Welcome to February, Alberta! Winter isn’t going anywhere, at least not anytime soon, so it’s time to put on a brave face and go back to living life to the fullest, no matter what the forecast says. It can be tough to get motivated to head out in the cold, but we think a great event or activity is the perfect excuse. Our province is bursting with fun and unique things to do this month, and we don’t want you to miss a thing. So, if you’re wondering what to do in Alberta this month, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what February has in store!
We’re excited to share that the Calgary Folk Music Festival is bringing back Block Heater, a super fun weekend of music and community from February 15th to 17th. You’ll enjoy concerts and collaborative sessions at various locations around Inglewood, the East Village, and downtown Calgary. From intimate performances to big bashes, there’s something for everyone and we know you’ll love it. There are indoor and outdoor venues, 27 artists from around the world and close to home, and so much fun to be had. Some of this year’s performers include Daniel Romano’s Outfit, The Devil Makes Three, Dominique Fils-Aimé, Jess Roper, Matt Holubowski, Odario, Rick Aucoin, Tanika Charles, and the list continues. Don’t miss this! Check out the lineup, venue info, and grab your tickets now.
Red Deer RV Show
Are you ready for the “Biggest Little RV Show?” From February 23rd to 25th, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the best in show from eight different RV dealers under one roof. As one of the biggest events for a show and sale in Central Alberta, The Red Deer RV Show is all things "camping, RV travel, outdoor activities" and much more! While you can absolutely use this opportunity to shop for your dream RV, you can also enjoy the experience, browse around, learn about what life on the road could look like, and have a blast. Some of these rigs are jaw-droppingly luxurious, you’ll definitely want to see them for yourself. Whether you’re already living that RV life or you’re RV curious, this is the event for you.
Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture 2024
Get ready for a spectacular celebration of Black History Month at the Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture 2024, taking place on February 9th and 10th at the TELUS Convention Centre in Calgary. This premier event, organized by the Ethnik Festivals Association, unites the Afro-Canadian/Caribbean communities to showcase their rich cultural traditions and promote inclusivity. The festival features emerging local artists, international acts, and a culinary showdown at the Calgary Food War. Attendees can choose between single event tickets at $25 or opt for a Festival Bulk Pack Ticket for $40 to enjoy both days of festivities. Don't miss the chance to witness creative brilliance, win fantastic prizes, and embrace the spirit of diversity at this year's Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture.
Silver Skate Festival
Get ready to experience the magic of winter at Edmonton's Silver Skate Festival, running February 9th to 19th at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park. This 10-day celebration of prairie winter life offers free family-oriented fun, blending culture, art, education, sport, and recreation. Skate your heart out, check out the Snow Sculpture Garden, and be captivated by roving performers on the Folk Trail. Share wishes at the nightly Fire Sculpture burn and explore the Indigenous pavilion in the Heritage Village. From the Duathlon to the Mammoet Winter Triathlon, all skate blades and skill levels are welcome. Winter is pure magic, and the Silver Skate Festival invites you to revel in Edmonton's limitless outdoor experiences.
Okotoks Hot Chocolate Festival
Okotoks Hot Chocolate Festival takes place from February 7th to 17th and it’s ideal for anyone who loves a warm drink and a whole lot of sweetness. Experience a delightful array of unique hot chocolates crafted by local businesses competing for the title of the town's best. Your mission? Taste them all. Over 11 days, visit participating venues to try their limited-time creations and share your thoughts. As a sweet bonus, many businesses are giving back to local charities with a portion of their hot chocolate sales. Rate each cup on the interactive map, featuring details on hot chocolate varieties, prices, and business hours. Capture the delicious moments and use #okotokshotchocolate to share the joy!
The Warm Up
The Canmore Folk Music Festival and the Town of Canmore have come together to bring you an enchanting evening of local music at intimate venues in Downtown Canmore. The free event is taking place on February 9th, bringing together 11 artists at four different venues. Things kick off at 6pm at the Civic Centre Plaza and at 7pm concerts kick off at Stonewaters, Communitea, Carter-Ryan Gallery, and artsPlace. After you've got your music fix, head to the Après Party at Stonewaters at 9:30pm. This is going to be a blast–the ideal way to kick the winter blues and celebrate community together.
There are only a few days left to enjoy Banff and Lake Louise’s iconic SnowDays Festival. This year’s celebration is on until February 4th, so you better get in on the action ASAP. During the event, Lake Louise turns into a magical display of ice sculptures for you to enjoy in one of the most gorgeous settings imaginable. Over in Banff, the streets transform into larger-than-life winter galleries with giant snow sculptures and tons of events and activations to enjoy. If you haven’t had the chance to get to Banff or Lake Louise over the past month, time is running out. Check out the schedule, plan your visit, and make it happen.
