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What to Do Edmonton

Silver Skate Festival

The Silver Skate Festival takes place February 15-24, 2013, and offers a variety of FREE sport and recreational events and attractions for guests of all ages. This festival celebrates the beauty of winter, and also embraces the contributions of arts, sports, and culture to a thriving winter climate. This year marks the 23rd Anniversary of this annual event, making it the longest running-winter festival in Festival City!

Photo courtesy of the City of Edmonton


One Direction World Pop-up Store in West Edmonton Mall!

It’s nearly impossible not to have heard about UK pop music phenomenon One Direction. Their 2010 album Up All Night debuted at Number 1 on the US Billboard charts, making them the first UK group in US chart history to do so with their first album. Since then, their popularity continues to grow with a second number-one album, hundreds of millions of YouTube views, active social media followings, numerous awards, sold-out arena tours, and, of course, their sought after merchandise.

Cardboard cutouts of the One Direction boys hang out at the 1D World Store in Edmonton. Cutouts are available to purchase for $35 each.

In order to give their millions of fans around the world an opportunity to purchase exclusive One Direction merchandise, temporary retail stores known as “1D World” have begun to open in major cities around the world. The original store had its debut in Australia, and now faithful Edmonton “Directioners” will have the opportunity to shop 1D World with an exclusive, limited-time store opening.

The 1D World retail store will open in West Edmonton Mall (8882-170 St.), next to Galaxyland, on Saturday, February 2 at 9 am, and will be open through February 18 daily during regular mall hours (Mon – Sat 10 am – 9 pm; Sun 11 am – 6 pm). Directioners can line up at the mall starting at 6 am on February 2 for the Grand Opening.

This is an exclusive opportunity for Western Canadian Directioners, as it is only the third 1D World store to open in Canada. The store is over 4000 square feet, and will have over 125 items of exclusive merchandise not even available at a One Direction concert! Jacob Porpossian, consultant for the PR firm representing the store, said that Edmonton was an “obvious choice” to open a 1D World store because fans in the city have a very strong social media presence and there was clearly a demand for a One Direction-related event.

WHERE Edmonton attended the opening of #1DWorldYEG (as it’s known on Twitter – band members Liam, Harry, and Niall have all tweeted about the store using this keyword hash tag), where fans had been lined up since 3am to be among the first guests to shop the store. Fans made sure to make the most of their wait, singing their favourite One Direction songs (having faithfully memorized all of the lyrics). When asked what they were hoping to buy at the store, an eager fan responded “Anything. Anything and everything that I don’t already own, I will buy. I’ve saved my money for this. I’ll probably come back to shop a few times while the store is open.”

Well, there is certainly a lot for fans to buy! There are plenty of small novelty items like jewellery, journals, press-on nail decals, calendars, posters, stationary, caps, scarves, mittens, and t-shirt. Then, of course, are the most creative and coveted items like life-size cardboard cutouts of each boy, quilted sports jackets made to look like the ones the boys famously wore during their “Up All Night” tour, and the incredibly popular One Direction “onesie” one-piece loungewear, modelled after the ones the boys have sported on numerous occasions.

The coveted One Direction “onesies” are available for $120 at 1D World Store in Edmonton.

Where Edmonton has an exclusive One Direction prize pack to give away to a lucky fan! To enter: Follow @whereedmonton on Twitter and tweet us the name of your favourite One Direction song!  Only one entry per Twitter account. Contest closes on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 11:59 pm MST. All entries will be included in the draw for the prize pack, valued at $50 CDN.



Ice on Whyte

The 10th Anniversary of this popular annual winter festival promises the same fun and excitement of years past (Reader’s Digest named it one of the Top 10 Coolest Winter Festivals in Canada this year) with an impressive display of ice and snow sculpture, children’s crafts and activities, a giant ice slide, live music, skating, karaoke, fashion shows, sports, food and hot beverages, and more. This year, teams from Russia, Holland, Latvia, and the Netherlands have come to  compete in featured International Ice Carving Competition and create the impressive sculptures that will be on display during the festival.

An impressive ice carving display from Ice on Whyte 2012.

The festival runs from January 25 – February 3, from 2 pm – 10 pm Monday – Friday and 10 am – 10 pm Saturday – Sunday. Admission is cash only: Adult  $5, Child (2 – 12)  $2.50; Children under 2 are free. While the impressive ice sculptures are always on display, a variety of other events and activities take place at different times every day, so be sure to visit www.iceonwhyte.ca to see a complete schedule of events and plan your visit accordingly.


