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Alberta’s Best Festivals In July 2016


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Tandy Chou



Welcome to the vibrant and culturally diverse country of Canada! From the beautiful Rocky Mountains to the bustling cities, Canada offers a plethora of experiences for both locals and visitors alike. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Canadian culture is by attending the various festivals that take place throughout the year. Among the many provinces, Alberta stands out with its rich heritage and vibrant festival scene.


July is an exciting month in Alberta, as it hosts some of the most unique and enthralling festivals in the country. Whether you’re a music lover, a food enthusiast, or a fan of the performing arts, there is something for everyone to enjoy. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the best festivals happening in Alberta in July 2016.


Alberta’s festivals are not only a celebration of culture and art but also an opportunity to connect with the local community. They showcase the province’s diverse heritage and provide a platform for artists and performers to showcase their talent. Whether you’re looking to enjoy live music, sample delicious food, or marvel at incredible street performances, Alberta’s festivals have it all.


So, mark your calendars and get ready to immerse yourself in the cultural extravaganza that awaits you in Alberta this July. From the world-famous Calgary Stampede to the mesmerizing Edmonton Folk Music Festival, let’s explore the diverse and captivating festivals that showcase the best of Alberta!


Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and anticipated festivals in Alberta. Held annually in Calgary, this ten-day event celebrates the spirit of the Wild West and offers a truly authentic cowboy experience. It is often referred to as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” and attracts visitors from all over the world.


During the Calgary Stampede, you will witness thrilling rodeo events, chuckwagon races, live music performances, and spectacular firework displays. The highlight of the festival is the rodeo competition, where professional cowboys showcase their skills in various events, such as bull riding and barrel racing. It’s a heart-pounding spectacle that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.


In addition to the rodeo, the Calgary Stampede features a diverse range of entertainment options. You can enjoy live music concerts by internationally acclaimed artists, indulge in delicious local cuisine at the numerous food stalls, and explore the vibrant carnival rides and games.


Don’t forget to immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Alberta by visiting the Indian Village, where you can witness traditional First Nations dance performances and learn about their culture. The Calgary Stampede parade is another highlight, with a vibrant display of marching bands, floats, and elaborate costumes that kick off the festivities with great pomp and flair.


For families, the Calgary Stampede offers a dedicated area called Kidz Zone, where children can enjoy interactive exhibits, games, and even try their hand at mini-rodeo activities. With so much to see and do, the Calgary Stampede ensures that visitors of all ages have an unforgettable experience.


So, grab your cowboy boots and hat and get ready to embrace the spirit of the Wild West at the Calgary Stampede. It’s an event that truly captures the essence of Alberta’s western heritage and guarantees a thrilling and entertaining time for all.


Edmonton Folk Music Festival

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival is a must-attend event for music lovers and enthusiasts. Held annually in the beautiful Gallagher Park, this festival attracts both local and international musicians who enthrall audiences with their captivating performances.


The Edmonton Folk Music Festival showcases a wide range of musical genres, including folk, roots, blues, and world music. From established artists to emerging talents, the festival offers a diverse lineup that caters to different musical tastes. You can expect to hear soulful ballads, foot-tapping rhythms, and soul-stirring melodies as you immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere.


One of the unique aspects of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival is its commitment to promoting inclusivity and community spirit. The laid-back and welcoming environment allows festival-goers to connect with fellow music lovers and create lasting memories. With multiple stages set up throughout the park, you can explore various performances simultaneously or find a spot to relax and soak in the ambiance.


The festival not only focuses on music but also offers workshops, where artists share their knowledge and insights. These intimate sessions provide an opportunity to learn about different music traditions and techniques directly from the performers themselves. It’s a chance to gain a deeper appreciation for the craft and engage in meaningful conversations with the artists.


Gallagher Park provides a stunning backdrop for the festival, with its sprawling green spaces and panoramic views of the cityscape. You can bring a blanket and set up a picnic while enjoying the music, or explore the vendor stalls offering a variety of food, drinks, and unique arts and crafts. The Edmonton Folk Music Festival truly embodies the spirit of summer, creating a relaxed and joyful atmosphere that keeps people coming back year after year.


