The Gray Jay and The Magpie

Free This Week

Don’t miss art parties, markets, workshops, and so much more

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free

If you’re like us and have a busy month ahead, finding ways to stretch a dollar can be a life saver. Thankfully, you don’t have to sit at home to save a buck with these great and free events. Here’s what we’re hitting up this week:

She Who Dares

Until November 30, 2017
Central Library, Calgary Public Library (616 Macleod Tr. SE)

Moving to its third location, YW Calgary’s Canada 150 project is a creative, engaging, and interactive installation highlighting the stories of 150 women who have impacted Calgary during the last 150+ years.

ProArts Presents Calgary Opera Emerging Artists Program Ensemble

November 22, 2017, 12:10 – 12:50pm
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (604 1st St. SE)

Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Development Program provides up to eight young singers with the opportunity to study under a highly prestigious staff of teachers and performers. Hear them at this lunch hour concert, the first of three programs this season featuring arias and ensembles by Rossini, Mozart, Puccini, and Offenbach.

Pidgin Collective Symposium: Writing + Publishing

November 22, 2017, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Stanford Perrott Lecture Theatre, Alberta College of Art + Design (1407 14th Ave. NW)

Free and open to everyone, join the Pidgin Collective for its inaugural symposium. With presentations from derek beaulieu, Sharon Butala, May G N, Declan Hoy, and Lindsay Sorell about their own practices in relation to publishing, the evening includes a Q&A.


November 22 – 26, 2017
Contemporary Calgary (117 8th Ave. SW)
Free, registration required

An Indigenous virtual reality experience presented by imagiNATIVE and the Toronto International Film Festival, Contemporary Calgary is the only location in Alberta hosting the initiative. Created as part of TIFF’s sesquicentennial initiative, Canada on Screen, four Indigenous filmmakers and artists—Danis Goulet, Kent Monkman, Scott Benesiinaabandan, and Postcommodity—were commissioned to create VR projects envisioning Indigenous life 150 years in the future.

How Do You Create A Framework For Mental Wellness?

November 23, 2017, 5:30 – 8:30pm
Arts Learning Centre, Arts Commons (205 8th Ave. SE)

The second of two free art workshops developed as part of Recognition… Validation… Reassurance… Art + Mental Wellness, this evening enables participants to create their own framework for exploring and narrating personal experiences. Facilitating self-expression through collage, drawing, and text-based art, the workshop is part of Calgary-based multidisciplinary artist Dick Averns’ social practice.

French Connections: Visite Guideé en Français avec M. Arpin

November 23, 2017, 6:00 – 7:00pm
Contemporary Calgary (117 8th Ave. SW)
Free, registration recommended

Join Contemporary Calgary’s Director and CEO Pierre Arpin for a special French language tour and reception.

The Fence (La Barda)

November 23, 2017, 7:00 – 7:45pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration essential

The Esker Film Series continues with this investigation of the impact of building a 700-mile fence along the 2,000-mile-plus border between Mexico and the United States. The documentary reveals how the project’s stated goals—containing illegal immigration, cracking down on drug trafficking, and protecting America from terrorists—have given way to unforeseen consequences.

Art Now: Jessie Short

November 24, 2017, 10:00 – 11:30am
Taylor Family Digital Library, University of Calgary (410 University Ct. NW)

Presented by the University of Calgary’s Department of Art, join Jessie Short for The Urgency of Metis Art. Short is a curator, writer, multidisciplinary artist, and emerging filmmaker whose work involves memory, multi-faceted existence, Métis history, and visual culture.

Natural Formation Opening Receptions

November 24 & 25, 2017
Ruberto Ostberg Gallery (2108 18th St. NW)

Featuring new paintings by artist Anna Ostberg, this show looks at how elements of nature are often arranged into coherent compositions. Explore the show at its two receptions, 5:00 to 9:00pm on November 24 and 2:00 to 5:00pm on November 25.

Anna Ostberg's Natural Formation

Black Lives Out West: A Symposium

November 24 & 25, 2017
TIA House, Social Sciences Tower SS 1059, University of Calgary (2500 University Dr. NW)

The Insurgent Architects’ (TIA) House for Creative Writing is hosting a symposium and members of the public can check it out. Featuring daytime panels and evening readings, confirmed speakers include Nadine Chambers, David Chariandy, Wayde Compton, Cheryl Foggo, Suzette Mayr, Christian Olbey, Rain Prud’homme-Cranford, Marlon Simmons, Karina Vernon, and Joshua Whitehead.

Cochrane Christmas Artisan Market

November 25, 2017, 9:00am – 2:00pm
Frank Wills Memorial Hall (405 1st St. E, Cochrane)
Free admission

Go for a short drive and discover the gorgeous Frank Wills Memorial Hall tucked away on the east side of Cochrane. With more than 30 carefully selected artisans and small businesses, this is a great chance to get treats for everyone on your shopping list.

Introduction to Oil Painting with Douglas Williamson

November 25, 2017, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration essential

Douglas Williamson teaches a classical approach to painting with oils, showing connections between historic and contemporary practice. Participants have a chance to paint a small study of domesticated animals or wildlife. Some basic painting experience is preferred and participants must be over the age of 16.

Airdrie Public Library’s Author Series

November 25, 2017, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Airdrie Public Library (304 Main St. S, Airdrie)
Free, RSVP required

Featuring playwright and novelist Eugene Stickland as well as Airdrie musician Steve Jevne, this series offers the perfect excuse to check out the Airdrie Public Library. The evening includes an author reading and intimate discussion, refreshments, book signing, and a prize draw.

The Gray Jay and The Magpie

November 26, 2017, 1:00 – 3:00pm
John Dutton Theatre, Calgary Public Library (616 Macleod Tr. SE)

Everyone is invited to this world premiere screening and reception. Commissioned by WP Puppet Theatre, emerging writer Ken Lee wrote a 150-line story to mark Canada 150 and participants of all ages took part by making a puppet and having it read one line. The afternoon also includes puppet making activities and cupcakes.

Happenings #10

November 27, 2017, 6:00 – 9:00pm
Arts Commons (205 8th Ave. SE)

Celebrate Arts Commons’ visual arts programming at the next Happenings—an art party that is free and open to all ages. Check out hands-on activities, live performances, and so much more as issues of identity, gender, race, and sexuality are examined through interactive art, conversation, and music. And, this edition brings the series back to its roots by transforming the Engineered Air Theatre and other secret spaces to create unexpected collisions of artistic expression and creative projects.

Happenings 10

SPARK Disability Art Festival

November 27 – December 8, 2017
Multiple locations

Featuring juried and satellite exhibitions as well as other public programs, the SPARK Disability Art Festival is Calgary’s largest and longest running arts festival for visual artists with disabilities. This year’s festival takes places in seven different venues across the city and includes public programs presented in partnership with the University of Calgary Department of Art, Nickle Galleries, Alberta College of Art + Design Students’ Association, and artist Dick Averns.