Literary Death Match participants on stage
Literary Death Match returns to The Imaginairium by Wordfest | Photo: David Kotsibie

Fall Festivals

Warm up this season as cozy and intimate festivals take over Calgary

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Location Various Venues 
  • Price Prices Vary

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.

Calgary Spanish Film Festival

October 8 – 29, 2019
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
$8 – $10

A representative selection of films from 2018 and 2019, get a taste of all the creativity, history, and talent of today’s Spanish cinema. The Embassy of Spain, in collaboration with Globe Cinema, the European Cultural Society of Calgary, and the Aula Cervantes, present this inaugural festival of new films that do not have commercial distribution in Canada.


October 10 – 12, 2019
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)

Canada’s premiere ski film festival, the 17th annual lineup showcases the most anticipated ski movies of 2019 including films from industry giants Matchstick Productions and Teton Gravity Research.

Halloween & Entertainment Expo

October 11 – 14, 2019
BMO Centre, Stampede Park (20 Roundup Way SE)
Prices vary

The first Canadian fan convention dedicated to Halloween lovers, check out celebrities, cosplay, costume and retail exhibits, how-to workshops and classes, screenings, and more. The event also features Screamfest Resurrected—a lineup of terrifying experiences and haunted houses.

Haunted Calgary

October 11 – November 2, 2019
New Horizon Mall (260300 Writing Creek Cres., Balzac)

Enter an immersive theatrical experience with over 20,000 square feet of terrifying characters, sets, and props. With three horrifying attractions waiting for the bravest alongside the Family Frights Thrill Zone, Haunted Calgary has something spooky for everyone this season.

The Imaginairium by Wordfest

October 14 – 23, 2019
Various venues
Prices vary

Discover Canada’s liveliest festival of authors and ideas as the world’s tastiest writers come to Calgary with 76 artists at 52 events over the course of 10 days. These are heavy times and the world needs fresh air—welcome to The Imaginairium. The lineup includes the unbeatable Literary Death Match, an unmissable Indigenous Voices Showcase, and many other fun and thought-provoking events.

Fluid Fest

October 15 – 27, 2019
Various venues
$15 – $125

Fluid Fest invites you to embrace experience and reflect on the now with a vibrant and audacious lineup of dance and live performance from around the world and around the block. Be on the lookout for shows, workshops, artist talks, and happenings all meant to inspire and connect.

Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival

October 18 & 19, 2019
BMO Centre, Stampede Park (20 Roundup Way SE)
$35 – $45

Enjoy samples from some of Calgary’s best restaurants and sip on amazing wines, spirits, and beers from all over the world. Craving more? Tickets are on sale now so don’t miss this delicious festival.

Calgary Tattoo & Arts Festival

October 18 – 20, 2019
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.

Calgary Arab Film Nights Festival

October 18 – 20, 2019
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
Prices vary

Showcasing cinematic creations from Arab countries and Canada, join the Calgary Arab Arts and Culture Society for this festival that shines the spotlight on the rich history and diversity of Arab culture.

Calgary New Music Festival

October 24 – 27, 2019
Various venues
Prices vary

New Works Calgary presents a diverse selection of visionary new music for a weekend of engaging performances. Improvisation, premieres, electric guitars, multimedia, sound walks, and more, check out the vision of today’s new music composers and performers.

The People’s Poetry Festival

October 25 & 26, 2019
Loft 112 (112, 535 8th Ave. SE)
To be announced

A celebration of poetry and art, this DIY festival returns thanks to a partnership with Loft 112, University of Calgary Press, New Forum Magazine, Filling Station, and Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society. While details are still being released, there’s an art and poetry pairing to check out and so much more—stay tuned.

Diwali Dhamaaka

October 26, 2019, 7:00pm
Magnolia Banquet Hall (900, 5075 Falconridge Blvd. NE)
$40 – $70

Featuring a traditional welcoming-in of guests, delicious East Indian appetizers, dinner, and desserts, mesmerizing entertainment, party favours, door prizes, henna, photo booth, and a DJ dance, don’t miss this fantastic celebration.