Whether you’re a die-hard folk music fan or simply looking to discover new sounds, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival is an experience like no other. It celebrates the power of music to unite people and showcases the incredible talent that exists within Alberta and beyond. So, grab your lawn chair, embrace the melodies, and let the Edmonton Folk Music Festival transport you to a world of musical bliss.


Banff Summer Arts Festival

The Banff Summer Arts Festival is a celebration of creativity and artistic expression that takes place in the picturesque town of Banff, Alberta. This month-long festival brings together artists, performers, and art enthusiasts from around the world to showcase their talent and engage in a vibrant exchange of ideas and inspiration.


The festival features a wide range of artistic disciplines, including visual arts, music, dance, theater, and literary arts. From captivating art exhibitions to mesmerizing performances, the Banff Summer Arts Festival offers a diverse array of cultural experiences for visitors to enjoy.


One of the highlights of the festival is the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, which serves as the hub for many of the events and activities. The center’s stunning mountain backdrop provides a picturesque setting for workshops, lectures, and performances. It is a place where artists can hone their skills, collaborate with others, and showcase their work to a captivated audience.


Throughout the festival, you can attend concerts featuring renowned musicians, watch dance performances that push the boundaries of movement, and witness theatrical productions that immerse you in gripping narratives. The Banff Summer Arts Festival also offers opportunities to engage with artists through panel discussions, artist talks, and interactive workshops. It’s a chance to gain insights into their creative process and learn from their expertise.


With the Rocky Mountains as its backdrop, the Banff Summer Arts Festival provides an ideal setting for outdoor art installations and exhibitions. Take a stroll through the town and you’ll discover stunning sculptures, breathtaking murals, and thought-provoking art pieces that transform the landscape into an open-air gallery.


For those seeking inspiration or wanting to delve deeper into the arts, the festival offers educational programs and residencies. Artists and art scholars from around the world gather in Banff to exchange ideas, collaborate on projects, and explore new avenues of creativity. It creates a dynamic and enriching environment that fosters artistic growth and innovation.


The Banff Summer Arts Festival is a celebration of art in all its forms, where creativity is nurtured, and boundaries are pushed. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply curious about the power of artistic expression, this festival promises an immersive and unforgettable experience. So, immerse yourself in the world of art, let your imagination soar, and be inspired by the beauty and creativity that the Banff Summer Arts Festival has to offer.


Edmonton International Street Performers Festival

The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival is a vibrant and entertaining event that brings the streets of Edmonton to life with artistry, talent, and awe-inspiring performances. Held annually, this festival showcases a diverse range of street performers from around the world who gather to entertain and captivate audiences with their unique skills and acts.


During the festival, Edmonton’s downtown streets transform into stages for acrobats, magicians, jugglers, clowns, and other street performers who bring their incredible talents to the public. From death-defying stunts to mind-boggling illusions, the performances will leave you amazed and wanting more.


One of the special aspects of the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival is the interactive nature of the performances. The performers are experts at engaging the audience and involving them in the acts. Whether it’s inviting volunteers to participate in a magic trick or getting the crowd to cheer and clap along, the performers create an electric atmosphere of connection and excitement.


The festival’s lively ambiance is contagious, drawing crowds of all ages to witness the incredible talent that takes to the streets. The performances are not only entertaining but also provide an opportunity for cultural exchange, as artists from different countries and backgrounds come together to showcase their art forms.


In addition to the street performances, the festival offers workshops and educational programs for aspiring artists and performers. These sessions provide valuable insights into the craft and allow participants to learn from seasoned professionals. It’s a chance to gain hands-on experience and sharpen your own skills.


Food vendors and market stalls add to the festival’s charm, providing an array of delicious treats and unique crafts for attendees to enjoy. It’s a perfect opportunity to grab a bite to eat, browse through the local handicrafts, and soak in the festive atmosphere.


The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival is a celebration of creativity, skill, and connection. It transforms the streets into stages and showcases the power of live entertainment. So, take a stroll through Edmonton’s vibrant city center, immerse yourself in the world of street performers, and let their captivating acts brighten your day.



