There’s something special about July in Alberta. And we’re not just talking about The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the Calgary Stampede. It’s all the things that make summer in this province so special. From music festivals and medieval adventures, to fishing trips and culinary celebrations. This is a special summer for many of these celebrations, as the pandemic forced their cancellations in recent years. Let’s get out there and make up for lost time!
RETURN OF THE PARADE
The legendary Calgary Stampede parade is back in full glory after being cancelled in 2020 and scaled back for TV audiences and limited spectators in 2021. The July 8 event will take place downtown and be led by Hollywood icon Kevin Costner. The actor, director, and producer was named parade marshal for his connection to southern Alberta and the Calgary Stampede. Costner helped film Western movies Open Range and Let Him Go just outside Calgary.
ROCKING THE CALGARY STAMPEDE
The lineup at the Stampede’s Coca-Cola stage will be a huge draw for music fans of all tastes. Rock fans will want to see July Talk on July 12, Tokyo Police Club July 15, and Alexisonfire July 11. Pop music lovers can call someone, maybe, or go solo to see Carly Rae Jepsen July 14 or Kaskade July 16. Country music fans will want to mark July 16 on their calendars for Blake Shelton in the Scotiabank Saddledome. Or spend some time in Nashville North to see artists like Tim Hicks, Lindsay Ell, and Jade Eagleson.
HOOK, LINE AND SINKER
The weekend of July 2 and July 3 offers an excellent chance to spend quality time at your nearest lake or river, waiting for that fateful tug on your line. On this summer’s free fishing weekend, anglers need not have an Alberta Sportfishing Licence to land a northern pike, a rainbow trout, or a walleye in any of Alberta’s waters. (Note, however, that all other sportfishing regulations remain in effect.) Want to fish but don’t know how? Drop into a Kids Can Catch event in Castor or Coronation (July 3) or Taber (July 18).
BASHAW GOES MEDIEVAL
Hear ye, hear ye! Prepare thyself for a summer weekend of medieval fun at the Bashaw Medieval Fair and Artisan Market. On July 16 and 17, the central-Alberta town will host world-travelled knights, warriors, and sages to sell their wares. This includes everything from toys, wooden crafts, and gems to armour and leather work. Visitors will be enticed by live jousting events, armoured combat re-enactment and magic performances. Do you have what it takes to defeat a knight in shining armour? Shed your office-casual attire and don thine robes and burlap to participate in a pool noodle jousting event. There’s also a (dinner) feast that’s fit for a king, including entertainment from jesters, storytellers, and musicians.
BUZZING WITH THE STINGERS
The Edmonton Stingers basketball team has a lot to focus on this season in the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL). After winning back-to-back championships, they’re gunning for a threepeat. But it won’t be easy. Edmonton forward Jordan Baker and Scarborough, Ont. guard Adika Peter-McNeilly are back with a new-look squad as they compete in a league with nine other teams looking to claim the CEBL championship trophy. Star Stinger point guard, Xavier Moon, has moved to the NBA G League after winning the CEBL player of the year three times. And he’s already played a few games with the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. With losing such a star player, head coach Jermaine Small expects success will be earned by committee in 2022. Fans will also need to be loud in the Hive (Edmonton Expo Centre)—known as one of the noisiest and most exciting places to watch a basketball game in the CEBL. AMA members can save 15% on gold, silver, and bronze home game tickets.
ULTIMATE SHOW AND SHINE
The Reynolds Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin is known for its stellar collection of historic cars, motorcycles, airplanes, and industrial machines that show how mechanized transportation has affected life as we know it. On July 9, car enthusiasts from across Canada will park in the fields of the museum’s 89-hectare lot to show off their shiny vehicles for the Ultimate Car Show. Along with the music from live bands, a parade through Wetaskiwin, and food trucks, car and truck lovers will also be the first to see the museum’s new donation of military vehicles. AMA members can save 10% on regular admission to the museum. However, member discounts during special events, including the Ultimate Car Show, aren’t valid.
GO UP A MOUNTAIN
It’s a long way to summit the Rockies, but there are two ways to make that vertical trip a lot easier. You can take a ride aboard the Jasper SkyTram, which is the longest aerial tramway in Canada, or try the Lake Louise Summer Gondola to experience the province’s scenic peaks. AMA members save 20% on Lake Louise Summer Gondola tickets, including discounted ride and dine or Gondola gourmet tickets. AMA members can also save 15% on regular-priced adult and youth flight tickets at the Jasper SkyTram. Don’t forget to pack those Parks Canada Discovery Passes, which you can pick up at your nearby AMA centre. Members save $10 on family passes, $4 on annual adult passes, or $2 on senior passes.
COUNTRY MUSIC PARTY
You will like it, you will love it, and you’ll want more of it as country music star Tim McGraw headlines a strong lineup at the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose from July 28 to July 31. The star-studded country music festival is back after a two-year hiatus, and is welcoming such mainstage performers as Dallas Smith, Eric Church, Trace Adkins, and Dustin Lynch. And you’re not just watching country music at BVJ—you’re experiencing our western heritage. There’s a bull-riding show every morning, a tradeshow, and line dancing lessons at the Boot Scootin’ Boogie Dance Hall. The best way to experience BVJ is to pack up your RV and spend the entire weekend camping there. Also, don’t forget to bring your camping chairs, games, and red Solo cups.
JULY MOVIE SMASHES
Grab your hammers and helmets this summer, comic book fans. Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth is back as Marvel superhero Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder, in theatres July 8. This time, Thor enlists the help of ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman) to try to stop villain Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale). If superheroes aren’t your thing, grab some popcorn for a horror movie from Oscar-winning director Jordan Peele. Nope follows residents in a lonely gulch of inland California as they witness an uncanny and chilling discovery. Nope comes out in theatres July 22. If you’re looking for a flick for the whole family, Steve Carell is back with the Minions in Minions: The Rise of Gru, in theatres July 1. This time, the Minions look to master kung fu to help save their boss. AMA members can save on Cineplex and Landmark movie passes for kids, adults and seniors when they pick them up from your local AMA Centre. You can also purchase a Cineplex gift card and earn 5% cash back at any AMA centre.