25 Things To Do In Edmonton This February
Winter festivals, pop culture symphonies, intriguing productions and more.
January 26, 2017
Warm up with an Edmonton chinook…
From February 9 to 19, Edmonton will be experiencing its own Chinook, but unlike the wind variety that Calgary gets, this one comes as a mega-festival that combines three theatre-based festivals — Workshop West’s Canoe Festival, Azimuth Theatre’s Expanse Festival and Edmonton International Fringe Festival — into one. New for the 2017 year is Black Arts Matter, curated by Avenue's January cover girl Nasra Adem, which is a multidisciplinary festival dedicated to celebrating and serving Black artists; and Sound Off, which brings deaf artists from across the country together to showcase their talents, stories and the beauty of American Sign Language.
ATB Financial Arts Barns, 10330 84 Ave., chinookseries.ca
…or, warm up with a winter cask
Edmonton Beer Geeks Anonymous is hosting another Freeze Your Cask Off! event on February 3, featuring special cask conditioned beers from 10 Alberta craft brewers including Alley Kat Brewing, Banff Ave Brewing Co., Wild Rose Brewery and more. All participating brewers, selected via lottery, were challenged to create one-off winter-inspired cask ales.
End of Steel Park, edmontonbeergeeksanonymous.ca/a-winter-cask-beer-festival
Delve into the provocative world of ballet
BalletBoyz, presented by Alberta Ballet, will be performing Life, a production that takes an elegant, powerful and humorous look at life and death. On stage February 24 and 25, this all-male dance company will perform the works of choreographers Javier de Frutos and Pontus Lidberg to a score by Henryk Görecki and Ben Foskett.
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 87 Ave., 844-355-9494, albertaballet.com
Celebrate Black History Month with some films
February is Black History Month, and Metro Cinema is showing a collection of films that celebrate the strength, passion and achievements of the community such as Do Not Resist (2016), Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (2005), Refugee: The Eritrean Exodus (2015), Good Hair (2009), and I Am Not Your Negro (2016). Visit Metro’s website for screening times.
Metro Cinema at the Garneau, 8712 109 St., 780-425-9212, metrocinema.org
Taste some new wines
If you’re an oenophile — or just like drinking wine — then you won’t want to miss WineFest on February 17 and 18. Attendees will have the chance to sample a variety of wines from all over the world and an assortment of delicious hors d’oeuvres.
Shaw Conference Centre, 9797 Jasper Ave., 403-228-0777, celebratewinefest.com/edmonton.html
Go outside for some winter fun
Edmonton’s known as a festival city for a reason — we have festivals even when it’s way below freezing outside. Cold weather doesn’t stop us from having a good time, and this sentiment is especially true at Silver Skate Festival — Edmonton’s longest running winter festival of 27 years — which more than 105,000 people attended last year. The 10-day winter festival, which runs February 10 to 20, features day and night activities suitable for the whole family. During the day, watch (or participate in) skating races, opportunities to try winter sports, a heritage village; at night, explore the ice sculptures, fire sculptures, and trails.
Hawrelak Park, 9330 Groat Road, silverskatefestival.org
Discover Black history through song
Critically-acclaimed soprano Measha Brueggergosman will perform Songs of Freedom, a powerful collection of freedom songs for Black History Month such as “Amazing Grace and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” on February 17. The selections capture Brueggergosman’s emotional and spiritual journey in discovering the turbulent chapters of North American history.
Arden Theatre, 5 St. Anne St., St. Albert, 780-459-1542, stalbert.ca/exp/arden
Enjoy a modern take on a classic fairytale
Cinderella and her evil stepsisters undergo a 1950s revamp in this Edmonton Opera staging of Gioachino Rossini’s Cinderella for its 200th anniversary. In this bel canto opera, mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó will take on the role of Cinderella and Edmonton’s own John Tessier will play the charming Prince Ramiro. Catch this charming comedy on February 4, 7, and 9.
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 87 Ave., edmontonopera.com
Show off your style at this fashionable event
Western Canada Fashion Week might not be for another month, but you can still show off your stylish threads at African Fashion Week Edmonton on February 24 and 25. As part of Black History Month, the annual event celebrates the diversity of African culture by showcasing designers, stylists, industry professionals and fashion enthusiasts that are at the forefront of African fashion.
The Sutton Place Hotel, 10235 101 St., 639-317-4504, afwe.ca
Get in the Canadian spirit
Join the Art Gallery of St. Albert on February 25 for their Canadiana-Rama event for Canuck-inspired local art, food, cash bar, live music and silent auction. All proceeds will go towards supporting future exhibitions and programs.
St. Albert Place, 5 St. Anne Street, St. Albert, stalbert.ca/exp/calendar/events/canadiana-rama
Watch a Shakespeare performance that takes on a post-apocalyptic future
Imagine William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Othello in a post-apocalyptic, survivalist, gender-bending future. That’s what director Anne Marie Szucs did in her adaptation of Othello, which places the titular character, Iago, Desdemona and Cassio in a gender-bent world, inspired by Mad Max and David Bowie. See this surrealist show at the Walterdale Playhouse from February 8 to 18.
Walterdale Theatre, 10322 83 Ave., 780-439-3058, walterdaletheatre.com
Tickle your funny bone
You’ve seen him on B.E.T.’s Comic View, Showtime’s Ladies Night Out, Comedy Central and HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, and now you can see comedian Ali Siddiq live when he performs his funny routine in front of Edmonton audiences from February 8 to 12.
