25 Things To Do In Edmonton This December
There are plenty of festive events this month, from plays to performances and everything in between.
December 1, 2017
photograph by Darren Makoivichuk, courtesy of Alberta Ballet
On December 7 through 10, Alberta Ballet returns to the stage with a holiday staple — The Nutcracker. Visit the Kingdom of Sweets, see the graceful Sugar Plum Fairy, be enchanted by the army of mice and more, all set to a classic Tchaikovsky score played live by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 87 Ave., albertaballet.com
Festival Of Trees has become a holiday tradition for many who want to get in the Christmas spirit and support a good cause, as the festival raises funds for the University Hospital Foundation. Whether you attend the gala evening, bring your children down Christmas Lane, or simply stop by to check out the beautiful trees, there’s something for everyone. The festival runs until December 3.
Shaw Conference Centre, 9797 Jasper Ave., festivaloftrees.ca
On December 8 through 11 and 14, Loving Vincent comes to the Garneau Theatre. The film explores the work and life of artist Vincent van Gogh through a unique animation process, where 65,000 frames were hand painted by a collection of painters.
Garneau Theatre, 8712 109 St., 780-425-9212, metrocinema.org
On December 1, MINBID is back and ready to host an underground art auction. Stop by to check out some amazing art, enjoy local music and expand your art collection by purchasing a piece or two.
Vacancy Hall — Mercer Warehouse, 10359 104 St., 780-908-5263, minbid.ca
Support the Art Gallery of Alberta and get in the holiday spirit with The Holly Ball, an annual event which takes place on December 6 this year. The glamorous gala will include a performance by Edmonton’s A/B Trio, and is a great opportunity to support the AGA.
Art Gallery of Alberta, 2 Sir Winston Churchill Square, youraga.ca
The team behind the 124 Grand Market is bringing you a holiday bazaar on December 8 and 9. They’ll transform the Vignettes building into a bustling market with over 50 vendors, where you can check out live local music, get a glass of mulled wine to sip while you shop and more.
Edmonton Reuse Centre, 10004 103A Ave., 780-760-9453, wearewildheart.com
Canadian artist Brandon A. Dalmer will bring his exhibition “Persistence of Vision” to Latitude 53 from December 9 to January 20. The fascinating exhibition is inspired by syzgy, cosmic alignments, hoaxes, Philip K. Dick’s practice of Mercerism and includes a capsule that viewers can enter.
Latitude 53, 10242 106 St., 780-423-5353, latitude53.org
The Edmonton Public Library’s Forward Thinking Speaker Series has included plenty of fascinating guest speakers, and the December 11 edition features singing phenomenon Choir! Choir! Choir! Founders Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman will talk about creativity, collaboration and community building in this event, where audience participation is encouraged.
Chateau Lacombe Hotel, 10111 Bellamy Hill Rd., eventbrite.ca
The Nutcracker is a holiday staple, so if you just can’t get enough of the cast of magical characters, check out Shumka’s Nutcracker on December 29 and 30, entitled “Clara’s Dream.” The holiday classic features ballet, folk dance and character dance, with guests from Citie Ballet, Viter Choir and Ukraine’s Virsky and Kyiv Ballet Companies.
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 87 Ave., 855-985-5000, shumka.com/shumka-nutcracker
A Christmas Carol at the Citadel Theatre has become a holiday tradition for many in the city — so revisit the show during its run from December 1 to 23, or check it out for the first time. This year's cast features Glenn Nelson as Scrooge.
Citadel Theatre, 9828 101A Ave., 780-425-1820, citadeltheatre.com
You’ve likely been to Fort Edmonton Park during the summer months at some point, but have you ever stopped by in winter? Explore the park and enjoy festive activities such as a horse-drawn carriage ride, caroling and warm cookies from a wood stove at the park’s Christmas Reflections event. You can stop by from December 16 to 23.
Fort Edmonton Park, 7000 143 St., fortedmontonpark.ca
With a few spots in the city now open, you may have tried axe throwing, but have you ever tried a glow in the dark version? From December 23 to January 7, Jack Axe is hosting a glow in the dark ace throwing option — it’s a one of a kind experience.
