DISNEY’S FANTASIA SEPT. 4–5: Relive Disney’s memorable and groundbreaking Fantasia at this free outdoor concert by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Be sure to bring a chair and arrive early for a good spot. (Churchill Sq.)
TOUR OF ALBERTA – CASA FAMILY RIDE SEPT. 7: Bring out the whole family and their bikes to celebrate the second annual Tour of Alberta. This all-ages bike ride in support of CASA, a mental health service for children, adolescents and families, is also a great way to show off your quirky side—costumes are encouraged. (Churchill Sq.)
Christmas on the Square 2013. Image courtesy of Mack Male/Flickr
CHRISTMAS ON THE SQUARE HOLIDAY LIGHT UP NOV. 14: Join thousands of fellow Edmonontians in the square for live Christmas tunes, choirs and inspired treats from food vendors. Then watch as Santa arrives for the official lighting of the giant tree and a fireworks show clinches the first night of the Holiday Season. (Churchill Sq.)
Nuit Blanche Toronto / Courtesy of Sam Javanrouh/Flickr
SEPT. 26 – What began in Paris in 2002 finally arrives in Edmonton this fall. Nuit Blanche—or “sleepless night”—transforms cities with all-night contemporary visual arts festivals that arrive at dusk and disappear by dawn, each time with an exhibition unique to its host. “With Edmonton,” explains chair Ruth Burns, “we really wanted to focus on engaging with urban spaces, looking at our city in a new light and celebrating that newfound perspective.”
Edmonton’s free exhibition, Half-Lit Moon, will transform the downtown core from 7 pm to 4 am. Curated by Toronto-based artist and writer Dave Dyment, it features over 30 fun, interactive and stunning installations from local and international artists, including Yoko Ono. It’s all ages and all free, but if that’s not enough here are four more reasons to lose sleep over Nuit Blanche.
1. Yoko Ono’s largest installation piece yet.
Expect the largest iteration of Ono’s famous Wishing Tree, an acclaimed installation that has brought hope and inspired peace for hundreds of thousands of people over the course of 20 years. Find these 121 trees with intact roots throughout Winston Churchill Square, then record your wishes and attach them to the branches. Every desire is collected and stored at the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland. Best of all, the trees are planted throughout Edmonton communities afterward.
2. Take back downtown
After bars close and the donair vendors serve their last wraps, downtown streets can be overtaken by deadness and a sense of insecurity. But instead of dreading the darkness of the streets, Burns wants us to celebrate it. “We tend to avoid urban spaces at night so we really want the community to engage with their city when it’s dark and gain a different perspective from it.”
Pothole Possibilities / supplied
3. An unexpected and newfound respect for potholes
The local irritants we love to hate are reclaimed and embraced by Sarah Amato and Monique McFarlane. The artists behind Pothole Possibilities will decorate these nuisances to create amusing illustrations. You’re invited to help out by composing letters, poems and other pothole-related reflections.
4. Experience the community coming together
Burns hopes Edmontonians will feel a sense of community pride and collaboration when they experience Half-Lit Moon. She already has, simply from the overwhelming community support from surrounding businesses and organizations who pitched in to make it happen. “The community effort is truly heartwarming.”
Alyson Connolly, who will be guiding this workshop.
PAINLESS PUBLIC SPEAKING June 14: Public speaking doesn’t come naturally to everyone. This three-hour workshop with voice and public speaking coach Alyson Connolly shows how to master the craft with proper preparation and breathing techniques, plus an understanding of the psychological dynamic of speakers and audiences. (Chateau Lacombe Hotel, 10111 Bellamy Hill)
WORDPRESS FOR BEGINNERS June 20: Whether you’re a blogger or business-owner, WordPress is as important a computer skill as spreadsheet-making. This workshop shows how to install WordPress, navigate it, and edit a theme that’s right for you. (Startup Edmonton, 10359 104 St.)
ARE YOU READY FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP? Aug. 17: Starting a business can be overwhelming, but it could also be an exhilarating challenge. This two-hour introductory workshop offers women entrepreneurial advice to help decide if business-ownership is the right call for you. And if it is, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs organization will set you up with some of the resources you need for this next chapter in life. (AWE Head Office, 10310 Jasper Ave.)
