September 17th, 2014

Recap: the ImMACulate Garden Party

On August 24, 2014, the Blink: Parkade Party team reunited to host an event in partnership with the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. The ImMACulate Garden Party provided an opportunity to explore one of the city’s best patios and vantage points of our stunning river valley.

Blink ImMACulate Garden Party

The terrace at the Hotel Macdonald

Although the Mac is a respected institution in our city, it is often underappreciated and overlooked by locals. We hoped that by organizing an afternoon of light entertainment and activities, we could highlight this gem in the summer leading up to its centennial. The event was also a fundraiser for the Edmonton Humane Society, in honour of the hotel’s canine ambassador, Smudge.

Blink ImMACulate Garden Party

Enjoying the view

Nearly one hundred people joined us on that beautiful Sunday, all dressed in their garden chic attire. A quarter of attendees indicated that they had never been to the Mac before.

Blink ImMACulate Garden Party

Garden party guests

The food and drink were a definite attraction, with the chefs focusing on a fresh, seasonal menu of refreshing nibbles.

Blink ImMACulate Garden Party

Seafood ceviche

Guests enjoyed the melodies of harpist Keri Lynn Zwicker (which included dabbling in Madonna’s catalogue) and had the chance to chat with local artist Lori Frank about her Edmonton-inspired pieces.

Blink ImMACulate Garden Party

Harpist Keri Lynn Zwicker

The Mac was also supportive (in spite of maintaining a pristine lawn) of the transformation of their green spaces into garden games, including lawn bowling, bocce ball and croquet.

Blink ImMACulate Garden Party

Lawn bowling (photo by Monika Czuprynski)

Blink ImMACulate Garden Party

Croquet

Catering Manager Larissa Gonzales led several tours of the hotel. Besides learning about some of the building’s storied history, the last two tours even manage to snag a peek into the Mac’s most expensive (and celebrity-graced) suite.

Blink ImMACulate Garden Party

Inside the Queen Elizabeth Suite

The collaborative canvas was an experiment that went even better than expected – we invited guests to make their individual mark on what started out as a blank canvas. By the end of the event, the pastel-drawn piece resulted in a unique piece that reflected the group’s vision of Edmonton’s river valley. It was handed out as one of the door prizes at the end of the afternoon.

Blink ImMACulate Garden Party

Before (Mack and I are a little embarrassed at how we started it)

Blink ImMACulate Garden Party

After

It was wonderful being able to see people make use of the terrace we ourselves have enjoyed all summer. And though the Mac is open to hosting such events again in the future, I recommend not waiting – make use of this last burst of warm weather and take advantage of one of our city’s assets.

Blink ImMACulate Garden Party

The boys were out in full force (photo by Monika Czuprynski)

Thanks to everyone who attended, and the Mac for being such a great partner. We were able to raise over $550 for the Humane Society! Last but not least – I had a blast working with Hannah, Stephanie and Mack on this event, and look forward to whatever trouble we may get ourselves into next year!

Blink ImMACulate Garden Party

The team! (photo by Monika Czuprynski)

You can see more photos for the event here.

September 15th, 2014

Food Notes for September 15, 2014

It’s hard to believe how fast September has flown by – Mack and I are now counting down to our wedding (and honeymoon!). On to this week’s food notes:

  • We’re about halfway through Sorrentino’s 20th annual Mushroom Harvest Festival, which features cooking classes, and a mushroom walk, cook & eat.
  • You have one more chance to tour the Northlands Urban Farm on September 18, 2014, and learn about their farm and beekeeping operation.
  • Slow Food Edmonton is hosting an apple tasting on September 21, 2014 at the French Quarter Market. I couldn’t help but think of Valerie’s post when she conducted a similar tasting with her food students a few years ago.
  • The City Market is collaborating with local chefs to help the Bissell Centre raise funds at their Fall Harvest Dinner on October 5, 2014.
  • LitFest is back this year with Food Matters on October 18, 2014, featuring a panel that includes Chef Shane Chartrand of Sage Restaurant.
  • Karlynn sampled the new “build your own” menu at Hotel Macdonald, offering 3 courses for $59.
  • Mel Priestley is the new Dish Editor at Vue Weekly – congrats!
  • Congratulations to Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton for planting their first tree at their new micro-orchard last week! The orchard is located at McCauley School.
  • Peters’ Drive-In is expanding to Red Deer’s Gasoline Alley. It may be only a matter of time before they move north into Edmonton!
  • Mack, Felicia and I checked out Hawkers Market on Saturday at their new location. Latitude 53 provided the added bonus of an outdoor patio space, but was unfortunately plagued by some of the same power issues seen at Vacancy Hall. Still, we enjoyed the food we were able to sample – in particular, the cashew cheese by Truffula was a tasty surprise, while it’s hard to pass up Paper Bag Donuts.

