The Edmonton Downtown Business Association is pleased to announce the return of Downtown Spark taking place May 25 to June 4 across Downtown. This year’s festival will feature five large-scale inflatable sculptures from Australia’s Atelier Sisu and the UK’s Designs in Air, alongside an interactive installation by local group Vignettes, plus an exciting lineup of daily programming that will bring new life and activity to Downtown and create memorable experiences for all.
“We’re thrilled to be able to put on our third annual Downtown Spark for the community. What started as a pandemic initiative to attract people back downtown in the spring of 2021 has become a highly anticipated annual celebration of unique and approachable art, fun urban experiences, and community gathering while supporting local businesses. We know that Edmontonians love getting outside this time of year, and that makes this the opportunity to show off the full potential of our downtown outdoor public spaces in this way,” says Puneeta McBryan, Executive Director of the Edmonton Downtown Business Association.
This year’s theme, “play” invites adults and children to let loose and have fun. Adults need playtime too and Downtown Spark encourages us to channel our inner kid, connect with others and ignite our imagination.
Churchill Square, Alex Decoteau Park, Campio Brewing Co., CKUA, Enbridge Centre and ATB Place are the six downtown sites hosting art installations, along with free weekday and weekend programming.
The largest installation, Evanescent by Sydney-based design studio Atelier Sisu, will take over Churchill Square and will emulate the ethereal quality and magic of bubbles. By day, Evanescent reflects the changing light of the sun as it moves across the sky, casting a rainbow reflection on the ground and providing a unique photo opportunity from every angle. By night, the bubble art-chitecture changes to an array of colours. Evanescent appeals to our universal childlike wonder and reminds us that the world around us is fragile. After appearing at more than 12 countries around the world, Edmonton is the first Canadian city to host the Evanescent.
On June 3, William Prince headlines a free show at the Downtown Spark Block Party on Macdonald Drive. The award-winning Winnipeg-based artist has put together an impressive career since popping up on the musical radar with his debut, Earthly Days, which won Prince a Juno Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year in 2017. These days, the member of Manitoba’s Peguis First Nation seems to be everywhere, writing a song with Serena Ryder, performing at a Buffy Sainte-Marie tribute concert at Ottawa’s National Art Centre and headlining Edmonton Folk Music Festival last year. The Downtown Spark Block Party on Macdonald Drive will also feature guests Kyle McKearney, Nice Horse and Lucette.
Visitors are encouraged to walk, bike or scoot from site to site to enjoy all of this year’s art and programming at the six sites.
Highlighted events include
Bark & Brew: May 27 and May 28 attend a FREE dog-friendly party at Alex Decoteau Park, featuring a beer garden, live music and DJs, SuperDogs Express show, a dog vendor market, dog photography, free barkuterie boards and treats, food trucks and more.
Downtown Spark Block Party: On June 3, William Prince plays a free outdoor show at the Downtown Spark Block Party on Macdonald Drive, with guests Kyle McKearney, Nice Horse and Lucette.
80s Video Dance Party: Rewind your cassette tapes and dust off those neon headbands—it’s time to get rad at Alex Decoteau Park on May 26! DJ Thomas Culture will be spinning 80s tunes while the chart-topping videos play on the big screen.
Guided Scooter Tours: Unleash your inner child and have fun whizzing around on an electric scooter to all six Downtown Spark sites. On this guided 90-minute YEG Scoot tour, you’ll learn about the art and the architectural history of Downtown.
Science Sunday: An exciting event for kids on June 4 that will entertain, educate and spark your child’s interest in science, presented by Telus World of Science – Edmonton, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and Edmonton Rocketry Club.
Downtown Spark is presented by the Edmonton Downtown Business Association with the support of the City of Edmonton, Enbridge Centre, Triovest, Backwoods Security Services and Ford Canada.
Schedule and details are available at edmontondowntown.com/Spark
For information or to arrange an interview, contact Tracy Hyatt, firstname.lastname@example.org