Renowned as Canada’s festival city with more than 30 annual festive extravaganzas that are not to be missed – the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival and the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival are just three must-sees to consider – Edmonton rolls out the red carpet when it comes to the arts.
The Downtown Arts District, in the heart of Edmonton’s urban core, is where you’ll find one of the strongest focal points on the arts and it’s a great spot for clients to embark on cultural adventure.
Sir Winston Churchill Square anchors the Downtown Arts District, and is a prime entertainment destination for more than one million visitors annually, hosting a variety of events and festivals throughout the year. It is also home to Tix On The Square, a one-stop shop for Edmonton’s top entertainment tickets.
But the square is just the beginning for arts’ devotees. On its exterior boundaries you’ll find an unparalleled collection of world-class cultural venues such as the Francis Winspear Centre for Music and the Citadel Theatre.
Home to the largest concert organ in Canada, the Winspear is a state-of-the-art orchestral hall that hosts a multitude of musical events ranging from the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra to entertainment superstars. The Citadel Theatre, meanwhile, a premiere venue for stage productions in Western Canada is a hot choice for theatre lovers with its five performance venues.
Perhaps the best way to get a handle on what Edmonton has to offer is to divide the city into a series of cultural districts.
Art lovers will want to venture to the 124th Street area, a short distance away from the core. Home to the twice yearly Gallery Walk, which was the first of its kind in Canada, there are several member galleries within nine blocks of each other.
Edmonton Economic Development CorpOld Strathcona, a focal point for Edmonton nightlife, is also a great place to catch a good share of the city’s cultural offerings. Eight theatre companies can be found in this historic district, including the Walterdale Playhouse, which is Western Canada’s longest running amateur theatre group.
Not far from old Strathcona is the University area, where more than 36,000 students attend the University of Alberta. This encompasses two more cultural backdrops, the recently renovated Northern Jubilee Auditorium and the Timms Centre for the Arts.
Both Alberta Ballet and Edmonton Opera call the Jubilee their home, producing full slates of top tier cultural productions each year. Established in 1963, Edmonton Opera is a regional opera company recognized for innovative, challenging and audience-driven opera.
Alberta Ballet, which prides itself on presenting ballet like you’ve never seen it before, continues to thrill audiences having recently celebrated its 40th anniversary as a performing troupe.
Dancers also strut their stuff courtesy of the Brian Webb Dance Company, which presents Edmonton's only complete season of contemporary dance.
Lastly, but hardly least, there’s the Royal Alberta Museum, just a short hop, skip and not too many steps away from the 124th Street area. This provincial museum, documenting 12,000 years of human occupation of the province, is in the process of putting forward its own expansion plan that will significantly enhance the visitor experience.
Edmonton Economic Development CorpEco-Friendly Edmonton
The City of Edmonton and its residents are committed to reducing waste, and the arts community is front and centre.
In Family Fun Town, a green zone at Capital EX, the city’s long-running summer exhibition, parents can learn alongside their kids about ways to better care for our environment.
Since the early 1990s, The Edmonton Folk Music Festival has worked hard to minimize its impact on Gallagher Park and the Cloverdale community with recycling and a “No Styrofoam” policy onsite. in 2007, the festival added Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) beer cups, and solar panels to power the merchandising tent to its green initiatives.
Held in July, the Green Festival at the Devonian Botanic Garden focuses on ways to live ‘green’ including composting, recycling, environmentally-friendly gardening, carpooling, using green energy and even housecleaning with more eco-friendly products.
Edmonton Economic Development CorpEdmonton’s Heritage Festival offers over 60 pavilions representing more than 80 cultures with over 500 ethnic cultural performances and a countless selection of foods from around the world. The festival goes ‘green’ using biodegradable knives, forks, spoons, plates, bowls, cups and napkins. ENMAX supplies wind power and the Edmonton Transit System provides Park n Ride service to the park.
The Hotel Association of Canada’s (HAC) Green Key Eco-Rating Program is a graduated rating system designed to recognize hotels, motels, and resorts that are committed to improving their fiscal and environmental performance. Based on the results of a comprehensive environmental audit, hoteliers are awarded a 1 to 5 Green Key rating. Edmonton hotels with a 3 key rating or more:
Campus Tower Suite Hotel
Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel
Comfort Inn Edmonton West
Crowne Plaza-Chateau Lacombe
Delta Edmonton Centre Suite Hotel
Delta Edmonton South Hotel & Conference Centre
Edmonton Marriott at River Cree Resort (Enoch)
Executive Royal Inn West Edmonton
The Fairmont Hotel MacDonald
Holiday Inn Express Downtown
Mayfield Inn & Suites West Edmonton
Radisson Hotel Edmonton South
Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre / Edmonton Inn
Rosslyn Inn & Suites
Royal Inn Express Hotel (Spruce Grove)
Sandman Hotel Edmonton
Sawridge Inn - Edmonton South
The Sutton Place Hotel Edmonton
Travelodge Edmonton South
Travelodge Edmonton West
Varscona Hotel on Whyte
The Westin Edmonton
For more information on Edmonton, visit www.edmonton.com/tourism.