They don’t call it Festival City for nothing.
Edmonton is home to some of the country’s most spectacular art, music, and theatre festivals. From visual art displays, to alternative theatre and melodies under the stars, these art-focused events will fill your summer calendar with equal parts inspiration and entertainment.
- Freewill Shakespeare Festival Jun 18–July 14
Also known as Shakespeare in the Park, this three-week festival shows two of the playwright’s famous works—one comedy and one tragedy. Shows run every day except Monday, with various special events throughout, including Date Night which pairs your performance with appetizers and beverages.
- Whyte Avenue Art Walk July 5–7
Hundreds of artists gather on the streets of Whyte Avenue for a free three-day art show. This spectacular display showcases some of Edmonton’s visual artists, and gives visitors the opportunity to purchase work directly from the creators. Whether or not you’re in the market for a new piece, this is an event art-lovers don’t want to miss.
- NextFest May 31–June 10
NextFest brings together artists of all types for the city’s multi-disciplinary arts festival. Performances take place at venues all across Old Strathcona, and include a diverse lineup of clowning, comedy, music, film, spoken word, visual art, theater performances and more. There’s no better place to experience such a wide variety of artistic mediums in such a short period of time than at NextFest.
- The Works Art & Design Festival June 20–July 2
The Works Art & Design Festival is a 13-day visual extravaganza in downtown Edmonton. The festival is free to the public and showcases art, design and performances from local and international artisans. There are also workshops and family programs to help festival-goers tap into their own creative side.
- Animethon 26 Aug 9–11
Animethon is an explosion of Japanese pop culture, anime and gaming packed into three days in August. The festival features voice actor guests, musical groups, a cosplay contest, gaming and more. Anime fans rejoice!
- Dreamspeakers Film Festival April 26–May 7
This international film festival celebrates the cinematic works of Indigenous peoples from around the world. The festival offers a unique exploration into Indigenous cultures with a variety of both feature-length and short films.
- Edmonton Folk Music Festival Aug 8–11
Whether you’re already a fan of folk music, or are looking to expand your musical repertoire, Edmonton’s Folk Fest is your musical destination this summer. Featuring folk and alternative from across the globe—and from your own backyard—this family event is sure to become an annual tradition.
- Edmonton Jazz Festival June 21–30
Silky notes float through cafes, jazz clubs, and theatres during Edmonton’s Jazz Festival. International and local acts flood over 70 venues for a week of soothing performances that will take you right back to the golden age.
- Symphony under the Sky August 29, 30, 31, September 1
What better way to enjoy the melodies of classic composers than surrounded by stars and sky and fresh air? Symphony under the Sky returns to Hawrelak Park for 4 days of diverse musical programs in the great outdoors.
- Interstellar Rodeo July 26–28
Don’t expect to find any barrel racing or bull riding at this event. Interstellar Rodeo is a spirited music festival that has brought in main acts like Serena Ryder, July Talk and Feist, alongside dozens of other local and touring artists. Stellar music is rounded out with curated food trucks and wine pairings.
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