Authors on the Big Secret Theatre stage
Literary Death Match at Wordfest | Photo: David Kotsibie, Persuasion Photography

Fall Festival Guide

Warm up as cozy and intimate festivals take over Calgary

Amy Jo Espetveidt

Summer might be over but that doesn’t mean that Calgary’s festival season is. With the cooler weather comes a warm and cozy lineup from perennial favourites Wordfest, Fluid Fest, CUFF.Docs, the Canadian Jazz Festival, and many more.

Eddy Fest

October 4 – 7, 2018
King Eddy, National Music Centre (438 9th Ave. SE)
$12 – $50

A four-day music showcase celebrating the official grand opening of the King Eddy, this weekend features local and touring talent alongside special culinary features from the new Southern-inspired menu. Acts include Astral Swans, Nice Horse, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, and Amos Garrett and the Eh! Team.


October 8 – 15, 2018
Multiple locations
Ticket prices vary

Get ready for a week of meaningful conversations with the world’s most engaging writers as Calgary’s festival dedicated to readers returns. Don’t miss out on the unbeatable Literary Death Match, the infamous Adult Spelling Bee, the Scotiabank Giller Prize Beyond the Pages evening, and many other fun events throughout.

Wide Cut Weekend

October 11 – 13, 2018
Multiple locations
$25 – $79

Calgary’s roots festival returns with three days of rocking music in venues across Calgary. With a lineup including Ridley Bent, The Georgia Fats, Amy Nelson, Emily Triggs, Maria Dunn, and many more, this is the perfect October treat for fans of music with a twang.

Calgary Tattoo & Arts Festival

October 12 – 14, 2018
BMO Centre, Stampede Park (20 Roundup Way SE)
$25 – $50

With more than 400 of the best local and international artists, this lifestyle festival features contests, retail exhibits, and tattooing throughout the weekend.

Fusion Arts & Music Festival

October 18 – 21, 2018
Multiple locations
Ticket prices vary

Have you heard of the Chinese erhu playing jazz with the harp? Or erhu playing tango with the piano? Explore the world fusion music this October with a new festival that includes surprising concerts and amazing workshops.

Fluid Movement Arts Festival

October 18 – November 3, 2018
Multiple locations
$20 – $125

Asking Calgarians to be dance curious, each year Fluid Fest brings artists and audiences together with contemporary art, dance, and physical performance. Be on the lookout for shows, workshops, artist talks, and happenings all meant to inspire and connect.

The People’s Poetry Festival

October 19 & 20, 2018
Loft 112 (112, 535 8th Ave. SE)
Free – $25

A celebration of poetry and art, this DIY festival returns thanks to a partnership with Loft 112 and LimeLighter. While details are still being released, there’s an art opening to check out as well as a workshop and an evening filled with poetry, spoken word, live music, and film.

Canzine Calgary

October 27, 2018, 12:00 – 6:00pm
Memorial Park Library (2nd Floor, 1221 2nd St. SW)

A festival of zine culture and independent artists, swing by Memorial Park Library to indulge in the first stop of Canada’s biggest traveling zine festival.

Día de Muertos Festival

November 1 – 9, 2018
cSPACE King Edward (1721 29th Ave. SW)
Free – $5

Celebrate this beautiful Mexican tradition remembering those who have departed with food, music, and joy. The week includes a free altar exhibition from November 1 to 9, a celebration of life at 6:00pm on November 2, and a screening of Coco in Spanish at 6:00pm on November 9.

Calgary European Film Festival

November 3 – 11, 2018
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
$12 for single tickets

Celebrating European cinema here in Calgary, this film festival returns for its seventh year. All productions have been nominated for, or have won, international awards and are screened in their respective languages with English subtitles.

Canadian Jazz Festival

November 8 – 11, 2018
Multiple locations
Ticket prices vary

From traditional-inspired jazz to hard-hitting swing, JazzYYC’s Canadian focused fall festival is full of exciting collaborations, workshops, and all-ages events including a free jazz walk and a performance from Montréal Guitare Trio.

Jazz musicans can be seen playing through an art gallery window

Go on a jazz walk this November with JazzYYC’s Canadian Jazz Festival | Photo: Dean Mullin

Marda Loop Justice Film Fest

November 13 – 18, 2018
Multiple locations

This festival is all about film with a social edge. Screenings include post-show discussions with local and international artists and experts, as well as opportunities to interact and connect with community.

Femme Wave

November 15 – 18, 2018
Multiple locations
Ticket prices vary

Showcasing music, comedy, visual art, and film by eccentric groups in Calgary and its surrounding areas, this festival celebrates underrepresented voices in the arts, specifically those of anyone who identifies as a woman. For 2018 the lineup includes performances from JB The First Lady, Too Attached, Bebe Buckskin, and many more.

GIRAF Animation Festival

November 22 – 25, 2018
Multiple locations
Ticket prices vary

Full of quirky and stunning animation alike, this festival is always a great time. Hosted by Quickdraw Animation Society, this year offers a great chance to explore the work of featured visiting artist, award-winning Indigenous filmmaker, media artist, and stop motion director Amanda Strong.


November 28 – December 2, 2018
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
Ticket prices vary

Growing out a desire to bring more international documentaries to Calgary, this year marks the sixth go for this documentary festival. And with 12 full-length features, as well as shorts, varying in subject, style, and genres, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

Calgary Carol Festival

December 1 – 3, 2018
Knox United Church (506 4th St. SW)
By donation for the Calgary Food Bank

Head to Knox United Church for three nights of carol singing from Calgary’s best choirs. Non-perishable food items or a cash donation for the Calgary Food Bank is welcomed for admission and seating is on a first-come first-served basis.

SPARK Disability Art Festival

December 3 – 8, 2018
cSPACE King Edward (1721 29th Ave. SW)

Featuring juried exhibitions as well as public programs, the SPARK Disability Art Festival is Calgary’s largest and longest running arts festival for visual artists with disabilities. This year’s programming takes place throughout cSPACE King Edward—stay tuned as more details are released.

Have an upcoming festival that’s not listed? Email us at or fill out this form.