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Where to Go Edmonton

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Performances

The Christmas Season is definitely upon us! There is always so much going on this time of year, but don’t let the amount of holiday events overwhelm you! The seasonal concerts and plays are so varied and creative this year, you could go see them all and never have a similar experience! We’ve compiled a list of some familiar, classic holiday favourites that continue to delight and inspire audiences, as well as original productions that present a unique view of the holiday season. Spread out over the month of December, tickets are still available for all of these performances. Whether for a family outing, date night, night out with friends, office excursion, or even just a few hours to enjoy some Christmas cheer for yourself, be sure to try at least a couple of these shows — you’ll be glad you did!

Celebrate the Season
When: December 6 – 31
Where: Alberta Legislature Building (10820-98 Ave.)
Admission: Free
About: Every noon hour and evening, get in the holiday spirit with spirited choir performances and free hot chocolate in the rotunda. At night, enjoy the dazzling light display around the Legislature. There are four choir performances daily; for a complete list of performance times and groups, click here to view the program.

Handel’s Messiah presented by Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

When: December 7 – 8, 7:30 pm
Where: Winspear Centre (4 Sir Winston Churchill Square)
Admission: $20 – $75; tickets should be purchased in advance by calling 780-428-1414 or online at www.winspearcentre.com.
About: The annual performance of the elegant music and vocals of Handel’s Messiah is always simply inspiring.

Singing Christmas Tree, Dec 7 – 9

Singing Christmas Tree
When: December 7 – 9, Fri 8 pm; Sat – Sun 3 pm & 8 pm
Where: Northern Jubilee Auditorium (11455-87 Ave.)
Admission: $20 – $60; tickets should be purchased in advance by calling 1-855-985-5000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
About: A local Christmas tradition for 43 years, this elaborate production provides fun and holiday wonder for the whole family! A 35-foot Christmas tree comprised of 150 singers, thousands of dazzling lights, and a live orchestra set the tone for a whimsical holiday season.


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.


Comedienne Loni Love Brings the Laughs to Edmonton

Comedienne Loni Love (Chelsea Lately) enjoys a successful career doing what she loves — touring the world and making people laugh — with no signs of stopping anytime soon. Love will be performing at The Comic Strip (West Edmonton Mall, 8882-170 St.) nightly from November 21-25. Tickets are are $18.95-$24.95 and are available online or at the door.

WHERE Edmonton had the pleasure of talking with Love prior to her show in Edmonton, and she was talkative, friendly, and, of course, funny. If the brief chat we had with her is any indication, her full-length performances this week are certain to be hysterical!


Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition

Opening this weekend is one of THE MOST ANTICIPATED attractions of the year at the TELUS World of Science —  Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition. WHERE Edmonton attended an exclusive preview, and we think it looks absolutely phenomenal — a definite must-see attraction! The exhibit will be open daily from October 27, 2012 – April 1, 2013.

Can you spot the Star Wars Identities poster? Even Sheldon would be excited by this awesome exhibit! Screen shot courtesy of CBS from The Big Bang Theory, “The Date Night Variable” (Original air date: September 27, 2012)

Fans of the  series will not want to miss the rare opportunity to see some priceless props and memorabilia from the films; every item in the show is an authentic prop or artifact – not a replica – used in the films or in the production of the films. Over 200 artifacts are on display, including Han Solo in carbonate, one of the puppets used for Yoda, Anakin Skywalker’s pod racer, and props used in the original three films before CGI effects were available. Many artifacts are being exhibited for the first time, including the collection of the four original Stormtrooper helmets that are being displayed together for the first time outside of the studio and the Skywalker Ranch.


Best Winter Pubs in Edmonton

Best winter pubs in Edmonton: get a cozy pint (Photo: McD22)

When the temperature falls below freezing, there’s no better place to warm up than one of Edmonton’s best winter pubs. These are places where the friendly, inviting atmosphere is sure to keep you toasty while you enjoy a perfectly poured pint and make friends with the regulars. Where offers our picks for the best winter pubs in Edmonton.

See the list of the best winter pubs in Edmonton »


Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo

This weekend is the inaugural Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo (Oct 20 10 am – 6 pm; Oct 21 10 am – 5 pm) at the Edmonton Expo Centre (7515 118 Ave). This exciting event is all about featuring the best in pop culture-geekery with a variety of all-ages entertainment and events for fans of comics, gaming, sci-fi, fantasy, and anime.

Photo courtesy of Mediatonic PR

The Comic and Entertainment Expo will feature a variety of retailers and vendors, workshops and seminars, live comedy shows, panel discussions with some of the top names in the comic, gaming, and entertainment industry, and a costume contest. The much-anticipated costume contest is on Saturday, October 20 at 6:15 pm, and if you’re interested in showing off your talents with a costume of your own — think of it as a trial run before Halloween! — register for the competition here. Another exclusive feature of this event will be the opportunity to meet with members of BioWare, one of the biggest video game labels, and learn about the newest games and about working in the video game industry.


The Best Cocktail Bars in Edmonton

Best Cocktail Bars in Edmonton

Best Cocktail Bars in Edmonton: the Cactus Club Café at West Edmonton Mall (Photo: mastermaq)

Creating the perfect mixed drink can require as much talent, technique and knowledge as cooking a great dish—and Edmonton’s cocktail bars are stepping up to the challenge. Our local experts have researched the best places for innovative and boozy concoctions in the city to come up with this list of great destinations. Before heading out for a night on the town, consider a stop one of these five great cocktail bars in or near downtown Edmonton. You won’t be disappointed.

