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6 Local Celebrations of Global Culture


Dancers spin and twirl at Calgary's Expo Latino. (Photo: Ken Mann)

Calgary’s Expo Latino is the largest Latin festival in Western Canada (Photo: Ken Mann)

Calgary is proud of its diverse cultural heritage, and August is packed with festivals celebrating the music, food and culture of the city’s international communities.

Aug 6 – 9
American Grammy Award-winning hip-hop group Arrested Development headlines the festival’s closing-night concert. The four-day celebration of African music and cultural identity also features lightning-fingered Congolese guitarist Diblo Dibala and Zimbabwe’s Mokoomba, an energetic, afro-fusion band.

TD Calgary Chinatown Street Festival
Aug 9
Chinatown comes alive with street vendors, food kiosks and cultural activities celebrating Chinese life and culture. Take a calligraphy lesson, browse a Hong Kong-style flea market, sip bubble tea, eat dim sum and take in traditional music, dance and dramatic performances.

Calgary ReggaeFest
Aug 13 – 16
Reggae legends Third World top this four-day celebration of reggae music and culture at Shaw Millennium Park. Canadian double Juno Award winner Exco Levi and Long Shen Dao, a reggae band from Beijing, China, also perform.

Aug 14 – 23
Every second night starting August 14, the GlobalFest Trico Homes International Fireworks Festival explodes over Elliston Lake. Competing teams in this “pyromusical” competition include Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and France. Starting at 6 pm nightly, Elliston Park features 20 cultural pavilions, musical stage performances and an extensive night market.

Expo Latino
Aug 22 – 24
Western Canada’s largest Latin festival takes place at Prince’s Island Park. Celebrating the food, history and culture of 22 Latin and Hispanic nations, it features performances by both local and international musicians.

Calgary Highland Games
Aug 30
You don’t have to be Scottish to enjoy this celebration of Canada’s Highland heritage held at Springbank Park for All Seasons. The games feature a Scottish market as well as tug-o-war, Highland dance, drumming and bagpipe competitions. The thrilling heavy sports events include stone and hammer throwing and the iconic caber toss.

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