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Things to do in Alberta: August 2023

By Allison Bench

Looking for more summer vibes as we reach the season’s halfway mark? The fun doesn’t stop as there are fantastic food-forward festivals, and other amazing happenings lined up across our province.

A momentous Heritage Festival

Edmonton Heritage Festival is marking its 50th year of celebrating cultures all around the world with food, dancing and demonstrations set to take place at the Edmonton EXPO Centre this year from Aug. 5 to Aug. 7. The event typically takes place at Hawrelak Park, but has been moved temporarily due to construction. While the three-day event will take place at a new location, it promises to bring the same tastes and sights from over 60 countries at 50 outdoor pavilions. Of course, showing up hungry is always recommended to get your fill of flavourful food.

Taste of Calgary

Foodies in Calgary, don’t fret because you’re covered with the Taste of Calgary food festival. From Aug. 3 to Aug. 7, Calgary restaurants and food trucks gather at 311 8 St. SW to showcase the best of the city’s food and beverages. The event is free and includes free live entertainment, but food samples require tickets that can be purchased in advance or on-site. The food-forward festival runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and has been a staple in Calgary’s summer for over 25 years.

Celebrate Caribbean Culture

When the summer heat is strongest in August, it’s a great time to celebrate Alberta’s Caribbean community. In Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary, Caribbean festivals are taking place—where you’ll find dancing, music, and food that showcases the incredible pageantry of the Caribbean. In Edmonton, the Cariwest Caribbean Arts Festival takes place from Aug. 11 to Aug. 13 and includes a massive parade through downtown on Aug. 12. Carifest Calgary kicks off its summer carnival and parade the weekend of Aug. 18 to Aug. 20, and in Red Deer, the city is welcoming its first-ever Afro-Carribean Fest Aug. 12 to Aug. 13.

It’s Fringe season!

Hundreds of actors, singers and dancers worldwide are set to visit Alberta this August for Fringe Festivals in both Calgary and Edmonton. Calgary’s Fringe Theatre Festival takes over the city from Aug. 4 to Aug. 12. Over two dozen shows in Calgary will feature international performers and some home-grown ones. Up in the province’s capital, the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival features over 160 performances and is the largest, longest-running festival of its kind in North America. Drawing some of the top performers worldwide, Edmonton’s Fringe takes place from Aug. 17 to Aug. 27.

Learn about Alberta’s farms

Meet your rural neighbours during Alberta Open Farm Days. Farms and producers all across the province open up to the public with education sessions, tours, and farm-to-table culinary events that aim to help connect people with where their food comes from. The 2023 event celebrates one of Alberta’s critical animals, the bison, with curated events highlighting the animal’s significance in the province, both in modern times and historically. Used extensively in various ways by Alberta’s Indigenous population, there are currently 472 Alberta farms home to the animal—which amounts to nearly half of all the bison farms in Canada.

Turtles and sharks at the movies

This August, a pair of movies will hit the big screen featuring extraordinary animals to please young and adult audiences. For the kids (and nostalgic adults), head to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem on Aug. 2. The classic turtle heroes will hit the screen in animated form, and the ensemble voice cast includes Jackie Chan, Rose Byrne, Hannibal Buress, Paul Rudd, Maya Rudolph and Seth Rogan (who also co-wrote the film). For thrill-seeking B-movie lovers, Meg 2: The Trench is the sequel to 2018’s The Meg, which features a prehistoric megalodon shark as the titular movie monster. Jason Statham returns as the lead scientist to face off against the massive shark when it swims into theatres on Aug. 4. Remember, you can purchase movie passes at your local AMA centre—members save on tickets for  Landmark and Cineplex.