A photo of Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre’s company of dancers
Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre’s company of dancers | Photo: Motif Photography

Free This Week

Check out these events if you want to get out without breaking the bank

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Location Various Venues 
  • Price Free

Another week brings another lineup of free and awesome events to check out! From your last chances to explore Glenbow as it currently stands to a couple of sweet festivals to visit, there’s a ton to see—and for cheap.

Allen Reiser

August 18, 2021, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (604 1st St. SE)
Free to watch

Pianist Allen Reiser has performed with various orchestras in England and Canada, and recital engagements have taken him to nearly every major centre in Western Canada. He is a pianist of diverse musical interests, with a particular interest in Canadian piano music and Franz Liszt.

Music in the Park

August 18, 2021, 6:00pm
Didsbury Bandstand, Heritage Park (1900 Heritage Dr. SW)
Free to watch

Heritage Park presents another summer of much-needed free concerts, Wednesday evenings throughout the season. This week, swing by to see a show from The Rojo’s. One of Western Canada’s most versatile vocal groups, The Rojo’s repertoire spans many genres of music. Whether performing their own songs or their unique takes on other people’s material, they have a sound unlike any other band!

BUMP Festival

August 18, 21, 22, 23 & 24, 2021
Various venues
Free to participate

Announcing another 20+ local, national, and international artists joining this annual mural extravaganza, the Beltline Urban Murals Project is turning Calgary into an expansive open-air art gallery. With an artist talk, music in the park, and a new mural tour dropping, be sure to check out the schedule!


August 18, 20, 21 22 & 24 2021
Various venues
Free to watch

ArtsXpeditions pop-up performances bring music, dance, and performance art to community centres, parks, and even the occasional street corner! Connect with all of the amazing talent that our community has to offer—this week features performances by Jenn Beaupre, AJ Benoit, and many more. Check out the schedule and start planning.

Madeline Miller

August 19, 2021, 7:00 – 8:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration recommended

Imagine On Air presents Madeline Miller, who’s award-winning The Song of Achilles is once again on the international bestseller lists, proving that a great book is timeless. This special one-hour conversation is hosted by Wordfest’s Creative Ringleader Shelley Youngblut. Register for your own Digital Doggie Bag.

Collaborative Weaving

August 19 – 21, 2021
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free to participate, registration required

Join Project Space artist Molly JF Caldwell for an earth-friendly interactive workshop where you will learn how to transform old clothing, sheets, or fabric into textile art. Molly will share her knowledge and skills, including how to warp a loom, weaving techniques, and creating patterns.

JazzYYC Summer Festival

August 19 – 22, 2021
Various venues
Some free shows & workshops to explore

With a focus on Alberta-based musicians, JazzYYC, Calgary’s jazz collaborative, presents this awesome lineup to enjoy live and in person. Free events include the JazzYYC Women in Jazz Panel, outdoor concerts, and a free virtual concert by Laila Biali as part of Arts Commons Presents.

Glenbow’s Farewell (For Now)

August 19 – 22, 2021
Glenbow (130 9th Ave. SE)
Free to explore, registration required

Glenbow is closing soon for major building renovations, and with the project taking three years, the museum is slated to reopen in 2024. Until that time, Glenbow invites Calgarians to come for a free farewell visit during their last open weekends. Be sure to book your timed tickets soon!

Maud Lewis’s Girl by Lake

See Maud Lewis’s Girl by Lake this week at Glenbow for free | Image: Courtesy of Glenbow

Shakespeare on the Go

August 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 & 24, 2021
Various venues
Free to watch, registration may be required

Shakespeare on the Go features three different casts of Alberta emerging artists performing a collection of scenes from The Comedy of Errors that will be family-friendly, engaging, and easily accessible. These performances will play separately at different locations throughout the summer, so check out the schedule and start planning.

Woezo Africa Cultural Festival

August 20 & 21, 2021
Stream online
Free to watch

The Woezo Africa Cultural Festival aims to share the level of artistry and innovation that exists within African culture and the African diasporic history through a series of interactive activities, artisan demonstrations, cultural performances, and workshops delivered virtually. Check out the full schedule and start planning.

Rhythms of 17th

August 20, 21 & 24, 2021
17th Ave Retail & Entertainment District BIA (Along 17th Ave. SW)
Free to watch, registration required

The 17th Ave Retail & Entertainment District BIA has partnered with Calgary Opera, Alberta Ballet, and Arts Commons who have curated a number of local artists to bring you this amazing, COVID-conscious music and dance festival. This week, join in as Arts Commons takes over the programming.

