Welcome to June. Another month of country music tunes, sports and taking time to savour Alberta.
Callin’ Baton Rouge! Garth Brooks Returns to Edmonton
You could hang with friends in low places and refuse to go to bed until the sun comes up. Or, you could spend a summer night watching country music icon Garth Brooks rock Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium June 24 and June 25. The legendary singer, who penned his first song while selling cowboy boots, expressed Alberta’s capital city as his last and only major Canadian stop. So, you know this is going to be a special show. During his 2017 visit, 160,000 country music fans sold out nine consecutive shows at Edmonton’s Rogers Place. The performances were such a smash hit that a banner still hangs inside the arena to commemorate the concerts.
Learn More about First Nations, Inuit and Métis Culture
Not only is June National Indigenous History Month across Canada, it’s also National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. There are many ways to celebrate the diversity of Indigenous life in Alberta. For starters, Fort Edmonton Park’s signature exhibit, The Indigenous Peoples Experience, is a great place to explore the rich and beautiful cultures of First Nations and Métis peoples. You’re encouraged to seek out truths as lived by Indigenous people before Canada became a country.
About an hour east of Calgary, near Cluny, Siksika Nation is home to the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park. Treaty 7 was signed here between the Canadian government and the native nations of what is now southeastern Alberta. The park offers a stunning museum and a cultural centre which provides an informative tour of the history of Siksika. Tours are available by appointment only. Another place to explore is Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump nearby Fort MacLeod. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers a glorious vista of the surrounding foothills and plains.
Alberta is Canada’s largest supplier of barley, producing nearly four million tonnes a year. That’s about five times the weight of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. With that kind of jaw-dropping statistic, there’s no doubt why we’re home to more than 80 craft breweries. Let these breweries take your beer knowledge to the next level at the Edmonton Craft Beer Festival on June 3 and June 4 at the Edmonton Expo Centre. Sample tasty food and beer pairings, hear from experts on what it takes to become a malting brewmaster and find your new favourite brew from more than 500 beers and spirits. Can’t make it to the festival? AMA members save 10% on regular-priced growler fills and merchandise at Troubled Monk in Red Deer. Drink responsibly and don’t drive impaired.
Buzzing In Medicine Hat
Cirque du Soleil plunges into Medicine Hat’s Co-Op Place from June 1 to June 5. Seven spectacular shows are scheduled featuring jaw-dropping acrobatics. The Canadian entertainment company’s production, OVO, will offer a colourful look into the life of insects as acrobatic artists redefine the limits of the human body. Since the show opened in 2009, OVO has entertained more than seven million people worldwide. OVO, which means egg in Portuguese, features a cast of 100 people from 25 different countries.
Get On the Water
June is one of the best months to visit Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. The mountaintop snow still glistens, but the spring melt turns the local waters into a vivid, crystal blue. So, grab a paddle and enjoy the scenery in a canoe or kayak in one of the many lakes in Waterton, Jasper and Banff national parks. Or, for thrill-seekers, get soaked while your heart races on a whitewater raft. AMA members save 15% on adult rates at Jasper Raft Tours or 10% on morning rafting tours from Jasper Rafting Adventures. Those looking for fun in Canmore and Banff: AMA members can save 15% on water tours with Canmore River Adventures. Don’t forget your Parks Canada Discovery Passes, which you can pick up at your nearby AMA centre. Members can save $10 on family passes, $4 on annual adult passes, or $2 on senior passes.
Run to be King or Queen of the Castle
This spring, get out and test your athletic limits with the Wildr Rough Runner. Taking place June 3 and June 4 in Pincher Creek and Castle Mountain Resort, runners are challenged to three intense events. These include a 100-metre vertical sprint up to Castle Mountain, a picturesque peak in southwestern Alberta. There’s also a 9-km run through snow and mud. Lastly, there’s an obstacle course that combines heavy lifting, uphill sprinting and rope climbing; this is certainly for those looking for a thrilling competition. As organizers of this event say, it won’t be the obstacles that will leave you breathless. It’s the nearby scenery that will “inspire and ignite you.” Need some new kicks to get you through this type of event? AMA members can get 5% cashback while buying and reloading a Running Room gift card—for things like running shoes and activewear—at your nearby AMA centre.
Cheer on Canada’s Volleyball Team
Even though the next Summer Olympic Games are still two years away, Canada’s women’s volleyball team, ranked 18th globally, is already gearing up for a long competition season. It starts June 28 at the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex in Tsuut’ina Nation near Calgary—home of the 2022 Women’s Volleyball Nations League. Canada will host fourth-ranked Turkey in its first match in the tournament, held over three weeks. This knockout tourney will include Belgium, Germany, Japan, Serbia and the top-ranked women’s team in the International Volleyball Federation, U.S.A.
Big Screen Treats
June is generally a brontosaurus-sized month for movie box offices, and this year is no exception. Chris Pratt is back, and so is Jeff Goldblum, in Jurassic World Dominion—a flick that is expected to be the final feather in the cap of a long list of movies from the franchise since the 1990s. The film, also starring Sam Neil and Laura Dern, hits theatres June 10. If prehistoric thrillers aren’t your thing, it’s to infinity and beyond for you. In this Toy Story spinoff, the original story of Buzz Lightyear is brought to life in Lightyear, an animated flick opening on June 17. AMA members can save on Cineplex and Landmark movie passes for kids, adults and seniors when you pick them up from your local AMA Centre. You can also purchase a Cineplex gift card at any AMA centre.