What is the cultural scene like in Edmonton?
In a word: lively. Edmonton offers many arts and culture opportunities, and was designated as the 2007 Cultural Capital of Canada by the Canadian government.
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- A Night Closer Than Our Days
We all sang the same song holding hands and hugging. The funny thing was when we left downtown after we saw the fireworks we still sang together with a lot of random people on the train.
- A Salute to Your History
I'm proud to say that my family is a part of Edmonton's history and has been since my paternal and maternal great-grandparents settled in Edmonton in the early 1900s. I'm grateful they chose Edmonton!
- A Soul Awakening in Edmonton
A profound moment happened that got me off the street: my neighbor offered to give me some light. I was very skeptical, yet her place was filled with joyous, beautiful, spiritual energy, and I wanted to experience more.
- A Spontaneous Decision
This city has changed, and I was only a few miles away and had no idea. Around every corner is an opportunity to discover something new.
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My husband and I thought we’d be here for a year or two. That was fifteen years ago.
- Caring for Canines
I never thought I’d be living with nine greyhounds. But after falling in love with this often inhumanely treated breed there was no turning back.
- Cleaning Up
Edmonton Public Schools gave me fantastic opportunities before I even really knew I was ready for them. I was a music coordinator. I was a principal. We had the chance to live in Europe for three years.
- Coincidence? Maybe not...
I couldn't find the location of the studio; the way the whole address system works was totally new to me. I was about to give up when something in the back of my mind told me to look one last time.
- Edmonton Chinese Garden
Nothing fills my heart with dread more than the question, “Where are you from?” As a Chinese-Canadian, I know that when I answer “Alberta,” this will prompt the inevitable follow-up query: “no, where are you really from?”
- Falling Head First
I was not even into hockey, but I couldn’t help but to fall head first into this exciting world of hockey.
- Feels Like Home To Me
It’s been a long time since I actually felt that a place is home. I stood there realizing, “Yeah, this is home, and they are my friends.” I’m going to be hanging out with them for years.
- First Snow in Canada
I heard that Edmonton, Alberta has one of the coldest and longest winters, which is approximately half of the year. In my mind, that's absurd! Impossible!
- From India to Edmonton
I have been an international student at Grant MacEwan University since 2008, after arriving from Calcutta, India. This was my second trip to Canada, so I was not fearful of coming to Edmonton.
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The conductor took as much time as needed and enthusiastically answered the copious questions of a curious and delighted child. My love for Edmonton comes to me through this glimmering minor moment.
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In elementary school, I'd learned Edmonton was the capital city of Alberta, and that was pretty well it.
- Green & Gold
Eric Hunter came to study in Edmonton from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He has since lived in the city for five years. On top of being a University of Alberta student, he plays on the university’s Golden Bears Mens hockey team.
- Half a Lion
When I was still taking kung fu, I had the opportunity to take part in Edmonton’s Chinese New Year celebrations. The community all comes out and the streets are just filled with people.
- I Love Christmas in the City
One of my favorite childhood memories is Christmastime. Even as an adult the city of Edmonton still holds a magnetic draw for me during the festive season.
- I Wanna Be A Rock Star and Stuff
RockerGirl Camp is for girls who wanna rock. But 10-year-old Hannah Karvonen Parsons wasn’t sure about going. “I was afraid that everyone was gonna be older than me and that I wouldn’t know anyone.”
- Janelle, 13, on Janelle
You’ve got the mountains right there. They’re good for hiking, good for skiing. They just give you a lot of opportunity for things to do, a place to go away that’s not too far so it’s easy to only go away for a weekend.
- Keeping Busy in Edmonton
I have known Edmonton my whole life. I was born here, I attended university here, I got married here. During this time, I have lived both in Edmonton and in its surrounding communities, and I love it.
- Kindness For No Reason
When I first came here to live in Edmonton, I'd step into the streets. People would stop. But I would expect them to because they stopped for other people. I was that guy.
- Life Journey
When I was young I had a dream of being a pilot but this dream was not possible because in my country there was lots of fighting. People have been fighting in Afghanistan for over 30 years.
- Loving It
The other day I was walking to work and a monk was walking by, I passed him a friendly smile and he stopped and blessed me.
- Maximum Experience
Fast forward to 2009—those roots are growing deeper and the warmth of the community, along with the city's many experience-oriented gems make me increasingly proud to call Edmonton home.
- O Canada! My Canada!
I have certainly acclimatized well to Edmonton’s culture - its sights and sounds, the diversity of the people, hockey, ETS, volunteerism, Tim Horton’s, the green environment, etc. Now, I feel so lucky to be living in Canada.
