Your Guide to Summer Festivals & Events in Edmonton: 2014 Edition!

For the 2016 edition, click here!

Here’s my listing of summer festivals & events for 2014, powered by ShareEdmonton. Below you’ll find dozens of events with a website, dates, and links to social media for each. You’ll also find a link to the event at ShareEdmonton and a link to an iCal for the event. I hope you find this listing as useful as I do.

Cariwest Parade 2011


Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get this post completed before all of these events started, so a few have already come and gone. I’ve left them in here though – this’ll be a handy starting point for next year!

Event Dates Links
Vocal Arts Festival May 10 – June 29 SE     
International Children’s Festival May 27-31 SE    
Dreamspeaker’s Film Festival May 28-31 SE   
eek! Comic & Pop Culture Fest May 31 – June 1 SE   
Bikeology Festival June 1-30 SE 
Creative Age FEST June 3-8 SE   
NextGen Month June 4-26 SE   
Nextfest June 5-15 SE  
Edmonton Craft Beer Festival June 6-7 SE    
Edmonton Pride Festival June 6-15 SE  
Edmonton Pride Parade June 7 @ 12pm SE  
Bonnie Fest June 7 SE   
Edmonton International Cat Festival June 7 SE   
Oliver Community Festival June 7 SE  
Heart of the City Festival June 7-8 SE    
What the Truck?! June 13 & more! SE    
Porkapalooza BBQ Festival June 13-15 SE 
Sprouts New Play Festival for Kids June 14-15 SE 
Improvaganza June 18-28 SE   
The Works Art & Design Festival June 19 – July 1 SE  
Summer Solstice Festival June 20-22 SE    
Edmonton International Jazz Festival June 20-29 SE   
Highlandia Festival June 21 SE   
Edmonton International Athletics Festival June 21, July 6, Sept. 12 SE   
Pets in the Park June 22 SE 
Found Festival June 26-29 SE   
Feats Festival of Dance June 28 – July 14 SE    
BaconFestYEG July 4 SE  
Edmonton International Street Performers Festival July 4-13 SE   
Historic Festival & Doors Open Edmonton July 6-13 SE   
Freewill Shakespeare Festival July 9-27 SE   
Taste of Edmonton July 17-26 SE    
K-Days July 18-27 SE    
K-Days Parade July 18 @ 10am SE    
Interstellar Rodeo July 25-27 SE   
Servus Heritage Festival August 2-4 SE   
Edmonton Folk Music Festival August 7-10 SE    
Edmonton Rock Music Festival August 8-9 SE  
Animethon August 8-10 SE     
Cariwest August 8-10 SE   
Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival August 14-24 SE   
Edmonton Blues Festival August 15-17 SE 
Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival August 15-17 SE  
Edmonton Latin Festival August 16-17 SE  
Viva Italia Viva Edmonton August 24 SE  
SONiC BOOM August 29-31 SE    
Country Music Week September 4-7 SE   
E-Town Festival September 11-12 SE   
Kaleido Family Arts Festival September 12-14 SE   

You can check out a calendar view of festivals here or you can download the iCal feed for your own apps. There are some festivals that have happened in previous years that don’t seem to be happening this year (such as Rubaboo and Open Sky Music Festival) so I have left them out for now.


This year I wanted to highlight the many special sports events that are happening in Edmonton, in addition to Eskimos and FC Edmonton games. It’s an exciting time for track, basketball, and of course, soccer!

Event Dates Links
Edmonton Grads International Classic June 26-28 SE   
U15 & U17 National Basketball Championships July 25-30 SE   
FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada August 5-16 SE   
Edmonton Marathon August 23-24 SE   
World Triathlon Grand Final August 26 – September 1 SE   
Canada 55+ Games August 27-30 SE   
Tour of Alberta September 5-7 SE    

There are of course many more events listed in the ShareEdmonton calendar, so check it out! Have I missed something that should be included? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it.

Happy summer!

