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For Culture Buffs in Edmonton


Photo by Randall Edwards.

Festival City never disappoints, and there are exciting art festivals, cultural events, and more to experience year-round!

If you’re feeling a little more spontaneous, take in an experimental long-form improv show during Rapid Fire Theatre’s Bonfire Festival from April 5–9 at the Citadel Theatre or check out one of the company’s other on-going improv shows.

Immerse yourself in the thriving poetry scene, where venues around the city celebrate the written and spoken word. Edmonton Poetry Festival from April 17–24 is a great way to sample the varieties — enjoy free live readings every lunch hour in Churchill Square, poetry paired with science and music, workshops to hone your own skills, and events with various noteworthy poets, including the poet laureates from both Edmonton and Calgary. Or head to the Rouge Lounge on Tuesday nights for a poetry slam, where amateur and veteran poets alike have three minutes to impress audiences with their original works. If you’re more into stories than poetry (or even if you’re not), take in a competitive storytelling event. Story slams occur on the third Wednesday of the month at the Mercury Room. Writers have five minutes to tell an original, captivating story, and five judges are chosen randomly from the audience to rate each story in turn.

Fancy a pint or a glass of wine? Enjoy yours with a side of local musical talent! Wander down the notable Whyte Ave. and make your selection from countless options. Head to O’Byrne’s Irish Pub for your fundamental Celtic needs, Tavern on Whyte on Thursdays for softer acoustic sounds, or Blues on Whyte to swing your hips to some bluesy rhythms. Journey north to Brittany’s Lounge for their open genre variety stage, with a different night of the week dedicated to a different medium: visual, oratory, auditory, or movement. Prefer to sip on a relaxing coffee or tea instead? Saturdays at The Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse mean a medley of local musicians, poets and comedians, and you can catch various jazz, folk, RnB, and indie musicians at Café Blackbird from Thursday to Saturday. Or start your Sunday off right with a jazz brunch at the Blue Chair Café. —Tamara Aschenbrenner

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