A photo of Raven Virginia on stage
Raven Virginia hosts the Floppy Glamour: It's Better Not To Ask Questions Cabaret | Photo: Courtesy of Arts Commons

Free This Week

Check out some of Calgary’s top arts groups for free at these sweet events

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Location Various Venues 
  • Price Free

With the last full week of November upon us, Calgary’s arts community is rolling out the welcome wagon with lots of free programming. From the Calgary Chinatown Artist Residency Reception to The Floppy Glamour Cabaret at Arts Commons, this week has some awesome events to check out.

ProArts Presents Blend Vocal Association

November 20, 2019, 12:10 – 12:50pm
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (604 1st St. SE)
Free admission

Performing four-part arrangements of everything from folk to jazz to rock to contemporary, this close-knit group shares a love of singing by performing an entertaining selection of music from a variety of genres.

Calgary Chinatown Artist Residency Reception

November 20, 2019, 5:00 – 7:00pm
Orrin & Clara Christie Might Hall, Chinese Cultural Centre (197 1st St. SW)
Free admission

The New Gallery, in partnership with The City of Calgary’s Public Art Program, officially welcomes selected artists Teresa Tam, Annie Wong, and Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong for this one-of-a-kind residency. Community members are invited to come out and meet the artists and learn more about this project at a welcoming reception.

Thing to Wear Opening Reception

November 20, 2019, 5:00 – 8:00pm
Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Alberta University of the Arts (1407 14th Ave. NW)
Free admission

Thing to Wear is a collection of kimono-inspired garments created by students, staff, faculty, and alumni from the Alberta University of the Arts under the guidance of Associate Professor Bill Morton. Be sure to check out its opening reception.

Volunteer Kick-Off & Open House

November 21, 2019, 6:00pm
Hotel Arts (119 12th Ave. SW)
Free admission

The Calgary Performing Arts Festival welcomes anyone that is interested in volunteering as a board member, event volunteer, and festival volunteer to stop by and meet the festival staff. It’s a great chance to get to know this organization and help support young performers in our community.

Gay & Lesbian Calgary: A Queer Map Launch

November 21, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm
Contemporary Calgary (701 11th St. SW)
Free admission

Join the University of Calgary’s Calgary Institute for the Humanities and the author and artist of A Queer Map: A Guide to the LGBTQ+ History of Calgary to celebrate the launch of the inaugural map for The Calgary Atlas Project.

Single Onion #163

November 21, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4th Street SW)
Free admission

The Single Onion wraps up its fall schedule with an evening featuring four great poets—Cobra Collins, Francine Cunningham, Charles Noble, and Steven Ross Smith. Be sure to swing by Shelf Life Books this Thursday and check it out.

Protest Signs, Pins & Tees

November 22, 2019, 4:00 – 6:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free admission

Join artists Jane Trash and Sondra Meszaros in a workshop inspired by their community-based creative resistance project. Participants are encouraged to engage with their personal expression represented through the production of signs, t-shirts, and pins as protest objects. Youth between the ages of 13 and 17 are free to drop in and participate.

Soft Bodied Oddities Opening Reception

November 22, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Jarvis Hall Gallery (333B 36th Ave. SE)
Free admission

Featuring powerful new work by Laura Findlay and Corri-Lynn Tetz, each begin their process for the painted image from a different point of departure. The exhibition explores the theme of empowerment—see it at this reception.

The Floppy Glamour Cabaret

November 22 & 23, 2019
Engineered Air Theatre, Arts Commons (234 9th Ave. SE)
Free admission, registration required

Join Raven Virginia as she gathers a veritable mishmash of multidisciplinary artists for an evening of camp, clown, and controversy. This Las Vegas Burlesque Hall of Fame recipient promises an evening of sexy absurdity—expect casual collisions of artists, ideas, and audiences at this mature cabaret.

Dalhousie Christmas Craft Fair & Night Market

November 22 & 23, 2019
Dalhousie Community Centre (5432 Dalhart Rd. NW)
Free admission

The Dalhousie Community Centre hosts vendors selling handmade goods. Enjoy the night market on Friday, and craft fair on Saturday with free parking, free admission, coffee, and hot chocolate! Find a new treasure or gift this holiday season.

YYC Alternative Winter Market

November 23, 2019, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Inglewood Community Association Hall (1740 24th Ave. SE)
Free admission

Fresh, fun, and creative, support local makers, artisans, designers, artists, and small business owners. This year’s market features a variety of items including home decor, artwork, ceramics, jewellery, clothing items, and accessories.

An Afternoon of Unexpected Poetry

November 23, 2019, 2:00 – 4:00pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4th St. SW)
Free admission

Join Shelf Life Books for a reading, discussion, and signing with two great poets, Natalee Caple and nathan dueck, who both have new poetry books out with Wolsak & Wynne.

Community Medicine

November 24, 2019, 1:00 – 2:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free admission, registration recommended

Join Esker curator Shauna Thompson on this tour through Jeffrey Gibson and Nep Sidhu’s exhibitions. Hear Thompson discuss the potential of art and performance to strengthen and uplift community healing and resilience.

Kick Off Your Heels

November 24, 2019, 3:00 – 5:00pm
Alexandra Centre (922 9th Ave. SE)
Free admission, registration required

Kick Off Your Heels is a free drop-in improv class for female and non-binary individuals. This beginner-friendly class is designed to provide a safe space to explore who you are as improvisers! Stumbling blocks that women and gender minorities in improv face are also discussed.

7th Cousins

November 26, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4th St. SW)
Free admission

In July 2015, Erin Brubacher and Christine Brubaker, two politically left, secular, Canadian women, traced the migration route of their Mennonite ancestors by walking from Pennsylvania to Ontario through the American Bible Belt. Celebrate the launch of 7th Cousins with Shelf Life Books.