- Outdoor Culture
I wanted to get back out West, where people like to do outdoor things. That’s how I ended up here.
I live a “walk and roll” lifestyle. Some days I feel good to walk and others I’ll take to the chair, ergo: “Sonny and Chair.” Sorry, bad wheelchair joke.
- Peaceful City of Nations
Edmonton’s Heritage Festival is a long midsummer weekend of cascading sounds, smells and colourful sights as nationalities from around the world display their foods, dances, traditions and histories.
When I first arrived she helped me with the transition to this culture. To the community, and school especially. It saved a lot of time, because when you’re new to a country, sometimes you just don’t know what to do.
- Pulse of the City
I'm a small-town girl, born in the Parkland County and raised on dreams I found etched in the prairie sky.
- Reaching out from Edmonton
In the summer of 2010 we decided that Project HOPE needed to facilitate more for our community so we founded a not-for-profit organization.
If I have to I’ll walk...but my pride won’t allow me to do that. I’m terrible. I’m still competitive with myself. Oh yeah, I’ll just hold that torch up like it’s nothing. I know I’ll get emotional. It has such meaning to me. I’m getting teary just thinking about it.
Smooth is a short, quirky Whyte Ave tale from a September night two years ago. The birthday girl's friends are an hour late, but a strange elderly man brightens her evening.
A poem about Edmonton's Whyte Avenue
- Something for Every Taste
This event shows the true character of hockey fans in Edmonton. Minus 27 with an extreme wind chill and we still put 57,167 cold but excited butts in the seats.
- Spring 2005
In the spring of 2005 my family had a difficult decision to make.
- Subtle Aspects
Having grown up in Edmonton and lived here my whole life, I've learned what I love the most about this city is what it’s not in comparison to other cities of the world.
- The Girl in the Hat
My first thought (and one shared by many Calgarians if and when they have to move to Edmonton) was, Okay, I'll move to Edmonton, but I'll only stay here a couple years at the most.
- The Years at TELUS Field
Got my Sprite. Got my soft pretzel. And one of my favorite players, Valentino Pascucchi, is up to bat. This...this is the life.
- Things I Must Do
Sandy moved to Edmonton with her husband. She is getting to know Edmonton with new friends and getting involved in the community by volunteering.
- This Is My City
Edmonton is the perfect place to grow up. Quiet neighbourhoods, an abundance of parks, culture and festivals, and the amenities of a big city combine for year-round kid-friendly fun.
- Tornado 1987
It was in 1987 when the tornado hit our city. I, along with many was in shock and disbelief over what had happened and I felt the need to help.
- U of A Panda Bears
Meet Anneka Baker. Originally from Ottawa, Ontario she came to Edmonton to play on the University of Alberta’s Panda Bears women’s basketball team.
- Virtue Is Its Own Reward
The wallet contained several hundred dollars but he refused a reward. He represents what Edmonton is about.
- Why I Love Edmonton: A Poem
But if I had to choose a single spot to call my own, Then I'd have to say it's Edmonton, my river city home.
- Winter Light
The Winter Light festival is a winter celebration featuring events that showcase our beautiful winter city. The festival was created to encourage Edmontonians to get outdoors and enjoy winter events.
- You Don't Know What You Got
Bill had dreams of living a wonderful life in the city of Vancouver after he received his degree in Edmonton. But living in the ultra urban city proved to be disappointing with long commutes and high costs of living. He found out that you really don’t know what you got….
- A Real Sense of Community
I traveled many parts of the world during my career as a welder and pipefitter before coming to Edmonton in 2008. And now I’m happy to call this place home.
- An Edmonton Theatrician
Edmonton is a great town in which to produce theatre, and it’s a mysteriously active and supportive theatre community. Nationally recognized writers have come from here, and Edmonton has had a profound effect on English-Canadian theatre. It’s interesting that this prairie city produces a lot of theatre.
- Art Walk
The Art Walk is an event where over 300 artists paint and draw on Whyte Avenue for 3 days.
He had to go through certain workshops in case a young person was to disclose anything to him. He doubted that that would happen. After his first show, a young girl, 13, approached him. He was shocked.
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It’s a lot of work, but I can’t stop doing it. I love it too much. We’re the only company that offers the classes and then works with our students to create theatre together.
- Darling Alexis
Encountering the Old Strathcona Foundation's enthusiasm for the idea and Jill Wright's acceptance to be a part of the production goaded me into writing the script—lightning fast –and DARLING ALEXIS was ushered into the world.
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Edmonton has been good to me. I never set out trying to figure out what I was going to do when I grew up and it was through volunteerism in the community that I’ve ended up traveling the world, really.