Día de Muertos Festival

November 1 – 8, 2019
Various venues
Free – $15

Celebrate this beautiful Mexican tradition remembering those who have departed with food, music, and joy. The week includes a number of altar exhibitions from November 1 to 8 and a celebration of life on November 2.

Calgary European Film Festival

November 2 – 10, 2019
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
Prices vary

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

Gotta Minute Film Festival

November 4 – 10, 2019
Throughout Calgary
Free admission

Western Canada’s first film festival for commuters, take a moment or two and watch one-minute silent films on digital screens throughout the CTrain system and at the airport. This festival proves that art can be found anywhere!

Canadian Jazz Festival

November 6 – 10, 2019
Various venues
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. This year’s lineup is headlined by a tribute performance from Jack Semple honouring B.B. King.

Femme Wave

November 7 – 10, 2019
Various venues
Prices vary

The fifth annual Femme Wave, Calgary’s only feminist arts festival, is taking place across various venues in downtown Calgary. Femme Wave’s mission is to create a safe, positive, and inclusive space for women and non-binary artists.

Marda Loop Justice Film Fest

November 12 – 17, 2019
Various venues
Free admission

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.

Alberta Electronic Music Conference

November 13 – 17, 2019
Various venues
Prices vary

AEMCON is a one-of-kind experience for music producers, DJs, and fans of electronic music. Alberta’s first multi-day conference aimed at inspiring and elevating Western Canada’s electronic music scene, it features over 100 speakers and performers, keynote speeches by international headliners, workshops by industry veterans, panel discussions, mixers, and night-life events. It’s a must for industry and fans alike.

Grey Cup Festival

November 20 – 24, 2019
Various venues
Prices vary

With Calgary hosting this year’s Grey Cup, there’s something for everyone to check out—even for those who aren’t football fans! The lineup includes street festivals, award shows, a cheer extravaganza, and a concert featuring Our Lady Peace, I Mother Earth, and Dear Rouge.

GIRAF Animation Festival

November 21 – 24, 2019
Various venues

Full of quirky and stunning animation alike, this year’s festival from Quickdraw Animation Society features stop-motion and VFX legend Phil Tippett, animators Sonya Reynolds and Lauren Hortie, and so much more. Don’t miss this celebration of the art of animation and be sure to check out the entire lineup!

Fusion Music Festival

November 22 – 24, 2019
McMahon Stadium (1817 Crowchild Tr. NW)
Prices vary

Three days of music featuring three different genres and, of course, a football game, don’t miss the Fusion Music Festival! Bands include Fetty Wap, Nervo, Brent Kissel, and more, and all concerts take place in the heated indoor CP Tent located in the McMahon Stadium parking lot. It’s all part of Calgary’s Grey Cup festivities.


November 27 – December 1, 2019
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
Prices vary

Growing out a desire to bring more international documentaries to Calgary, this year marks the seventh go for this documentary festival. And with 13 full-length features, as well as a shorts package, varying in subject, style, and genres, there’s sure to be something for everyone on the schedule.

Calgary Carol Festival

November 30 – December 2, 2019
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 including a sing-along with choir and organ. 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.

Nvrlnd. Creative Music Festival

December 6 – 8, 2019
Nvrlnd. (1048 21st Ave. SE)
$20 – $45

The first all-Calgary creative music fest features fresh tunes, original compositions, and stellar bands presented in the cozy confines of Nvrlnd. Featuring Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble, a groove session with Kate Melvina, and so much more, you won’t want to miss it.

Jewish Book Festival

December 8 – 15, 2019
Calgary JCC (1607 90th Ave. SW)
Free admission

The 24th edition of the Jewish Book Festival features authors and readers of all ages gathered in a celebration of books, ideas, and current conversations that make up the fabric of today’s Jewish world. Ten remarkable authors present their latest work alongside exhibitions, exchanges, and workshops.

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