The Edmonton Arts District

Tagged: Arts,Attractions,Galleries,Entertainment,Nightlife Posted on: 03 October 2016

It’s a far cry from putting on your face-paint and heading to the Oilers game. You’re probably not going to find the grit and grime of oil workers around either. Yet a place known as Oil Country as well as City of Champions, has a little district that showcases an incredibly creative side. Perhaps the weather, the Northern setting, or just a population craving the arts, but this city is an incubator for artistic talent. Whatever the reason, Edmonton’s thriving Art District is quite impressive and worth exploring. Here are the spots to hit up, all conveniently located within a few blocks.

Winspear Centre & The Edmonton Symphony

Winspear Centre

Strap on the bowtie and cummerbund and get ready for some high society at the Winspear Centre, home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.  Built in 1997, this centre is named after Dr. Francis G. Winspear, who donated $6 million to the construction of the facility - the single largest private donation to a performing arts facility in Canadian history. Dude must've really loved his Beethoven. The philanthropic spirit is alive and well in developing the arts in Edmonton, and this just one generous example. So sit ‘Bach’, relax, and enjoy some sweet symphony delight in an acoustic masterpiece. Get it!?!

Art Gallery of Alberta

Art Gallery of Alberta

Hard to miss this architectural gem in the middle of the city. The Art Gallery of Alberta dates all the way back to 1924, but the stunning newer headquarters opened its doors in January 2010. It features three floors of exhibitions in a beautiful design flow created by Los Angeles architect Randall Stout. You’ll find over 6,000 pieces of art and visual culture within its funky walls. Plus, a third floor terrace allows you to peer over the rest of the Arts District and Churchill Square. You’ll find a little restaurant, café, gift shop and educational programs within it as well. The only thing missing is the self-portrait of Kramer from Seinfeld.

Royal Alberta Museum

Royal Alberta Museum

Just like the art gallery, the Royal Alberta Museum has a deep-rooted tradition that is moving into a brand new building. Currently under construction, the new RAM will be the largest museum in western Canada. What kind of museum do you ask? Well, it’ll have everything from a dedicated Alberta historical and cultural wing that’ll show off some incredible archeology found in the area as well as First Nation’s artifacts. With double the exhibition space of the original RAM, this new building will also focus on an overarching theme of nature and man coexisting. So there’ll be a nice interplay of interior and exterior spaces as well as gardens and light brought into the space throughout. Even though it isn’t open until 2017, its worth even having a look at the exterior and appreciating what is coming to an already well-developed Arts District.

Citadel Theatre

Citadel Theatre

One of North America’s largest not-for-profit theatres, the Citadel hosts numerous plays throughout the year. If you want comedy, drama, and entertainment with a little bit of dancing, then you can either come to my next family reunion, or else check out one of the many terrific shows of the 2016/17 season at the Citadel. The space features five performance stages, a theatre school and an outreach performance series that is made to spread the word and convert people to a unique theatre experience.

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