Between Thanksgiving and Halloween costume prep, mid-October can be a busy time of year. But if you do have spare time on your hands, there are plenty of things going on around the city.
Laugh out loud
What: Bust a gut at the ATB Comedy Festival, which will showcase two dozen of the funniest folk drawn from a mixed bag of local talent, hardened veterans, YouTube sensations and one genuine SNL alumnus. And if you want to be a philanthropist while you laugh, there are two solid options for you: Funny Bone, Turkey Bone! serves up lunch and a side of laughs for $25, with proceeds going to support the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton while Laugh for Life will take over the stage at the Winspear to raise funds for the Mustard Seed in downtown Edmonton. Tickets cost about $60.
When? The ATB Comedy Festival itself runs from October 16 to 19. Funny Bone, Turkey Bone! is happening at noon, October 18 while Laugh for Life starts at 7 p.m., October 19.
It's all about the tease
What: More than 40 burlesque dancers will take to the stage this weekend as part of the inaugural Edmonton Burlesque Festival. Self-described as a mixture of “ingenues & impresarios, avante-garde & outrageous, in a series of intimate, showcase & feature events,” saucy shows will be held at the Pawnshop (Friday and Saturday) and at the Yellowhead Brewery (Sunday). An after party is also slated for Saturday night at Filthy McNasty’s. More information on tickets and a full schedule of events is available here.
When? The festival begins at 8 p.m. October 17 and ends with a 5 p.m. show on October 20
Scare yourself silly
What: Billing itself as “Western Canada’s premiere horror, cult and sci-fi film fest,” in the past DEDfest has introduced Edmontonians to some of the past few years’ most talked-about horror and cult pics (think Dead Snow). Now in its sixth year, DEDfest is running 16 films this year in addition to a smattering of short films and special events. Festival passes are already sold out, but you can still get your hands on ticket 6-packs.
When? Running nightly from October 16 to 20
Take in a Sunday symphony
What: The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra is showcasing two all-time romantic-era favourites – Mendelssohn’s violin concerto and Rachmaninoff’s phenomenal Piano Concerto No. 2 – along with crowd-pleasing works by Rossini and John Estacio on Sunday afternoon as part of their Sunday Showcase series. Tickets are still available and are slightly cheaper than your average ESO concert – so if you were ever looking for a great chance to try out the symphony, this is it!
When? October 20 at 2 p.m.
What: Ever wonder about the sordid (maybe) history of Old Strathcona? Well then Edmonton ghost tours has a tour for you! To participate, meet your guide in front of the rescuer statue by the Walterdale Playhouse (10322 - 83rd Avenue) –but be sure to dress warmly and throw on some comfortable shoes before you go. The tour advises arriving 15 minutes early.It costs $10.
When? Monday to Thursday nights until October 31, departing at 7 p.m.
Plus one more for good measure
What: Über popular local collective The Dirt City Boys – made up of musicians pulled from several Edmonton-area bands – are playing a free show commemorating the music of The Pogues at the Empress Ale House (9912 - 82nd Avenue) Saturday afternoon. But get there fast – these guys, who can really draw an audience on a normal day, have said this might be their last time playing together.
When? October 19 at 4 p.m.
What have you got on the go for the weekend?