Two pianists play 176 Keys at the Honens Festival
The Honens Festival returns with a number of free and outdoor events this week | Photo: Courtesy of Honens

Free This Week

September brings a plethora of events to check out including these free ones

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Location Various Venues 
  • Price Free

If you want to get out of the house and not break the bank, Calgary’s arts community has you covered. With a post-long weekend lineup, this week brings a mix of talks, music, markets, screenings, and so much more! Read on to learn more and start planning.

suspending disbelief

Until September 12, 2021
Steam online
Free to watch

Decidedly Jazz Danceworks presents a streamed performance of suspending disbelief, a series of shifting and morphing dance pieces created in and about this time of instability, when it feels like tectonic plates beneath our feet are constantly shifting, emotions are running high, and dreams are strange.

Mike Tod

September 8, 2021, 12:10 – 1:00pm
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (604 1st St. SE)
Free to watch

ProArts@Noon presents Alberta-based musician, ethnomusicologist, and folk music scholar Mike Tod. Tod’s repertoire weaves through the traditional music of the Americas, from cowboy songs of Alberta’s coulees, to traditional ballads of the Appalachian Mountains.


September 8, 2021, 1:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration required

How can designers intervene in borders? Join the University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape for a virtual conversation about borders—ground zero for civilization’s greatest challenges. What role can designers have to positively impact those affected by these borderlands? Register to take part.


September 8, 10 & 12, 2021
Various venues
Free to watch

ArtsXpeditions pop-up performances continue to bring music, dance, and performance art to community centres, parks, and even the occasional street corner throughout September! Connect with all of the amazing talent that our community has to offer—this week you can see performances from Robert Adam, Chenelle Roberts, and more!

Mini Masters

September 9, 2021, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free to participate, registration required

Mini Masters for children aged three to five explores themes in current exhibitions through art making, movement and play. From yoga to dance, painting to print-making, discover new mediums and techniques in all art forms. Register and check it out as a family.

Jordan Tannahill

September 9, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration recommended

Imagine On Air presents Jordan Tannahill and his new thriller, The Listeners. The conversation is hosted by Wordfest’s Creative Ringleader Shelley Youngblut. Tannahill is justifiably considered one of Canada’s greatest artists—Wordfest invites you to go deeper into his big, generous brain.

Hello/Goodbye 2021

September 9, 2021, 7:00 – 8:15pm
Stream online

Free to watch, registration required

Join the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program for an evening of readings, conversation, and book giveaways as it welcomes incoming Canadian writer-in-residence Teresa Wong and says farewell to outgoing writer-in-residence Meg Braem. This event has moved from in-person to entirely virtual, register to take part.

Alberta All-Stars

September 9, 2021, 7:30pm
Stream online
Free to watch

Arts Commons Presents celebrates live music with a never-before-seen collection of Alberta’s best jazz musicians led by two award-winning greats, PJ Perry and Al Muirhead. Catch a rare gathering of the province’s best jazz musicians on a legendary stage, all from the comfort of your home!

September Flywheel

September 9, 2021, 7:30pm
Stream online
Free to watch

Hosting the best emerging and established Calgary and Canadian writers, it’s filling Station Magazine’s September Flywheel and you can tune in for an evening of literary delights with authors Bertrand Bickersteth and Rayanne Haines. Trust us—you won’t want to miss this fantastic reading series, now online via Zoom once a month.

Europa New Works Incubator

September 9 & 10, 2021, 6:00 –  8:00pm
Stream online or visit the Central Library (800 3rd St. SE)
Free to watch, registration required

Jupiter Theatre’s new play development program fosters new Canadian theatre in the genres of science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, and mythology. Visit the Calgary Public Library in-person or tune in for a staged reading of The Mire or Flesh & Ghost.

176 Keys

September 10, 2021, 12:30pm
containR (1020 2nd Ave. NW)
Free to watch

Two pianos, eight hands, 40 fingers, 176 keys! kick off the 2021 Honens Festival, and revival of live music, with a program of songs and dances from around the globe. These four acclaimed pianists will bring the notes to life and audience to their feet.