What’s happening in the Edmonton blogosphere?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a one-stop-shop for Edmonton blogs? Where you could see a list of all the blogs and maybe even see all of the latest posts too?

It was a little over five years ago that I posted about this notion of a directory of Edmonton blogs. Here’s what I wrote at the time:

“I have started tagging blogs at with the tag edmontonblogs. This is really more of an “in the meantime” kind of activity, because as Pete points out, an actual directory website would be much more useful. Maybe I’ll build it one of these days.”

I finally built it.

A couple weeks ago I launched the latest release of ShareEdmonton. With the new version you can browse local blogs, see an always-updated collection of new blog posts, and you can search more than 10,000 posts written by local bloggers.

While my tagging of local blogs at delicious didn’t last long, my desire for a directory of Edmonton blogs never diminished. Over the years I collected local blogs and subscribed to them in Google Reader. That worked fairly well for me, but it didn’t help anyone else. A couple of years ago the idea of a directory came up again, and Reg, myself, and few others started looking at the problem. That project eventually fizzled, but I think it helped the Edmonton Journal launch its community blogs page, an idea championed by Karen Unland. While that page was a step in the right direction, it included a very limited number of blogs and was often broken (the latest update seems to have fixed the issues with broken or incorrect links).

There was a lot of false starts along the way, and far more challenges to overcome than I would have anticipated, but I’m very happy with the new release of ShareEdmonton. Is it a perfect, 100% complete, one-stop-shop for Edmonton blogs? Of course not. But it will help you keep up-to-date with a large number of Edmonton bloggers, and with your help it’ll get even better over time.

User Stories

For the initial release I wanted to make it easy to see the latest blog posts, and to browse recently updated blogs. Most blogs are updated relatively infrequently, and I didn’t want you to have to sift through those just to see what’s new. That’s a big part of the reason why there’s an emphasis placed on how recent something is in the UI.

Here are some of the scenarios this release addresses, expressed in the form of user stories:

  • As a user, I want a “home page” for all the blog-related functionality, so that I can remember a single URL (
  • As a user, I want to see the most recently updated blogs, with a title and photo (if one exists) for each blog.
  • As a user, I want to see the most recently updated blogs by tag or category (such as food).
  • As a user, I want to see the most recent blog posts, with a title, description, and photo (if one exists) for each post.
  • As a user, I want to see the most recent blog posts for a specific blog (such as mine).
  • As a user, I want to see the most recent blog posts for a specific blog tag or category (such as food). This is any post from a blog that has been categorized as a “food” blog. So if Sharon wrote a post about politics, it would show up here.
  • As a user, I want to see the most recent blog posts for a specific tag or category (such as food). This is any post tagged by the blogger as a “food” post. So if I wrote a post about food and tagged it appropriately, it would show up here.
  • As a user, I want to search all blog posts (for a query such as food).
  • As a user, I want to see all blog posts by day for the last week, with a headline and source for each.
  • As a user, I want to add a new blog to ShareEdmonton.

I come up with new user stories all the time, and I welcome any feedback and/or suggestions that you might have!

Aggregation & Curation

I followed that post back in 2007 with a list of blog posts talking about Edmonton. My aggregation & curation was fairly ad hoc back then, but now I write my Edmonton Notes every Sunday and Media Monday Edmonton every Monday. I try to include blog posts in those, but it definitely takes effort to keep on top of what everyone has written. I keep track of things I find during the week, and I do a quick scan at the end of week to find what I missed. Others post similar entries: Sharon does Food Notes, Karen does her Edmonton New Media Roundup, The Unknown Studio does the Edmonton Blog Watch, etc. These are all really useful and people love them, but they do take work.

There’s a big difference between aggregation (gathering and perhaps indexing) and curation (sorting, categorizing, analyzing, presenting). When the bloggers I mentioned above write their list posts, they’re doing both activities. My hope is that with ShareEdmonton’s new blog functionality they can focus more on the curation part, which is where they really add value. I think “show me all the latest posts from Edmonton bloggers” is a task for software, and “tell me which are important and why” is primarily a task for people. But you need the former before you can do the latter.

