From parades to film fests, add these celebrations to your calendar.
The Works Art and Design Festival, July 7– 17, 2021
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.
Taste of Edmonton, July 22-August 1, 2021
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.
Cariwest Festival, August 6-8, 2021
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.
Servus Edmonton Marathon, August 15-31, 2021
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.
TD International Jazz Festival, August 16-20, 2021
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.
Alberta Culture Days, September 2021
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 International Film Festival, October 1-10, 2021
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.
Vignettes Design Series, Fall 2021
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.
LitFest, October 14-24, 2021
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, TBA
Head to Landmark Cinemas in City Centre Mall for screenings of new films that celebrate Jewish culture, identity and history.
Afro Latin Fest YEG, TBA
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.
Edmonton Poetry Festival, TBA
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.
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.
Downtown Dining Week, TBA
Get to know Downtown Edmonton’s dining scene by enjoying specially priced lunch, brunch and dinner menus at dozens of participating restaurants.
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, TBA
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, TBA
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, TBA
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, TBA
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, TBA
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.