Edmonton - gateway to nature and so much more!
This week the Travel Show is live on location in Edmonton, Alberta. Edmonton offers a diverse range of attractions and experiences for travellers of all ages - including the famous West Edmonton Mall, Telus World of Science, Fort Edmonton Park (Canada's largest living history museum), the Royal Alberta Museum and the award-winning Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.
Greater Edmonton is home to a wide dining selection. Many restaurants mirror the diversity of Edmonton's ethnic groups, while Alberta's world famous beef is a star attraction for restaurant-goers. Edmonton has a thriving nightlife and there is something for everyone including bars, clubs and pubs.
Edmonton also regularly hosts major international athletics competitions and sporting events in track & field, curling, soccer, rugby and more – including the Canadian Finals Rodeo and the Edmonton Indy.
Canada’s Festival City
Edmonton hosts more than 30 annual festivals that celebrate arts, culture and sports. Throughout the summer festivals are held for blues, bluegrass, folk, jazz and symphonic music. Winter festivals focus on ice sculptures, skiing and skating. In-between, there’s something for everyone. From the Canadian Finals Rodeo to the Freewill Shakespeare Festival – and five distinct arts festivals that focus on art, design, storytelling and film – you’ll find it all in Edmonton, Canada’s Festival City!
With so many festivals – here are just a few highlights. You can find out more about these and all of Edmonton’s festivals at www.edmonton.com
- Capital EX (July 22-31, 2011) is Edmonton’s oldest summer festival. Since 1879, Capital EX has also been Edmonton’s biggest summer celebration with the widest array of entertainment activities.
- The Servus Heritage Festival (July 30 - August 01, 2011) is a three-day showcase of Canada’s vibrant multicultural heritage. It will feature more than 60 pavilions representing over 85 cultures from all over the world.
- For 11 spectacular days, life is truly a stage in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona District as the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival (August 11-21, 2011) unfolds its multi-coloured curtain! This is the largest and oldest fringe festival on the continent.
There are festivals for all ages and interests - and family-friendly Edmonton does the kids proud. Here are two examples that the kids will love!
- One of the longest running children's festivals in North America, the Northern Alberta International Children's Festival inspires and ignites children's creativity. Performances and activities expose kids to arts and culture through music, dance, theatre, acrobatics and visual arts. Welcome to a world where kids rule, May 31-June 04, 2011.
- Edmonton International Street Performers Festival has roving clowns, magicians, jugglers, unicyclists, super-balloon artists, face-painting, circus skills and more - with many free outdoor shows from July 08-17, 2011.
West Edmonton Mall. is a "must see". Where else can you experience the thrills of an amusement park, explore the depths of the sea, make a splash in a giant wave pool, glide on an NHL-sized skating rink, play a round of golf, and shop till you drop ... all under one roof? West Edmonton Mall is North America's largest shopping and entertainment centre and Alberta's No 1 tourist attraction!
Jurassic Forest is a 40-acre prehistoric preserve where gigantic, life-sized and startlingly realistic dinosaurs live and breathe. Watch dinosaurs in action, dig for ancient remains, and camp and picnic in a land populated with plants and animals that ruled the planet 250 million years ago. The park has been designed to minimize the impact on the forest and to provide an opportunity to experience and learn about some of the flora and fauna indigenous to the Edmonton area.
This year's Edmonton Attraction Pass is a great buy for visitors and families. With the U-Pick Pass, visit any four attractions within one week for under $30. The Ultimate Pass gives you access to each attraction within the calendar year for under $60. There are even better rates for children aged three to 17.
Celebrating Culture and the Arts
Edmonton was named as a Canadian Cultural Capital for 2007. Edmonton area's wealth of visual art is displayed in over 60 galleries and public exhibits. In early 2010, the Art Gallery of Alberta opened with over 30K sq ft of museum quality space. The gallery offers education, instruction and hosts international and local art exhibits year round.
Old Strathcona has a variety of unique shops. Old Strathcona is both a Provincial Historic Area and a grassroots arts, music and theatre district. It has a renowned Farmers' Market, more theatres in a few square blocks than any other place in Alberta, and a thriving night life.
The Gallery Walk - the first of its kind in Canada - focuses especially on work by Canadian artists. Eight galleries participate in two formal tours a year in a 12 block area around 124th Street.
Gateway to Nature
Edmonton is a perfect base for nature exploration. It is your gateway to Jasper National Park, and the nearby Elk Island National Park - beautiful oasis home to herds of bison, moose, deer and elk. Second only to Africa's famed Serengeti for wildlife viewing, Elk Island National Park, established in 1906, is Canada's first federal wildlife sanctuary for large mammals. Also boasting over 250 species of birds, the park is a bird watcher's paradise.
Canada's largest urban park, Edmonton's River Valley, offers 150 km of trails on which you can enjoy walks, bike rides, picnics, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and more.
Just outside of Edmonton, Kalyna Country is Canada's largest eco-museum, home to more than 40 designated informal natural areas.
Listen to the show this Saturday for your chance to win a trip for two to Edmonton with flights, three nights hotel, Edmonton Attraction Passes with access to fifteen of Edmonton’s top attractions PLUS Choice passes to West Edmonton Mall
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