Celebrating at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village (photo: Ryan Jackson/Government of Alberta)

Things to Do in Alberta: May 2019


With the province finally beginning to put winter in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to get out and enjoy spring gardens, festivals and all-around family fun.

Kick off a new season at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village with its annual Celebration of Spring (May 20). Enjoy dance groups from all over the province, sweets and treats and artwork by painter Peter Shostak while exploring the history of Ukrainian settlers in east central Alberta. AMA members save 10% on regular admission.

Can you set a ship on fire with nothing but mirrors? Is it safe to take a shower during a thunderstorm? For 13 years, Hollywood special effects gurus Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman tackled these questions on their widely revered TV show, MythBusters. The two signed off the air in 2016, but you can revisit some of the duo’s experiments at the TELUS World of Science. Check out MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition, featuring blueprints, gadgets and props from the show, until Sept. 2. AMA members save 10% on general admission or an annual pass.

Parts of Alberta might still be getting snow, but Sunshine Village Ski Resort’s ski season is quickly coming to an end. Celebrate one last hurrah during the Victoria Day long weekend with a trio of events for skiers and boarders: SlushShine Rail Jam (May 18), Watergate Banked Slalom (May 19) and the 91st annual Slush Cup (May 20). Vancouver rocker Daniel Wesley will perform during the first two afternoons. AMA members save up to $20 on direct-to-lift tickets and 7% off family or senior annual Parks Canada Discovery Passes.

Exploring Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden (photo: Travel Alberta)

Breathe in the beauty of southern Alberta at Lethbridge’s Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, a gorgeous tribute to tranquility and Japanese-Canadian friendship. The four-acre retreat, built in 1967, also offers yoga classes, tea ceremonies, games, crafts and traditional Japanese clothes. Learn how to make your own dry rock garden (May 11), create your own kanzashi or hair ornament (May 11), or listen to Japanese folk tales (May 17 & 18).

Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to Nordegg we go! Take a two-hour guided walking tour of the Brazeau Collieries Mine Site and learn more about Alberta’s coal and labour histories. The mine, established in 1910, produced more than 10 million tonnes of coal before it closed in 1955. Tours start May 18 at the Nordegg Heritage Centre, also home to the Miners’ Café. Make sure to stop in for a slice of homemade pie.

Board a scrumptious pie cruise during Taste of Waterton (photo: Katie Goldie/Travel Alberta)

Did someone say pie? Head down to Taste of Waterton, a 10-day festival of culinary delights set in the splendor of Waterton Lakes National Park (May 24 to June 2). Savour a three-course meal, then go star-gazing as part of Dining Under the Dark Skies (May 28 & May 30). Enjoy a four-course Chef’s Table Dinner at Lakeside Chophouse (May 26 & June 2) or set sail on a pie cruise with country star Paul Brandt and food writer Julie Van Rosendaal on board the M.V. International (May 25 & June 1).

With more and more vegan and vegetarian restaurants opening across the province, it was only a matter of time before Alberta enjoyed its first week-long celebration of plant-based cuisine. As part of Calgary’s inaugural, YYC Vegan Week (May 19 to 25), enjoy vegan meals and deserts from more than 30 restaurants, including Blanco Cantina’s jackfruit enchiladas, Paper St.’s eggplant lasagna, and Bridgette Bar’s vegan cashew cheesecake. A dollar from every meal will be donated to VegFest Calgary 2019, a one-day event at Shaw Millennium Park on June 15.

Learn about pollination, enjoy a wagon ride, or take a yoga class during DnA Gardens’ Blossom & Bee Festival (May 25 & 26) near Innisfail. Music, painting and a petting zoo are also part of the two-day shindig, organized by the owners of the fruit tree nursery. For $20, you can camp on site for the weekend. You might also want to make a stop at nearby Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park, a haven for paddlers, birdwatchers and fossil hunters in the Red Deer river valley.