Balloon pilots take up to eight passengers on hushed flights above the broccoli floret treetops and azure waterways of the Edmonton countryside. Twice a day, bulbous polyester sheets fill with heated propane and thousands of flapping doves as passengers ascend to the skies in their basket. Balloon trips float past the same landscape traversed by Windship Aviation since 1982 before touching down for toasts and the presentation of keepsakes.
For nearly three decades of summers, the aquatic siren song of Wild Waters has drawn aquatic merrymakers. Four full-sized water slides criss-cross atop grassy knolls, zipping visitors through copses of trees and into waiting pools. A pair of intermediate slides twists into the sun-splashed grid, as does a lazy river, a sitting pool, and a rafting ride that lets people experience the excitement of escaping a sinking cruise ship. Back on dry land, a full concession stand and ice-cream parlour vend edible reprieves from the heat, fuelling patrons for water-free fun on the sand volleyball court or nine-hole mini-golf course.
Molson. Amstel. Duffy’s. Younger’s Tartan Scottish Ale. These are just several of the more than 200 beers that fizz over cans and cascade out of kegs into the sampling glasses and plastic-lined boots of Edmonton International BeerFest guests. The annual celebration of brews—which has catered to sold-out crowds of 12,000 in the past—stretches out inside the Shaw Conference Centre’s 40,000 square feet, tantalizing taste buds with samples of ales, lagers, and pilsners from throughout the globe. As fest-goers meander through the space, they can pick up goodies from exhibitors that may include bottle openers and beer magnets, then head toward the stage where numerous live bands and DJs shred tunes and mix beats with traditional drinking songs.
Nominated for two 2010 Juno Awards for Best New Artist and Songwriter of the Year, indie songstress Carly Rae Jepsen originally claimed fame in 2007 as a finalist on Canadian Idol. Performing gold-certified singles "Bucket" and "Tug of War" off her debut album and tracks off her latest studio release, Curiosity, Jepsen charms audiences with her pop sensibility, bubbly personality, and confessional lyrics about unpaid library fees. Solo guitarist Matt Webb from Vancouver-based pop-punk band Marianas Trench kicks off the evening with catchy ditties from his debut EP. Webb rouses crowds with his simple, ’80s-inspired rock songs, surprising Marianas Trench fans with a different sound and crowd slip 'n' sliding techniques.
Since its inaugural season in 2006, the Edmonton Rush has steadily picked up wind, growing into a formidable club in the National Lacrosse League. After making its first playoff appearance in 2010, the team made it to the NLL finals in 2012, just barely missing out on earning the sport’s coveted netting-woven blazers. At the helm, hall-of-fame inductee, general manager, and head coach Derek Keenan continues to lead the team toward its first championship.
Brooms in hand, the sweepers take their positions on the ice. They lean down, touch their bristles to frost, and await the signal to begin their work. They’re not there for some strange cleaning ritual; rather, they’re there as escorts, ready to guide their gigantic stone passenger safely—and accurately—to its intended target. Scenes like this happen every day at Jasper Place Curling Club. There, curlers of all experience levels engage the sport through doubles matches and competitive league play. Experienced sweepers delight in the consistent, fast ice surface. After honing a few tosses on the practice ice, they often take to the curling sheet for games played in accordance with the Canadian Curling Association rulebook, which outlaws the use of vacuums. After rousing matches, players frequently retire to the club’s amply stocked bar to watch their fellow curlers or take in some highlights on the two big-screen televisions.