- Gauging Edmonton: A Mayor's Take
We’re elated that people have chosen this city, and we have to make sure they have good opportunity here. It’s hard to believe when you think about what someone has to sacrifice to move to a new country.
- Immense Mode
Yeah, there’re a lot of bricks involved. They came to us wet in Red Deer. On 16 pallets. And each pallet weighed about 2 tons. We had to store them inside so they didn’t freeze.
- It's All About Work-Life Balance
Stopping really is the best thing I could ever have done.
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Edmonton allowed me to do all kinds of crazy things like being a dung beetle and hanging off the side of the National Bank Building downtown. And then I had this idea of turning myself into The Human Fountain.
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The excitement of coming here was tremendous, but the sadness of leaving my country, my home and especially my family filled my heart until I set foot in this city.
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I think I creeped out the poor young woman on the line. Finally I just said, “Let me talk to your supervisor!” and the woman put her supervisor on the phone.
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I’ve always been an educator. If you want it, you can make it happen. Same thing, 11 years ago, when I had the idea to start Opera NUOVA, which came from a collection of things happening around the same time.
- The Most Unexpected Place
One of my students asked me if we could sing it. We were on a field trip, riding on the bus. I said I didn’t think we were ready. It took me a long time to learn the song. Listening, listening. It’s a very long and complex song.
- Art is a Lifestyle
Edmonton's such a creative town. You really don't have to go sit in a big scary city by yourself and work incredibly hard and maybe not get anywhere. There's a strong and thriving arts community.
- Blessings and gratitude
There is magic here where the aurora dances and cultures mix with abandon...
- Cabbage Soup is Very Normal
In 2003, after 22 years away from home, K. Maryniak came home to Edmonton. She's convinced there is no better place in the world to live as a Ukrainian.
- Carrying On Like Idiots
My first time trip to Edmonton was with an ex. We wanted to go to the water park at West Edmonton Mall. So we drove up from Calgary and stayed in one of West Edmonton Mall’s theme rooms.
- Dancing with the Lions
One of the most exciting aspects of Edmonton, for me, is the multicultural face of the city.
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DEDFest is actually Canada’s only true horror film festival. There’re other festivals that go on, but they’re all genre.
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You can do that here, and it’s awesome. I’m glad I had a friend who was keen to introduce me to the local scene, but don’t let that hold you back.
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All of us cousins were thrilled to see our parents dress in Klondike-style clothing—long dresses, but also a little melancholy as we waved good-bye and our parents left for a night on the town.
- Feats Festival of Dance
There are endless opportunities to learn all types of dance in Edmonton. There are province- and city-wide competitions, festivals, and workshops as well as many studios to help perfect your technique. And if you like to watch dance from around Canada and the world, the annual Feats Festival of Dance is a must-attend festival.
- Festival for Kids
St. Albert in the greater Edmonton area recently hosted the International Children's Festival. I had such an amazing time and enjoyed so much being a part of a great festival for kids.
- Magical Volunteer Army
What does it take to become one of the world's best folk festivals? Blood, sweat, toil, and tears? Definitely. Volunteers? Absolutely. Watch 2 short videos to find out what keeps everyone coming back each year.
- My Fab Fringe Festival Experience - Part II
Edmonton is a wonderful place in summer for festivals. Here's more what people have to say about their Fab Fringe Festival Experience!
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And then, of course, the presence of snow throughout so many months of the year. We took the position that it’s something we ought not to hide, but rather celebrate. Even at the time of the competition, we started doing renderings of our design proposal in a snowstorm, trying to think about the aesthetic of the building in that winter condition.
- Russian Literature: Cadence Weapon
I played a show in Charlottetown, PEI, and I met a girl with a hat on that said Republic of Alberta. I thought this was hilarious, so I asked her where she got it.
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Dean McKenzie is a poet and retired English teacher. He has made 2 CDs, Prairie Hejira and The Silver Apples of the Moon, and is working on a 3rd CD entitled The Jazz Poet.
- Tour of Edmonton
I’ll never forget the 10-day visit from my folks – Ted, my Dad, Uncle Harold and Aunt Eileen, and 11-year-old nephew Ben. They arrived via Air Canada on a warm, beautiful Canada Day.
- We're Not Gonna Do Shakespeare...
Nextfest runs for approximately 10 days every year. The festival provides professional development opportunities for artists, and has over 80 performances in several venues in Edmonton’s downtown area.
- Where My Heart Is
What can I say about Edmonton? I was born and bred here. I used to think that I wanted nothing more than to leave and explore the world. Well, I still do - the exploring part that is.
- Yardbird Suite
Hear about one of Canada's hippest Jazz venues.