Edmonton Weekend Guide :: August 21-24

Cheer: FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 
Celebrate: Shades of Grey 4th Anniversary Sale
Attend: Latitude 53's Last Patio Party of the season
Shop: YEG Market in the Back Alley

The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is time trippin' to the 70s with Fringed and Confused. It's the last weekend of Fringe fun! Check the schedule to choose from all kinds of productions, secure your tickets, and read their guide for how to fringe before you go. 

On Sunday from 10-4, you can stop by High Street for their first annual Pop N Shop. Many stores will be hosting a little info session on a variety of topics from how to pack a suitcase to history of candy to mixing a cocktail. Check the list and plan your trip to High Street!

Blink is hosting The ImMACulate Garden Party - a party at Fairmont Hotel MacDonald. Expect nibbles, signature cocktails, entertainment and activities that will help you explore the terrace and learn more about the hotel (Sunday).

Photo by henry bourne for nytimes via dustjacket


shop :: Concrete Cat Design House

Concrete Cat is a custom concrete design house based in Edmonton. The smaller concrete decor items caught our eye and we just had to learn more. A tour of the magical place their designs come to life revealed that about half of their business is actually custom order architectural pieces like vanities, countertops, fireplaces, etc.

They got their start 7 years ago while owning a construction company. As part of a personal kitchen renovation, they experimented with making their own concrete countertop and received a lot of requests from friends for something similar. From there, further experimentation with concrete and an innate eye for design led to the business they have today.

The photos speak for themselves. These concrete art and decor pieces are absolutely stunning. They will be featured in a show called Frontiers at the Alberta Craft Council starting September 13th. You can get your hands on some Concrete Cat pieces online, at 29 Armstrong, Alberta Craft Council, and Art Gallery of Alberta

Follow them on Instagram and swoon over the projects they have in the works: @concretecat

see :: Behind the Scenes at Odysseo

A few weeks ago, I was honoured to be invited backstage at Odysseo to explore the wardrobe and makeup part of the show. The big tops at Fort Road and Yellowhead Trail make up a little village. Besides the stage and audience tent, they have more set up for offices, cafeteria, practicing, dressing, exercising horses, and the stables. 

My tour enlightened me to the challenges they need to overcome when water, dirt, speed, acrobatics and horses are added in to the theatrical equation. They have to make outfit changes (and sometimes repairs) on the fly and keep those wigs fastened tight for top speeds, and maintain a calm vibe in order to keep the horses comfortable.

I was surprised to learn that all of the performers are responsible for their own makeup! Early on, a professional artist applies their makeup and takes photos at each step. Every night, the performers refer to the step-by-step guide to replicate the look on their own.

I was excited to watch them rehearse one of my favourite parts of the show (acrobats hanging from silky fabrics). They were getting a young horse that isn't in the show acquainted with the fabrics and the idea of having acrobats doing tricks around them. It's fascinating to learn the work that goes into making the horses look like natural performers in the show. Little details like this that make Odysseo even more spectacular when you see it. Luckily the Edmonton run of Odysseo has been extended to August 31. 

If you haven't seen it yet, you can purchase your tickets here. Regular priced tickets are 10% off with the code SMNYEG.

One of my favourite parts was trying on one of the outfits. It fit! All I need is to learn how to ride a horse and I'll be ready for my debut. Follow along on my tour in the video:

Edmonton Weekend Guide :: August 14-17

Borden Park will be the backdrop for What The Truck?! on Saturday. Photos from Mastermaq's Flickr.

Borden Park will be the backdrop for What The Truck?! on Saturday. Photos from Mastermaq's Flickr.

It's the middle of August. Live summer like you mean it, with dinner from a food truck in hand while you sit outside on a park bench. Bet on horse races, take in a few Fringe shows and, of course, top up your supply of summer festival fun.

Cheer: FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada
Music: New Music West Festival & Mini-Conference
Attend: PARK Edmonton Artist & Designer Forum
Shop: High Grade Denim Gallery
Eat: What the Truck?! at Borden Park

On Thursday evening, stop by Bamboo Ballroom for their Love Local Launch Party. They are hosting an outdoor market with all their local designers. MEAT and The Common will provide appetizers while you shop and meet Edmonton's talented designers.

The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is time trippin' to the 70s with Fringed and Confused. The fun runs until August 24th around Old Strathcona. Check the schedule to choose from all kinds of productions, secure your tickets, and read their guide for how to fringe before you go. 

Heritage Amphitheatre in Hawrelak Park is taken over by yet another music festival. This weekend, it's the Edmonton Blues Festival running Friday to Sunday. See the full lineup and snap up your tickets here

It's time for the 85th Canadian Derby at Northlands Park! Wear your fascinator with pride and place your bets on some speedy thoroughbreds. The Canadian Derby is the most celebrated race day in Western Canada. Here's our helpful guide for placing bets from last year.

Find a spot along the river at Louis McKinney Park to watch the Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival, running Friday to Sunday.  Cheer on the busy paddlers as they race three dragon boats at a time along the North Saskatchewan River. 

Churchill Square is alive with latin colour and flavour on Saturday and Sunday for the Edmonton Latin Festival. See Latin orchestras, singers, dancers, and eat delicious food while you're at it!

do :: Work with a Financial Planner

Note from Gillian: As an extension to the Edmonton Real Estate Guide, I wanted to introduce another professional that helped me in my home buying planning. Kelley Doerksen is a Financial Planner recommended to me by Kendall. She’s been wonderful to work with and anyone can benefit from her expertise, not just home buyers. Read on about Kelley’s financial tips, and then do yourself a favour by meeting with her in person!

As a financial planner, Kelley helps people maximize their wealth. She looks at someone’s financial situation and helps them achieve greater results with their budget and cash flow, investments, taxes, insurance, retirement planning, estate planning and education savings. Here’s some advice from Kelley for achieving financial success:

Financial success is simple but it’s not always easy. If you can do only 2 things to get ahead financially, focus on the following:

  1. Put yourself first – SAVE something from every paycheque, even if it’s only a small amount to start.
  2. Spend less than you earn.

Most people need some sort of a plan to accomplish these two things. If you make meaningful choices about where your money goes, you’ll see results. Here is a good basic formula for where to allocate your money. It would be most appropriate for someone who has some debt to pay off:

  • 10% SavingsIf you have no emergency fund, this should start one. After that’s funded, save for your future. Saving for a vacation doesn’t belong in this category! This is for money that will stay saved.
  • 35% HousingAim to never be in a position where you’re spending more than this on housing (all-in). If you own (or are thinking of owning), this would include your mortgage, but also property taxes, utilities, insurance, and maintenance.
  • 15% Debt – Other than a vehicle and your mortgage.
  • 25% LifestyleThis includes everything from groceries to vacations to clothing to kids’ activities.
  • 15% Transportation All costs required to operate your vehicle.

If you have no debt (other than a vehicle and house), well done! Re-allocate the 15% as you see fit.

If you have questions about your financial plan, feel free to ask Kelley! She’s a fellow Edmonton lover who is passionate about helping people achieve maximum results from each and every dollar they touch.

Kelley Doerksen, CFP®, kelley@blackburndavisfinancial.ca, (780) 278-1983
Blackburn Davis Financial (5355 75 Street, Edmonton)
Twitter: @kelleydoerksen