Focus on... Edmonton
By Laura Gelder – September 2018 – 2 minute read
Known as the festival city, Alberta’s capital plays host to over 50 events a year, celebrating everything from comedy to comics. Set on the Saskatchewan River, Edmonton is a green city and close to Elk Island National Park's woods and wetlands, home to bison, moose, elk and beaver.
Edmonton is the first city in Canada to partner with Utrip, an interactive, AI-powered itinerary builder that can plan travellers a trip full of activities and restaurants based on their own preferences. The app could easily be used by agents and includes recommendations for food and drink, must-see attractions, sports, shopping, outdoor activities, arts and culture and entertainment. It looks at the season, who the person is travelling with, their interests and the purpose of the trip.
Building started on the much anticipated Royal Alberta Museum, located in the heart of the downtown arts district, in 2014 and it's due to open its doors to the public on October 3. It will be the largest museum in western Canada, with double the exhibition space (more than 82,000 square feet) and more interactive exhibits than ever for visitors to immerse themselves in the area's natural and human history. There will also be a feature gallery showcasing travelling exhibitions from Canada and around the world, a 7,000-square-foot dedicated children's gallery designed for hands-on learning through play and an expanded Bug Gallery with visible hatchery. Indigenous stories are interwoven throughout and one gallery is dedicated to contemporary First Nations and Métis narratives.
Rogers Place has transformed downtown Edmonton since it opened two years ago. It’s made it a destination, not just for events, but for the growing number of restaurants, bars and music venues. Rogers Place is home to the Oilers ice hockey team who are celebrating their 40th anniversary this season. It sits alongside the new ICE District, where a new J W Marriott hotel will open in March 2019.
Best of the fests
For sports/action lovers there’s the Dragon Boat Festival and an annual marathon or rodeo. For culture vultures there are festivals covering poetry, Shakespeare, comedy and film. Music buffs can attend events dedicated to jazz, pop, rock, blues or folk. It doesn't stop in winter, when there's the Boardwalk Ice on Whyte Festival with its ice sculptures and giant ice slide. And let’s not forget Taste of Edmonton for food lovers, Edmonton Pride or the International Children’s Festival. More unusual events include Improvaganza - a gathering of the world’s best improvisers - and Sustainival,the world’s first green carnival.