Downtown Spark 2024 Art Installations and Programming Unveiled 

The Edmonton Downtown Business Association announces the return of Downtown Spark from May 23 to June 2, 2024. Kicking off Edmonton’s summer festival season, this year’s festival showcases large-scale inflatable sculptures from Australia, Tasmania and the U.K., alongside new works by Edmonton-based artist Cheyenne Rain LeGrande. Daily events include video dance parties, dog-friendly beer gardens, a day of Indigenous arts and cultural programming and many more events.  

We’re excited to kick off this year’s Downtown Spark which once again is showcasing some of the world’s best art-chitecture, alongside local artists, to inject our downtown with whimsical fun that everyone and anyone can come and enjoy. Most people are now familiar with the larger than life inflatable art that we feature every year at Downtown Spark, but I also really encourage everyone to check out the live music, cultural programming, and other attractions that we have popping up over the 10-day festival,” says Puneeta McBryan, CEO of the Edmonton Downtown Business Association. 

The largest installation, Lost Dogs Disco, by Sydney-based design studio ENESS, celebrates the place of dogs in our lives. Visitors to Churchill Square will be greeted by an immersive display of 12 playful dogs of various shapes and sizes brought to life by interactive lights and a playful soundscape of music. This is Lost Dogs Disco’s debut in North America, making it a significant milestone for Edmonton and Downtown Spark.  

Lost, a set of three new floral sculptures by Amanda Parer will be installed at ATB Place overlooking  MacDonald Drive. “Lost” features gigantic blooming flowers that celebrate nature, inspire our imagination but also make us stop and think about the world around us. The featured flora are either extinct or endangered botanical species from around the world, highlighting the beauty and wonder that has been or that is soon to be Lost. 

Edmonton-based Indigenous artist Cheyenne Rain Le Grande introduces mîkisak ᒦᑭᐢ, a larger-than-life beaded earring on display at Alex Decoteau Park. Cheyenne’s earring is in celebration of Nehiyaw (Cree) fashion and its love for beads.  

New inflatable monsters from Designs in Air from London, UK, will also be popping up at Campio Brewing Co. and Enbridge Place.  

Churchill Square, Alex Decoteau Park, Campio Brewing Co., Enbridge Centre and ATB Place are the five downtown sites hosting art installations, along with free weekday and weekend programming. Visitors are encouraged to walk, bike or scoot from site to site to enjoy all of this year’s art and daily events.  

Saturday, June 1, on Rice Howard Way, our annual Downtown Spark Block Party wraps up the 10-day festival. Montreal’s jazz-funk collective Busty and the Bass headlines the Downtown Spark Block Party. The JUNO-nominated group is known for its diverse range of musical genres, including soul, jazz, R&B, folk, funk, hip hop and dance music and for its signature incorporation of horns. Other musical acts include Léonie Gray, referred to as Quebec’s Amy Winehouse, and YouTube Rising Star Zach Zoya, with support from local bands VISSIA and Bad Buddy. 

The Downtown Spark Block Party also kicks off the official start of Edmonton’s first  entertainment district. From June 1 to August 24, 2024, patrons can consume alcohol purchased from Rice Howard Way businesses freely on the street, within a permitted pedestrian-friendly outdoor area on Saturdays from 11am to 10pm. Starting on June 1, and then every  Saturday this summer, you can find live music, games, street performers, and other activities filling the street to delight visitors of all ages. 

Downtown Spark highlighted events include 

80s and 90s Video Dance Parties: Rewind your cassette tapes and dust off those neon headbands—it’s time to get rad at Alex Decoteau Park on May 23 and May 24! DJ Thomas Culture will be spinning 80s tunes while the chart-topping videos play on the big screen. 

Bark & Brew: May 25 and May 26 attend a FREE dog-friendly party at Alex Decoteau Park, featuring a beer garden, DJs, dog training demonstrations, dog photography, dog treats, food trucks and more. 

O-day’min Day: O-day’min is the Cree word for strawberries (heart berry). It’s also the name of the downtown municipal ward because it is the heart of the city. Gather at Alex Decoteau Park on May 30 to celebrate and connect with the rich and diverse culture of Edmonton’s Indigenous community. 

Splash Day: Beat the heat and head down to Churchill Square and celebrate the opening of the City Hall Fountain. Programming includes games, roving performers and performances by Giant Bubble Lady, Ho’omaka Kanu A Ke Aloha (Aloha Dancers YEG), Ngorimba and more. 

Downtown Spark is produced by the Edmonton Downtown Business Association, with the support of our partners The City of Edmonton, ATB Place, and Community Partners Enbridge Centre, the Downtown Edmonton Community League, Encor by EPCOR and The Downtown Revitalization Coalition.  

MEDIA ASSETS: Click here for b-roll footage & here for hi-res images 

For more information contact
Tracy Hyatt
Director of Marketing & Communications