Edmonton Economic Development Corporation

Edmonton Economic Development Corporation

August 12, 2011 19:30 ET

Experience Food, Fun, and "Fringing" in Edmonton's Most Charming and Vibrant Historic Area: Old Strathcona

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 12, 2011) -

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The largest and longest-running theatre festival of its kind in North America takes place each August in one of Edmonton's most charming and vibrant areas: Old Strathcona, one of the most picturesque and definitively funky historic destinations you will find anywhere in Alberta.

This year, August 11 – 21, the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is celebrating its auspicious 30th anniversary…, which means that the festival is bigger than ever. For starters, it is presenting a grand total of 180 indoor theatre shows and more international street performers than any other year. But there's more. "We're inviting people to become Citizens of Fringeopolis," says Julian Mayne, Executive Director of Fringe Theatre Adventures. Becoming a citizen of Fringeopolis offers many "fringe" benefits, including free transit with ETS during the festival, a 10 percent discount on Fringeopolis merchandise, ticket pre-sale opportunities and more. It is easy to become a citizen. Sign up for free at www.fringetheatre.ca. Proving that it's-a-small-world-after-all, this year's Fringe also features a unique partnership with Haiti. During this year's KidsFringe, ten young artists from the Art Creation Foundation for Children (ACFFC) of Jacmel, Haiti will create and perform stories exploring life as a child in Haiti.

Summer Patio Season

Perhaps the best patio on Whyte Avenue for checking out all the Fringe action is Chili's Texas Grill. Every patio in Old Strathcona is perfect in its own way. For great food and relaxing over a brew, there is The Billiard Club and O'Byrne's Irish Pub. For the cocktail crowd there is Devlin's Cocktail Lounge and Julio's Barrio, where you can also get some fine Mexican food.

Take an International Food Trip

"You can take a food trip around the world without leaving Old Strathcona," says Shirley Lowe, executive director of the Old Strathcona Business Association. With its wide range of restaurants and food stores, Old Strathcona caters to almost any kind of taste. Go exploring. To name just a few of the great restaurants you'll find, there's the exotic Indian fair of Origin India and Narayanni, delicious Greek dishes at Yianni's, tasty Italian pasta dishes at Chianti, the Cajun goodness of sweet potato fries and much more at Dadeo, and sushi and fusion cuisine at Maki Maki.

Old Strathcona also has an impressive number of cafés, bakeries, gastro-pubs (like the Next Act and the Pourhouse), grocery stores, and specialty food stores (like cupcakes – Old Strathcona really has gone cupcake crazy, in the best and tastiest of ways!).

The Sound of Music

There is no doubt about it: live music is alive, kicking and living in Old Strathcona. On any given night, some venue somewhere on or off Whyte Ave is hosting some live band or singer-songwriter playing their heart out to an enthusiastic crowd.

Great live music venues worth checking out include Blues on Whyte in the Commercial Hotel, which is one of the only seven-nights-a-week-live-blues-music-venues in North America; the Atlantic Trap & Grill, with fantastic East Coast food and high-powered Celtic party music; and for more "alternative" sorts of music you'll love The Pawnshop, New City Legion, and Wunderbar.

So Many Great Reasons to Visit

Beyond the Fringe, the food, the music, and the kind of frivolity and good conversations that take place on outdoor patios, there are so many other reasons to make Old Strathcona your second home this summer.

"We're known for our shopping," says Shirley Lowe. "We have great fashion stores here. Check out the boutiques for one-of-a-kind items. Pamper yourself in our spas or simply walk down Whyte Avenue eating an ice cream – we have lots of ice cream here. Visit the Old Strathcona Farmers Market, where summer veggies are ready. Old Strathcona is also a place where you have some fun learning. You can sit outside at the library's Outdoor Reading Room. And there are interesting workshops put on by The Paint Spot and Planet Organic."

Incidentally, when it comes to interesting workshops, Lowe will be teaching one this summer. It is called The First Time Fringer Workshop. It's perfect for those wondering exactly how to partake in the Fringe Festival. The workshop takes place Monday and Tuesday, August 8 and 9 from 5 to 6:30 pm, in the TransAlta Arts Barns. It will also be held Friday August 12 from 5 to 6 pm and Saturday morning at 10 on August 13 at the Internet Café on 103 Street and 83 Avenue across from the Old Strathcona Farmer's Market.

The First Time Fringer Workshop is absolutely free. Each workshop participant gets an Old Strathcona tote bag, a Fringe program and one Fringe show of your choice absolutely FREE. You also get a free pen. You will need it to circle your other Fringe picks in the Fringe program!

To sign up for this workshop, go to http://fringetheatreadventures.ca/

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). Edmonton Tourism encourages socially and environmentally responsible tourism. For more information, visit www.edmonton.com Learn more about Edmonton through the stories of people who've experienced it at www.edmontonstories.ca.

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Contact Information

  • Bernie Borgeson
    Director of Marketing, External Relations
    Edmonton Economic Development Corporation/Edmonton Tourism
    Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1P7
    780.969.0462
    bborgeson@edmonton.com