Hawkers Market

Out on the patio

Hawkers Market

Cashew cheese with onion bread by Truffula (the cheese is available at Earth’s General Store)

Hawkers Market

Paper Bag Donuts

  • The first annual Mid-Autumn Festival event that took place in Churchill Square was a rousing success. The weather cooperated, and they had a great turnout for the performances and other planned activities. The grand finale of a lantern parade followed by a boat launch onto the City Hall pool was executed exactly as the organizers envisioned, and hopefully, will be something replicated again next year.

Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival

Mid Autumn Festival at Churchill Square

Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival

Attila the HUNgry’s duck tots

Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival

Wishing boats at City Hall

September 11th, 2014

Recap: the 97 Street Night Market, 2014 edition

On August 23, 2014, the second annual 97 Street Night Market took place in the heart of Chinatown.

97 Street Night Market

97 Street Night Market

Closing off part of 106 Avenue just off of 97 Street ensured we were accessible, and adjacent to several of the neighbourhood’s most popular restaurants.

97 Street Night Market

Lion dance

The market built on much of the foundation we had established last year, comprised of vendors, Asian-themed food trucks, dynamic performers and walking tours.

97 Street Night Market

Food trucks

New this year to our vendors was Sunny Snapshots. They provided attendees with the chance to take home a keepsake of the market with a photobooth picture (and props to enhance the shots!). The photos are also online in a digital format, for handy sharing.

Sharon and Felicia

Felicia and I crammed our props inside the booth

Rory Lee, a local artist, also committed to live painting a piece during the market. Many onlookers watched to see the progress he made throughout the night.

97 Street Night Market

Rory Lee

We were fortunate to have Molly’s Eats back for a second year, who was joined by Nhon Hoa and Yellowbird. They provided a nice variety of dishes, from banh mi to sesame fish tacos. I personally enjoyed the braised beef shank wrapped in a green onion pancake from Molly’s Eats.

97 Street Night Market

Fried rolls with beef from Molly’s Eats

The stage that night hosted a range of performers demonstrating more traditional arts to those who practice more modern endeavors. And they were all fantastic.

97 Street Night Market

The sidelines were full that night

Vivian Tao, a twelve year old master of the Chinese guzheng, blew the crowd away with her talent. Wing Choy of the Red Dragon Tai Chi Club enthusiastically led a tai chi lesson. The Sung Lee Taekwondo Demo Team brought their A-game with their high energy routine.

97 Street Night Market

Vivian Tao

97 Street Night Market

Wing Choy

97 Street Night Market

Sung Lee Taekwondo Demo Team

We also had two great K-pop dance crews: Rise to Beat and a favourite from last year, Convergence Dance Crew. Someone suggested we host a “dance off” in the future, but both crews are so passionate it would be hard to choose a winner!

97 Street Night Market

Rise to Beat

Of all the elements of the night market, walking tours are perhaps closest to my heart. They’re something I always seek out when travelling, since they’re a great way to learn about the history and geography of a neighbourhood.

97 Street Night Market

Returning guides Peter Wong and Lan Chan-Marples lead a Chinatown history tour

This year, I was most proud of the fact that we added a new tour to the mix that was all about the area’s culinary gems. A popular way to learn about Chinatowns all over North America, I was happy to finally bring such a concept back to Edmonton (I heard Judy Schultz, formerly of the Edmonton Journal, used to lead such tours herself).

97 Street Night Market

Tour participants enjoy samples at Ying Fat

Wild Tangerine’s Wilson and Judy Wu did a phenomenal job introducing five of Chinatown’s food businesses to a small group of lucky individuals (we unfortunately couldn’t take everyone who was interested in the tour!). The food-filled stops included Ying Fat, Edmonton’s fresh tofu factory, who go through 1000 pounds of non-gmo soybeans sourced from Ontario, and Hing Lung, a barbecue shop that cures and roasts its own meat.

97 Street Night Market

How many people can fit into Hing Lung?