K-Days, formerly known as Klondike Days, is an annual summer fair and exhibition in Edmonton, Alberta that promises fun, excitement, and memories for the whole family. This ten-day event brings together thrilling rides, delicious food, live entertainment, and a variety of attractions to create a one-of-a-kind experience that captures the spirit of summer.


At K-Days, you’ll find a wide array of exhilarating rides and games that cater to both adrenaline junkies and families alike. From towering roller coasters to classic carnival games, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The midway is filled with laughter, screams of delight, and the joy of winning prizes. It’s a place where memories are made and moments of pure excitement are cherished.


Food lovers will be in for a treat as K-Days boasts an impressive selection of mouth-watering treats. From deep-fried delicacies like mini donuts and corn dogs to international cuisine and tasty desserts, your taste buds will be taken on a delectable adventure. So be sure to arrive with an empty stomach and indulge in the diverse culinary offerings.


Live entertainment is a highlight of K-Days, with a variety of performances taking place throughout the event. From musical concerts featuring renowned artists to thrilling rodeo shows that showcase Alberta’s western heritage, the stage is set for an unforgettable experience. You can also catch captivating performances by dancers, jugglers, and other talented artists who will leave you in awe of their skills.


In addition to the thrilling rides, delicious food, and live entertainment, K-Days also offers a diverse range of attractions and exhibits. Stroll through the agriculture exhibits to get a glimpse of rural life, visit the art and craft showcases to admire local talent, or explore the interactive science exhibits to learn something new. K-Days is more than just a fair; it’s an immersive experience that caters to all interests.


Family-friendly activities and entertainment are a key focus of K-Days. From petting zoos and animal shows to interactive play areas and educational exhibits, there’s plenty to keep children entertained. The Kids Town section offers a world of fun with child-friendly rides, games, and attractions, ensuring that young visitors have a memorable time.


K-Days is an annual celebration of summer, bringing together people from all walks of life to create lasting memories. It encapsulates the vibrancy and joy of the season, offering a mix of exciting rides, mouth-watering food, live entertainment, and family-friendly activities. So, gather your loved ones, head to K-Days, and embrace the magic and wonder that this summer fair has to offer.


Badlands Passion Play

The Badlands Passion Play is an extraordinary theatrical production that takes place in Drumheller, Alberta, amidst the stunning and dramatic landscape of the Canadian Badlands. This captivating play brings to life the story of Jesus Christ and offers a powerful and emotional experience for audiences.


Set against the backdrop of the scenic natural amphitheater, the Badlands Passion Play transports you back in time to witness the iconic events surrounding the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The play features a talented cast of performers who bring incredible depth and authenticity to their roles, creating a truly immersive and moving experience.


The Badlands Passion Play not only showcases remarkable acting but also incorporates breathtaking live music, elaborate set designs, and stunning costumes. The sheer scale and attention to detail make each scene come alive, evoking a sense of awe and reverence. As the story unfolds, you’ll be transported on a journey of faith, redemption, and love.


What sets the Badlands Passion Play apart is its commitment to authenticity and historical accuracy. The play is based on the biblical accounts of Jesus’ life and draws inspiration from various sources to ensure a faithful representation of the events. The dedication to keeping the production true to its origins makes the experience all the more impactful.


Performed outdoors, the Badlands Passion Play takes advantage of the natural beauty of the Badlands region. The rugged landscapes, breathtaking sunsets, and wide open spaces create a unique and awe-inspiring backdrop for the performances. Combined with the exceptional talent of the actors, this setting adds an extra layer of intensity and immersion to the play.


In addition to the performances, the Badlands Passion Play offers visitors the opportunity to explore the surrounding area. Drumheller is known for its rich paleontological history and is home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, where you can learn about the prehistoric creatures that once inhabited the region. It’s the perfect complement to the spiritual journey offered by the passion play.