Summer Stage

August 20 & 21, 2021
Century Gardens (826 8th St. SW)
Free to watch

Here comes the fun! Join Downtown Calgary this season as its summer stage series returns with an incredible lineup. With a brand-new stage and family-friendly performances every weekend for the entire season, the series is on the move, bringing the sweet sounds of summer serenades to various locations across downtown. This week, head to Century Gardens to see performances by Keltewe: Music from the Andes, TCOSS, The Tricia Edwards Trio, Mercury Audio, and Kate and the Comets.

Trunk Show & Sale

August 21, 2021, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Centre St. N (From 7th Ave. to 14th Ave.)
Free to explore

Stroll along Centre Street and meet many inspired Calgarians showcasing their talents and their wares! Cars, trucks, wagons, and bikes line the street with trunks open and tables out to showcase their offerings—paintings, carvings, jewelry, clothes, and sculptures.

Marcus Trummer

August 21, 2021, 1:00pm
Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre (850 4th St. SE)
Free to watch

Roots-rocker Marcus Trummer performs a busker set as part of NMC’s Scotiabank Backbeat weekend activities. Featuring bluesy guitar playing and soulful vocals, his eclectic brand of roots-rock is an original yet familiar take on the timeless sounds of past decades. Check it out!

A Taste of That Thing in the Desert

August 21, 2021, 5:00 – 11:00pm
Kensington Crescent (1183 Kensington Cres. NW)
Free to explore

A celebration of freedom and self-expression through a communal display of arts, science, and engineering for kids and grown-ups alike, join The League of Extraordinary Albertans for this taste of Black Rock City.

Expo Latino

August 21, 2021, 6:30 – 11:30pm
TELUS Spark (220 St. George’s Dr. NE)
Free to watch, registration required

The first Expo Latino Festival commenced 25 years ago this month! Celebrate and honour this milestone at this free and family-friendly outdoor event that incorporates a hybrid of virtual and in-person delivery to make sure everybody can enjoy the shows and concerts.

Movie Night at Murdoch Park

August 21, 2021, 8:30pm
Murdoch Park (9th St. & Centre Ave. NE)
Free to watch, registration required

The Calgary Underground Film Festival is going Off the CUFF with a free screening of Killer Clowns From Outer Space, a 1988 American science fiction horror comedy.The outdoor all-ages event sponsored by RISE UP Calgary and Lukes Drug Mart includes a live DJ set followed by the screening.

Matt Blais

August 22, 2021, 12:00pm
Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre (850 4th St. SE)
Free to watch

Bluesy rock and roll troubadour Matt Blais performs a busker set as part of NMC’s Scotiabank Backbeat weekend activities. This charismatic performer plays modern roots-rock, weaving together heavy blues influences, slithering atmospherics, and twangy flourishes. Be sure to swing by!

D’orjay The Singing Shaman

August 22, 2021, 2:00pm
C-Square (508 7th Ave. SE)
Free to watch

Join the National Music Centre for musical afternoons in East Village’s open-air urban square! Check out Sundays in C-Square with country act D’orjay The Singing Shaman. After taking in the concert, wander over to Studio Bell to take advantage of free admission, courtesy of ATB.

Laila Biali

August 22, 2021, 8:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch

Witty, sassy, and charismatic, Laila Biali has charmed Canadian audiences coast to coast with her clever songwriting and light jazz vocals. Pre-recorded from the Jack Singer Concert Hall this summer, this is your opportunity to catch one of the country’s hottest jazz artists on a legendary stage from the comfort of your home!

Mona Awad & Aminder Dhaliwal

August 24, 2021, 7:00 – 8:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration recommended

Wordfest’s Imagine On Air presents Mona Awad and Aminder Dhaliwal with their much-buzzed about new books, All’s Well and Cyclopedia Exotica. The hour-long conversation is hosted by Giller-nominated author Zsuzsi Gartner. Register for your own Digital Doggie Bag.

Collaborative Mural Making Art Camp

August 24 – 26, 2021
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free to participate, registration required

Children aged five to eight are invited to join the Esker for a three-day summer art camp experience! Activities include nature walks, games, and working with a variety of art making materials to create a large-scale collaborative mural. Be sure to register early as it is bound to fill up!

Have a free event that’s not listed? Email us at events@calgaryartsdevelopment.com or fill out this form.