Edmonton 2016 summer festivals and events

The K-Days Parade makes its way through downtown Edmonton.
The K-Days Parade makes its way through downtown Edmonton. Global News

It’s that time of year again when Edmonton turns into festival city. From Improvaganza and Porkapalooza to K-Days and the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, there is no shortage of things to do in Alberta’s capital.

Here’s a list of some of the festivals and events being held in and around Edmonton this summer (and beyond).

June 15 – 25: Improvaganza (The Citadel Theatre)

Edmonton’s Rapid Fire Theatre is celebrating the 16th annual Improvaganza, which brings in improv performers from across Canada and beyond. The festival runs for 10 days, offering theatresports matches, specialty shows and social events.

June 17 – 19: Porkapalooza (Clarke Park)

Now in its third year, Porkapalooza offers a barbecue competition, food trucks, live musical performances, beer gardens and a kids zone. This year, the festival is offering 8,000 free tickets per day for a three-day concert series, Concert of Hope For Fort McMurray. All proceeds will go to the Fort McMurray Fire Relief Fund. The barbecue festival is also a free event.

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IN DEPTH: Ongoing coverage of the Fort McMurray wildfire

June 21 – July 17: Freewill Shakespeare Festival (Hawrelak Park)

Created in 1989 by The Free Will Players, this festival began with a mission to produce the works of William Shakespeare. This season, the festival presents Love’s Labour’s Lost and Romeo and Juliet. There are also a wide range of pre-show events including puppet shows, UnWined date nights and an old-fashioned high tea.

June 23 – July 5: The Works Art and Design Festival (Downtown Edmonton)

The Works Art and Design Festival attracts artists from around the world to the heart of Edmonton. Set up in the downtown core, the festival is a free event that showcases over 200 exhibits.

June 24 – July 3: Edmonton International Jazz Festival (Various Edmonton venues)

With over 55 events, 250 musicians and seven different stages, the Edmonton International Jazz Festival offers music lovers 10 days of entertainment. Local and international artists will perform on stages throughout the city, including Churchill Square and Old Strathcona.

June 29: Fort McMurray Fire Aid Concert (Commonwealth Stadium)

Nickelback, Blue Rodeo, Dallas Smith, City and Colour and Dean Brody are just a handful of the artists set to hit the stage at Commonwealth Stadium on June 29 for the Fire Aid Concert in support of the people affected by last month’s devastating Fort McMurray wildfire.

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Watch below: Canadian bands are coming together to raise money to help Fort McMurray and its people get back on their feet

Fort McMurray wildfire: Nickelback to headline Fire Aid concert in Edmonton
Fort McMurray wildfire: Nickelback to headline Fire Aid concert in Edmonton

Tickets, which cost $35, $60 and $99, are still available through Ticketmaster.

Global Edmonton reporters will be live from Commonwealth Stadium throughout the June 29 evening newscasts.

READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire: Nickelback, Corb Lund, Randy Bachman among Fire Aid concert acts 

July 1: Canada Day

Canada Day celebrations will be held throughout the city.

July 8 – 17: Edmonton International Street Performers Festival (Churchill Square)

More than 40 acts from around the world will descend on Churchill Square for 10 days this summer for the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival. There’s a little something for everyone with more than 1,500 outdoor shows, be-your-own-busker workshops and late night indoor adult cabaret. This year, there will also be nightly outdoor troupe de jour group shows.

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July 6 – 15: TrackTown Rio 2016 Trials (Foote Field)

The best track athletes Canada has to offer will arrive in Edmonton this July as the city hosts the Rio 2016 Trials and Canadian Track and Field Championships. The track event will feature the Canadian National Team nomination and selection trials for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

July 8: Global News Hour at 6 on the road at the Edmonton Eskimos game (Commonwealth Stadium)

Global Edmonton will be on the road for the News Hour at 6 on July 8. Gord Steinke, Margeaux Morin, Jack Haskins and 630 CHED’s Bryan Hall will come to you live from Commonwealth Stadium during the newscast.

July 14 – 17: Alberta Summer Games (Leduc)

Leduc will play host to this year’s Alberta Summer Games, which will see more than 3,000 athletes, coaches and officials from across Alberta visit the Capital Region. Athletes between the ages of 11 and 17 will be represented in 14 different sports.

July 15 – 17: India Film Festival of Alberta (Edmonton and Calgary)

The 2nd edition of the India Film Festival of Alberta showcases the diversity of Indian cinema to viewers in Edmonton and Calgary. Eleven award-winning movies will be screened in 11 different Indian languages.

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July 22 – 31: K-Days (Northlands)

One of the biggest festivals to hit Edmonton every summer, K-Days will be back with 10 days of midway fun at Northlands. The festival kicks off with the annual parade through the streets of downtown Edmonton, which Global News will livestream online and broadcast live on-air across Alberta.

Kent Morrison, Nancy Carlson and Mike Sobel will host the broadcast, which begins at 10 a.m. on July 22.

