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Edmonton Branding and Tourism strategy

Yeah I'm not saying this to harp on Edmonton or takeaway from the fact that we really do put on a good show and host a number of awesome summer festivals that everyone enjoys or looks forward to every year. But honestly, a lot of other cities also host a great number of festivals that attract much more locals, national and international attention.

I wish we hosted a music festival along the lines of Osheaga in Montreal, Bluesfest in Ottawa or Veld music festival in Toronto. Those are ones that garner pretty decent attention, get internationally recognized talent and pump a ton of money into the local economy. I think we would do an amazing job hosting something of that scale here, but I always wondered why we never held a huge music festival the likes we see elsewhere.
I'd love to see a big festival like one of those here. I think it would be quite successful.

F7 and Kinsmen seem to have done well on a smaller scale with Soundtrack and pre-covid they also had a hard rock/metal festival (can't remember what it was called). Trixstar has done VERY well with the Great Outdoors Comedy Festival. It started as an outdoor comedy festival in Edmonton to deal with Covid gathering restrictions and has turned into a massive festival with the biggest names in comedy that hosts events in cities across Canada and this year a few in the U.S. as well. I believe Trixstar also produces the K-Days mainstage which generally seems to be quite popular, though not always the freshest or most interesting acts.
 
So, to summarize we do have a lot of festivals, but many have been around a long time and maybe need to shake things up some now.

Another new musical festival and some more winter or non summer festivals would also be good to spread things out more throughout the year.
 
Edmonton is definitely the "Festival City" of Canada.

Is it though? Should it be? Could it be?

It certainly punches above its weight, but most cities have comparable festivals of most kinds, with the exception of Heritage Days.
 
Edmonton ski club and some sort of winter festival there would be sick now with the LRT there. Other smaller ski spots in canada like Blue Mountain north of Toronto host some decent winter events.

All Is Bright seems to be pretty successful. I hope there’s a vision to keep growing that one. It’s starting to get a much bigger crowd than the actual activities support. It becoming a 2-3 day thing with more music, fancier cocktails & food vs the basics, kids play areas, etc would elevate things.


But back to that list…seems so random. How is Toronto, Miami/fort Lauderdale, LA, etc not on that list?
 
^because those lists are based on crackerjacks and tulips.

How about Much Music Snowjob 2025 at the hill with a Red Bull toboggan-fest and 1st annual 'river valley race' where teams of 3 have to use x-ski, snowshoe and a pulled sled from Edm Ski Club to Victoria and back?
 
^because those lists are based on crackerjacks and tulips.

How about Much Music Snowjob 2025 at the hill with a Red Bull toboggan-fest and 1st annual 'river valley race' where teams of 3 have to use x-ski, snowshoe and a pulled sled from Edm Ski Club to Victoria and back?
So in other words, you don't like the hugely successful and unique festivals grown in Edmonton and would prefer validation from a large branding exercise of a multi-national company instead?
 
Not mutually exclusive at all. I'm saying to compliment things with a signature winter event in that location in addition to what works with Flying Canoe.
 
What about Fringe? I went to Vancouver's fringe fest and it was dead as. From what I can see online, ours is mentioned alongside Edinburgh and Adelaide
Second largest in the world, I believe and yes I have heard about people who went to Vancouver's and did it did not compare well to ours.

I think sometimes we take for granted what we have. However, my biggest criticism is we are generally too modest and do not promote what we have more, unlike some cities that never stop bragging.
 
We have great festivals that we can be proud of and the city does a great job of hosting and attending. The debate seems to centre around how many we are attracting from further afield. I don’t have any great suggestions for what could be our annual stampede equivalent festival.
 
I don’t have any great suggestions for what could be our annual stampede equivalent festival.

A few decades ago Klondike Days was our equivalent of the Stampede, but since then that has been supplanted by a large number of summer festivals. I'd say we don't really need one!

I for one have rarely been to K-Days (my last visit was years ago) whereas I have attended the Taste of Edmonton every year without fail.
 
A few decades ago Klondike Days was our equivalent of the Stampede, but since then that has been supplanted by a large number of summer festivals. I'd say we don't really need one!

I for one have rarely been to K-Days (my last visit was years ago) whereas I have attended the Taste of Edmonton every year without fail.
Same, I've never been a big fair/carnival goer so naturally K-Days doesn't really excite me too much. However, Heritage Days is a yearly tradition for me and I look forward to going every year I can.
 
Edmonton is definitely the "Festival City" of Canada. I know it's easy to look at that as just being a cheesy tourism term that really doesn't have much of a real, tangible truth to it. But it's true that for it's size Edmonton definitely punches above it's weight in terms of festivals. Edmonton does not necessarily have one big festival like say the Stampede, or Jazz Fest in Montreal. But a number of pretty big events that basically mean there is always something going on during the summer months, whether it be The Fringe, Folk Fest, Heritage Festival, Street Performers, etc, etc. Not something that you're going to travel to the city for, exclusively to do that thing, but if you're staying for a couple weeks during summer, chances are you can catch at least 2 pretty big festivals.

One area I think Edmonton's festival game can be improved is during the winter. Basically Canoe Volant is the only big winter festival. I think 2-3 new winter festivals would do wonders.

I love Edmonton's food festivals, like Heritage Days (which let's be honest, despite being about cultural diversity in general is mainly about food) and Taste of Edmonton.

A winter food fest would be awesome, maybe a split indoor/outdoor format. Maybe an emphasis on Indigenous cuisine?
In winter there are also The Deep Freeze festival that is very popular and there's also the Silver Skate festival, All is Bright fest and Winter Whyte Light Up.
 
Agreed, but would love to really get audited out of town numbers and visitor origin to better understand the overall impact and potential opportunities.
 

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