACUA member artists. Each piece is accompanied by a caption from the artist explaining how the art expresses their unique hope for the future.
Taste of Edmonton
July 22 – Aug 1
Feeling hungry? Go downtown to take in the 53 restaurants and food trucks at Taste of Edmonton. Save room for dessert as there are 30 different sweet treat options to choose from. Eat, drink and enjoy the taste!
Discover your inner photographer on a guided photo tour of the University of Alberta Botanic Gardens. The tour, led by David Buzzeo, will teach you how to take floral and architectural photographs. Grab your cameras and document the beauty of nature!
On the Road Again
The Citadel Theatre is bringing live performances to you all summer long. Book a Road Show through Citadel Theatre and you’ll get a 60-minute concert performed by an Edmonton duo delivered right to your door. Citadel brings the performers, equipment and the music — all you have to do is grab a comfy seat and enjoy the show.
Race to the Top
Thanks to Autism Edmonton’s Cycle for Autism fundraiser, biking to the top of Mount Columbia is as easy as 1-2-3! Oh wait, we meant 123 kilometres, which is the distance from Jasper to Alberta’s highest peak, as well as the goal for this year’s Autism Edmonton fundraiser. Running from June 6 until September 30, cyclists have four months (although now it’s only three) to log their kilometres and raise money to support individuals and families living with autism. There will also be a summer wrap-up at Edmonton Valley Zoo on August 29.
Party at Pigeon Lake
Starts July 30
Festival season is here and Pigeon Lake Music Festival is bringing the tunes so you can party at the lake. The all-Canadian line up includes Said the Whale, Dear Rouge and Streetheart, headlined by country singer Jade Eagleson.
Eat Around the World
Starts July 31
Take in the sights, sounds and smells of over 60 countries at Edmonton Heritage Festival. The three-day festival is the best way to sample food from countries around the world and experience cultural performances. Worried about social distancing? Circles will be painted in the grass six feet apart for safe eating and each pavilion line will have social distancing markers.
Cue the Comedy
Think you’re ready for your stand-up comedy debut? Grindstone Bistro is open for business and every Wednesday, it’s open mic night. Hit the stage and test your comic abilities. If you’d rather be in front of the stage then on it, check out Grindstone Bistro’s delicious menu and local beers while you enjoy the show.