(I said “primarily a task for people” above because increasingly we’ll see software doing curation too! I plan to add different ways to browse blog posts to ShareEdmonton, and one example might be a list of the most commented on posts of the week. That’s an algorithmic way of sorting and presenting, which is curation.)


You know me, I love statistics. I couldn’t do this post without at least one graph! So here you go, blogs by platform currently indexed at ShareEdmonton:

Blogs by Platform

As expected, most blogs are based on WordPress. It’ll be interesting to see if this changes over time!

Add Your Blog!

There are nearly 150 blogs currently being aggregated and indexed at ShareEdmonton, but I know that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’ll continue adding blogs myself, but you can help by submitting your own blog or someone else’s here.

ShareEdmonton updated with support for blogs & news releases

shareedmontonToday I am very excited to share with you the latest release of ShareEdmonton, my ongoing effort to build a platform for finding, filtering, and sharing Edmonton-related content and information. When I launched the site back in 2009, I said: “I want to redefine local media and improve Edmonton by embracing the fact that communication is increasingly taking place online.” While I still haven’t achieved my complete vision for ShareEdmonton, today’s release is another big step in the right direction.

The first thing you’ll notice if you have been using ShareEdmonton for any length of time is the new design. I decided to embrace Twitter Bootstrap as the foundation for the website’s layout and styling, a decision I am extremely happy about. With Bootstrap, the site is responsive and mobile-friendly, lightweight, and standards-compliant. It should look great on an HD screen, a mobile phone, and everything in-between. Another UI-related change is that Google Maps has been replaced with Leaflet and Open Street Maps.

The majority of the work in this release was done behind-the-scenes. For instance, I completely revamped the the way ShareEdmonton imports data so that it is more automatic and much more reliable. Another big change is the underlying infrastructure – ShareEdmonton now runs completely on Windows Azure. This is the kind of thing that is transparent to the end user but means that I can spend far less time worrying about servers and much more time adding new features!

Speaking of new features, there are a bunch in the latest release:

  • Blogs! You can now use ShareEdmonton to keep up-to-date with local bloggers. More than 100 blogs and 10,000 posts have been indexed so far. I have focused on blogs that update fairly regularly, but I know there are many, many more that should be included. You can add blogs here. There are two primary views for blog posts: the visual view and the headline view (which shows posts from the last week).
  • News Releases! Similar to blogs, ShareEdmonton is now indexing news releases. There’s a lot of room to improve, but so far about 20 sources and a few thousand releases have been indexed, including every City of Edmonton news release since January 2009.
  • Event pages have been updated with the new visual view, similar to blogs and news releases. I think it’s a much more enjoyable way to browse what’s coming up. Also, you can now add your own calendars for ShareEdmonton to import automatically.
  • The weather page now supports watches and warnings. If Environment Canada has issued a watch or warning, you’ll see it across the top of the weather page, but you’ll also now see a notification icon on the toolbar across the top of the site, no matter what page you’re on.

There are also dozens and dozens of bug fixes, data updates, and other small improvements.

I’ll be writing more about some of these new features over the next week, but for now, take a look and let me know what you think!

Your Guide to Summer Festivals & Events in Edmonton!

For the 2016 edition, click here!

For the last couple of years I have posted a list of all the summer festivals happening here in Edmonton. It’s a lot of work to pull together, but I think the list is quite handy so I have done it once again. Powered by ShareEdmonton, here is a list of the festivals, parades, and a few other notable events you can look forward to over the next few months. Click on the title of a festival to visit its website, click on the ShareEdmonton logo to see the event listing there, and click on the calendar icon to open up an iCal for the festival’s dates.