The tour feedback was great; some commented that they would have gladly paid for the tour! Many participants also remarked that they now felt less intimidated in Chinatown, and would soon return to patronize the shops they now feel familiar with. Food tours in Edmonton’s Chinatown are definitely an untapped opportunity; I’m hopeful someone will pick up the torch in the future.

97 Street Night Market

The market after dark

Overall, I am proud of what we achieved with the 97 Street Night Market. We not only created a vibrant, safe gathering place in Chinatown, but also highlighted some of what the neighbourhood has to offer.

97 Street Night Market

With my co-organizers, Maria and Roxanne

Thanks to those who attended this year!

September 10th, 2014

What the Truck?! @ Churchill Square: September 12, 2014

In previous years, I’ve been able to keep up with the food truck scene in Edmonton – though it usually took me the entire season to get to and try all of the new trucks that debuted that year, it could be done. This year, I’ve all but given up.

What the Truck?! at Churchill Square
2012 What the Truck?! @ Churchill Square

It speaks to how pervasive food trucks have become in the city, with over fifty in operation in the Edmonton area. Food trucks have also become nearly synonymous with festivals, farmers’ markets and any outdoor events that make the most of our warm weather months – a good sign that they’re here to stay.

_DSC5020
2013 What the Truck?! @ Churchill Square

Help us celebrate a great season with our last What the Truck?! of the year with a historic event – the largest food truck gathering Edmonton has ever seen.

What: What the Truck?! at Churchill Square
Where: Sir Winston Churchill Square Edmonton
When: Friday, September 12, 2014

Time: 4-8pm
RSVP on Facebook!

Twenty five trucks will fill up Churchill Square and 99 Avenue, with menus so delicious and varied you’ll be hard pressed to narrow down your choices. Among your options: South African bunny chow, Hawaiian spam burgers, and liege waffles topped with cream cheese grand marnier mousse.

What the Truck?! at Churchill Square 2013
2013 What the Truck?! @ Churchill Square

DJs Thomas Culture, Chesterfield and The Hugonaut will be on hand that night to set the tone – get ready to party!

What the Truck?! at Churchill Square 2013
DJ Thomas Culture

Hope to see you there!

September 8th, 2014

Food Notes for September 8, 2014

It’s been a pretty good week – Kim and Shane welcomed a beautiful baby boy last week, so we’re now the proud Aunt & Uncle of an adorable little ginger. Can’t wait to watch him grow! On to this week’s food notes:

  • Our last What the Truck?! of the season will see Edmonton’s largest food truck gathering ever take place on Friday, September 12, from 4-8pm in Churchill Square. The menus are up, so you can plan your meal in advance. Hope to see you there!
  • On September 14, the first annual Mid-Autumn Festival celebration is taking place in Churchill Square from 1-9pm. I’m looking forward to the release of the boats into the pool in front of City Hall after dark – should be a sight to see!
  • Some restaurant news – it turns out the folks behind Café Amore will be taking over the space vacated by Lit on 104 Street. Expect the Black Pearl Seafood Bar to open in February 2015, with a focus on fresh seafood options.
  • Somerville Wine Bar has changed hands – Jan Trittenbach, formerly of Packrat Louie, will reopen the space as Solstice Seasonal Cuisine in October.
  • The Journal reviewed the new Rocky Mountain Ice House last week.
  • El Cortez was reviewed by Twyla on CBC last week as well.
  • Two local doughnut makers will be competing on this season’s Donut Showdown: Bliss Baked Goods and Moonshine Donuts.
  • Liane wrote about some of the great eats out of the Earth’s General Store deli. If you need an extra incentive, and have a 2014-15 community league membership, check out their Community League Member Appreciation Day on September 21, 2014 for a 10% discount in store.
  • Valerie has a round-up of the latest Canadian Experience Project posts, focusing on the Canadian garden.
  • My sisters organized a wonderful bridal shower for me over the weekend, which included a private cooking class, a beautiful meal at Tzin and fun games. Thanks, Amanda & Felicia!

