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SkirtsAfire #YEG – SAVE THE DATE

 SkirtsAfire Festival in Edmonton is self-described as “diverse, inclusive and daring”, guaranteeing there’s something for everyone at their 10th anniversary festival, running March 3-13 in Old Strathcona. With the ever-changing pandemic climate we’re all navigating, there is one thing for certain – SkirtsAfire will offer 10 days of engaging and entertaining performances and experiences!

We have taken in their MainStage Productions since 2017 as well as Opening Night Parties, and of course, the fantastic SkirtsAfire Skirt Design Competition. Featuring the work of women and non-binary folks in the arts in Edmonton – MARCH 3-13, 2022.  Check out SkirtsAfire, experiencing theatre, visual art, design, music, comedy, and more.

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So Much to See and Do at SkirtsAfire 2020

Old Strathcona, Downtown and Alberta Ave

by Annette Loiselle, Artistic Director

As Edmonton’s only theatre and multidisciplinary arts festival featuring women, we are excited to announce that SkirtsAfire is expanding this year with more venues, new experimental shows and artistic growth. We will be in Old Strathcona with our MainStage play The Blue Hour by Michele Vance Hehir (a must-see), Downtown with music and cabaret at Station on Jasper and The Nook Cafe, and we are back on Alberta Avenue, the community where we started, with brand new shows in drumming, dance and so much more. There’s a lot going on at SkirtsAfire over our 10-day festival, so here is a simplified overview – venue by venue, community by community.

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Peace Out at KIDZSTOCK Children’s Festival!

If your kids are like mine and just want to be free outside all day then the brand new KIDZSTOCK Children’s Festival at Putting Horse Ranch is for you!

Putting Horse Ranch is hosting their first annual KIDZSTOCK Children’s Festival on June 1st and 2nd

Families can start the day with a free pancake breakfast, then lay out a blanket on the grass and take in a full day of family friendly entertainment at the KIDZSTOCK stage!

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All is Bright – A MUST SEE in YEG

Albertans don’t let a little cold weather or snow keep them from getting out and enjoying some fun now, do we? No, and the All is Bright Festival on 124st is a great example of Albertans embracing this season in the city.

On Saturday, November 10th from 4PM to 8PM, the businesses of 124 Street and High Street invite you to their annual light up festival and let me tell you – it’s a must-see. My kids and I have gone every year and it never fails to impress.

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Who knew balance would be so hard for a dancer?

By Stephanie Lilley

I have 16 minutes to write this entire blog post. That is the time before my workout starts, I then have to pick up my 1.5 year old from daycare, pick up my 3.5 year old from playschool, take both tiny terrorists grocery shopping (my MBA has left me ill-equipped to negotiate with them), get them home and napped (by “napped” I mean the older will watch Paw Patrol and the younger will alternate between crying to be breastfed and biting my nipples), take everyone out for some sunshine, clean the whole house, make dinner, get ready for date night (reapply deodorant and change into a different pair of stretchy pants), and go to a local dance company’s show for date night.  

I am a professional contemporary dancer/choreographer and I run Viva Dance Company. I have been married to my wonderful husband for almost a decade and I am mother to the 2 most amazing kids. I have the best life of anybody I know, but I am busier than my kids during the sermon at church! I am burning the candle at both ends and also roasting the middle on a surprisingly hot Easybake oven. Like many women I know, I wear many hats. Mother, wife and artist are my most important, and also my most demanding roles.  

In just a few weeks, myself and the other Viva dancers will be dancing in the Skirtsafire Festival. We train together 2-3 times a week and have performed over 200 times since I started the company in 2012. I wish I could say that our success has translated into money but performing arts companies simply do not turn profits with ticket sales alone, and with the other hats I wear I don’t have time to apply for grants and sponsorships. Furthermore, people often expect that because I love dancing that I should donate my services. In short, it is hard to make a living wage as an artist. It is doubly hard to do so while putting out family fires (literally).  