Edmonton International Athletics Festival May 25 – June 25
Vocal Arts Festival May 25 – July 1
International Children’s Festival May 29 – June 2
Dreamspeakers Film Festival May 30 – June 2
Bikeology Festival June 1-30
Oliver Community Festival June 2
Bonnie Fest June 2
Heart of the City Festival June 2-3
Highlands Street Festival June 3
Rubaboo Arts Festival June 6-17
Nextfest June 7-17
Edmonton Pride Festival June 8-17
Edmonton Pride Parade June 9
Creative Age Festival June 8-10
Open Sky Music Festival June 8-10
Al Fresco June 9
What the Truck?! June 9
Improvaganza June 13-23
The Works Art & Design Festival June 21 – July 3
Summer Solstice Festival June 22-24
Edmonton International Jazz Festival June 22 – July 1
Philippine Arts Festival June 23
Freewill Shakespeare Festival June 26 – July 22
Historic Festival & Doors Open Edmonton July 3-8
Edmonton Triathlon Festival July 6-8
Edmonton International Street Performers Festival July 6-15
Choralies Festival July 8-15
Race Week Edmonton July
Edmonton Indy July 20-22
A Taste of Edmonton July 19-28
Capital EX Parade July 19
Capital EX July 20-29
Interstellar Rodeo July 27-29
Servus Heritage Festival August 4-6
Edmonton Folk Music Festival August 9-12
Animethon August 10-12
Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival August 16-26
Rock Music Festival August 17-18
Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival August 17-19
Edmonton Latin Festival August 18-19
Edmonton Blues Festival August 24-26
Symphony Under the Sky Aug. 31 – Sept. 3
Kaleido Family Arts Festival September 7-9

You can see a listing of all the festivals here, and a calendar view here. You can also add all of the festivals to your calendar with this iCal feed.

If you know of a festival that I have missed, please let me know and I’ll add it. There are some festivals that have happened in previous years such as Rock the Square and Cariwest that will likely happen again, but they don’t have websites with information to confirm that. I’m sure there will also be events that get announced closer to the date (such as additional What the Truck?! events throughout the summer).

Be sure to check out ShareEdmonton for even more upcoming events – there are hundreds of additional listings such as Edmonton Eskimo games, farmers markets, and many more.

Happy summer!

Edmonton Election 2010: Nomination Day Statistics

Yesterday was nomination day, the day that all candidates in the upcoming municipal election needed to file their paperwork and pay their fees. Dave was at City Hall and has a nice overview of how things went.

Now that we know who’s running (though some may still drop out) let’s look at some stats. In total, there are 113 candidates vying for the role of mayor, councillor, public school trustee, or catholic school trustee. Here’s a breakdown of the various candidates:

I wondered about gender, since that is often a hot issue in politics. Here’s the gender breakdown for the candidates:

The web is going to play a very important role in this election. It’s the first place people turn to when they want to know more – they search. How many of the candidates could be found online as of last night? And which details did they make available?

As you can see, candidates have some work to do.

Quite a few people, myself included, followed along yesterday on Twitter. Kudos to Dave and John for live-tweeting and posting lots of photos! Here’s what yesterday’s #yegvote activity looked like:

Candidates could file their paperwork between 9am and noon, which explains the big spike in the morning.

I hope Edmontonians take the time to learn about their candidates, and to voice their concerns and thoughts on the issues facing our city. I have updated ShareEdmonton to (hopefully) help make that easier. Here’s what’s new at the Election 2010 site:

I’d love your feedback on how I can improve the Election 2010 site at ShareEdmonton. And if you find additional candidate information that I’m missing, let me know. I’ve got a few planned improvements on the way, so stay tuned!

Your Guide to Summer Festivals in Edmonton!

For the 2015 edition, click here!

With dozens of festivals happening throughout the year, Edmonton is rightly known as Canada’s Festival City. During the summer in particular, it seems as though there’s a festival of some sort happening every day. I guess that’s because there is!

Here’s a list of 25 festivals you can look forward to over the next three months, complete with iCal feeds, and social media information (see below for an iCal feed for all the festivals):

You’ll note that each one has a link to ShareEdmonton, where I list the festival dates and locations as accurately as possible. Festivals like Creative Age and Improvaganza have really good detail, while others like the Fringe do not (they haven’t released the schedule yet). As I get more information I’ll update the listings. You can also see related tweets for each festival, and very soon, related photos and blog posts too!

