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calgary concerts

15 Things to do in Calgary in August

By KYLEE PEDERSEN

Get the most out of the summer with this list of great things to do in Calgary!

Photo courtesy Heritage Park.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST
Presented by the Calgary Young People’s Theatre comes Oscar Wilde’s “trivial comedy for serious people” with shows August 1 – 5.

ALBERTA KENNEL CLUB CLASSIC
Check out this destination dog show with exhibitors, vendors and judges from around the world from August 3 – 6.

HERITAGE DAY AT FORT CALGARY
Celebrate Heritage Day at the very place Calgary began on August 6, with free museum tours, a Blackfoot ecology education session, Indigenous artisans, a family friendly movie, kids crafts and much more!

STEVE MARTIN AND MARTIN SHORT
If their names alone don’t set the tone, their aptly titled show certainly does — An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life is in town August 4th.

ART CAMP FOR ADULTS AT CSPACE
Focused on the themes of play, recharge and wonder, these two back-to-back weekend camps will see a different guided art activity each evening.

TINARIWEN
Listen to this Grammy-Award winning group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali as they perform at the Bella Concert Hall on August 7.

Photo Courtesy Joachim Cooder.

RY COODER
The legendary guitarist, songwriter and producer returns to his Americana roots with covers of old blues, gospel and folk songs on Prodigal Son, plus a few new originals. His first album of six years aims to give a message of hope and resilience. See him August 10.

MUSIC IN THE PLAZA AT HERITAGE PARK
No matter the weather, Wednesday evenings throughout the month of August will fill Heritage Town Square with live music!

ANDERSON EAST 
Get whisked away with the soulful sounds of this Alabama native on August 12, who’s touring his second studio album Encore. East’s gravelly voice will glide effortlessly through expertly crafted songs that blend blues, R&B and country.

GIPSY KINGS
On August 12, “Bamboleo” all the way to the show!

PEELED COCKTAIL FESTIVAL
From August 16 – 19 experience seminars, tastings and networking events, all centered around the enjoyment and development of Calgary’s cocktail scene.

BEN HARPER & CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE
The American blues musicians join forces for their collaborative new album, No Mercy in This Land. See them August 20. 

Photo courtesy Kelly Hofer.

ALICE COOPER
On August 22, the founder of shock-rock returns to Calgary for a night of theatrics and psycho-drama. A Paranormal Evening will undoubtedly live up to Cooper’s signature performances, where heavy metal and punk rock meet horror show, electric chairs, guillotines and fake blood.

CALGARY PRIDE
Running from August 24 – September 3, Calgary’s best and brightest will be on display at the 28th annual Calgary Pride Week, in celebration of diversity, inclusivity and community. From humble and difficult beginnings, the Calgary Pride Parade has grown to become the second largest parade in the city and is followed by Pride in the Park, where live music and beer gardens continue the festivities.

HONENS
After quarter finals in Berlin and New York, the world-class international piano competition declares a winner in Calgary. From August 30 – September 8.

 

Grandson shakes up Calgary Stampede Coca-Cola Stage

By KYLEE PEDERSEN

Photo courtesy Warner Music.

Where rock and roll and activism meet, that’s where you’ll find Grandson. The McGill University drop-out who relocated to Los Angeles to pursue music is angry, optimistic and has something to say.

His debut EP, A Modern Tragedy Vol. 1, released last month, is a commentary on corruption, social disenfranchisement and apathy, as much as it is a help line to those grappling with where they stand in the current political climate.

Where Calgary had the chance to catch up with Grandson before his performance on July 10 at the Calgary Stampede Coca-Cola Stage, where he’ll be opening for Our Lady Peace.  

Have you played in Calgary before or is this your first time here? I played in Calgary one time before opening for my dear friends The Glorious Sons; it was one of the first shows that I ever played in Canada where people knew Blood // Water and where there was some familiarity. It was an incredibly exciting time, and with all the support we’ve been getting I can’t wait to come back.

You were born in New Jersey but moved to Toronto when you were quite young. Do you feel Canadian? Or Canadian and American? I absolutely feel a relationship to Canada. To the natural resources there, to the disposition of Canadians; whenever I use the word “out” or “about” in the US I get called out for it. But with everything going on in America I’m proud to be an American. I’m proud to be able to speak on things not just as an outsider but as someone who has the right that every American has to vote, to express their opinions and to be heard.

How did you get started on your music, was it something that you knew you always wanted to pursue? My family are a bunch of musicians, but my sister really excelled academically and I didn’t really know where I fit in. Music just kind of became an outlet for me. At first I would write songs about girls I had a crush on in high school. In [university] I was just going through the motions. Then someone heard a video that had only a couple hundred views and they wanted to bring me down to Los Angeles to try writing for other artists. So within the span of five or six weeks I dropped out of school and found a sublet for my apartment, and all of a sudden I was living on a couch in Los Angeles writing songs.