YYC Hot Chocolate Fest
Savour the sweetness of winter at YYC Hot Chocolate Fest, running throughout February from the 1st to the 29th, 2024! Join the excitement as cafés, restaurants, and chocolatiers across Calgary compete for the prestigious titles of YYC’s Best Hot Chocolate, Best Spirited Hot Chocolate, Most Creative Hot Chocolate, and the coveted Cup That Runneth Over Award. Calgarians, get ready to embark on a cocoa-filled journey, sampling a diverse range of hot chocolates and casting your votes for the ultimate blend. Not only will your taste buds be delighted, but $1 to $3 from each cup sold supports Calgary Meals on Wheels, directly providing nutritious meals to those in need. Following a phenomenal 2023 event with over 100 vendors and 175 participating locations, YYC Hot Chocolate Fest aims to raise $100,000 in 2024 to combat food insecurity in Calgary – your indulgence for a cause!
Coop FIS Cross-Country World Cup - Canmore
Get ready for the Coop FIS Cross-Country World Cup in Canmore, hosted at the iconic Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park, the site of the 1988 Winter Olympic Nordic Events. This event provides an unparalleled opportunity to witness your favorite skiers and teams from fantastic vantage points. Access and transportation from downtown Canmore are both free, making it an accessible and thrilling experience for all. While attendance is free, consider elevating your experience with the VIP package. To kick off the excitement, join us for the Opening Ceremony on Thursday, Feb 8th, at 17:30, right in the heart of downtown Canmore at the Canmore Civic Centre (902, 7 Ave). Extend a warm welcome to the 19 countries participating in the World Cup and witness captivating performances by our Indigenous Partner, the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. The ceremony will feature the mesmerizing Eyahay Drum Group and the talented Mini Thni Powwow Academy Dancers. Embracing tradition and wisdom, a Stoney Nakoda elder will lead a prayer for everyone present. As this is an outdoor event, dress warmly, but fear not, as warm tea will be provided. Let's unite in the crisp Canmore air to celebrate the spirit of the World Cup!
Murder at Twin Cities
Embark on an unforgettable evening of mystery and merriment at Murder at Twin Cities! Taking centre stage at Twin Cities Saloon in Longview, Alberta, from February 2nd to February 25th, 2024, this brand-new fast-paced comedy murder mystery promises good food, great company, and a thrilling investigation. Join a brigade of quirky characters as they enlist your help to crack a grizzly murder case. Laugh, cry, and celebrate while immersing yourself in the history of Longview, the Twin Cities, and encounters with confirmed ghosts residing in the hotel. Brought to you by the Erratic Players, a Foothills theatre collective, this destination theatre experience unfolds right in front of you, with your ticket including admission to the show, a delectable three-course meal served by Twin Cities' trusted staff, and the opportunity to explore the haunted venue housing at least six ghosts. Don't miss this wild and humorous show – Murder at Twin Cities is your ticket to an extraordinary night out in Longview!
Canadian Birkie Ski Festival
Mark your calendars for the Canadian Birkie Ski Festival happening from February 9-24, 2024, with the main Birkebeiner event on February 10th. As Canada's premier classic-style cross-country ski festival, it invites everyone to embrace winter and get active in the beautiful Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area, just 48 km east of Edmonton within the UNESCO Beaverhills Biosphere. The Nordic Fair and Viking Feast will enchant participants at Broadmoor, while the Birkie Sunday Barnebirkie awaits at Victoria Park, Edmonton. Join the three-day celebration of cross-country skiing and Nordic Legends, making the Birkie the Western Canada's Premier Nordic Ski Event. Established in 1985, this event honors perseverance, courage, and fortitude while ensuring Nordic fun for the whole family. Don't miss this unique winter experience!
Jasper Beer & Spirits Festival
Experience the perfect blend of outdoor adventure and indoor indulgence at the Jasper Beer & Spirits Festival, taking place at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge from February 9th to 10th, 2024. This 2-night extravaganza promises to put the great back in the Great Outdoors and the Great Indoors simultaneously. Explore an incredible lineup of craft beers, spirits, and Ready to Drink beverages, complemented by mouth watering delicacies prepared by the talented chefs at JPL. The festival offers more than just tastings; dive into a world of beverage sampling, food tasting, a Super Bowl Party (tickets sold separately), prizes, giveaways, seminars, activities, keynote speakers, and more. Elevate your mountain adventure and create unforgettable stories at the Jasper Beer & Spirits Festival!
UIAA Ice Climbing World Championships & YEG Ice Fest
Prepare for an adrenaline-packed adventure at the 2024 UIAA Ice Climbing World Championships & YEG Ice Fest hosted by the Alpine Club of Canada Edmonton Section from February 16-19, 2024. The event unfolds at 10104 104 Street NW, Edmonton AB, Canada, featuring a dynamic four-day schedule. From the Opening Ceremonies & VIP Event at Ford Hall to the UIAA Ice Climbing World Championships showcasing lead and speed ice climbing competitions at the Fan Park in Ice District, each day offers a thrilling spectacle for ticket holders. The festivities extend beyond the climbing action, with a winter market, friendly races, a kids zone, fat biking, live performances, and enticing food and beverage options. The after-party at The Canadian Icehouse promises a lively celebration with local artists, while the concluding day brings climbing clinics and an open community competition day at the Fan Park. Don't miss this unparalleled celebration of ice climbing and winter festivities in the heart of Edmonton!
Britanny Burr is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the 2023/24 Cool Winter Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.