24 photos from The Works Golden Summer Gala, Edmonton’s biggest Art & Design festival

the works golden summer gala
Photography by Carmyn Joy

Did you know that summer in Edmonton means the sun doesn’t fully set until 11 pm? On Friday night at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, The Works Golden Summer Gala kicked off The Works Society’s 30th annual Art & Design Festival with 400 guests, and the aptly named event captured the season (and the dress code) in all of its glory. It’s arguably the city’s most stylish affair of the summer, and this year gold-themed gala was hosted by chairs Sydney Young and Sarah Chan (Edmonton’s First Lady, who had Mayor Don Iveson at her side) in the enchanting Empire Ballroom and Terrace.

To date, the gala has generated over $7.3 million in funding invested into 64 The Places Public Art & Design projects installed throughout the downtown area, and has awarded 206 scholarships and 223 internships and education certifications for students in the field of art, culture and design. Live art performances at the event were created by Capital City Burlesque, Tony Olivares (spray painted in metallic gold, á la Goldfinger), DJ Andrea Why, and local band of the moment, The Wet Secrets before a scenic river valley, manicured gardens, and a hotel rich with history.

While the female style set sipped on champagne and donned crop tops, midi skirts, culottes, and chic black ensembles—many dressed by Anna McDonough, the founder of Coup Boutique—their male counterparts were not upstaged, wearing plaid suits, floral and pastel shirts and colourful bow-ties. Fashion designers, style bloggers and artists collided for what is sure to be a style sighting hard to rival during the vacation-heavy months to come. But if this is what a vacation from festival dressing looks like, we hope this golden summer never ends.