Poster for Baconfest 4
Calgary’s favourite Urban Planning Film Festival returns this February | Image: Courtesy of The City of Calgary

Free This Week

Check out workshops, artist talks, screenings, receptions, and much more

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free

A new month means there are even more great free events to check out. And with offerings from ongoing festivals to special programming opportunities, there’s always a ton to do. Here’s what’s on our list this week:

ProArts Presents Calgary Opera Emerging Artist Program

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

A perennial audience favourite, the Calgary Opera’s innovative Emerging Artist Program Ensemble presents talented young singers from across Canada. Don’t miss the second of their three appearances for ProArts this season at this free lunch hour concert.

Baconfest 4

February 1, 2017, 5:30pm – 8:00pm
John Dutton Theatre, Calgary Public Library (616 Macleod Trail SE)

Calgary’s favourite Urban Planning Film Festival returns for a fourth year this February. The brainchild of The City of Calgary’s General Manager of Urban Strategy Rollin Stanley, Baconfest brings together thought-provoking screenings and conversations in celebration of renowned architect and planner Ed Bacon. This week’s screening includes The Nature of Cities and Elevated Thinking – The High Line in New York City. And there’s actual bacon too.

Walking on the Moon

February 1, 2017, 7:00pm
Memorial Park Library (2nd Floor,1221 2nd St. SW)
Free, RSVP required

Join Wordfest for a celebration and launch of Stephen W. Shawcross’ latest novel. Hosted by Shelley Youngblut, this event includes a cash bar and reception to follow.

M Jane Colette: More Than A Guilty Pleasure

February 1, 2017, 7:00pm
Owl’s Nest Books (815A 49th Ave. SW)
Free, RSVPs appreciated but not required

Do you read romance novels apologetically and secretly on your e-reader? Stop and join M. Jane Colette, Alyssa Linn Palmer, and members of the Calgary chapter of the Romance Writers of America in a spirited discussion of why reading (and writing) romance and erotica is important in an age of plentiful porn.

Grassroots Archiving

February 2, 2017
Community Living Room, DJD Dance Centre (111 12th Ave. SE)
Free, registration required

Take a tour through time with Dance Collection Danse’s Director of Collections and Research, Amy Bowring. This very practical and accessible workshop takes participants through the basics of home archiving on what materials to keep and how best to store them.

Mini Masters

February 2, 2017, 11:00 – 11:45am
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration essential

Calling Calgary’s newest contemporaries! Join the Esker Foundation on the first Thursday of every month for a hands-on art class. Parents and guardians are invited to bring their little ones, ages two to five, to explore art making in this fun and social program. All are welcome to participate, just dress for mess!

Free First Thursday Night

February 2, 2017, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Glenbow (130 9th Ave. SE)

Always a good time to checkout Glenbow, the museum stays open late with free access the first Thursday of each month. And this is your last chance to see Rough Country and The Last Longest Day for free.

Art Opening & Sale

February 2, 2017, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Loft 112 (112, 535 8th Ave. SE)

Featuring the work of Tammy Winterfield, swing by Loft 112 and check out A Winter Collection at this reception.


February 2, 2017, 5:00 – 7:00pm
Studio C (502, 237 8th Ave. SE)

An exciting new employment program aimed at youth, GenA uses creative to help foster essential skills. Over a period of 12 weeks participants were inspired through art marking and collaboration. See the results at this opening reception celebration.

Janus: An Installation by Tasman Richardson

February 2, 2017, 7:00pm
EMMEDIA (2nd Floor, 351 11th Ave. SW)

Two projections intersect each other loosely referencing the different halves of the brain—colour and melody versus monochrome textures and rhythmic noise. Part of the PARTICLE + WAVE Media Arts Festival, see the installation at its opening reception.

A Visual History of Canadian Dance

February 3, 2017
Community Living Room, DJD Dance Centre (111 12th Ave. SE)
Free, registration required

The second of two workshops being offered by Dance Collection Danse’s Director of Collections and Research, Amy Bowring, check out this lively presentation about the roots of theatrical dance in Canada.

Bring The Baby Art Tour

February 3, 2017, 12:00 – 12:30pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration recommended

Bring your baby to Esker Foundation for a tot-friendly discussion on this relaxed, social tour.

The Sacred and the Profane

February 3, 2017, 1:00 – 3:00pm
ICT 516, University of Calgary (5th Floor, 856 Campus Place NW)

Part of the PARTICLE + WAVE Media Arts Festival, check out this artist panel moderated by Lindsay Macdonald. Artists Peter Redecopp, Tasman Richardson, and Trevor Van den Eijnden examine how their work presented challenges the sacred and the profane dichotomy.

Artist Talk with Jude Griebel

February 3, 2017, 7:00 – 8:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration recommended

Jude Griebel creates sculptures of hybrid bodies whose anatomy is merged with their surroundings. Then, join the Esker Foundation in its Project Space to celebrate the opening of Estranged Setting.

Me and YOUnity and Everything I Know: A Workshop

February 4, 2017, 12:00 – 2:00pm
EMMEDIA (2nd Floor, 351 11th Ave. SW)
Free, registration required 

Part of the PARTICLE + WAVE Media Arts Festival, Mat Lindenburg and Jadda Tsui host this free workshop that introduces participants to Unity, a free, cross-platform, 3D and 2D engine used for creative coding.

Artist Salon with Jan Derbyshire

February 5, 2017, 7:00pm
Loft 112 (112, 535 8th Ave. SE)

Join Handsome Alice Theatre for its next artist salon as Jan Derbyshire leads a citizen designers/theatre lab. This crash course in design thinking will offer you insight into how to move from a question, obstacle, problem, or inspiration to design actionable changes. Salons are free to anyone interested in participating.

Yiddish Policemen’s Secret Ball

February 6, 2017, 7:00pm
Memorial Park Library (1221 2nd St. SW)
Free, RSVP required

Join the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program, Wordfest, and the Calgary Public Library for the Yiddish Policemen’s Secret Ball, a Michael Chabon pre-talk event. The evening features special guests including writer Richard Kelly Kemick, historian Harry Sanders, and film scholar Charles Tepperman. Chabon will not be in attendance at the pre-talk but his public appearance at the University of Calgary is slated for February 16.

Can You Hear Me Now? Calgary’s All-Ages Poetry Slam

February 7, 2017, 6:30 – 9:00pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4th St. SW)

Come out to Calgary’s all-ages poetry slam and open mic as participants gear up for the fourth annual provincial junior high and high school poetry slam competition. Poets of all ages are welcome to come out and share their words, competitively in the slam or non-competitively during open mic.