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Calgary festivals

GET TICKETS: 8 Music Festivals


Calgary Folk Music Festival (Photo: courtesy Tourism Calgary)

Calgary Folk Music Festival (Photo: courtesy Tourism Calgary)

Calgary has a limited number of days when concert promoters can safely plan an outdoor music festival, so when the weather is hot and the sun is shining, the city turns into a hub for both big and small scale music festivals. Whether fans are looking to get their fix of country, hip-hop, or opera, music festivals abound all summer long. (more…)

Where Calgary Staff Picks For The 2013 Calgary Folk Music Festival


Steve Earle performs this weekend. Photo: courtesy Calgary Folk Music Festival

Steve Earle performs this weekend. Photo: courtesy Calgary Folk Music Festival

From July 25 – 28, the Calgary Folk Music Festival showcases a plethora of musical acts covering folk, roots and rock genres. See a variety of local and Canadian musical acts as well as international performers this weekend. Where Calgary staff share what they’re most looking forward to at this year’s festival. (more…)

Discover The Calgary Stampede


Rodeo is just one attraction at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. Photo: courtesy Calgary Stampede

Rodeo is just one attraction at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. Photo: courtesy Calgary Stampede

“Come Hell of High Water”—that’s the new motto of the 2013 Calgary Stampede, the city’s world-renowned, 10-day Wild West carnival pays homage to Alberta’s pioneer heritage and takes over the city from July 5 to 14. Despite the Stampede site being seriously affected by the Alberta Flood, organizers have worked around the clock to return the site to normal.

While several concerts held at the flood-damaged Scotiabank Saddledome have been cancelled, many aspects of the Stampede are expected to procede as usual. However, the information listed below is subject to change, and we will provide updates via Twitter and Facebook. Below is our up-to-the-minute guide to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. (more…)

Weekend Roundup August 10 – 12

Enjoy Calgary’s beautiful August weather at these great outdoor events this weekend and relax on Sunday by watching the Summer Olympics’ closing ceremonies.


On Saturday, the Afrikadey! Festival at Prince’s Island Park celebrates Calgary’s rich African culture, 10 am until 10 pm. Merchants and food vendors will be set up around the park, and the main stage features a star-studded lineup including Sudanese hip-hop act Emmanuel Jal and contemporary Ethiopian ensemble Krar Collective. Tickets $25 adult, $20 youth, available at the gate.

MARDA GRAS Sunday Aug 12

Experience that vibrant New Orleans Mardi Gras atmosphere right here in Calgary at this weekend’s annual Marda Gras festival. The event will be held between 33rd Avenue and 34th Avenue SW in the Marda Loop neighbourhood. (more…)

Stampede Mania: the Calgary Stampede Preview Round-Up

Photo: Sunny Goel


Cowtown’s annual western extravaganza, the so-called Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, which kicks off tomorrow, is in its 100th year and hotter than ever.

Here’s a roundup of our favourite Calgary Stampede features leading up to the event:

  • Fashion Magazine tells us how to be cowboy au courant, from what to wear to which events not to miss, including a peek at a Stampede gown made entirely of pancake breakfast supplies. (Yup, we’re talking plates and napkins!)
  • From the Food Network, a slideshow of top Stampede treats: fried Kool-Aid, jalapeño corn dogs, and Jack Daniels whiskey fudge—yeehaw!
  • Just what is the deal with those white cowboy hats? The Globe and Mail interviews Bryce Nimmo, president of Smithbilt Hats, to find out.
  • Doing the Stampede with little cowpokes in tow? The Calgary Herald has some great tips on where to take the kids.
  • We love Canadian Geographic‘s colourful, interactive Stampede map.
  • And, of course, it wouldn’t be an event without an app. The Calgary Stampede’s official iPhone and iPad app has maps, event descriptions and a schedule-building tool.

Calgary: Canada’s 2012 Cultural Capital

Calgary's own Old Trout Puppet Workshop, courtesy Calgary 2012.

The federal government has designated Calgary a Cultural Capital of Canada for 2012. During the year, Calgary 2012, an independent nonprofit organization, will fund arts community initiatives ranging from dance and music to theatre, gallery exhibits and literary readings as well as artist in residence positions. This extensive list of programs and events is intended to honour the city’s past, present and future while boosting its cultural identity.

Full programming details are available at www.calgary2012.com. The Calgary 2012 opening ceremony happens Apr. 7 at the Jack Singer Concert Hall (201 8 Ave. SE). Call 403-294-9494 for tickets.

Opening Night: Calgary Folk Fest Nails It

The Calgary Folk Music Festival opened yesterday to a packed crowd of 12,000 for an evening-only performance at Prince’s Island Park.

City and Colour at Calgary Folk Music Festival

Dallas Green of City and Colour delivered a solid performance to a crowd of 12,000 at the Calgary Folk Music Festival. Photo by Ryan Krochko

The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band kicked off the festival with their high-octane delta blues performance. “Where we’re from, we tell it like it is,” Indiana native and lead vocalist, Rev Peyton shouted out over the crowd. He even brought the normally relaxed tarpies to their feet during the band’s performance of “Clap Your Hands”—an upbeat stomping bluegrass number.

Canadian rapper and producer, Socalled followed. Even with a break in the middle of the set to show the crowd a magic trick, the performance was as entertaining as it was musically intriguing, blending his signature style of hip hop “nerdcore” and Klezmer sounds. (more…)

Calgary Folk Music Festival: Thursday, July 21, Day 1

Gates open at 4:30 pm, close at 10 pm.

Here’s the lineup for tonight’s mainstage at the Calgary Folk Music Festival:

5:30 pm Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (USA) (more…)

Hot Date: Folk Fest

Blue Rodeo

July 21 – 24

Every July, Calgarians flood Prince’s Island Park for four days of live music at the Calgary Folk Music Festival. Although its name suggests only folksy, acoustic performances, expect a tapestry of genres including country, blues, soul, indie, bluegrass, hip-hop and alternative. In all, there are 68 artists from 14 countries playing on seven stages throughout the day, including evening headliners K.D. Lang and Blue Rodeo. For tickets, call 403-233-0904, or purchase at the gate.

Hot Date: Sled Island

June 22 – 25

Now five years running, indie and alternative music fans rule the roost for four days every June at Sled Island. The festival has had a knack for offering a diverse range of music by promoting local Calgary acts like Woodpigeon and Chad VanGaalen as well as international stars, like Dinosaur Jr. and Cat Power. This year, English punk legends The Buzzcocks and American rockers Blonde Redhead headline the festival. Various venues, visit www.sledisland.com for tickets.

Hot Date: Ignite! Festival

June 9 – 11

Sage Theatre’s annual festival for emerging artists from Alberta and beyond, IGNITE! is a whirlwind weekend event featuring performances from up-and-coming artists in the disciplines of dance, theatre, visual art and music. Any given evening you’ll enjoy the premiere of a daring new play, or be dazzled by a program of imaginative dance pieces, or contemplate a diverse collection of new visual art. Afterwards, stick around for drinks and a promising young band. At the Pumphouse Theatres, for tickets call, 403-263-0079.

Hot Date: Cavalia

May 25 – June 5

Watch trick-riders, acrobats, tumblers, bungee artists, dancers and over 40 unescorted horses seamlessly following cues to run in formation, line-up, form circles and interact with each other, in Cavalia, a cruelty-free “Cirque-du-Soleil” like performance. Set in North America’s largest touring tent rising 100 feet into the air, each act artistically depicts the inextricable bond between horse and human throughout the course of history. At Canada Olympic Park, for tickets, call 1-866-999-8111.