Miss Emily

September 10, 2021, 9:00pm
Stream online
Free to listen

Wowing Canadian audiences since she was 12 by belting out hits by k.d. lang, award-winning Miss Emily has since become a rising name in blues music, sharing the stage with Bruce Springsteen. Pre-recorded from the Jack Singer Concert Hall stage, hear it Alberta-wide on CKUA’s Friday Night Blues Party.

Inglewood Night Market

September 10 & 11, 2021, 4:00 – 11:00pm
Inglewood (Between 10th Ave. & 10th St. SE)
Free to explore

Inglewood Night Market is back, and showcasing 100 unique and local artisan vendors, food trucks, live music, and more. Its markets feature the best arts and culture talent Calgary has to offer. Come to shop and stay for the atmosphere—it makes a fantastic night out.

People in masks shopping at the Inglewood Night Market

Get some shopping done and support local at this fun market | Photo: Inglewood Night Market

India Film Festival of Alberta in Calgary

September 10 – 12, 2021
Various venues
Free to watch

The seventh annual India Film Festival of Alberta features award-winning films from all four corners of India, showcasing more than seven regional languages. Audiences can a virtual trip to India and savour all the goodness the country has to offer! Check it out in-person in Calgary this week.

The Most Beautiful Art Tour in Alberta

September 10 – 12, 2021
Various venues
Free to explore

Showcasing the natural and artistic beauty of southern Alberta, eight Foothills artists and art organizations on the southern outskirts of Calgary come together to host this tour. Go for a drive this September and bask in the beauty of locally made art. Admission to each venue is free.

Art in the Park

September 11, 2021, 11:00am – 5:00pm
Rotary Park (617 1st St. NE)
Free to participate

The Crescent Heights community is thrilled to be hosting over 20 local artists in its first Art in the Park event! Drop-in and support new and familiar exhibitors. All are welcome to celebrate the creativity of your fellow neighbours, so be sure to swing by and take part.

Perpie Live

September 11, 2021, 2:00pm
Central Public Library (800 3rd St. SE)
Free to watch

Join the Calgary Public Library for a beautiful afternoon of music as newcomer artist in residence, saxophonist, and songwriter Perpie, shares new and existing compositions inspired by her African roots including new compositions to take you on a memorable musical journey.

Alberta Culture Days

September 11, 2021, 3:00 – 10:00pm
Polaris Centre for the Performing Arts (8, 261051 Wagon Wheel View, Rockyview)
Free to watch

Join the Polaris Centre as it celebrates Alberta Culture Days with an assortment of great entertainment! Take in singer-songwriters, the Calgary Wind Symphony, cultural dance performances and demonstrations, and more. Check out the full schedule—this week you can see performances by Robb Mann, Natyam Ensemble, Leela Sharon Aheer, Flint & Feather, and Matt Blais.

Brain Bent & D-Day Lewis

September 11, 2021, 6:30pm
GOAT (103, 708 11th Ave. SW)
Free to watch

Big Winter Classic and The Blox present Brain Bent & D-Day Lewis in the heart of the Beltline. Brain Bent’s razor-sharp guitar and synth bleeps blast through social ennui, while D-Day Lewis is a Calgary-based hard rock jam band with an obscure psychedelic undercurrent.

Plein Air Art Sale

September 11 & 12, 2021, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Leighton Art Centre (282027 144th St. West, Millarville)
Free to explore

Head to the Leighton Art Centre for their plein air art sale! Artworks featured include a variety of plein air art pieces available from the artists entering this year’s competition. Pieces will be available to take home immediately after purchase. Check it out!

Honens Open Air High River

September 12, 2021, 2:30pm
George Lane Memorial Park (343 Macleod Tr. SW, High River)
Free to watch

Start the autumn off on a joyous note with this free outdoor celebration of live music. High River Gift of Music Society gathers for a safe, socially distanced event, as Honens brings its popular open air concert performance to High River’s George Lane Memorial Park. Go for a drive and check it out.

Decolonizing the Stories

September 14, 2021, 7:00pm
Various venues
Free to watch, registration required

Fort Calgary has a complicated history because it ushered colonialism into what we call Calgary today. This session, hosted by the Calgary Public Library, Fort Calgary, and the Chinook Country Historical Society, explores insights about decolonization by pondering ways to reckon with Fort Calgary’s past, and how we can collectively step into new stories. Register to check it out either in-person or online.

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