Redefining Success: Brett Wilson Interview and Book Signing

Photo by Jason Stang

You may not recognize the name, but you may certainly recognize him as one of the investor “dragon’s” from the popular CBC television show Dragon’s Den. Brett Wilson is a Canadian entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist, public figure and new author. In his first book, Redefining Success, Brett engages his readers with his life lessons and business insight in such a way that they are relevant, useful, and interesting to anyone in any field or discipline.

Brett Wilson will be in Edmonton on January 23, 2013 to sign copies of Redefining Success at Costco North (12450-149 St.) from 5-6 pm and Indigo South Common (1837-99 St.) from 7-8 pm. Where Edmonton had the opportunity to chat with him about the book and some of the core topics that it engages:


“And the Award Goes To…”: Celebrate Oscar Night at the Varscona Theatre!

The nominations have been announced for the 85th Annual Academy Awards, and award season excitement has begun! Who will take home an award? What will everyone wear? Will Jack Nicholson be there? Whose acceptance speeches will have to be censored? What bizarre film montages will be shown?

The biggest event of the year in Hollywood, the Academy Awards, will be broadcast at 6:30 pm on Sunday, February 24, 2013. You could watch the glitz and glamour of the awards from your couch at home in front of the television, or you could enjoy the most exciting awards night of the year with a social, entertaining celebration at the Varscona Theatre!

Matt Alden and Tom Edwards are your hosts for Oscar Night at the Varscona


Home Renovation Tips with Love It or List It Vancouver’s Jillian Harris and Todd Talbot

Todd Talbot and Jillian Harris, hosts of W Network’s Love It or List It Vancouver, share renovation tips and strategies for designing a home you’ll love.
Photo Credit: Milner, Jive Communications

Update: The Edmonton Home Renovation 2013 show has ended, but Harris and Talbot’s tips are great guides for tackling home renovation projects any time of year!

Perhaps it’s a New Year’s resolution of yours to finally tackle that big renovation project you’ve been putting off, or maybe you’re wanting to freshen up a space in your home. Whatever the case, the Edmonton Home Renovation Show is the place to go to follow through with your plans for building, renovating, or changing up your home and garden decor. A wide variety of products, services, and contractors will be available, and there will be design presentations from industry experts, including Jim Caruk (contractor, DeWalt ambassador, host of Builder Boss)  and John Sillaots (renovation specialist, host of In the Workshop).

Not sure where to begin your renovation plans? Where Edmonton had the opportunity to talk with Jillian Harris (Designer: Extreme Makeover: Home EditionCanada’s Handyman Challenge) and Todd Talbot (Realtor: founder of myRealDESIGN.com) about their new show Love It or List It Vancouver and home design. Harris, who currently resides in Kelowna, British Columbia but is from Peace River, Alberta (“can you put in your notes that I say “Hi” to everyone in Alberta?!” she exclaims), says that Edmonton is a great place to design a “dream space” because real estate is less expensive (than in Vancouver) and so you can put more money into renovations and design elements.

“You spend most of your time in your home,” Talbot says, “so you want to make the space a place that you love and that you want to come home to, where you actually enjoy spending time.” So, when should you renovate and when should you sell and start over? Though the two compete on the show, they say the concept is really about considering options for obtaining a place you love and that both strategies are good ones, just appropriate at different times.


Toronto Blue Jays Winter Tour Comes to Edmonton!

Fans of Canada’s only Major League Baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays, will have the opportunity to meet their favourite players at an exclusive stop in Edmonton during their 2012 winter tour – one of only 4 stops across Canada!

Drew Hutchison, JP Arencibia, GM John Gibbons, Anthony Gose, and Colby Rasmus at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald in Edmonton, January 12, 2013, during their final stop on the Blue Jays Winter Tour.

The Blue Jays Winter Tour is an annual event that re-launched in 2011 in order to bring the excitement of Major League Baseball to fans across Canada:

 “When we re-launched [the tour] we had a  vision of sharing our enthusiasm for baseball with all our fans across the country. The ability to reach out to communities outside of [Toronto] has signified our commitment as a representative for baseball for the entire nation. The reaction we have received from our fans on recent tours is an indication that the passion for baseball and the Blue Jays is alive and well and we look forward to each tour stop with much anticipation” – Blue Jays President, Paul Beeston 


One Man Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings: You’ve read the books, seen the movie trilogy (the extended DVD version, of course), and  have already seen the holiday blockbuster The Hobbit. Until the next two Hobbit films are out, what’s a fan to do next?

If a trip to Middle Earth (aka: New Zealand, where the movies have been filmed) is out of the question, be sure to check out the funny, captivating performance of Charles Ross: One Man Lord of the Rings on January 30, 2013, 7:30 pm at The Arden Theatre (5 St. Anne St., St. Albert, 780-459-1542).