Jack Axe, 9785 45 Ave., jack-axe.ca
Sure, Alberta is cold — but winter can also be incredibly beautiful. Elk Island National Park is holding a Snowshoe & Stargaze event, which takes place on December 9 and 23 (as well as select Saturdays throughout January, February and March). You can take a short guided hike on snowshoes around the shore of Astotin Lake, enjoy the starlight scenery and finish with some refreshments around a crackling fire and some information from a park interpreter.
Elk Island National Park, 780-922-5790, pc.gc.ca
On December 30, Salute to Vienna returns to the Winspear — and it’s the perfect production if you want a little taste of everything. The production includes operetta, ballroom dance and ballet in a program inspired by Vienna’s beloved New Year’s Concert.
Winspear Centre, 4 Sir Winston Churchill Square, salutetovienna.com
On December 6, local author and storyteller Richard van Camp is hosting Voices of Amiskwaciy: Our Stories, an event honouring Indigenous stories, culture, history, community and education. The stories shared through the Voices of Amiskwaciy project will be premiered at the event, and there will be live performances from Indigenous artists.
Citadel Theatre, 9828 101A Ave., epl.bibliocommons.com
Jim Davies is known for his landscape paintings, and in his exhibition “Iron Light,” he explores the balance between dark and light in nature in a series of oil paintings that reference the Alberta landscape and technology. The exhibition runs until December 9.
Scott Gallery, 10411 124 St., 780-488-3619, scottgallery.com
Hip Hop on the Avenue returns for its momentous 10th year, in support of 630 CHED Santas Anonymous. Stop by, listen to some great artists including Brothers Grim and support a good cause during the holiday season.
Alberta Avenue Community Centre, 9210 118 Ave., allevents.in
On December 10, stop by the Too Many Cooks fundraiser for the Bissell Centre. The star-studded line-up for the evening includes chefs and bartenders from Wishbone, Three Boars, Farrow, Baijiu, Revel, Alder Room, Red Ox Inn, Northern Chicken, Meuwly’s/Secret Meat Club, Kanto, COMAL, Elm, Holy Roller, North 53, Clementine, Color de Vino, Sherbrooke Liquor, Trialto and District Café. Proceeds from ticket sales and silent auction will go to Bissell Centre.
Wishbone, 10542 Jasper Ave., eventbrite.ca
For over 20 years, the McDades have participated in this Candlelight Christmas tradition at the John Walter Museum. This year’s event takes place on December 7, and you can enjoy two musical performances, seasonal treats during the intermission, all in the setting of a gorgeous 19th century home.
John Walter Museum, 9180 Walterdale Hill, 311, edmonton.ca
If you have a sweet tooth, you need to stop by Community, a new culinary pop-up space at Kingsway Mall. You can sample treats from a variety of vendors including Family Dough, Whisk Dessert Co., Milk Milk Lemonade and Cacao 70.
Kingsway Mall, 1 Kingsway Garden Mall, kingswaymall.com
Get in the holiday spirit at the 48th Annual Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree from December 14 to 17. Enjoy the festive songs sung by the 35-foot tree filled with a choir of 150 singers, colourful costumes, talented performers and more.
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 87 Ave., 780-487-8733, edmontonsingingchristmastree.com
The popular Luminaria event, held at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden, is back for another year. Stroll through the stunning garden, sip a hot beverage and enjoy the winter wonderland from December 1 to 3.
University of Alberta Botanic Garden, 51227 AB-60, Spruce Grove., luminaria.ualberta.ca
SNAP is holding a bash on December 2 entitled Print Affair: Ginger SNAP. The party will feature copper and black décor, retro and lounge inspired music, catering from Elm, spicy and sweet drinks, ginger snap cookies, and fantastic art from local artists. Proceeds from the event go to supporting SNAP’s exhibitions and education programming.
SNAP Gallery, 10123 121 St., snapartists.com/special-events
From December 8 to 22, the Student Design Association brings their 4th annual Built shop to Kingsway Mall. The pop-up design store will sell products from local art and design students, as well as alumni, and allows you to find a few locally made, stunningly designed products to add to your space.
Kingsway Mall, 1 Kingsway Garden Mall, thesda.ca/poppop
Chances are, you’ve either seen or heard of the famous whale sculpture at West Edmonton Mall. It disappeared for a while, but has now returned — check out our December Conversation Piece to learn a bit more about the iconic piece of public art.