Festivals

From parades to film fests, add these celebrations to your calendar.

Downtown Dining Week, March 11 -22 2020 
Get to know Downtown Edmonton’s dining scene by enjoying specially priced lunch, brunch and dinner menus at dozens of participating restaurants.

TD International Jazz Festival, June 18-27, 2020 
Hang out and enjoy the sounds of jazz music performed by local and international artists. From formal venue performances to casual outdoor concerts, there’s a show for every mood and taste.

Edmonton International Film Festival, September 24 – October 3, 2020 
Landmark Cinemas in City Centre Mall hosts screenings of new documentary, feature-length, and short films that are getting festival and award-season buzz. If you work Downtown you’ll want to check out Lunchbox Shorts. From Monday to Friday during the festival, you can enjoy an hour of unique short films and lunch is included. You might be watching the next Academy Award-winning animated or live-action short film, as EIFF is an Oscar-qualifying festival

Afro Latin Fest YEG, March 20, 2020 
A one-night celebration of African, Caribbean and Latin cultures through music, dance, arts and education at the Starlite Room. Enjoy spoken word performances, high energy African drumming, a full Reggae band and of course, a lot of dancing.

Taste of Edmonton, July 22-August 1, 2020 
Sample dozens of dishes from Edmonton restaurants at Canada’s largest food festival. There are free concerts daily with big- name headliners, private foodie events and even activities for the kids. Entrance to the festival is free and tickets for food and drinks range in price.

Alberta Culture Days, September 2020 
Venues across the downtown core – including the Art Gallery of Alberta, Winspear Centre, and Citadel Theatre – host free, all-ages events including tours, performances and workshops, that showcase the work of local artists.

Edmonton Poetry Festival, April 24-May 3, 2020 
From entertaining spoken word performances to lively slam poetry competitions, to wine and poetry pairings, to heartfelt readings, to informative workshops, there’s plenty to learn and discover.

Cariwest Festival, August 7-9, 2020 
This lively celebration of Caribbean culture kicks off with a colourful parade of Mas Bands along Jasper Avenue. Then folks head to Churchill Square for Caribbean street food vendors serving up dishes like jerk chicken and roti, browse the vendors in the art market, get dancing at the main stage, and swig some drinks in the rum garden.

LitFest, October 15-25, 2020 |
Enjoy a series of talks and workshops by some of the top Canadian and International writers of nonfiction literature and poetry. Even if you’re not familiar with the author of the book, LitFest programming delves into interesting themes and topics, and there’s a discussion for everyone to enjoy or take part in.

Edmonton Jewish Film Festival, May 3-12, 2020 |
Head to Landmark Cinemas in City Centre Mall for screenings of new films that celebrate Jewish culture, identity and history.

Animethon, August 6-8, 2020 
If you’re interested in animation, illustration, manga, or Japanese pop-culture, you won’t want to miss this elaborate event. Dress up in cosplay and browse artists booths, attend panel discussions and shop for collectables. Even if you’re not attending, hang around outside the Edmonton Convention Centre and you’ll get to see all the costumes as they pass by.

Vignettes Design Series, Fall 2020 
Local artists and designers collaborate to create a series of unique, immersive rooms in a pop-up, 3D gallery space. Throughout the year, the team hosts design-forward, pop-up parties, dinners, and concerts, so check out their website or social media accounts to see if something is happening while you’re in town.

Improvaganza, June 2020 
Local improv troupe Rapid Fire Theatre’s season comes to a roaring close every year with an improv and sketch comedy festival featuring performers from around the world.

Rust Magic, August 2020 
Watch art appear before your eyes during this festival of street mural art. Local and internationally acclaimed artists will be painting new work on buildings across the city’s core neighbourhoods, including Downtown Edmonton. Rust Magic pays homage to and celebrates often misunderstood graffiti culture, adding a ton of vibrancy and life to otherwise lacklustre walls.

The Mosquers Film Festival, Fall 2020 
Since 2007, the Mosquers Film Festival has combated misconceptions about Islam and Muslims, demonstrated diversity, and provided a channel for talented individuals to express themselves.

Fruit Loop Pride Block Party, June 13, 2020 
June is Pride month and to celebrate, Fruit Loop shuts down 103 Street for the ultimate street party. Expect high energy DJs, drag performances, drink specials and a ton of dancing. Make sure to show up in your best glitter.

Open Streets, August 2020 |
Paths for People shuts down Jasper Ave for a massive street party. Making the street accessible to everyone - not just cars. You can walk, roll, stroll or dance through the Open Streets. There are tons of activities for everyone. Bring your friends. Bring your dog. Meet your neighbours. Find some hidden gems in your city and enjoy the summer weather.

Holiday Light Up, November 2020, 3rd week 
Gather ‘round a large evergreen tree and Churchill Square and watch as we light up the space for the festive season. Hot refreshments and entertainment is usually programmed.

The Works Art and Design Festival, June 19 – July July 1, 2020 
This free, outdoor festival is a spectacle of visual arts and music. Roam Churchill Square and various places Downtown. Take in art sculptures and installations made by artists from around the world, while enjoying live music throughout the day by performers from all genres. Sip a drink in the beer gardens, browse the vendors in the art market and grab a bite from the food trucks.

Servus Edmonton Marathon, August 15-16, 2020 
Every August, Downtown hosts the home stretch of the Servus Edmonton Marathon. No, you don’t have to run the whole marathon distance — but we applaud you if you do — there are half marathon distances, 10K, 5K and events.

Dickens Fest, December 2020 
Celebrate the Christmas season 19th- century style! Browse European-style street market vendors, enjoy themed Christmas teas and dinners, and take in a production of an all-new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Costumes are very much encouraged.