Things to do in Edmonton City Centre
Edmonton is central Alberta's hub of government, education, and culture. The city offers so much to see and do for everyone. More than just the Oil Capital of Canada, Edmonton offers world-class shopping, championship sporting events, historic heritage tours, and over 30 unique festivals.
Sports fans have several opportunities to check out their favourite pastimes as Edmonton is home to several professional sports franchises. Hockey fans usually pack Rogers Place to watch the championship Edmonton Oilers take on the leading teams in the National Hockey League. The arena also hosts the Western Hockey League's Edmonton Oil Kings.
Football fans can head to Commonwealth Stadium to catch 14-time Grey Cup winners, the Edmonton Eskimos, take on rival teams from the Canadian Football League. The Edmonton Capitals, the city's professional independent baseball team, play at Telus Field.
Arts and Culture
Because it hosts over 30 large festivals each year, Edmonton has also become known as "The Festival City." Each July, the city hosts Capital EX, a large annual festival that includes chuckwagon races, carnival rides, concerts, and trade shows.
The city is also home to several music festivals including Sonic Boom, Labatt Blues Festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, the International Street Performers Festival, the Vocal Arts Festival, and the International Jazz Festival.
Fans of film and theatre should check out the Edmonton International Film Festival for the best in independent film or the International Fringe Festival for cutting edge alternative theatre.
The Dreamspeakers Film Festival brings together the works of Aboriginal filmmakers, performers, and artists. Improvaganza, an improv theatre festival hosted by the Rapid Fire Theatre, happens in June. The ever-popular Free Will Shakespeare Festival is a summer series of the Bard's best works.
Edmonton has numerous museums and galleries. The Royal Alberta Museum has over 10 million pieces in its collection and features displays on the culture and practices of Alberta's Aboriginal tribes.
Amateur scientists and space enthusiasts will enjoy the Telus World of Science, which includes an IMAX movie theatre, planetarium, and an observatory.
The Art Gallery of Alberta in the downtown core holds over 6,000 works including sculptures, historical and contemporary paintings, photographs, and installation pieces by Canadian and international artists in its permanent collection.
The gallery also hosts travelling exhibitions from around the world. Gallery Walk, along 124 Street and Jasper Avenue, is home to a number of smaller independent galleries.
Head outside and check out some of the nicest parks in North America. Because Edmonton sits on the North Saskatchewan River valley, the city contains several connected urban parks that provide several opportunities to escape from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life.
The city's parks are excellent collections of Alberta's flora and fauna including several different tree species such as American Elm, Aspens, Jack Pines, Poplars, and Willows.
Several species of animals can be seen in the parks as well. These include porcupines, rabbits, coyotes, deer, bears, beavers, and muskrats. And thanks to a series of interconnected bike and walking paths, Edmonton's parks are frequently visited by cyclists, joggers, and walkers.
Edmonton is also a major shopping destination in North America. The massive West Edmonton Mall is the largest retail and entertainment centre in the world, with over 800 shops, 100 places to eat, an indoor amusement park, cinemas, ice rink, and waterpark.
For those who prefer a more traditional shopping centre, Edmonton has several mid-size to large retail malls with well-known retailers. These include Manulife Place in downtown Edmonton, Kingsway Mall, and Southgate Centre.
The 124th Street area has a unique collection of boutique-style shops, cool cafes, hip galleries, and theatres. Edmonton's Old Strathcona region is among the 10 best shopping neighbourhoods in Canada with chic boutiques, funky shops, eclectic eateries, and trendy art galleries.
Edmonton nightlife is as diverse as the city itself. As one of Canada's major cities, Edmonton is a frequent stop for the world's top performers and musical groups.
Sports arenas like the Rogers Place and Commonwealth Stadium have hosted concerts by many major acts including the Rolling Stones, U2, Nickelback, and the Jonas Brothers. Other popular concert venues include the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium and Winspear Centre. The city also has a number of smaller concert halls and live music venues in the Arts District and on Whyte Avenue.
Whyte Avenue is the most popular area for Edmonton nightlife. Patrons have a wide range of pubs, clubs, restaurants, and movie cinemas to choose from. Numerous pubs, hotel lounges, and restaurants can also be found in the downtown core and along Jasper Avenue.
And for those who want to relax after a day of shopping, Bourbon Street in West Edmonton Mall has a great collection of places to eat or meet for a drink.
Places to Volunteer in Edmonton City Centre
Volunteering is a great way to build your work experience while making a difference in your community. Here are just a few of the organizations in Edmonton who may need volunteers:
- ABC Head Start Society
- Aboriginal Youth and Family Well-Being and Education Society
- Alberta Book Fair Society
- Alberta Cancer Foundation
- Alberta Caregivers Association
- Alberta Foodbank Network Association
- Big Brothers and Big Sisters Society of Edmonton and Area
- Canadian Mental Health Association - Edmonton Region
- Casa Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health
- Centre for Family Literacy Society of Alberta
- Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta
- Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation
- Habitat for Humanity - Edmonton Society
- Heritage Community Foundation
- HIV Network of Edmonton Society
- Humane Animal Rescue Team Society
- One Child's Village: A Global Orphans Foundation
- Primrose Place Family Centre Association
- Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities
- Sorrentino’s Compassion House
- Spirit Keeper Youth Society
- St Joseph's Auxiliary Hospital Foundation
- The Edmonton Folk Music Festival Society
- The Society of Beaux Esprits Playschool
- The Support Network - An Edmonton Society Responding to Personal and Community Needs
- The Works International Visual Arts Society
- United Way of Alberta, Capital Region
- Wecan Food Basket Society of Alberta
- Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton
- Youth Emergency Shelter Society of Edmonton