Edmonton Economic Development Corporation

Edmonton Economic Development Corporation

June 27, 2011 13:37 ET

Edmonton Economic Development Corporation: Celebrate Your Summer in Festival City

From celebrating music to the arts, Edmonton is Canada's Festival City.

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - June 27, 2011) - There's a good reason why Edmonton, Alberta has been called "Festival City". All year long, this city plays host to one festival or another (with more than 30 festivals annually). But the best time to experience "Festival City" is undoubtedly summer. In this northerly Canadian city, "summer" is synonymous with "celebration". Or "party". From there, it's all about how you define what makes a party – but frankly, Edmonton's summer festivals offer so much variety, there literally is something to please the tastes of, well, everyone.

For 10 incredible days this summer, from June 24 to July 3, Edmonton will be transformed into an amazing "swing town"… because nothing swings quite like the Edmonton International Jazz Festival. Just some of the incredible acts this year include: Trombone Shorty, performing his super-charged, super-hit funk/rock/jazz on opening night in the MacLab Theatre in downtown's Citadel Theatre; the Lincoln Centre Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, June 28 in the Winspear Centre downtown (with some of the best acoustic sound in the world!); and the sublime big band jazz of the Edmonton Jazz Orchestra, June 29 in the TransAlta Arts Barns in Edmonton's picturesque, historic Old Strathcona district.

Don't miss the summer fun of the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival, July 8 – 17. During this hilariously zany festival, downtown Edmonton's scenic Churchill Square is transformed into a lively circus-like atmosphere, filled with sword-swallowers, jugglers, acrobats, hip hop dancers, clowns, musicians and more. They come from all over the world with one common goal: bring family fun to Festival City. Year after year, they do just that!

Meanwhile, in Old Strathcona, summer brings dancing in the streets. Literally. On Sunday July 10, the Old Strathcona Business Association presents the second annual SOS Music Festival. The "SOS" stands for "sounds of the street" – and nothing sounds like quite so much fun! From noon to 7 p.m., the area's popular shopping district Whyte Ave. (82 Avenue) will be closed from 103 to 105 Street. Two stages will be placed at both ends, featuring some of Edmonton's most beloved and buzzed-about bands: the alternative folk of Scenic Route to Alaska; the electronic pop of Gobble Gobble, the family friendly adult contemporary jazz/pop of brother/sister duo Luke and Tess Pretty; the sublime blues of Little Miss Higgins, born in Brooks, Alberta and raised in Independence, Kansas; and more. In between the stages, there'll be vendors of all types, family activities, and (of course) dancing.

On the north side of the river, the summer fun continues in a very BIG way with what is often considered "Edmonton's biggest summer celebration": Capital EX, July 22 – 31 on the Northlands exhibition grounds. There's midway fun and nightly fireworks, of course, but so much more. On the Telus Stage, there's live entertainment, including international acrobats and popular Canadian artists like Terri Clark (July 26) and Ace of Base (July 31). Indoors, there's the Canadian Idol-style Northern Star Talent Search and the Sip! Wine and Food Expo, a 10-day food and beverage sampling event. For kids, there's Family Fun Town, which features all sorts of hands-on activities in different "zones" like the construction zone.

One of Edmonton's most eagerly awaited summer celebrations is the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, set in the city's panoramic river valley, 22 times larger than New York City's Central Park and vastly more breathtaking. Each summer, Folk Fest audiences gather on the beautifully green Gallagher Park Hill (a natural amphitheatre) to take in some of the world's finest performers. This year from August 4 – 7, some of the big names include: Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Canada's k.d. lang and the Sis Boom Bang, The Gypsy Kings, Nanci Griffith, British blues legend John Mayall, and another up-and-comer from the UK, the indelible Imelda May. (Check her out on the DVD of Jeff Beck's Rock and Roll Party; this rockabilly crooner's really got something!)

It's not just about the fantastic music, though. Sit on the grass of beautiful Gallagher Park Hill during the day when the August sunshine's warm or in the evening when people light their candles and sway to the music and you'll know the truth: this festival is pure magic.

The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival — in Old Strathcona has got something too, this summer more than any other! This year, the largest and longest-running theatre festival of its kind in North America is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. Beyond having its usual spectacular amount of theatre productions – 180 indoor shows and more international street performers than any other year in Fringe history – this year's Fringe is reaching out to create a bigger, better world. Its anniversary-year theme is "Fringeopolis".

"We're inviting people to become Citizens of Fringeopolis," says Julian Mayne, Executive Director. By signing up for free at www.fringetheatre.ca, "citizens" get a lot of "fringe" benefits, including: free transit with ETS during the festival; invitation to a pre-festival Citizen Night; a 10 percent discount on Fringeopolis merchandise; ticket pre-sale opportunities and more.

This year's Fringe also marks a special collaborative exchange with Haiti – in particular, the Art Creation Foundation for Children (ACFFC) of Jacmel, Haiti. During this year's KidsFringe, 10 young artists from ACFFC will create and perform stories exploring life as a child in Haiti. Meanwhile, there's another important change going on. "Some of our staff is in Haiti right now, helping them create a festival there," says Mayne. "It's a really exciting way for us to be celebrating our birthday."

Bottom line, if you want to celebrate this summer, there's no better place to do it than Festival City.

For information on visiting Edmonton, Alberta for one of these famous Canadian festivals, visit www.edmonton.com/liveallyear.

About Edmonton Tourism

Edmonton Tourism promotes Greater Edmonton as the destination of choice for tourism, conventions, major events and film production and is a division of Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC). For more information, visit www.edmonton.com. Learn more about Edmonton through the stories of people who've experienced it at www.edmontonstories.ca.

To view the photos associated with this release, please see the following link: http://www.edmonton.com/for-business/2100.aspx

To view the videos associated with this release, please see the following link: http://www.edmonton.com/for-business/2412.aspx

Contact Information

  • Edmonton Economic Development Corporation/Edmonton Tourism
    Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1P7
    Bernie Borgeson - Director of Marketing, External Relations


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