Sharon's Bridal Shower

Of course the bacon had to make an appearance on our Tzin tasting menu

Sharon's Bridal Shower

With my sisters & my Mum

September 1st, 2014

Food Notes for September 1, 2014

It’s hard to believe it’s already September, but at least we had a long weekend to help us ease into it! Hope you had a good break, too! On to this week’s food notes:

  • Downtown Edmonton Community League’s annual Corn Fest is back on September 6, 2014. Head to Beaver Hills House Park on Jasper Avenue and 105 Street for free corn fro 11am-3pm.
  • The next Make Something Monday breakfast session on September 8, 2014 is all about food! Join Phil as he moderates a discussion featuring RGE RD’s Blair Lebsack, Get Cooking’s Kathryn Joel and Tres Carnales’ Daniel Braun. Tickets are free but you have to pre-register.
  • Hawkers Market has relocated to Latitude 53, and for the first time, have brought in live music. Get your tickets to the September 13, 2014 event here.
  • The Red Shoe Crawl on 124 Street is coming up on September 14, 2014! I had a blast attending the Old Strathcona Red Shoe Crawl earlier this year, and don’t doubt that this event will be equally fun. Tickets are $45, but also check out Linda and Andrea’s blogs for a chance to win a pair of free tickets!
  • Earth’s General Store is hosting a produce swap at its south side location on September 14, 2014.
  • Edmonton now has two board game cafes, with The Hexagon Café joining the mix.
  • Linda reviewed Spruce Grove’s newest Italian restaurant, Porta Romana.
  • You may have already voted for the local restaurants nominated in EnRoute’s Best New Restaurant category, but have you voted for your favourite local watering hole? There are nine up for consideration.
  • Burger King has bought Tim Horton’s, but besides the same bad pun, nothing has changed yet.
  • We finally bought some of the Lays “Do us a flavour” chips to try. The Cinnamon Bun flavour wasn’t as odd as we thought it would be, but Mack’s really enjoying the Jalapeno Mac N’ Cheese.

Lays

What’s your flavour? (we found all four flavours in stock at the Co-op on the south side)

  • In between errands on the weekend, Mack and I stopped by The Burger Joint for lunch. It was just as good as we remembered (and we were stuffed for hours).

The Burger Joint

Lunch at The Burger Joint

  • After the amazing Symphony in the City concert on Saturday night, Mack and I headed to Woodwork for a late-night cocktail and bite to eat.

Woodwork

The Blinker at Woodwork

August 31st, 2014

Date Night: The Secret Garden and Museum After Dark 2

Prior to a night out at the museum in early July, Mack and I had dinner at The Dish and the Runaway Spoon. More specifically, we chose to sit in their Secret Garden, one of my favourite patios in the city.

Protected from the noise of Stony Plain Road and in the shade of a tree, the Secret Garden is a gem, a must visit during our precious days of summer. Combined with their comfort food offerings, we were lucky to grab the last available table that night.

Dinner at The Dish

The Secret Garden

I had the chicken and waffles, while Mack ordered the housemade donair. Though the chicken wasn’t as moist as I would have liked the savoury green onion and cheddar buttermilk waffle made up for some of my disappointment. Mack had no complaints about the donair – it could have easily fed two people.

Dinner at The Dish

Chicken and waffles

Dinner at The Dish

Housemade donair

After dinner, Mack and I headed to the Royal Alberta Museum for their second Museum After Dark event. Intended to encourage the “next gen” set to revisit the attraction and supports its programs, the evenings incorporate drinks, music and activities for a fun night out.

We had fun at the first ever Museum After Dark earlier this year, but we were happy to see some positive changes. First off, the entire museum was open to explore, instead of just a few choice galleries. Given this was an opportunity to get to know the attraction better, we appreciated the chance to wander through their permanent exhibits – it has been some time since I’ve visited the dinosaur room, while Mack has never been to the bug room!

Museum After Dark

Mack loves rocks!

Museum After Dark

The Bug Room creeps me out

We also appreciated the evening’s game much more. The last incarnation had attendees running furiously to be the first to complete the challenge, but this time, it wasn’t a timed entry, and instead, had much more to do with chance. The “poker rally” had attendees draw cards from tables located in galleries around the museum, with the best hand winning the grand prize. Luck wasn’t on our side that night, but it was a great way to wind our way through the building at our own pace.

Museum After Dark

Pick a card, any card

The feature exhibit was Worn to Be Wild (on until September 7, 2014), and highlights the history of the black leather jacket. We learned about its origins, interpretations, and most exciting, saw jackets worn in popular culture.

Museum After Dark

Worn to Be Wild

Museum After Dark

Mack does his best Schwarzenegger impression next to a jacket worn in Terminator 2

I also had fun with the prop area of the exhibit…maybe a little too much fun.

Museum After Dark

“Look ma, no hands!”

In line with the feature exhibit, models sporting Luxx Ready to Wear (locally designed by Derek Jagodzinsky) were roaming the galleries.