See the list of best cocktail bars in Edmonton »


Underground Tap and Grill

72 beers on tap await customers at The Underground

The Underground Tap and Grill (10004 Jasper Ave.) is a new downtown destination that features a unique concept for enjoying a huge selection of craft beer in a relaxing, unpretentious environment. What makes this destination unique is that all of its 72 offerings of beers are on tap, instead of bottles, with additions and changes to be made to the draft menu continuously – including 12 taps that are constantly on rotation. Craft beer lovers definitely want to head here to find some unique and hard-to-find brews from favourite microbreweries, including many local breweries like Alley Kat, Ribstone Creek, and Yellowhead.

The Underground successfully fills a void in Edmonton’s nightlife scene – where familiar options like clubs and pubs emphasize distracting features like loud music, sports, and entertainment – as a space that allows guests to spend a night out while enjoying alcohol but still able to socialize and share a conversation. The Underground is the place in the city to go to enjoy quality craft beer and quality conversation.

The Underground is also a great place to stop by for a lunch time pint or after-work indulgence, as guests can focus on enjoying one really good pint of beer rather than being inundated with specials for multiple drinks made with weak, low-quality alcohol. The focus here is definitely on the beer, though a well-rounded menu of delicious appetizers and full-meal options is available, too, making it a favourable dining destination as well.


Hot Date: The Noble Thiefs at The Artery

The Artery (9535 Jasper Ave.) is one of Edmonton’s most trendy venues for live music, art, and socializing. Don’t let the simple exterior fool you; this venue is always bustling with locals checking out unique art displays, sampling a beer from a local brewery, or viewing a live show. The venue is easily accessible via public transit (Churchill LRT station) and also offers plenty of parking space. With special events happening nightly, this is a great place to relax and socialize while discovering music by some lesser-known but exceptionally talented artists.

Always in demand, The Artery is once again featuring the Winnipeg-based band The Noble Thiefs on Friday, February 22, 2013 (doors at 8 pm) for an 18+ show. 

The Noble Thiefs play at The Artery on February 22
Photo by Roger Boyer


The Noble Thiefs labels their sound as “rock n’ soul”, a unique combination of alterna-rock sounds with melodic, jazz-like vocal harmonies that resists an easy comparison to other bands. “If you like music, you’ll like us” vocalist Myron attests. “We all come from different musical backgrounds, but we can make music that appeals to a lot of people with the way we draw from different genres.” The band is fairly new to the Canadian music scene, but their live performances have already garnered them rave reviews from audiences who describe the shows as fun, lively, and full of energy.

Audiences will be completely enamoured with the four young men, whose passion for their music and their fans is absolutely captivating. When the band was last in Edmonton in October 2012, WHERE Edmonton sat down with the boys for an interview before their show. They were fun, friendly, engaging, passionate, and incredibly interesting – we can’t wait to hear and see more from this deserving and talented act.


Long Weekend Round-up Oct 5 – 8

Enjoy the long weekend with a variety of attractions in Edmonton this weekend. Photo courtesy of the City of Edmonton.

Happy Thanksgiving! If you’re looking for something to do once you’re finished enjoying delicious meals of turkey and pumpkin pie, here are our suggestions for some events and places to check out this long weekend:

Hot Entertainment:

  • Catch rock band The Smashing Pumpkins perform material from their new album Oceania and familiar hits like “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” at Rexall Place. Tickets $61.75 – $93.25 at Ticketmaster (Oct 5, 8 pm).

Hot Shopping:

  • Iconic New York shoe retailer Steve Madden opens its first flagship store in Edmonton at West Edmonton Mall on Saturday, Oct 5. The first 150 customers to make a purchase – once you step into this store and see the selection of sleek, classic boots and other footwear, it will be hard to resist buying something – will receive a free gift bag.
  • Pick up a pumpkin for carving, or decorating, from Riverbend Gardens at the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market (10310-83 Ave., Oct 6, 8 am – 3 pm) or City Market (104th St. promenade, Oct 6, 9 am – 3 pm). (more…)

Bloc Party Concert and Exclusive Interview

Bloc Party plays at the Edmonton Event Centre on Tuesday, September 25 at 7 pm.
Photo courtesy EMI Music Canada.

Bloc Party – the British indie-rock band, not to be confused with the political party – are in Edmonton on Tuesday, September 25 to play a show at the Edmonton Event Centre in support of their new album, Four.

WHERE Edmonton interviewed Bloc Party bassist Gordon Moakes about their Four tour and upcoming show in Edmonton. Moakes was very pleased to learn of the lovely, warm fall weather Edmonton  is currently experiencing, and says the band is looking forward to touring Canada for a series of shows before heading back to the UK.

The band returned to the music scene earlier this year after a brief hiatus; when the band announced their break in 2009 and most of the band members went to work on various side projects, rumours swirled that Bloc Party had permanently disbanded. This, apparently, was never the case. Moakes suggests that there was never a question of whether or not the band would make another album; rather, the question was about when the band would be able to work most effectively together and  have a good energy to make the sort of fourth record they could be proud of:

“We knew there should be another album . . . it was just about timing,” Moakes tells WHERE. “[The break] was definitely necessary at that time. We just weren’t functioning as a group. We could have made the record but we wouldn’t have enjoyed making it. We would have just been thinking about other things; and with the time off we got to do those things . . . we got to make the sort of music that wouldn’t have been possible with the band. Being able to do that and to have time away was really good. The record we would have made [before the break] would have been disastrous. The time away was good for everyone . . . When making the record we came back as equals and it was an enjoyable experience which led to a much better record”.