A copy of Anna Torma's Deer
Detail of Anna Torma's Deer | Image: Courtesy of the Esker Foundation

Free This Week

Indulge yourself as Calgary’s arts community offers up these great, and free, events

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free

Don’t let the mid-month money crunch keep you from taking in Calgary’s fantastic arts community! There’s always something awesome to check out for free. Here’s what we’re hitting up this week:

Calgary International Children’s Festival

May 23 – 26, 2018
Olympic Plaza (228 8th Ave. SE)
Free outdoor events

Explore, journey, and discover with the Calgary International Children’s Festival. Featuring the very best in performing arts for young audiences, there’s a number of awesome and free activities to check out including  dance workshops, roving artists, ventriloquists, face painting, and more.

ProArts@Noon Presents Flint & Feather

May 23, 2018, 12:10 – 12:50pm
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (604 1st St. SE)

A free-spirited husband and wife duo who are deeply passionate about connecting with people through folk/roots music, stories, and laughter, don’t miss this free lunch hour concert featuring Flint & Feather. Based in Calgary, Joal and Lauren Kamps blend storytelling with songwriting to create charming Rocky Mountain folk-pop songs largely inspired by Canadian history, folklore, and their own personal journeys.

The Make Believer Project

May 23, 2018, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Studio Theatre, cSPACE King Edward (1721 29th Ave. SW)
Free, registration required

The women of Stardale present The Make Believer Project, a performance piece co-written by acclaimed playwright Eugene Stickland, directed by Helen Young of Urban Stories Theatre, and accompanied by a video art piece co-created with Métis artist Jessie Short. Join Contemporary Calgary for this rare chance to hear the truth of what it is to be young, urban, Indigenous, and female.

Zara’s Dead

May 23, 2018, 7:00 – 10:00pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4th St. SW)

Join Sharon Butala for the launch of her new mystery novel. Inspired by an unsolved murder in Saskatoon, Zara’s Dead is the fictional retelling of a very real story.

City Connections Opening Reception

May 24, 2018, 6:00 – 8:00pm
cSPACE King Edward (1721 29th Ave. SW)

A new show from Vania Dimitrova, check out the exhibit at its opening reception.

Postcard for Vania Dimitrova's City Connections


May 24, 2018, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4th St. SW)

Join Shelf Life Books for the Calgary launch of Jen Currin’s debut story collection, Hider/Seeker. Full of stories about addiction and meditation, solitude and sexuality, it’s unflinchingly honest in its portrayal of relationships. The evening is rounded out with readings from Nikki Reimer, Larissa Lai, Weyman Chan, and Rain Prud’homme-Cranford.

Summer Exhibitions Opening Reception

May 25, 2018, 6:00 – 10:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)

Celebrate the launch of Esker Foundation’s new exhibitions including Vanessa Brown’s The Witching Hour and Anna Torma’s Book of Abandoned Details. Enjoy delicious locally made treats from Bite Grocer & Eatery, wonderful wines from Bricks Wine Company, and draft beers from Cold Garden and Ol’Beautiful breweries. You can even taste the Esker cocktail Garden Kir Royale, mixed and created especially for the event.

FreeFall’s Spring 2018 Magazine Launch

May 25, 2018, 7:00 – 10:00
Pages On Kensington (1135 Kensington Rd. NW)

Join FreeFall for an evening of great writing and celebrate its 2017 contest winners! With light snacks and a little wine, raffle prizes include books and a gift card to Pages Books.

Kids and Music Demo Class

May 26, 2018
Performing Arts Youth Centre (1371 Hastings Cres. SE)
Free, registration required

Give your child a chance to express themselves through music and movement. Join the Youth Singers of Calgary and try its Kids and Music program for free. Children who will be entering PreK to Grade 2 for the 2018/19 school year can enjoy 45 minutes of music, movement, and fun.

From the Easel Annual Art Show & Sale

May 26, 2018, 9:30 – 4:00pm
Willowridge Community Centre (680 Acadia Dr. SW)
Free admission

A collective of artists who come together under the artistic direction of Loretta Secord, join From the Easel for its annual show and sale. Running for over a decade, the sale brings together artists with different styles and mediums to create an exhibition that has something for everyone.

Art & Design Show

May 26, 2018, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Varsity Community Centre (4303 Varsity Drive NW)
Free admission

Browse through a wonderful selection of art and home decor items all handcrafted locally. Artists will be in attendance.

Life Stories through Stitched Cloths

May 26, 2018, 1:00 – 2:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration recommended

In this artist talk and tour, Anna Torma discusses three of her major bodies of work including Red Fragments, an installation that focuses on the story of an immigrant artist cutting her heritage embroidery collection into pieces and reassembling them as a quilt alongside an elderly woman.

Photo of Anna Torma in front of her work

Attend an artist talk and tour with Anna Torma this Saturday at the Esker Foundation | Photo: Courtesy of the Esker Foundation

How Can You Think That?!? A Political Book Club

May 26, 2018, 10:00am – 12:00pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4th St. SW)

This book club is for conservatives and liberals who want to bridge the great divide. Led by Julie Sedivy, a local scholar and writer, this month features Democracy for Realists: Why Elections do not Produce Responsive Governments by Christopher Achen and Larry M. Bartels. Buy the book, read it, and join in a lively discussion.

Stitch your Stories

May 27, 2018, 1:00 – 5:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration required

Learn reverse appliqué and other stitching techniques in this half-day workshop with Anna Torma. Silks and linens will be provided but participants are encouraged to bring their own treasures to incorporate into their project. Participants must be over the age of 12.

Where Rivers Meet

May 29, 2018, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4th St. SW)

A beautifully produced follow-up to Earth and Sky: Photographs and Stories from Montana and Alberta, swing by Shelf Life Books for the Calgary launch of Stephen Legault’s Where Rivers Meet: Photographs and Stories from the Bow Valley and Kananaskis Country. This artistically designed coffee table book features over 200 images alongside short essays and personal reflections on natural history, geology, the cultural background, and the region’s communities.