An artist on stage at the King Eddy
AE West Artist Extravaganza Showcase returns to the King Eddy this week | Photo: Courtesy of the National Music Centre

Free This Week

Get into the spirit of the season with these free events

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Location Various Venues 
  • Price Free

Need a break this week? Why not hit up one of these fun, and free, events? From seasonal treats to local gems, there’s still a ton to see and do before the holidays.

Read on and see what we’re checking out thanks to Calgary’s arts community.

ProArts Presents Bow River Handbell Musicians Society

December 4, 2019, 12:10 – 12:50pm
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (604 1st St. SE)
Free admission

The BRHMS Ringers are advanced ringers from the newly formed Bow River Handbell Musicians Society. Hear this group of dedicated adult musicians perform live at a free lunch hour concert.

Mini Masters

December 5, 2019, 11:00 – 11:45am
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free admission, registration required

A workshop series for children aged three to five that explores themes in the current exhibitions through art making, movement, and play, each month you can discover new mediums and techniques in all art forms.

How to be Neighbours

December 5, 2019, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary (410 University Ct. NW)
Free admission

Su Ying Strang of The New Gallery discusses the artist-run centre’s organizational shifts since its relocation to Chinatown in 2013. Join Nickle at Noon for this fascinating case study for community building through contemporary art.

Free First Thursday Nights

December 5, 2019, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Glenbow (130 9th Ave. SE)
Free admission

Since its launch in 2016, Free First Thursday Nights has provided an evening of free access to Glenbow each and every month. Be sure to swing by to check out the dynamic linocuts of Sybil Andrews, the textural delights of Gerald Ferguson, the multi-artist exhibition ExtraOrdinary Objects, and new work by Nicole Kelly Westman.

AE West Artist Extravaganza Showcase

December 5, 2019, 7:00pm
King Eddy, National Music Centre (438 9th Ave. SE)
Free admission

This showcase features 11 artist entrepreneurs from the AE West Program each performing two songs and covering a vast variety of genres. Admission is first come, first served so be sure to swing by for an unforgettable night.

Kimono Life Drawing

December 5 & 7, 2019
Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Alberta University of the Arts (1407 14th Ave. NW)
Free admission, registration required

Join the Illingworth Kerr Gallery for these unique sessions hosted by Noah Richardson and Chichi Kimono. Participants are welcome to bring sketchbooks, pencils, pens, watercolour block palettes, portable watercolour brushes, and brush pens to create their own works within the gallery space.

Bring the Baby Art Tour & Tummy Time

December 6, 2019, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free admission, registration required

Start with a casual half-hour tour followed by a half-hour of tummy time social fun for the little ones on Yvonne Mullock’s extraordinary interactive sensory blanket, this afternoon is always a fun time for parents and tots alike.

Local Art & Book Sale

December 6, 2019, 4:00 – 9:00pm
Loft 112 (112, 535 8th Ave. SE)
Free admission

Loft 112 presents evening of art and books to satisfy your eye and Christmas wish list. Artworks inspired by poetry are available to purchase alongside publications from Loft on EIGHTH, New Forum Magazine, and Stonehouse Publishing.

Introduction to DJing

December 6, 2019, 4:30 – 6:30pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free admission

Learn about the fundamentals of DJing from Richard Sparvier, aka DJ BLKFT of Drum Beat Productions and host of CJSW 90.9FM’s Bannock ‘n’ Jams. Exploring the basics of mixing, including tempo, beats per minute (BPM), and beat-matching, youth aged 13 to 17 are welcome to drop in and take part.

Not So Mini Exhibition and Sale Reception

December 6, 2019, 7:00 – 10:00pm
Alberta Printmakers Gallery and Studio (4025 4th St. SE)
Free admission

With an exciting variety of submissions that showcase the range of techniques, styles, and experimentation, Alberta Printmakers’ print exchange is open to local, national, and international artists working in print media. Don’t miss the opening reception and silent auction fundraiser!

Christmas Craft Parade

December 7, 2019, 10:00am – 3:00pm
St. Michael School (4511 8th Ave. SW)
Free admission

Take in the crafts of the season with a day of over 40 vendors showcasing jewellery, art, wood crafts, knitting, crochet, candles, pottery, homemade baked goods, and much more! Admission is free so be sure to swing on by to get some holiday shopping marked off your list.

Northern Reflections Walking Tour

December 7, 2019, 2:00 – 4:00pm
Meet at Elveden Centre (707 7th Ave. SW)
Free admission

Join Buds Collective for a walking tour of the augmented reality murals popping up around the city this December. The tour ends at Cococo Chocolatiers where walking tour participants can sample free hot chocolate. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and bring good shoes.

Dynamic Environment

December 8, 2019, 1:00 – 3:00pm
Contemporary Calgary (701 11th St. SW)
Free admission, registration required

Dynamic Environment artist Peter von Tiesenhausen discusses his most recent works created as part of the Watershed+ artist-in-residence with Calgary Water Services. Hear how he responded to the challenges stemming from the most recent Calgary flood in collaboration with city engineers and Parks staff.

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.

Legislating Love

December 9, 2019, 7:00 – 8:30pm
Central Library (800 3rd St. SE)
Free admission, registration required

An important part of LGBTQ+ history, this uplifting play weaves together past and present in a multi-generational celebration of queer love. It tells the story of aspiring historian Maxine as she discovers the story of Everett Klippert—the last Canadian man jailed simply for being gay. Be sure to check out this book launch and special presentation.

Print(ed) Word Salon Series

December 10, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Central Library (800 3rd St. SE)
Free admission

Join authors and artists for a series of presentations exploring their writing, art, and the process of collaborating. This month, hear writer Jani Krulc and artist Ryan Statz discuss their artist book, Farm Hand.