The performing arts cover a wide range of artistic expressions. From
magic tricks to dramatic theatre productions, blues jam sessions to
symphony orchestras, every actor, composer and dancer contributes to the
richness of the arts in Alberta. Those profiled in this section are
broadly defined as performers, their festivals and associations structured
to accommodate the unique business of presenting art to a live audience.
Yet for all their fundamental similarities, the differences are numerous
enough to require the three distinctive disciplines of music, theatre and
Alberta's musical repertoire has curious beginnings. At the turn of the
20th century, audiences gathered in halls, parks and hotels to hear
minstrels perform songs originating from the plantations of the southern
United States. Since then, Albertans have embraced every genre of music.
Jazz, blues, classical, country, rock and folk have each found their niche
in a sprawling and massive music community. Artists have found both
dedicated local fan bases and international recognition for their work, as
well as a staying power resulting from an audience loyal to homegrown
There are two major arts centres in the province, both supporting a
close-knit and widely active theatre district. World renowned events such
as the fringe festivals in Edmonton and Calgary attract local and
international acts, creating an accessible forum for audiences to
experience a wide gamut of theatrical productions. From the days of
vaudeville to the growing popularity of sketch comedy and improvisation,
Albertans continue to create award-winning productions, maintaining one of
the most thriving and dynamic theatre scenes in Canada.
Canada's multicultural roots have fostered a large traditional and
contemporary dancing community in Alberta. The ambitions of amateurs and
professional dancers are nurtured by hundreds of cultural associations
across the province. World class facilities are home to companies such as
Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, each having garnered international
acclaim for their performance pieces.
While music, theatre and dance are separate industries, they easily weave
into a single community, combining the talents of singers, playwrights and
choreographers to maintain Alberta's solid reputation for performance