The payoff? When I am dancing, I get to move my body in infinite ways, the body that houses the soul that loves my husband profoundly, the body that brought two children into this life. My body should be celebrated in all of its postpartum glory and what better way than through movement? In those moments when I can drop my guard and bear my soul, I lose myself and find myself.  

In the blink of an eye, my 16 minutes is almost up and I must go workout so that I can keep up with the 20 year old dancers in my dance company. 

Tough as a mother & yours in dance, 

Stephanie Lilley

Stephanie Lilley is a contemporary dancer/choreographer and runs Viva Dance Company

Facebook: @Vivadancecompany , Twitter: @ViVAdanceCo , Instagram: viva_dance_company

 Find SkirtsAfire on Facebook , Twitter , & Instagram.
This post was sponsored by the SkirtsAfire Festival Society. 

Making #yegherstory since 2012 = SkirtsAFire + {Give Away}

By Annette Loiselle

I am so proud in this time of movement and change to belong to SkirtsAfire, a diverse and daring festival that has been giving women a voice and artists a platform since 2012. With International Women’s Day falling on the opening day of our festival, the theme for 2018 is International Women, which is apropos with the way that women are currently coming together in such a large way around the globe.

SkirtsAfire began over red wine and popcorn with three women who knew that change was needed in their theatre community. According to a recent study done through a national organization called Equity in Theatre, there is less than 35% representation of women working in theatre across Canada. The irony, of course, is that the majority of people coming out of training programs are women, and the majority in our audiences are women. Say what???!!!

So SkirtsAfire develops new plays written by women, produces the work of femme playwrights, hires femme directors, writers, designers, choreographers, dancers, singer-songwriters, bands, visual artists, spoken word poets, film makers, actors, comedians, musicians and on and on and on. What an amazing place to come and see a show!

Plan your girl’s night out, or make a date with your male friends, partners, and colleagues. Just because the artists are women, doesn’t mean the stories and shows aren’t appealing for all genders. SkirtsAfire is universally fun. It brings artists and audience together for performances and exhibits that are inspiring, passionate, insightful, intriguing, and just plain entertaining.

Theatre, music, dance, spoken word, bands, yoga, great food, bellydancing, film, choir – aaaahhhhhh how do you choose what to do? My suggestion: choose a day and make a plan. Pick up a festival program and find out details plus venue addresses and a schedule. Or grab a pocket guide with a schedule and venues that you can keep with you throughout the weekend. If digital is more your thing, use the interactive schedule on our website to get more info on all the events and artists in SkirtsAfire at

Keep in mind that no matter what you do, you should come out to see our MainStage play, The Romeo Initiative by Trina Davies. It opens on March 1, one week ahead of the festival. Based on a real program in which West German secretaries were targeted and psychologically profiled to determine their ‘perfect man,’ an East German spy is sent to develop a long-term relationship with the target; The Romeo Initiative is half romantic comedy, half spy thriller with a tantalizing twist. You can take advantage of Her Night Out, March 2 and 3 where you get wine and popcorn with your ticket to the show, A Date with Romeo, where you pair up and pay only $30 on March 6 and 7, or Mimosa Matinee on March 4, which includes a croissant and champagne/OJ.

Tickets for The Romeo Initiative are available now at and guess what! Alberta Mamas readers get 10% off our Her Night Out events on March 2 and 3 with the code: albertamamas. All festival events from March 8-11 are by donation.

Can’t wait to see you there!

Enter to win Her Night Out tickets for you & 3 of the women in your life to see The Romeo Initiative! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Annette Loiselle is a mother, actor, producer, and the Festival Director of SkirtsAfire Festival. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and 4 children (2 girls – 18 & 17 and twin boys – 14!). She is a founder of the Freewill Shakespeare Festival and has run in 2 half marathons, a full marathon, and last year she did her first triathalon. Find SkirtsAfire on Facebook , Twitter , & Instagram.
This post was sponsored by the SkirtsAfire Festival Society.