Femme Wave 2017 Poster

Femme Wave

Calgary’s feminist arts festival returns for its third year with a wider focus

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free - $20
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With the goal of creating an integrated, encouraging arts scene with opportunities for women and non-binary artists, Femme Wave returns with nearly 30 bands and a stellar selection of visual arts, comedy, and film programming.

Featuring women, trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming artists, Femme Wave is a collective-run organization from diverse and varying backgrounds.

“We’re taking a bit of a different approach to programming this year in an effort to bring in a wider audience,” says co-artistic director Hayley Muir, in a statement. “We’re representing a greater diversity of music genres and we’re really looking forward to seeing that impact the folks we see in the crowds. Femme Wave exists for everyone so it has been a conscious effort on our part to appeal to more people.”

The lineup includes Philadelphia-based rap artist Sammus and San Diego’s Soft Lions alongside musical talent from across Alberta and Saskatchewan including Afternoon Tea Party, Amy Nelson, The Definitelays, Future Womb, Slut Prophet, Ursa, and The Wolfe. There’s also an all-ages show crawl and a whole day of workshops to check out.

Not sure where to start? Here are our not-to-be-missed picks for this year’s festival:

Femme Wave Kick Off Cabaret

November 16, 2017, doors at 6:30pm
Commonwealth (731 10th Ave. SW)
$15, 18+

Bringing together all the festival’s disciplines for the first time, this cabaret is sure to be a great event. Perfect for those who want a taste of it all, the evening includes stand up comedy from Selina Clary, Victoria Banner, and Serena Shane before three amazing local musical acts take over the stage. It all kicks off with films from the Canadian film matrimony including the groundbreaking Studio D, and Calgary’s own Herland, as well as an accompanying panel discussion.

Femme Wave Block Party

November 17, 2017, doors at 6:00pm
EMMEDIA Gallery & Production Society (2005 10th Ave. SW)
TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary (2009 10th Ave. SW)
Pay-What-You-Can, 18+

With a mix of music, visual art, and film, this block party is sure to be hopping. Join EMMEDIA and check out a series of feminist shorts by Canadian film makers. Each one explores the themes of contemporary feminism and are preceded by a panel exploring local experiences of working in film from the margins. Then, at 7:00pm, you can head over to TRUCK for live music from Ursa and Daisy D alongside the reception of Behind Our Eyelids.

Femme Wave Fun House

November 18, 2017, doors at 8:00pm
Royal Canadian Legion #1 (116 7th Ave. SE)
$20, 18+

Funded by FACTOR with the support of Canada’s private radio broadcasters, this is the concert to be at if you want to see the big names. Acts start at 8:00pm with Girls Rock Camp Saskatoon alumni Babyfats and go until headliner Sammus closes out the party. There’s even a chance to see the one-night-only visual arts exhibition from Kaci Lynne and May G N called In (to) Rapture.

Femme Wave runs November 16 to 19, 2017 at venues around the inner-city. Head to femmewave.com for the full festival schedule.