Pyramid Schema on stage at the King Eddy
Pyramid Schema perform at last year’s Femme Wave | Photo: Jarrett Edmund

Femme Wave

Calgary’s only feminist arts festival returns for its fifth year with a stellar and diverse lineup

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Location Various Venues 
  • Price Prices Vary
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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 more than 40 musical acts and a stellar selection of visual arts, comedy, and film to check out.

Celebrating five years of diverse and equitable programming, Calgary’s only feminist arts festival is a collective-run organization from varying backgrounds with a mission of creating safe, positive, and inclusive space.

“Femme Wave has always existed for anyone on the margins,” says Hayley Muir, Femme Wave Artistic Director and co-founder in a statement. “Even in 2019, most festivals we see program a predominantly white, male lineup and almost always save headlining spots for male musicians. Not at Femme Wave though. We’re putting women and non-binary artists at the forefront and giving them the spotlight they deserve.”

And this year’s lineup packs a punch.

Fresh off of being named the first black woman and first hip-hop artist to win the Polaris Prize, Haviah Mighty is set to headline the Femme Wave Fun House on November 8 as well as participating in an intimate artist talk at HiFi Club on November 9. And across all of Femme Wave’s disciplines, major out-of-town acts are paired with local headliners and most events see at least two art forms showcased. There’s even 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 Kickoff Cabaret

November 7, 2019, 6:30pm
Dickens Pub (1000 9th Ave. SW)
$15 – $20, 18+

With its annual, multi-disciplinary kickoff cabaret, Femme Wave starts on the right note. Co-presented with Quickdraw Animation Society, this party has a bit of everything including film, visual arts, and music. It all starts with a film panel before an animated shorts package and sets from Window Lamp, Shades Lawrence, and Kimmortal.

Femme Wave Fun House

November 8, 2019, 7:00pm
Royal Canadian Legion #1 (116 7th Ave. SE)
$25 – $30, 18+

The Friday night of your dreams, this epic evening takes over all three floors of the beloved #1 Legion and includes performances by headliners Haviah Mighty and The Torchettes. Presented in partnership with Indigenous Resilience in Music and funded by FACTOR, you won’t want to miss this one.

Selci, Valkyrie + More

November 9, 2019, 12:00 – 7:00pm
McHugh House (1515 Centre St. S)
Pay-what-you-can, all-ages

Featuring performances by Selci, Valkyrie, Kelli Frances Corrado, and Indigo Rose, join Femme Wave and CJSW for an all-ages day of programming. There’s even a nap-in hosted by Calgary artist Barbara Bickel.

Matriarchy Rising

November 9, 2019, 11:00pm
King Eddy (438 9th Ave. SE)
$15, all-ages

Indigenous Resilience in Music and Drum Beat productions have partnered with Femme Wave to present Matriarchy Rising – A Celebration of Our Matriarchs in Music. It’s your chance to see performances by Sinzere, Mittz, Bebe BuckSkin, and MomBod on the King Eddy stage.

Femme Wave runs November 7 to 10, 2019. Head to for the full festival schedule.