The Comic Strip, 1646 Bourbon Street, 8882 170 St., 780-483-5999, wem.thecomicstrip.ca
Skate through the forest
You snoozed and didn’t get a reservation at Corso 32 this Valentine Day’s. That’s OK, though. You can save face by taking your significant other for a romantic skate around the IceWay Skating Trail, where you’ll be surrounded by the lush forests of Victoria Park and the night sky.
Think about melting glaciers and ghosts
From February 24 to 26, Citie Ballet will debut its second production of the season, Reflections, which features the works of house choreographer Kiera Keglowitsch and Alberta Ballet’s principal dancer, Yukichi Hattori. Keglowitsch’s piece explores the impact of melting glaciers, while Hattori’s Ghosts sees a collaboration with local electronic duo, Nulle Part.
Timms Centre for the Arts, 87 Ave. & 112 St., 780-903-7030, citieballet.ca
Get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making a radio show
This is That — the award-winning CBC Radio One satirical current affair show with Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring — is going on a Canada-wide tour in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. Edmontonians can get a glimpse at the live-action (and fabricating) on February 10.
Myer Horowitz Theatre, Students’ Union Building (U of A), 8900 114 St., 780-492-4764, cbc.ca/radio/thisisthat
Listen to the sweet harmonies from a country songstress
Toronto’s Whitney Rose will be in the capital region on February 24 in support of her latest album, South Texas Suite, which was released last month.
The Almanac, 10351 82 Ave., 780-760-4567, almanaconwhyte.com
Grab your parka for a winter patio party
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy patio season — an ethos felt by the folks at Latitude 53, who will open up their patio on February 4 for their annual winter patio fundraiser. Returning for a sixth year, the evening features installation art, local DJs, food, drinks and a silent auction in an outdoor setting. It is an all ages event from 5 pm to 7 pm, but it turns into an adults-only affair from 8 pm on. Just make sure you dress appropriately, so you can take full advantage of this winter party!
Latitude 53, 10242 106 St., 780-423-5353, latitude53.org
Catch a new show from Theatre Network
Playing February 9 to 26 is Bust, directed by Theatre Network’s artistic and executive director Bradley Moss (Red; The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble), which takes place several months after the Fort McMurray fire. A controversial call is made at a Peewee hockey game that propels two couples into dangerous territory…
The Roxy on Gateway, 8529 Gateway Blvd., 780-453-2440, theatrenetwork.ca
Brunch for a good cause
All supporters of the arts and Shakespeareans, this one’s for you. The Free Will Players are hosting their annual Brunch of Love Fundraiser on February 5, which helps support the upcoming Freewill Shakespeare Festival — running June 20 to July 16 — and the continuation of professional and affordable productions to come. Your ticket includes brunch, live entertainment, and an auction.
Royal Mayfair Golf Club, 9450 Groat Road, 780-425-8086, freewillshakespeare.com
Say ‘I Love You’ with a home-made card
Instead of buying a Hallmark card this Valentine’s Day consider making your own with the help of SNAP’s annual Print Your Heart Out event. On February 11, you can express your feelings on four cards using SNAP’s letterpresses.
SNAP Print Shop, 12056 Jasper Ave., 780-423-1492, snapartists.com
Indulge your inner child
Pixar has brought us heart-warming films like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Monsters, Inc. and Up, and on February 18 and 19 you can revisit all 14 of Pixar's creations in a special concert when Edmonton Symphony Orchestra performs the music from the films.
Winspear Centre, 4 Sir Winston Churchill Square, 780-428-1414, winspearcentre.com
Hear stories from Margaret Trudeau
Margaret Trudeau is a Canadian icon—her name resonates with Canadians across the country, having been the wife to late-prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau and mother to current prime minister Justin Trudeau. In this speaker series on February 3, Margaret, author of four books, will discuss her formidable and resilient life story and remind us of the importance of nurturing the body, mind and spirit, while erasing the stigma around mental health issues.
The Arden Theatre, 5 St. Anne St., St. Albert, 780-459-1542, stalbert.ca/exp/arden
Bundle up and head outdoors for some hockey fun
Remember the days when hockey was played outside on a frozen lake? The Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour recreates those childhood memories in the capital region on February 4 and 5 with family-friendly programming and activities for hockey fans. Ron MacLean and Tara Slone will host the live broadcast of the Edmonton Oilers vs Montreal Canadiens on Sunday.
City Hall, 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square, hometownhockey.com
Dine with your honey
Water Valley’s Fallentimber Meadery will be joining Beaumont’s Chartier restaurant for a special interactive five-course menu pairing with five unique meads — traditional honey, bourbon aged, ginger, pyment (honey mead infused with cabernet sauvignon) and cinnamon — on Feb 13. This is a perfect way to treat your special someone — book fast, since there is limited seating .
Chartier, 5012 50 St., Beaumont, 780-737-3633, dinechartier.com
Giddy up for a hootenanny
How much do Albertans love country? A lot apparently, considering country singer Garth Brooks, who’s on tour with his singer wife Trisha Yearwood, will be playing nine shows in the capital region across six days (February 17, 18, 19, 23, 24 and 25). Already more than 140,000 have been sold—time to get Gunslinger on repeat.
Rogers Place, 10220 104 Ave., 780-414-5483, rogersplace.com