The Badlands Passion Play is a testament to the power of theater to move, inspire, and bring people together. It’s a unique theatrical experience that combines faith, artistry, and natural beauty in a way that transports audiences to another time and place. Whether you are a devout Christian or simply appreciate exceptional storytelling, the Badlands Passion Play is a must-see theatrical production that will leave a lasting impression on your heart and soul.


Heritage Day in Calgary

Heritage Day, celebrated annually in Calgary, Alberta, is a vibrant and inclusive festival that honors the diverse heritage and cultures that make up this dynamic city. This day serves as a reminder of the rich tapestry of traditions, customs, and languages that contribute to the vibrant mosaic of Calgary’s identity.


Heritage Day in Calgary is a celebration of unity, understanding, and respect for different cultures. The festival features a lively parade that showcases the diverse cultural groups and organizations in the city. Colorful costumes, traditional music, and dance fill the streets, creating an atmosphere of joy and appreciation for the heritage of Calgary’s residents.


One of the main highlights of Heritage Day is the cultural pavilions that are set up in various locations throughout the city. Each pavilion represents a different culture, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the traditions, customs, and cuisine of various communities. From sampling delicious ethnic dishes to participating in traditional activities and witnessing captivating performances, these pavilions offer a wonderful opportunity to learn, engage, and embrace the multicultural fabric of Calgary.


Heritage Day also features cultural showcases, where local artists and performers take the stage to share their talents and celebrate their respective cultural backgrounds. From music and dance performances to theater productions and storytelling sessions, these showcases provide a platform for Calgary’s diverse artists to shine and share their artistic expressions with the community.


Another highlight of Heritage Day is the marketplaces, where local artisans, crafters, and businesses display their unique products and wares. It’s a perfect opportunity to discover handcrafted items, traditional artworks, and other unique treasures that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the city. The marketplaces provide a chance to support local businesses and artisans while also finding one-of-a-kind souvenirs.


Throughout the day, educational activities such as workshops, lectures, and interactive exhibits are organized to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the various cultures represented in Calgary. It’s a chance to learn about different traditions, languages, and customs in a fun and engaging way.


Heritage Day in Calgary is much more than just a festival; it’s a celebration of the diverse communities that call this city home. It’s an opportunity for people of different backgrounds to come together, share their stories, and celebrate the cultural tapestry that makes Calgary a truly multicultural city.


So, mark your calendars and join in the festivities of Heritage Day in Calgary. Celebrate the richness of diversity, engage with different cultures, and embrace the values of inclusivity and unity. It’s a celebration that not only highlights Calgary’s cultural heritage but also strengthens the bonds of community and fosters a sense of belonging for all who call this city home.



Sunfest is a beloved annual music festival that takes place in London, Ontario, attracting music enthusiasts from near and far. Celebrated over the course of four days, this festival showcases a diverse lineup of renowned local and international artists, creating an unforgettable experience for attendees.


Sunfest sets the stage for a vibrant and energetic celebration of world music, with genres spanning from reggae and ska to Afrobeat and Latin rhythms. The festival embraces cultural diversity and aims to expose audiences to the rich tapestry of global sounds. With multiple stages offering simultaneous performances, you can immerse yourself in music from different corners of the world.


One of the highlights of Sunfest is the captivating performances by world-class musicians and bands. From iconic headliners to emerging talents, the festival curates a lineup that ensures there’s something for every musical taste. As you roam the festival grounds, you’ll be treated to soulful vocals, infectious beats, and captivating instrumentals that transport you to distant lands.


Embracing the spirit of inclusivity, Sunfest also offers workshops and interactive activities that allow festival-goers to engage with the music and cultures on a deeper level. You can participate in drum circles, dance workshops, and cultural demonstrations, immersing yourself in the rich traditions and artistry of different cultures.


Food plays a significant role at Sunfest, with a wide range of culinary delights available from diverse cultures. From mouth-watering Caribbean dishes to aromatic African cuisine, the festival offers a global gastronomic experience. It’s the perfect opportunity to sample flavors from around the world and indulge in the vibrant culinary scene.


The vibrant atmosphere of Sunfest is further enhanced by various artisanal vendors offering handmade crafts, clothing, and unique treasures. Browsing through these stalls is a treat for those seeking one-of-a-kind souvenirs or beautifully crafted items inspired by different cultural traditions.