That seems crazy, to make a decision like that in a span of six weeks. I was 20 at the time and I just really felt like okay, let’s say this doesn’t work, in two years or three years I’ll just go back to school. Grandson for me represented the first time that I was willing to fail at something. I had no money and I was just like, ‘alright, well this is me, this is what I have to say, and if no one likes it well you know f–k ‘em, I like it.’ I think that when you enter a headspace like that in any endeavour in your life, be it a career or a relationship, when you’re really willing to put yourself out there and risk rejection or embarrassment or whatever those uncomfortable feelings are, that’s when I think the universe starts cutting you a break.

What’s the scariest thing about being an artist and making music? The scariest part can be the sense of vertigo as you depart from the safety of normalcy. As I am more public with my opinions, as I am more nomadic in my tour schedule, my life looks so much different than I ever could have imagined it. So of all the scary parts, it’s just the fear of maybe losing yourself in it. 

Your debut EP, A Modern Tragedy Vol. 1 just came out so walk us through the creation of that. What does this body of work mean to you? I actually wrote “6 o’clock” around the time that Trump was elected. I was just sitting on all of this music for a while and I knew that I wanted to make a sort of cohesive state of the union – the union not necessarily being America but just a sort of ‘this is where we’re at’. I feel like there is an incredible gravity to this time. It’s such a critical juncture for democracy and youth culture and for you know, how the f–k are we gonna all learn how to cooperate? And if we’re not then how can we confront these issues without getting too burnt out? Can we escalate and work through some of the systemic failure that is plaguing this society without necessarily burning it all down?

Which is a tough line to walk. It requires a lot of confrontation and humility. You have to be able to listen to everybody’s side. I have a hard time relating to people who feel differently from me and I think that that’s human, but it’s also the sort of problem that plays into the hands of the people who are making decisions that wanna keep us at odds with one another. Songs like “6 o’clock” and “stick up” and even “blood // water” touch on some of those failures and some of those conditions, and then songs like “overdose” and “despicable” talk about the the apathy and the escapism that I think this environment can encourage. For me that was what this process represented, it was a lens into the world that I’m writing in.

You mentioned that these topics can be exhausting to dwell on – what gives you hope? One of the things about touring that I love most is that I get to be confronted by people who are really passionate and who are working on the front lines of issues. I’ve had the opportunity to speak to activists and community organizers and teachers that have been through school shootings. I’ve talked to recovering addicts, I’ve talked to people that are recovering from self-harm, and those sorts of things give me hope and optimism. I think that the young people in this society both in Canada and the United States are more engaged than our parents were. I think that they are more connected to one another and that there are more systems in place for them to organize and mobilize. When I think big in the kind of change I want to make and when I see people respond well to that, that makes me pretty f–king stoked. I think that there is a change coming.

15 things to do in Calgary in May

By RACHAEL FREY and SILVIA PIKAL

Photo courtesy Alberta Beer Festivals.

Calgary International Beer Fest

From May 4-5, sample some of the 500 beers onsite, take part in beer seminars, vote for the best and more. (more…)

15 things to do in Calgary in April

By RACHAEL FREY

Glory 

Photo by Erin Wallace, courtesy Alberta Theatre Projects.

If you think hockey and dance don’t go together, give this uplifting story a chance to change your mind. Told through music and dance inspired by the jazz age, it’s the story of four friends in the Depression era who set out to prove hockey isn’t just for men. Catch it playing from April 3 – 21. (more…)

25 Things To Do in Calgary in December

By MICHAELA RITCHIE

A Tribe Called Red will bring their revolutionary sound to The Palace Theatre Dec. 1. (Photo by Matt Barnes.)

For some of you, Christmas has been top of mind for the past several months—but now that we’re just weeks away, the rest of us can no longer deny: ’tis the season! To help get you and yours’ in a festive mood, here are 25 of our favourite local celebrations and holiday traditions that you can take part in to count down the days until Christmas!

(If Christmas just isn’t your cup of holiday cheer, never fear! We threw in a couple of chilly activities, sans festivities, down below for getting out around town and making the most of our city at this jolly time of year—so keep scrolling, and get ready to bundle up!) (more…)

11 Remembrance Day Services in Calgary

By MICHAELA RITCHIE and SILVIA PIKAL

The Field of Crosses stands watch over Memorial Drive each year from Nov. 1-11. (Photo courtesy of the Canadian Legacy Project.)

November 11 marks the advent of a time-honoured tradition of reverence and memoriam for people all across Canada, and the world. Our city’s veterans and military personnel host a swath of fine services, concerts, and parades to pay their respects and memorialize their fellow Canadian troops. If you’re looking for the perfect way to remember our fallen soldiers and give thanks for the freedoms you enjoy because of their sacrifice, here is our guide to some of Calgary’s most popular Remembrance Day gatherings. (more…)

20 Things To Do in Calgary in November

By MICHAELA RITCHIE and SILVIA PIKAL

Corb Lund comes to Calgary on Nov. 2. (Photo courtesy of Corb Lund.)

Just because the weather is quickly taking a turn for the worst here in Calgary, doesn’t mean you and yours have to be stuck inside this month! Here’s our recommendations for getting out around town and making the most of what Calgary has to offer in November: (more…)