Here’s the information for all festivals:

You can subscribe to that iCal feed using Outlook or your favorite calendar application. In Google Calendar, you can “Add by URL” and just copy/paste the iCal link above.

I’m sure there are more festivals happening over the summer that I’ve missed. If your favorite isn’t on the list, let me know. If you subscribe to the iCal feed above, any new festival that gets added to the ShareEdmonton calendar will show up automatically!

Live Music in Edmonton now at ShareEdmonton with YEG Live

It’s difficult but not impossible to discover all of the events that happen in Edmonton, and I’m continually working to improve the listings at ShareEdmonton. One of the ways I’m doing that is by working with others who already have large, accurate collections of events. The latest such example is YEG Live, Edmonton’s source for local live music, artist, venue, and event listings. You can now see all YEG Live events at ShareEdmonton!

I can’t remember how I was introduced to YEG Live – it might have been via Twitter, or it may have been because they use one of my photos for their header background. In any case, I was impressed. Founders Chris Martyniuk and Cameron Gertz have created an excellent online hub for local music in Edmonton. Most importantly, they really care about the accuracy of the data on the site. As a result, YEG Live has a superb collection of artist profiles, venue profiles, and of course, live music events. I contacted Chris to see if he’d be interested in working together, and fortunately, he was!

Now when you browse entertainment events at ShareEdmonton, you’ll see the ones that come from YEG Live highlighted with the icon to the left. When you click through to an event, such as tomorrow evening’s show featuring Sweet Thing at Haven Social Club, you’ll see all of the usual details you’d expect at a ShareEdmonton event page (start & end time, location details, related tweets, etc) as well as links and short bios for the artists performing (which link to YEG Live). There are also prominent links to the YEG Live event and ticket information pages.

Thanks to Chris for all the work he did to make this integration possible! There’s no sense in duplicating the tremendous effort he’s already putting into creating an accurate calendar of live music events in Edmonton, so I’m glad we were able to work together. It’s a win-win-win as I see it: ShareEdmonton is a little more complete, YEG Live gets a little more exposure, and Edmontonians are more likely to discover great live music events happening in the city!

Edmonton Neighbourhood Census Data

For a long time I’ve wanted to get the City of Edmonton’s neighbourhood census data in CSV format (or really any usable format other than PDF). Recently, with the help of Laura (and Sandra) at the City’s Election & Census Services department, who I met at the Open City Workshop, I finally got it. And now you can have it too!

Download the Edmonton Neighbourhood Census Data in CSV

I’ve also emailed this to the City’s open data team, so hopefully they can get it in the data catalogue soon.

Visualizing the Data

Why is having the census data in a format like CSV useful? Well for one thing, it enables creatives to do stuff with that data through code or other tools. For instance, I was able to generate a heat map for the City of Edmonton:

The darker sections are more heavily populated, the lighter yellow regions are less populated.

Not all neighbourhoods are reflected, as the City does not release details for neighbourhoods with a population between 1 and 49. Here are some other things we can learn from the data set:

  • Total population in the data set is 777,811, which means there are 4628 individuals unaccounted for (total for 2009 was 782,439).
  • The average neighbourhood population is 2424, or 3039 if you exclude neighbourhoods with a reported population of 0.
  • The median neighbourhood population is 2216.
  • Oliver and Downtown are the only two neighbourhoods with a population greater than 10,000.
  • More dwellings are owned (192,171) than rented (121,953).


Another reason having this data in CSV is useful is because app developers can more easily integrate it into the things they are building. For example, all the census data is now available at ShareEdmonton! So when you view a neighbourhood, you’ll see the census data on the right side (see Alberta Avenue for example). You can also browse neighbourhoods by population. I’ve also fixed the neighbourhood search, so it works better now.