June 17–27: After five years as comedy institution Rapid Fire Theatre’s artistic director, Amy Shostak is hanging up her clown shoes—but not without first flooding the city with dozens of international “alt” comedians during the 15th annual Improvaganza, a 10-day festival from June 17-27 of improv, stand-up and sketch masters that’ll make you laugh in ways never thought possible. (Citadel Theatre, 9828 101A Ave., rapidfiretheatre.com)
The outgoing leader and downtowner Amy Shostak tells us all about the upcoming festival and her fondest memories.
Q: WHAT WILL YOU MISS MOST?
I loved collaborating with such a passionate, skilled ensemble. Becoming a solid improviser takes time and dedication. It’s been an honour to watch them grow and take risks together. They’re also just so fun to be around.
Q: WHAT’S THE BIGGEST RISK YOU TOOK?
Moving us in 2012 from the Varscona Theatre in Old Strathcona to the Citadel Theatre downtown. We took a leap of faith, uprooted our whole community, in the hope of growing our programming. It’s been Rapid Fire’s goal to buy our own theatre for the last 15 years, and I knew if we wanted to do that, we’d need to produce more.
Q: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT AT IMPROVAGANZA 2015?
It’s sincerely my favourite time of the year. The weather is gorgeous, Churchill Square is alive, and then we parachute in 45 of the most charming people from across the globe. Some of our visiting performers are improvisers from Argentina, Germany, or Norway, who find creative ways to communicate without language. Every night is different, and there is something for everyone.
Guests: author and professor Heather Zwicker and human rights advocate and LGBTQ leader Murray Billet By Tickets now!
The Pride Week party promises great food and music, plus thought-provoking discussions on the past, present and future of downtown’s LGBTQ community. Proceeds from the tickets help to pay for start-up costs and fund future issues.
6pm – Doors Open
7pm – We’ll be joining forces with professor Heather Zwicker and human rights advocate Murray Billett, speaking on a panel and live podcast recording about Edmonton’s LGBT history and 35 years of Pride!
7:45- Onwards – Stick around for an evening of conversation and cocktails. Music by NVS to keep the night going.
Should you have any inquires about The Yards events or advertising please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Yards is hyper-local quarterly magazine focused on urban, cultural and social issues in central Edmonton. Published by the non-profit Central Edmonton News Society in partnership with the Downtown Edmonton and Oliver Community Leagues, it’s the voice of these two communities and mailed to their residents four times a year.
RIGHT TO HOUSING CONFERENCE June 5–6: The coalition on Housing and Homelessness educates on housing insecurity and shows how you can play a role in this human right. The two-day event showcases keynote speaker Michael Shapcott, an academic and founding member of the National Housing and Homelessness Network, on housing security related issues. (Stanley Milner Library)
NEXTGEN MONTH KICK OFF EVENT June 8: Young professionals and creative types get their own month in Edmonton. If that’s you, then follow this kickoff and subsequent events to network with your likeminded peers. (Iconoclast Koffiehuis 11807B 105 Ave.)
Timothy Caulfield, author and speaker at the Citadel Speaker Series.
TIMOTHY CAULFIELD June 16: Ever wondered why that celebrity diet didn’t go as planned? Timothy Caulfield knows why. The author of Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? debunks and exposes myths surrounding celebrity endorsed lifestyles in the Citadel’s ongoing speakers series. (Citadel Theatre, 9828 101A Ave.)
MILNER BOOK CLUB June 26, July 31 & Aug. 28: Do you love to read and tell others about the books you’ve read? Share your impressions and interpretations with like-minded individuals at this monthly book club that encourages lively discussions on thought-provoking works of fiction and non-fiction. (Stanley Milner Library, 7 Sir Winston Churchill Sq.)
NEXTFEST June 4-14: There are at least 600 reasons to celebrate the emerging artist festival’s 20th birthday. That’s how many artists it takes to build this program of original theatre, dance, music, visual art and film. (124 St. and Downtown)
HEROES VS. VILLAINS MARKET June 5: Creative Edmonton presents a full night of makers, music and food in an indoor market-styled setting, plus costumed heroes and villains compete against one another in a number of themed Fear Factor-inspired challenges. (MacEwan, Bldg. 6, 10700 104 Ave.)
