The Insider’s Guide to Canal Convergence Fall 2019

By local contributor
Kelly Triplett

Canal Convergence will light up the night the sky when it returns to the Scottsdale Waterfront Nov. 8-17, 2019.  This illuminating event features 10 large-scale art installations by local, national and international artists. Other highlights include hands-on activities, artist talks and presentations underscoring the themes of creativity and sustainability. It’s a can’t-miss event that has become a cornerstone of the thriving Scottsdale arts community.

With 10 days of programming, plus exhibits that extend after the official end of the event, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to go and when. To help you make the best of your time at Canal Convergence, we’ve curated the top five activities we’re excited for at this year’s event, plus some key logistics so you can make an evening of it!


Top 5 Experiences

  1. Beer Tasting at the Brewing Showcase (Nov. 8-9). Learn how Scottsdale is leveraging world-class technology for water sustainability. The tasty beers featured at this event are brewed with recycled water that’s been purified to standards better than bottled water by Scottsdale Water at the Advanced Water Treatment Plant at the Scottsdale Water Campus.  You get extra points in our book if you bring your own reusable beer mug!
  2. Attend an Interactive Workshop. There are many to choose from, but here are two we think you shouldn’t miss!
    • Floatus (6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17): Join local artists from The Walter Hive and build your own miniature Floatus to take home.
    • Community Art with Scottsdale Artists’ School (2 p.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 10 & 18; 5p.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 15): At this fun workshop, artist Holly Lynn Shineller will lead the group in using recyclables to build large-scale flowers.
  3. Take One for the ‘Gram at “Standing Wave,” by Squidsoup. The Instagram-worthy piece uses approximately 600 interconnected orbs of light and sound to simulate a wave over the Arizona Canal.
  4. Conduct Your Own Symphony. “Light Orchestra,” by ATOMIC3 and Ottomata, in collaboration with Jean-Sébastien Côté (Canada), lets viewers become conductors, moving their arms to direct a luminous symphony for the eyes and ears.
  5. See the Walter Productions Fire Show. This local artist collective is returning in 2019 with a piece designed specifically for Canal Convergence. “Water Serpent” is a 200-foot-long, floating sculpture that shoots out fire along its metallic spine and spits sparks from its mouth.


Event Dates and Hours

The Scottsdale Waterfront is open to the pubic 24/7 and some artwork will be on display round the clock so you can technically swing by any time to experience some of Canal Convergence. Official event hours are as follows:

  • Thursday, Nov. 8: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 9: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 11: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 12: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 13: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 14: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 15: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 16: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 17: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.



Canal Convergence is free, with a nominal fee for some workshops. If you want to go the extra mile to support the arts (and attend a swanky party), you can purchase tickets for the Light up the Night Closing Celebration on Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 with 50 percent of that going directly to support the 2020 Canal Convergence event.  


Event Location

Canal Convergence takes place outdoors, along the north and south side of the Arizona Canal, between Scottsdale Road and Goldwater Boulevard just south of Camelback Road.


Where to Park

There are 25 parking garages in Old Town Scottsdale. Most of them free and many are within a few blocks of the event. The closest garages to the event are:

  • Scottsdale Fashion Square Lots & Garages: 7014 E. Camelback Rd.
  • Nordstrom Parking Garage: 7002 E. Via Soleri Dr.
  • Waterfront Underground Parking Garage: 7135 E. Camelback Rd.
  • Southbridge Underground Parking Garage: 71016 E. Stetson Dr.


Food & Drink

Available at the event: Rotating food trucks will be available during the event, so you won’t have to leave the premises to eat. The New Belgium Brewing Beer Garden will be serving up frosty beverages for adults.

Nearby: There are nearly dozens of outstanding restaurants in Old Town Scottsdale, so you won’t be lacking in choices if you decide to step away from the event for food. Some of our favorites include Prep & Pastry, The Drunk Munk, Crust Pizza, Barrio Queen and Olive & Ivy.