This is just the first of a few neighbourhood-related updates this month, so stay tuned for more!


Yesterday the City released more information on the Apps4Edmonton competition. The first phase, from now until May, is “accepting community ideas”. Basically they want you to tell them what data you want. Aside from the obvious “we don’t know what we don’t know” problem, I think the community has done a pretty good job of defining desired data sets already.

They City had a great start in January with the launch of the data catalogue, but we need more data. Especially data like the census data, which myself and many others have been asking for since the day the PDFs were released. There are clearly some internal issues that need to be worked out if I was able to acquire this before the open data team was. I hope they get everything resolved for the competition, because it’ll be a pretty boring one if we still only have twelve data sets (New York and other cities had dozens, maybe even hundreds, before their competitions).

That said, I know there are passionate, smart people working on it. Email if you have data set requests or want to get involved in Apps4Edmonton.

Update on ShareEdmonton

I’m still working on improving ShareEdmonton, slowly but surely, and I wanted to provide a brief update on my progress. Over the last couple of weeks, my primary focus has been on improving the event calendar. Making it faster, more complete, and easier to browse. There’s still a lot of work to do, but here are some of the recent improvements:

  • There’s now a Featured Upcoming Events page where I can highlight specific events.
  • Related events have been improved. For example, if you look at the page for this Saturday’s Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market, you’ll see other upcoming dates as well.
  • That feature highlights something else – events on ShareEdmonton are as granular as possible. Instead of just having one event for The Citadel’s upcoming run of Sweeney Todd that starts on February 6 and ends on February 28, each individual show time gets its own page. That’s important in helping to answer the question, what’s happening in Edmonton at a given time and place? There are only a few exceptions to this, such as International Week.

I’m going to continue to make it easier to find and browse events, especially by tag, like valentine’s day or family day. I have made good progress on making the calendar more complete too. Currently, there are more than 200 unique events in ShareEdmonton for February, with more than 600 different instances (a unique event would be “Sweeny Todd”, and each showtime would be a different instance). There are probably hundreds more that I don’t yet have in the calendar. It’s a tricky problem, but I’m working on it!

Another thing I’ve been working on is improving Places in ShareEdmonton, which includes adding more places! Most recently, I started adding places that have been made available as part of the City’s open data catalogue, such as Police Stations. That’s a handy page to see all the police station locations in Edmonton. I’ve got some more neat stuff coming with this, so stay tuned.

If you have feedback, let me know!

What’s happening at your local library?

Ever wonder what’s happening at your local Edmonton Public Library branch? Today, finding out becomes easier than ever! I’m excited to announce that ShareEdmonton now contains all EPL events, with new events being continuously added. The events will show up in all the usual spots, but there are a few sections of the website I wanted to highlight:

The EPL has had event listings on its website for a long time now, and while they are quite detailed, they aren’t necessarily the easiest to find or browse. The ability to subscribe to events is also somewhat limited – you can choose the next 2 weeks of all EPL events via RSS, or events at your branch via email. Still, the EPL is ahead of most organizations in that they’ve been able to aggregate all events into a single place.

Shortly after ShareEdmonton launched, Peter Schoenberg, Director of eServices at EPL, got in touch with me to see if we could work together. I explained the idea behind ShareEdmonton, and he outlined some of the digital initiatives the EPL is undertaking. We identified a couple of actions. The first was for EPL to get started with Open Data, by releasing a data file of library locations. The second was for ShareEdmonton to import those locations and all the events taking place at them.

Importing events required a little bit of custom work on both ends – thanks to Peter and his team for working so efficiently and for their patience! Having the EPL events in ShareEdmonton helps us both. For the EPL, it helps users find out about their local libraries, and exposes EPL events to a different and potentially wider audience. It also makes it possible for users to subscribe to events in Outlook, Google Calendar, or any other calendar application supporting iCal. For ShareEdmonton, it’s another important step toward becoming Edmonton’s de facto calendar.

Check out the EPL branches and events on ShareEdmonton!