Free This Week

Fill up your schedule with poetry, festivals, and concerts

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free

Need a post-long weekend pick-me-up? Calgary’s amazing arts community has you covered with concerts, readings, festivals, and so much more. Here’s what we’re hitting up this week:

GlobalFest Human Rights Forum

Until August 12, 2017
John Dutton Theatre, Calgary Public Library (616 Macleod Tr. SE)

Featuring local and international academics, entrepreneurs, community leaders, educators, and artists, join GlobalFest as it explores Indigenous rights. This year’s forum features over 15 presenters including an intimate performance by LightningCloud, a prominent Indigenous hip-hop duo from Los Angeles.

Victors, Villains and Vixens

Wednesdays & Fridays until August 25, 2017
Prince’s Island Park (698 Eau Claire Ave. SW)
Free, no tickets needed

On top of its impressive run, Theatre Calgary’s Shakespeare by the Bow presents this special noon hour performance on select days this August. Victors, Villains and Vixens is a collection of different scenes from a variety of Shakespeare plays, performed by up-and-coming theatrical stars.

ProArts@Noon Presents Holly Blazina

August 9, 2017, 12:10 – 12:50pm
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (604 1st St. SE)

When first exposed to Flamenco’s passionate, soulful melodies and driving rhythms, Holly Blazina knew she had found her home musically. This quickly led to a lifelong commitment to the art of Flamenco and you can hear her perform at this free lunch hour concert.

Positively Sold

August 9, 2017, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4th St. SW)

Buying a home can be exhausting, but it doesn’t have to suck. Shelf Life Books presents this reading from Dennis Plintz’s latest book, Positively Sold: Buy Smarter, Sell Higher, and Push Your Real Estate Agent to Hustle Harder.

Stephen Avenue Summer Stage

August 9, 10, 12, 14 & 15, 2017, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Stephen Avenue Summer Stage (Centre Street & 8th Ave. SE)

The Stephen Avenue Summer Stage is back so stop by on your lunch hour. And with Calgary Youth Singers ONCUE, DJ Tom Mannix, Mike Watson, and Carter Felker on the schedule, it’s the perfect week to do so.

Close Your Eyes: Exhibition Tour with Naomi Potter

August 10, 2017, 7:00 – 8:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration recommended

An exhibition tour led by Esker Foundation Director Naomi Potter, discover the various ways in which Jason de Haan attempts to reverse, adjust, and interrupt the course of time through small gestures that resonate with poetry, impossibility, and magic.

August flywheel

August 10, 2017, 7:30pm
Pages Books on Kensington (1135 Kensington Rd. NW)

With readings from Paul Zits, Jess Tollestrup, Dave Eso, and Selina Clary, don’t miss this monthly reading event curated by filling Station Magazine.

EV Junction Pop-Up Retail Park

August 10 – 13, 2017
EV Junction (4th St. & 8th Ave. SE)

Head to the East Village every Thursday through Sunday until October 1 and hit up the food trucks, live music, performances, pop-up art, and much more. This Thursday check out a performance of RV There Yet?, part of the Creative Living Room Series.

Taste of Calgary

August 10 – 13, 2017
Eau Claire Market (200 Barclay Parade SW)
Free admission

Calgary’s festival of food and drink offers sensational samples from restaurants and beverage companies set against a backdrop of the best musical talent the province has to offer.

Inglewood Night Market

August 11, 2017, 5:00 – 11:00pm
Inglewood (Between 9th Ave. & 10th St. SE)

Returning for August, head to Inglewood this Friday for a leisurely stroll, shop, or nosh. With live music, artisans, food, and surprises to be had, there’s something for everyone at this fun bazaar.

Bucky Music Festival

August 12, 2017, 12:00 – 6:00pm
Buckmaster Park (1629 21st Ave. SW)

Head to Bankview for this free, all-ages outdoor concert series on the hill. Bring a picnic and the whole family for a day of games and great local bands including the Love Bullies and Bankview’s own, Golden Dinosaur.

Art in the Garden

August 12 & 13, 2017, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Art in the Garden (3443 Kerry Park Rd. SW)

Enjoy a day in the garden with this eighth annual event featuring framed and unframed paintings in many mediums and styles, art cards, matted prints, and stained glass. Artists in attendance include Rosemary Bennett, Rex Beanland, Susan Fogg, Linda Lalonde, and Shelagh Tranter. Donations for the Calgary Food Bank will be gratefully accepted.

Opera in the Village Community Amphitheatre

August 12 & 13, 2017
ENMAX Park (Elbow River Pathway SE)
Free with wristband

Calgary Opera’s summer treat returns to its full spectacle in a new location and even includes an opportunity to hit up free family entertainment from some of Calgary’s best music groups.

Calgary Dragon Boat Race & Festival

August 12 & 13, 2017
North Glenmore Park (7305 Crowchild Tr. SW)

On the water, teams participate in the 2,000-year-old traditional rowing sport. On land, spectators get to cheer them on while experiencing the music, dance and food of China. The Calgary Dragon Boat Race & Festival draws over 1,850 competitors, over 4,000 spectators, and an abundance of excitement and cultural experiences.

Marda Gras

August 13, 2017, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Marda Loop (33rd & 34th Ave. SW)

The Marda Gras Street Festival attracts some 35,000 people to Marda Loop for a fun-filled and family-friendly event that embraces the culture and cuisine of New Orleans.

Sundays in C-Square with The Heirlooms

August 13, 2017, 1:00 – 4:00pm
C-Square (Corner of 7th Ave. and 4th St. SE)

Join the National Music Centre for musical afternoons in East Village’s open-air urban square. This weekend catch psychedelic blues-rockers The Heirlooms alongside opener Kate Stevens.