Canada 150: Where to celebrate Canada's big day in Edmonton

June 12, 2017

By Athena Raypold

Edmonton offers a wealth of family-friendly Canada Day activities with a focus on multiculturalism for Canada’s 150th celebration of confederation. If you’re looking to get involved and experience what our beautiful city has to offer and feature for Canada Day, plan your day around some of these celebrations. [Photo credit:]

Canada 150: Where to celebrate Canada's big day in Edmonton

Canada Day at the Legislature

Each year in Edmonton, the Alberta Legislature hosts free entertainment and activities on their grounds that celebrate Canada through recognizing Alberta’s history and diversity. A family-friendly event, the special Canada 150 celebration includes a welcome ceremony at noon, as well as programming and performances by local artists, street performers and exhibits. If guests are hungry, they can enjoy the on-site food trucks for drinks and snacks.

A variety of artists and performers will provide entertainment to event-goers throughout the day. Music and dance will be featured on the Alberta Diversity Stage, while the Alberta Discovered Stage will showcase Alberta’s own artists and bands (including Captain Tractor, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Sykamore, Nuela Charles, Leeroy Stagger, McDades and Strings and Alyssa Reid). Plus, this year the programming includes an Indigenous Showcase with performers, artisans, teepees and storytelling. Bring the whole family and don’t forget towels, lawn chairs and sunscreen to enjoy the legislature’s popular wading pools amidst all the activity.

Canada Day at City Hall

At City Hall and Sir Winston Churchill Square you’ll find some more free family-friendly fun including the Works Art & Design Festival. The festival is a showcase of our country’s diverse culture and history, with multicultural performances scheduled throughout Canada Day at City Hall. Here, too, you can bring along towels and sunscreen to enjoy the City Hall wading pool.

Family Street Festival

Edmonton’s Rogers Place will host a free Family Street Festival on Canada Day to celebrate the big day. Check out  musical and cultural performances as part of the festival, as well as food and retail vendors, face painting and more. At 6:00 p.m., as part of the Canada150in150 initiative, there will be an honouring ceremony for award recipients. The celebration finishes off with a Sarah McLachlan concert at Rogers Place (this concert is not a free event – tickets are available via Ticketmaster).

Canada Day with Freewill Shakespeare Festival

Running June 20 through to July 16 is the Freewill Shakespeare Festival in Hawrelak Park at the Heritage Amphitheatre. You can snag tickets online at TIX on the Square, but on Canada Day organizers are offering a “Pay What You Will Day” at the gate. This year’s festival offers two performances on Canada Day: The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Merchant of Venice. Bring lawn chairs, bug spray and sunscreen to enjoy your day in the park and bring some cash for drinks and hot dogs! The afternoon show is scheduled at 2:00 p.m. and the evening show is scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m.

Canada Day Road Race

If you’re looking to get some exercise in on Canada Day, join the Canada Day Road Race hosted by the Running Room at the Alberta Legislature. This family-friendly event includes a 15-kilometre run or walk, a five-kilometre run and walk and 2.5-kilometre fun run and fun obstacle course. The event raises funds for cancer research being worked on right here in Edmonton at the University of Alberta by Dr. Kerry Courneya.  Register through the Running Room.


Discover more of Edmonton for Canada 150:


Edmonton Valley Zoo

It's not just Canada's birthday this July 1 – the Edmonton Valley Zoo is celebrating its own birthday along with Lucy the elephant! In addition to the zoo’s regular programming, their big birthday bash includes fun activities for the kids like a scavenger hunt, learning to paint like Lucy and live music. Lucy’s birthday celebration includes mini cupcakes from 11 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Of course, every Canada Day celebration finishes with a spectacular firework show in the river valley. This year’s show will be choreographed with the High Level Bridge's light show, so check out some of these restaurants close to the fireworks or check out Elina Korchagina's Smart Tip on the best spots to camp out!

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