This year, Northlands is doubling the entertainment with two stages: the north stage near the bridge to Rexall Place and a new south stage, which will be set up on the infield of the racetrack.

READ MORE: K-Days entertainment lineup a ‘test’ for Northlands with future up in the air

July 21 – 30: Taste of Edmonton (Churchill Square)

Taste of Edmonton has become a summer tradition for many. The festival celebrates all the culinary delights the Edmonton area has to offer. The 10-day event offers food, drinks and entertainment for people of all ages.

July 22 – 24: Interstellar Rodeo (Hawrelak Park)

Sam Roberts Band, the Strumbellas and Lord Huron on are the entertainment lineup for this year’s Interstellar Rodeo. The three-day music festival turns the amphitheatre in Hawrelak Park into an intimate concert setting, with a mix of musical genres.

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July 25 – 31: Oil Country Championship (Glendale Golf & Country Club)

The Oilers Entertainment Group and the PGA Tour have come together to bring a new, professional golf tournament to Edmonton this summer.

The Oil Country Championship will be played at the Glendale Golf and Country Club from July 25 to 31. The tournament will be an annual stop on the Mackenzie Tour, a PGA Tour affiliate that showcases some of the best up and coming golf talent from around the world.

READ MORE: Fore! Oilers partner with PGA Tour to bring Oil Country Championship golf tournament to Edmonton

July 30 – Aug. 1: Heritage Festival (Hawrelak Park)

Now in its 41st year, Heritage Festival is a celebration of Canada’s multiculturalism. The three-day event gives people the change to learn a little bit more about the 60 countries represented through food, performances and crafts.

Aug. 4 – 7: Edmonton Folk Festival (Gallagher Park)

Among this year’s performers at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival are Kaleo, Jason Isbell, The Tallest Man on Earth and Passenger. Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Cat Empire, Fatoumata Diawara, Lisa Hannigan and the Staves are also set to hit the stage at Gallagher Park over the course of the four-day festival.

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READ MORE: Kaleo, Passenger, Mary Chapin Carpenter among 2016 Edmonton Folk Festival performers 

Aug. 5 – 7: Cariwest (Downtown Edmonton)

What better way to celebrate Caribbean culture than with a three-day Caribbean arts festival. Cariwest will take over downtown Edmonton for three days this August with colourful costumes, music, street theatre and Caribbean cuisine. The annual parade will be held on Aug. 6 at noon.

Aug. 6 – 7: Edmonton Airshow (Villeneuve Airport)

The Edmonton Airshow is back this summer. The event celebrates aviation and its history.

Watch below: ‘They’re going to love the jets this year’: Edmonton Airshow celebrates aviation

‘They’re going to love the jets this year’: Edmonton Airshow celebrates aviation
‘They’re going to love the jets this year’: Edmonton Airshow celebrates aviation

Aug. 8 – 14: IGLA Championships (Kinsmen Sports Centre)

IGLA is an international organization devoted to developing and promoting gay and lesbian athletes in swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming. The championships involve a week’s worth of aquatic sports and social events.

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Aug. 11 – 21: Edmonton International Fringe Festival (Old Strathcona)

The theme for this year’s Edmonton International Fringe Festival is “That was Then, This is Fringe.” Now in its 35th year, the fringe festival brings Edmontonians together in Old Strathcona with 1,600 live theatre performances in more than 40 venues.

Global Edmonton will once again have seasoned theatre critic Todd James on site to offer reviews of dozens of shows offered at the fringe. You can also catch a glimpse of the festival grounds through the Global Edmonton eye-cam, which sits above the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market building.

READ MORE: Edmonton International Fringe Festival reveals 2016 theme, ‘That was Then, This is Fringe’

Aug. 19 – 21: Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival (Louise McKinney Park/North Saskatchewan River)

The 20th annual Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival will go down in Louise McKinney Park rain or shine. From recreational paddlers to competitive teams looking for a berth at the national level, there is a team for everyone in the Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival Association.

Aug. 19 – 21: Edmonton Blues Festival (Heritage Amphitheatre in Hawrelak Park)

The lineup for the 18th annual Edmonton Blues Festival includes a number of renowned artists including Paul James Band, Shemekia Copeland, Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett.

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Aug. 26 – 28: Symphony Under the Sky (Hawrelak Park)

Symphony Under the Sky returns to Hawrelak Park this year with the music of Simon and Garfunkel, Strauss’ Emperor Waltzes and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. On Saturday night of the concert series, you can catch a movie under the stars. The festival will show Jurassic Park, E.T., Far and Away, The Lion King and Midway.

Sept. 10: The Mosquers (Jubilee Auditorium)

The Mosquers is a film festival that attracts talent from across Canada and the United States. The event involves a red carpet ceremony, the screening of the short films nominated for awards, a feature entertainment component and a final award presentation.

Sept. 9 – 11: Kaleido Festival (Alberta Avenue)

Kaleido Family Arts Festival is held on Alberta Avenue. Over the course of two days, Alberta Avenue comes alive with performances on rooftops, sides of buildings and back alleys. The festival is free for the whole family.