The family-friendly nature of Sunfest makes it an ideal summer outing for people of all ages. The festival offers a dedicated kids’ area where young visitors can enjoy interactive activities, face painting, and engaging performances aimed at entertaining and educating.


Sunfest is not just a music festival; it’s a celebration of cultural diversity and a testament to the power of music to unite people from all walks of life. It’s an opportunity to discover new music, appreciate different cultures, and connect with others who share a passion for global sounds. So, pack your dancing shoes, bring your appetite, and prepare to be swept away by the infectious energy of Sunfest.


Interstellar Rodeo

Interstellar Rodeo is a unique music festival that combines the thrill of a rodeo with the power of live music performances. Held in Edmonton, Alberta, this one-of-a-kind event brings together a diverse lineup of artists spanning multiple genres, creating an unforgettable experience for music lovers.


Interstellar Rodeo transcends traditional music festivals by blending the energy and excitement of a rodeo atmosphere with the electrifying performances of renowned musicians. The festival takes place in a specially designed amphitheater, offering a picturesque setting where attendees can enjoy live music against the backdrop of the beautiful Edmonton skyline.


From folk and rock to blues and indie, Interstellar Rodeo curates a lineup that appeals to a wide range of musical tastes. The festival boasts performances by acclaimed artists who captivate audiences with their exceptional talent and stage presence. The combination of the rodeo atmosphere and the powerful performances creates an electrifying ambiance that resonates with attendees long after the festival ends.


In addition to the music, Interstellar Rodeo offers an array of gastronomic delights from local food vendors and food trucks. It’s the perfect opportunity to sample delicious bites and indulge in a culinary journey while enjoying the music. From gourmet offerings to comfort classics, there’s something to satisfy every palate.


Interstellar Rodeo goes beyond music and food, providing a festival experience that incorporates art, culture, and community engagement. The festival showcases local artisans and vendors, offering a unique shopping experience where attendees can browse through handcrafted items, artworks, and other treasures.


What sets Interstellar Rodeo apart from other music festivals is its commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all attendees. The festival prides itself on offering accessible facilities and programming to ensure that everyone can enjoy the music and festivities comfortably.


With its eclectic mix of genres and the unique combination of a rodeo atmosphere with live music, Interstellar Rodeo stands as an exceptional music festival that celebrates both the thrill of the stage and the excitement of the rodeo arena. It’s an immersive and memorable experience that showcases the power of music to unite and ignite the soul. So, saddle up and get ready for an unforgettable journey at Interstellar Rodeo.



Alberta’s festival scene is a true testament to its vibrant culture, rich heritage, and diverse communities. From the world-famous Calgary Stampede to the captivating Edmonton Folk Music Festival, there is a festival to satisfy every interest and taste. These events celebrate the arts, music, food, and traditions that make Alberta a captivating destination for locals and visitors alike.


Whether you’re seeking thrilling rodeo events, soul-stirring music performances, captivating street acts, or immersive cultural experiences, Alberta’s festivals have it all. These events are not only an opportunity for entertainment and enjoyment but also a chance to connect with the local community, learn about different cultures, and create lasting memories.


Alberta’s festivals showcase a range of talents, from local artists and musicians to internationally acclaimed performers. They provide a platform for artists to shine, share their craft, and inspire audiences with their creativity and passion. Through workshops, interactive exhibits, and educational programs, these festivals also offer opportunities for personal growth, learning, and cultural understanding.


What sets Alberta’s festivals apart is their commitment to diversity and inclusivity. These events celebrate the multicultural fabric that weaves together the province’s identity, creating an environment where people from all backgrounds can come together and embrace shared experiences. It’s an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of difference and cultivate a sense of unity and harmony.


From the electrifying energy of the Calgary Stampede to the soul-stirring melodies of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, there is a festival in Alberta for everyone to enjoy. So, whether you’re a local resident or a curious traveler, immerse yourself in the vibrant festival scene of Alberta and discover the magic, creativity, and cultural richness that this remarkable province has to offer.