Museum After Dark

Luxx Ready to Wear models

We spent some time on the second floor landing chatting with other attendees, while DJ Junior Brown spun tunes. My only suggestion would be to perhaps have a standing food station in addition to hand-passed appetizers – I overheard more than a few people comment that they must have just missed the servers.

Museum After Dark

Tomato and cheese skewers from Bridges

We learned that plans for the next Museum After Dark are already in the works, with a theme of “Beer and Bones”. Check the website for more information as it is released. Thanks again to the organizers for the free tickets!

The Dish and the Runaway Spoon
2417 Stony Plain Rd
(780) 488-6641
Monday to Saturday, 11am – 5pm, 5 – 9pm; closed Sundays

Royal Alberta Museum
12845 102 Avenue
(780) 453-9100

August 25th, 2014

Food Notes for August 25, 2014

Thanks to everyone who came out this weekend to the 97 Street Night Market and the ImMACulate Garden Party! It was definitely a whirlwind weekend, but thankfully, a successful one. Now, on to the next – make sure to save the date for our last What the Truck?! of the season (and biggest ever) on September 12 at Churchill Square, with 25 trucks to help represent the growth of the scene. On to this week’s food notes:

  • Fort Edmonton Park’s annual Harvest Fair is back, August 30-September 1, 2014. Experience “food through the ages” throughout the park, old-fashioned games and learn heritage skills. Mack and I took the event in last year, and had a blast.
  • Liane Faulder will be leading another tour group to the food mecca of New York, from November 12-17, 2014.
  • Chef Shane Chartrand is hosting another of his Sage Signature Series dinners, this time with a “Taste of Europe” theme. It is hard to beat six courses for $49. Robyn has a preview of what to expect.
  • Lots of buzz around Rostizado – a review from Twyla, and media opening recaps from Cheryl, Chris and Michelle.
  • Cindy shared some gorgeous pictures from this year’s RGE RD dinner at Nature’s Green Acres.
  • Did you know Duchess will be publishing a cookbook later this year?
  • Mack sent me a link to a website someone put together all about how bad The Burg is.
  • It is rare that Mack and I can meet up for lunch, but when we do – Pho Tau Bay it is!

Pho Tau Bay

Lunch date pho!

  • Don Wheaton hosted the Driving Change for the United Way event on Friday. The Local Omnivore’s menu was hard to beat – deep fried perogy poutine, and a dry cured rolled pork belly sandwich, topped with a fried egg and cheese.

Drive for Change

Driving Change for the United Way

The Local Omnivore

Rolled pork belly sandwich from The Local Omnivore

  • Mack and I are about a month away from our wedding date – hard to believe how fast time has flew! Last month, we did our engagement shoot with Bruce & Sarah of Moments in Digital. Here is one of my favourite pictures:

MackSharonBridge

Every engagement shoot inevitably ends up with this shot, but I still love it!

August 18th, 2014

Food Notes for August 18, 2014

I’m a part of two events this weekend – the 97 Street Night Market and the ImMACulate Garden Party. Hope you’re able to join us! On to this week’s food notes:

  • It will be a busy weekend in Edmonton. Among events is the Driving Change for United Way event on August 22, from 5-9pm in Old Strathcona, featuring eight food trucks. A portion of all food sales will go to the United Way.
  • On August 23, 2014, from 6-10pm, the second annual 97 Street Night Market will be taking place in Chinatown. I wrote more about it last week, but join us for food, free walking tours, vendors and a new vision for the neighbourhood.
  • Drift is hosting another pop-up on the heels of their successful “pay the rent pop-up series”. This time, they’re offering brunch on Sunday, August 24, 2014, from 11am-2pm.
  • Viva Italia’s annual festival takes place August 24, 2014, from 12-9pm in Giovanni Caboto Park. Enjoy live entertainment, wine and cheese and cooking demonstrations.
  • The ImMACulate Garden Party takes over the gorgeous Hotel Macdonald terrace on August 24, 2014, from 2-5pm. Attendees are encouraged to dress in garden whites and pastels to enjoy tasty nibbles and a signature drink, play lawn games, and learn more about the history of one of Edmonton’s most iconic buildings. Tickets are $40 and must be purchased in advance.
  • I love the idea behind the YEG Market District on Stony Plain Road – their first event on August 24, 2014 from 9am-5pm will transform a back alley into a stage, market and gathering place.
  • El Cortez is now open! I’m sure it’s rockin’, and not only from the spillover from the Fringe.
  • Cindy and Liane both visited Rostizado, the new spot from the Tres Carnales boys, last week. Can’t wait to check it out tomorrow!
  • Sabor Divino is having a month-long seafood festival, running August 14-September 14. Check out the menu here.
  • Bannock Burger on 124 Street was short lived – it is now closed. That said, the owners are looking for other options after the landlord decided not to renew their lease.
  • The nearby Eden’s Market on 124 also announced that they have ceased operations, with August 10 having been their last market.
  • Looking to have a picnic, but don’t have the time to put together a basket of eats? There’s now a service for that, called YEG Picnic.
  • Happy to hear the backyard chickens pilot passed City Council today!
  • Tim Horton’s debuted a new dark roast coffee on Friday, in an effort to target McDonald’s and Starbucks coffee drinkers. Mack tried it today, and commented that though it is better than their regular joe, it won’t be garnering his regular business.
  • Speaking of Tim Horton’s, they’re seeking votes for this year’s Duelling Doughnuts contest (the winner receives $10,000 and sees their creation grace the café menus). Great to see an Edmontonian among the Ontario-based entries. Go, Judd and your lumberjack doughnut!
  • Mother’s Market celebrated their grand opening on Sunday. It was buzzing, and busier than I’d ever seen it. Their rooftop patio on the second floor is great – in the warmer months, it’ll be perfect for pre-shopping breakfasts and lunches.

