Known as the City of Festivals, Edmonton is a lively hub of arts, culture, and good times. As the northernmost North American city with a population of more than a million, Edmonton is the urban epicenter of the North. Edmonton is well known for its oil-based economy - its NHL hockey team is even named the Edmonton Oilers. However, there's much more to Edmonton than that. The city has something for everyone, from shopping to cultural events to sports.
Edmonton is right to be proud of its huge variety of festivals. The city hosts more than 30 large festivals each year and many more small ones. Music festivals include the International Jazz Festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Sonic Boom, Labatt Blues Festival, and Vocal Arts Festival. The city also hosts Capital EX, a yearly festival featuring carnival rides, concerts, and trade shows, and the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, which features alternative theatre productions. For fans of more classic theatre, there's the annual Free Will Shakespeare Festival and, for film buffs, there's the Edmonton International Film Festival and Dreamspeakers Film Festival.
Edmonton is home to beautiful parks and green spaces. The city sits on the North Saskatchewan River Valley, which features a 48KM stretch of parkland along its shore and is the largest expanse of urban parkland in North America. Hermitage Park is a great location for trout fishing and picnicking while the 130-acre William Hawrelak Park is perfect for hiking and cycling along the trails or paddle boating on the lake.
Edmonton is well known for its massive mall, West Edmonton Mall. The giant mall is one of the largest in the world and features more than 100 restaurants, 800 stores, an indoor amusement park, multiple cinemas, a water park and an ice rink.
If you're looking for a bit more culture than the mall has to offer, Edmonton has plenty of art galleries and museums to enjoy. The Art Gallery of Alberta features paintings, sculptures, photographs in its collection. The Royal Alberta Museum has a huge collection of more than 10 million pieces, including fascinating artifacts from of Alberta's First Nation's people. If science is more your thing, check out the Telus World of Science, which is also home to a planetarium and IMAX theatre.