Photo from The Arden Theatre

Ross, a Canadian actor and comedian, has eloquently compiled every spell, battle, plot, and character from the Lord of the Rings trilogy into a hilarious, one-man production. Even Sir Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf in the films, has endorsed this witty, captivating play. He has performed this show around the world, even taking the stage at some of the largest theatre venues like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Even those who aren’t fans of the series will enjoy the humour and compelling storyline – and it’s much easier to sit through than the 3-hour movie version.

Tickets are $25 each, and can be purchased online or by calling 780-459-1542. Some tickets may be available at the door.

Your Guide To Edmonton’s Hottest End-of-December Events!

Just because Christmas wraps up on December 25, doesn’t mean the celebrating has to! If you are looking for something fun and exciting to do, we’ve gathered a list of events going on in the city from December 26 – 30:

View a variety of original props from the Star Wars films while discovering the secrets behind your identity.
Photo courtesy of LucasFilm

Star Wars™ Identities: The Exhibition 
When: Through April 1, 2013; Daily 10 am – 8 pm
Admission: Adult $26.50; Senior/Student/Youth (13-17) $23.50; Child (3-12) $16.50. Tickets can be purchased in advance; call 780-451-3344 or visit www.telusworldofscienceedmonton.com
Where: TELUS World of Science (11211-142 St.)
About: Suitable for all ages, this exhibit features over 200 original props from the Star Wars™ films and uses interactive technologies to help guests make interesting discoveries about their personalities. Admission also includes entry to the 6 permanent exhibits, so a visit to the Telus World of Science can easily be an all-day activity! Entry to the Star Wars™ exhibit is timed (entry takes place every 15 minutes), so reserve your ticket in advance if timing is imperative.


It’s The End of the World as We Know It!

Whether or not you believe in the ‘end of the world’ theory, December 21 is worth celebrating because it marks the first day of winter and the longest day of the year! Here are a few end-of-the-world and/or winter solstice events to get you out and cheered up while celebrating the wonder and mystery of the day:

Winter in Edmonton; Muttart Conservatory
Photo courtesy of the City of Edmonton.

Deep Winter Song: A Mystical Evening of Music and Story
Where: Southminster-Steinhauer United Church 10740-19 Ave.
This event takes place a little earlier than Winter Solstice (December 18, 7:30 pm), but its a great way to reflect on the positive features of the season. Sip on some Wassail and Mulled cider, nibble on delicious tapas, and enjoy an acoustic musical presentation that celebrates winter and the magic of winter solstice. The program includes both traditional and modern songs along with storytelling, poetry, and vocal performances. $10 – $25; tickets are available at the door, in advance at Earth’s General Store (9605-82 Ave), or online.


20 Ways to Ring in 2013

With 2012 drawing to a close, it’s time to start planning how you want to ring in the New Year! Whether you’re wanting the emphasis of the night to be on good food, unique drinks, or entertainment, we’ve scoped out 20 venues hosting fun New Year’s Eve events! Reservations are required for all ticketed events; please call to inquire about further details or to book tickets.

1. Churchill Square (780-442-5311)
When: 7 pm
Admission: Free
About:The biggest all-ages party in Edmonton takes place in front of city hall, featuring kids’ crafts and activities, magicians, balloon artists, face painters, horse and wagon rides, ice skating, food concessions, fireworks, and more. Live music entertainment will begin at 10 pm, including an energetic performance from Canadian country music group Hey Romeo! from 11:05 – 11:35 pm.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Churchill Square!
Photo courtesy of City of Edmonton

2. Fairmont Hotel MacDonald (10065-100 St., 780-429-6495)
When: 5:30 pm, 8:30 pm
Admission: $79 per person (First Seating), $139 per person (Second Seating)
About: Enjoy a gourmet New Year’s Eve dinner in the elegant setting of The Harvest Room. Two sittings are available; the first sitting will be a 3-course meal, the second sitting is a 6-course meal. Reservations are required.


Luminaria: A Winter Wonderland Attraction

This whimsical event truly embodies the notion of “walking in a winter wonderland”! WHERE Edmonton Magazine named Luminaria as one of our Top 20 Things to Do Before 2013, so it’s a definite must-see attraction! (What other 19 things must you do in Edmonton before 2013? Find out in the digital edition of our November/December issue!)

Thousands of candles light up the night at Luminaria.
Photo courtesy of Devonian Botanic Gardens

On Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9, 5 pm – 9 pm nightly, the Devonian Botanic Gardens will transform with thousands of glowing candles lighting its outdoor pathways. Walk along and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the snow-covered gardens by candlelight, accompanied by the sounds of festive carollers. Be on the look out for some impressive ice sculpture carvings and, if your eyes are really sharp, you might just see some magical “snow sprites” frolicking about.