Mother's Market

Mother’s Market

Mother's Market

Rooftop patio

  • I had lunch at Culina Muttart last week with colleagues. It’s been some time since I’ve been, but service was efficient, and the perogies were fried to perfection.

Culina Muttart

Marina’s cheddar perogi

  • I joined Brittney and the Food Bloggers (wouldn’t that make a great band name?), Cindy, Andrea, Diane and Teresa at Shanghai 456 last week. It was our first visit to the new location, and boy, was their kitchen quick. The xiaolong bao were as delicious as I remembered.

Shanghai 456

Food, glorious food!

August 17th, 2014

The ImMACulate Garden Party at the Hotel Macdonald – August 24, 2014

Every so often, the river valley development debate comes up in the news cycle, with proponents either for the preservation of its current state or to enhance the ability for Edmontonians to better take advantage of one of our city’s key treasures. While I am in favour of providing more opportunities for folks to enjoy our waterfront, I think it’s easy to forget that some ideal vantage points already exist.

The Hotel Macdonald

The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald will be celebrating their centennial next July, though for a building so etched in our skyline, it is far too underappreciated. Being a hotel, it is easily overlooked by locals, and with the Fairmont franchise attached to it, it may seem out of reach to others.

Hotel Macdonald

In my opinion, there are few better places to soak up our river valley’s views than the terrace of the Hotel Macdonald. Not only can you take in the lush greenery below, but the terrace itself is gorgeous. EnRoute Magazine also recently named the Confederation Lounge (the restaurant that offers primary patio seating at the Mac) as one of its top five must-visit Canadian patios.

Hotel Macdonald

To help more Edmontonians discover this well-kept secret, the team behind last year’s Blink: Parkade Party has partnered with the Hotel Macdonald to host the ImMACulate Garden Party on August 24, 2014, from 2-5pm.

Hotel Macdonald

We are encouraging attendees to dress in their garden party whites or pastels for a chic afternoon of food, drink and entertainment. The Mac has put together a fantastic menu for us, featuring their cherry-glazed duck confit tacos, which were a big hit at the recent Taste of Edmonton, as well as a signature drink.

Hotel Macdonald

Tours will be offered every hour, so you can learn more about one of Edmonton’s institutions. For those who may not know, the Mac sat vacant for years, and was nearly demolished in the 1980s.

Hotel MacDonald

We’ve secured a harpist to help set the tone for the event, a perfect backdrop to try your hand at several outdoor games, including croquet and lawn bowling. We’ve also put together a scavenger hunt – those who complete it will have a chance to win a gift certificate to the Confederation Lounge.

The Mac is unique for many reasons, such as its use of a canine ambassador, the first in Edmonton. Smudge is a six-year-old Yellow Labrador, and was originally trained as a guide dog. She is often seen greeting people in the hotel lobby, and can be requested to accompany guests on a stroll through the neighbourhood. In honour of Smudge, the ImMACulate Garden Party is a fundraiser for the Edmonton Humane Society.

Tickets for the event are $40, and must be purchased in advance here. I hope to see you there!

More information about the ImMACulate Garden Party can be found on blinkedmonton.ca.