What's on, what's off, what's virtual: Thanks COVID-19


Article content

The Alberta three-stage plan to lift COVID-19 public health measures has some festivals eyeing a return in Edmonton this summer, while others are waiting another year to relaunch.

Premier Jason Kenney announced a plan to remove restrictions this summer that could see almost all restrictions lifted by late June or early July. As long as 70 per cent of eligible Albertans receive their first shot of vaccine, Stage 3 will allow for mass social gatherings to resume, 15 months after COVID-19 was first detected in the province.

After essentially all major events were cancelled last summer, several marquee events are now outlining what their 2021 festivities could look like.

What’s on:

K-Days: Before the latest restriction news, organizers of K-Days had updated their website to say planning was underway to hold an event in late July. The fair and trade show appears set to run an adapted version to ensure all health orders are followed.


Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Taste of Edmonton: The annual showcase of local food is planning for a return to action this summer. General manager Donovan Vienneau said his team is planning for an event this summer with safety protocols in place. Taste of Edmonton is fully booked with 33 participating restaurants that will be further spread out than usual.

“We want to make sure that we work with AHS, work with fire and safety, the City of Edmonton, AGLC,” said Vienneau. “We want to make sure that we’re ticking all the boxes that AHS is requiring us to do.”

He said they are planning to begin Taste of Edmonton on July 22.

Edmonton Heritage Festival: The Edmonton Heritage Festival’s website also shows it is planning a full event this year.

“Heritage Fest will be introducing innovative and inclusive solutions that will ensure the festival that promotes and celebrates diversity moves forward this summer in a safe, joyful, and loving manner,” reads the website’s home page. “See you in Hawrelak Park.”

The festival runs July 31 to Aug. 2.

What’s Virtual

Edmonton Pride: The Pride Centre of Edmonton is planning to hold several virtual events throughout the month of June. Spokeswoman Jamelie Bachaalani said the month of festivities will begin on June 4 with a printmaking workshop with the rest of the month featuring online giveaways, a Pride panel, a virtual drag night and a queer prom night.

“We know many folks in our community are missing the Pride Parade but there are plenty of other ways we can celebrate, and that celebration is never restricted to a single month,” said Pride Centre of Edmonton executive director Dawn Carter in a news release.


Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

What’s off

Edmonton Folk Festival: The official webpage for the music festival shows organizers have decided not to proceed with a 2021 installment.

“The 2021 Edmonton Folk Music Festival is cancelled. As profoundly disappointing as this news is, we believe it is the only safe way forward,” reads the home page. “We are optimistic about a return in 2022, and can’t wait to see you on the hill.”

What’s up in the air

Edmonton International Fringe Festival: Spokeswoman Catherine Bangel said no official decision has been made on how the Fringe Festival will proceed.

“We’re busy behind the scenes planning multiple potential scenarios and are closely collaborating and consulting with government agencies and industry partners as we consider pandemic impacts, and, above all else, the safety of all fringers,” said Murray Utas, the festival’s artistic director in a statement Saturday.

He said that if they do proceed, the festival will look much different from past years.



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.