Edmonton has branded itself "Festival City" because there are so many festivals in the city all throughout the year. Whether you want to hear live music, see live ice-carving, try new food, or watch films, there are dozens of options, throughout the year. Checking out a festival is a fantastic way to experience some local culture.

The cost to attend festivals can range from nothing, to over $200 for a weekend pass to a music festival.

Most festivals will be located in central Edmonton, and are easily reachable from the University of Alberta north (main) campus, either by foot, or by public transit.

Cariwest Parade

Experience some Caribbean Culture

The Cariwest parade and festival is a colourful and musical celebration of Caribbean culture taking place in Edmonton every August.

Attending the festival is a fun way to learn something about Caribbean culture. Churchill square (in downtown Edmonton) features a stage with live Caribbean music, and vendors selling Caribbean food.

Learn more about Cariwest

Dragon Boat
Edmonton Dragonboat Racing Festival

Watch exciting dragon boat racing

During the third weekend of August, the Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival is a fun (and free) way to enjoy the river valley while watching some exciting dragon boat racing.

Learn more about the Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival

Edmonton International Film Festival
Edmonton International Film Festival

Check out films from around the world

Taking place every fall, the Edmonton International Film Festival has hundreds of films competing across many different categories, from Edmonton and around the world. The festival takes place in venues in and around central Edmonton; most are very easily reached from the UAlberta north campus.

Learn more about the Edmonton International Film Festival

Edmonton Folk Music Festival
Edmonton Folk Music Festival

Hear folk music in the middle of the city

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival is held over a four day period in mid August every year, at Gallagher Park in central Edmonton. This festival showcases local and international folk music acts in a beautiful outdoor setting, and is very popular - it sells out every year.

Tickets are usually around $200 for 4 days, or $50 per day.

Learn more about the Edmonton Folk Music Festival

Flying Canoe Volant
Flying Canoe Volant

Break up winter with some Voyageur culture

Taking place in Edmonton's "French Quarter" and the nearby millcreek ravine, this winter festival celebrates French Canadian, First Nations, and Metis traditions. You can hear live music, walk through a light installation, or see a model of a Metis camp.

Learn more about Flying Canoe Volant

Fringe Theatre Festival
Fringe Theatre Festival

See live theatre at North America's largest Fringe Festival

With over 800 performers in 200 shows, the Fringe Theatre Festival (popularly known as "the Fringe)" is the largest fringe theatre festival in North America. This festival is comprised of many small shows, which are put on by either individual artists or theatre troupes. You can expect to see a great variety of theatre, from individual performances to improvisational comedy; scattered around many venues (as well as on the streets).

The festival takes place in venues in and around Old Strathcona over 10 days every August, and is easily reachable from the UAlberta campus. While you may be able to by tickets at the door for many shows, certain popular shows may be sold out; it's a good idea to purchase tickets in advance.

Learn more about the Fringe Festival

Heritage Days
Heritage Days

Experience different cultures from around the world

Every year the Heritage Festival, popularly known as Heritage Days, takes place over the August long weekend. This festival celebrates the various cultures of the residents of Edmonton, and there are many performances on stages across the festival.

One of the major highlights of the festival is the food; there are hundreds of food items on offer from cultures around the world - you can get a taste of home, or try something completely new.

Entrance to the festival is free.

Learn more about the Heritage Festival

Ice on Whyte
Ice on Whyte

See some winter ice art

Checking out the ice carving at the Ice on Whyte festival is fun way to enjoy winter in Edmonton.

Ice on Whyte features winter games and activities, but the highlight is an ice-carving competition, where contestants compete to make sculptures out of large 300lb. blocks of clear ice.

The festival has a small entrance fee, and is located a few blocks away from the UAlberta campus, in Old Strathcona. 

Learn more about Ice on Whyte

K Days
K Days

A fair featuring music, food, and rides

K Days, formerly Klondike Days, is a very well-attended music and entertainment festival taking place in July. K Days features Canadian and international music acts, rides, and other attractions.

You can reach Northlands, the site of K Days, easily with the LRT (subway). If you want to enter K Days you will have to pay admission charges, as well as charges for rides, and tickets for concerts.

Learn more about K Days

Pride Festival
Pride Festival

Celebrate inclusion and diversity

Celebrate diversity and unity at the Edmonton Pride Festival. Now in it's fourth decade and one of western Canada's largest LGBTQ festivals, the Edmonton Pride Festival is centered around a large parade, although there are many other events.

The pride festival takes place every June, in Old Strathcona. While the Pride Parade is free to watch, there may be costs associated with certain events during the festival.

Learn more about the Pride Festival

Street Performers Festival
Street Performers Festival

Watch exciting street performers from around the world

Taking place on Churchill Square in mid July every summer, the Edmonton Street Performers Festival allows you to see a wide variety of street performers from around the world. Whether you're interested in magicians, jugglers, or fire-breathers, there's always something to see at this festival.

While there is no cost to attend, it's good etiquette to tip the performer if you enjoyed their show.

Learn more about the Street Performers Festival

The Works Art & Design Festival
The Works Art & Design Festival

See art and design in downtown Edmonton

Over 13 days every summer The Works showcases visual art, design, and live performances in various venues around Edmonton's Downtown, centered on Churchill Square. Access to the festival is completely free, and checking it out is a great way to get an idea of what's happening in Edmonton's visual arts scene.

Learn more about The Works