Courtesy: Edmonton NextGen/Flickr
PECHA KUCHA NIGHT June 11: Twenty-two events later, it’s still the best place to exchange ideas. The 20-seconds per slide presentation format promises a concise, fast-paced and fun way to challenge conventional thinking. Find it in beautiful Louise McKinney Park—rain or shine. (9999 Grierson Hill Rd.)
THE YARDS SUMMER LAUNCH & SALON June 12: Even though you’re already reading it, we want to celebrate summer issue launch with you at on one of the best patios in the city. We’ll be joining forces with professor Heather Zwicker and human rights advocate Murray Billett, speaking on a panel and live podcast recording about Edmonton’s LGBT history and 35 years of Pride. (Latitude 53, 10242 106 St.)
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH June 24: The 140th anniversary of All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral features many well-known local musicians, including the cathedral’s own music director and core contributor to choral music throughout Alberta, Jeremy Spurgeon. (10035 103 St.)
The Works 2011. Courtesy: david_mah/Flickr
THE WORKS GOLDEN SUMMER GALA June 26: The signature summer arts festival of the year starts off with an extravagant gala to celebrate the launch of the 30th annual The Works Art & Design Festival. The Wet Secrets and Capital City Burlesque perform while chefs showcase their own creativity via the Food is Art Dinner Experience. (The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald 10065 100 St.)
2014 Mercer Super party, courtesy of Startup Edmonton
MERCER SUMMER SUPER PARTY June 5: Start your summer off right with this closed-street festival hosted by Mercer Warehouse businesses, featuring live bands, a dance party, art market, food hawkers and open house inside Startup Edmonton. (10363 104 St.)
BIG WHEELS DELIVER MEALS June 5: Car enthusiasts will love this Show-NShine of classic rides topped off with delicious barbecue. All proceeds go to the transportation costs of Meals on Wheels delivery. (Save-On-Foods, 10180 109 St.)
Photo by Mack Male, What The Truck!? 2014
WHAT THE TRUCK?! Aug. 22: It’s the best kind of road congestion when Edmonton’s food trucks serve up street food with a side of local music. Get there ahead of time—the lineups are serious. (TELUS field, 10233 96 Ave.)
AL FRESCO ON 4TH STREET PROMENADE Aug. 22: Mark your calendars for this action-packed day of fun and excitement in the heart of Edmonton. The event kicks off with the Downtown Edmonton Community League Pancake breakfast and continues on 104 St. long after the Farmers’ Market. Experience thousands of others coming together in the downtown core to enjoy extended patios from your favourite restaurants and wine bars stage performers, fashion and drag shows, plus an armada of food trucks. Funds raised will support the activities of the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters. (104 St.)
RESUME CREATION & CAREER STRATEGIES
Mar. 25: Spring is ripe with new beginnings, but if you need help starting a new career—start here, at the library’ s free 90-minute drop-ins teaching you how to create strong resumes and upgrade your skills with e-Learning courses. (Stanley Milner Library, 7 Churchill Sq.)
Apr. 13: The monthly Make Something Mondays series invites professionals to navigate the digital landscape and learn from tech-savvy pros about how to make your mark online without breaking the bank. (Startup Edmonton, 10363 104 St.)
MAY 26–30: Women Build Week Habitat for Humanity is recruiting more women to strap on hard-hats and get building. These two four-day workshops will train and equip you for every possible task expected as you, in turn, help hard-working families build a future. (City Hall)
Mar. 13–22: Foodies unite! Edmonton Downtown Business Association’ s annual event showcases some of the city’ s best eateries. Restaurants in the core aim to impress and deliver, showcasing special dishes in multi-course meals for $15, $28 and $48 at various restaurants.
Mar. 19, APR. 2, MAY 7: There’ s lunch at Edmonton Seniors Centre for every special occasion— even St. Paddy’ s. The Irish celebration is followed with lunches for Easter and Mother’ s day, too. All are welcome. (Edmonton Seniors Centre, 11111 Jasper Ave.)
Apr. 1: Chef and educator Gail Hall invites you into her home for a fresh spring meal with locally sourced ingredients. The express class shows you can make delicious dishes with just what’ s in season. Registration required. (Cobogo Lofts, 10249 104 St.)