William Hawrelak Park

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Coordinates: 53°31′41″N 113°32′51″W / 53.52806°N 113.54750°W / 53.52806; -113.54750

Corner of lake in Hawrelak Park

William Hawrelak Park (or simply Hawrelak Park) is a park in Edmonton, Alberta. It is named after former mayor William Hawrelak, and was formerly known as Mayfair Park.


Stream bed in Hawrelak Park

The park is situated in Edmonton's river valley, next to the North Saskatchewan River. Rented paddleboats may be used on the artificial lake during summer. The lake is also used for the swimming portion of the Edmonton Triathlon. In the winter the lake is used as a skating rink.

As with all City of Edmonton Parks, the park is open to the public from 5am-11pm, 365 days a year. The park has walking–hiking trails around the perimeter which can be used for cross-country skiing in the winter. There are picnic sites, a playground, and even beach volleyball nets on site. Many of the picnic sites feature fire pits.[1]

From 1998 until 2008, the park hosted the Bright Nights Festival around Christmas. In December 2016 and 2017, the park played host to the Silver Skate Festival, which featured an ice castle and other outdoor winter activities.[2]

Heritage Amphitheatre[edit]

Looking across the lake to the Heritage Amphitheatre

The Heritage Amphitheatre is western Canada's largest outdoor amphitheatre. It has seating for 1,133 people and up to 2,900 people with the surrounding grass area. Each year approximately 50,000 people visit it to enjoy musical, dramatic, and other performances in Edmonton's pleasant summer months.[3] The amphitheatre is host to many of Edmonton's festivals, including the Freewill Shakespeare Festival, Rockfest, Edmonton's Labatt Blues Festival, the Symphony Under the Sky Festival (Run by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra), the Edmonton Heritage Festival (the event that gave the Heritage Amphitheatre its name), and the Interstellar Rodeo Festival.[4] Although the amphitheatre is within Hawrelak Park, it is run by the City of Edmonton Civic Events Office, and not the Parks Department. A wind storm in 2013 ripped the canopy, forcing the replacement of the canopy in 2014, and making events like the Freewill Shakespeare Festival move venues temporarily.[5]

The Heritage Amphitheatre in the North Saskatchewan River valley

The inside area under the stage contains a green room, two dressing rooms, washrooms, and an office, all for staff and performers. Indoor heated and fully serviced washrooms are available at the back of house for the spectators and areas are set up for vendors to occupy for food and other services. Picnic tables are often set up for grass seating patrons who do not sit in the 1,133 fixed seats, or they may bring seats of their own. Parking has always been a concern for events at the Amphitheatre, as there is often more spectators attending the events in the Amphitheatre than Hawrelak Park has parking stalls; some parking stalls are also often reserved for staff, performers, and vendors of the event itself. Park and Ride is often available for events, supplied in part by the Edmonton Transit System, the buses come straight to Hawrelak Park from the University of Alberta.[4]


  1. ^ "Park Operations :: City of Edmonton". Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Ice Castle Returns to Hawrelak Park | Family Fun Edmonton". Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Heritage Amphitheatre". City of Edmonton. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  4. ^ a b "Heritage Amphitheatre 2013 User Guide" (PDF). City of Edmonton. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  5. ^ "Indoor Shakespeare Festival Will Have Financial Implications". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 

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