5 things to do in Edmonton this weekend

It's going to be a movies and music kind of weekend in Edmonton, with just a dash of ice and anime.

Year of the Monkey, music and movies from the homeland

Help Edmonton live up to its winter city moniker this weekend with a trip to Ice on Whyte in Old Strathcona. (Ice on Whyte/Facebook)

It's going to be a movies and music kind of weekend in Edmonton, with just a dash of ice and anime.

Icy entertainment

What: This weekend is supposed to be considerably warmer than last, and luckily so, since it's time for Ice on Whyte to return to Old Strathcona. This year's Mardi Gras-themed event kicks off Thursday with a full day of family-friendly crafts, games, storytelling and even a barn dance. The ATCO Gas International Ice Carving Competition officially starts on Friday, and prizes will be handed out on Sunday afternoon.

When? Jan. 21 to 24

Go to the movies

What: Whether you're into the classics, Oscar nominees or the up-and-comers, there's a good reason to get into a movie theatre this weekend:

  • The Land Before Time: It's the movie that scarred an entire generation emotionally (but in a nice way), and sent them looking for tree stars — and now it's back in theatres, playing at the Metro Cinema on Saturday afternoon. Can't get enough dinosaurs? Here's a story about a fossil not unlike Cera's.
  • Canada's Top 10 Film Festival: For those looking for something a little more grown up, Metro is also screening some of the country's best short and feature-length films starting this weekend. This year's Top 10 includes pictures by some of Canada's most acclaimed filmmakers, as well as some made by new, rising talents.
  • Prep for the OscarsYou've got a little over a month to go and many movies to watch if you want to be the best better at this year's Oscar party. Find out what's playing in Edmonton right now.

Monkey around the Muttart

What: Celebrate the Lunar New Year with a new feature pyramid, fireworks and humidity to boot at the Muttart Conservatory. In celebration of the Year of the Monkey, there will be traditional music and dance performances, as well as games, crafts and more — all followed by a display of lights over Connors Hill at 6 p.m.

When? Jan. 23 from 4 to 8 p.m.

Honour the Year of the Monkey with a tour of the Muttart Conservatory's new feature pyramid on Saturday - then, take a monkey-themed scavenger hunt through the tropical pyramid. (Muttart Conservatory/Facebook)

Musical medleys

What:Your musical round-up for the weekend:

  • J.P. CormierThe London, Ont., bluegrass singer-songwriter is performing on Friday night at St. Albert's Arden Theatre. Give him a listen here
  • Meaghan SmithAlso from Cormier's hometown of London, Smith won the the 2011 Juno for best new artist and made waves with her cover of "Here Comes Your Man" on the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack. She'll perform onstage at the Winspear backed by the ESO on Friday night.
  • The Royal StreetsRounding out the southern Ontario trifecta, folk-rockers The Royal Streets are playing the New Moon Folk Club on Friday night.
  • A half century of talent: The University of Alberta is celebrating its music department's 50th anniversary this weekend with a one-of-a-kind-show at the Winspear Centre on Sunday afternoon.


What: Should you happen to be walking in the vicinity of the Shaw Conference Centre this weekend and spot a posse of pastel-coloured wig-wearing cartoon characters, don't be surprised. That's right, it's Animethon, and this year's event is bigger than ever, with cosplayers, models, improv players and voice actors from around the world converging in our northern city to celebrate the best of Japanese animation.

When? Jan. 22 and 23

​​Know of a weekend event happening in the city? Email me or tweet me @CBC_Caitlin