Photo of Chris Gheran
See Chris Gheran perform this week at the Nash Cut Off Bar | Photo: Courtesy of Gallery House Concerts Society

Free This Week

See screenings, concerts, receptions, and more without breaking the bank

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free

Looking for something to do this week but don’t have a ton of cash? Why not check out these free events? With screenings, concerts, receptions, and more—there’s something for everyone. Here’s what we’re hitting up:

ProArts@Noon Presents Calgary Opera Emerging Artist Ensemble

January 31, 2018, 12:10 – 12:50pm
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (604 1st St. SE)

Always a popular concert, hear Calgary Opera’s innovative Emerging Artist Program as it presents the second of its three ProArts programs this season. Featuring engaging arias and ensembles from works by Mozart, Donizetti, and Bellini, including selections from Tchaikovsky’s tuneful Eugene Onegin, don’t miss your chance to hear these talented young singers.

Recognition Opening Reception

January 31, 2018, 4:30 – 6:30pm
AB 621, University of Calgary (2500 University Dr. NW)

Featuring more than 100 artworks created through social practice community workshops as part of the public art project Recognition… Validation… Reassurance… Art + Mental Wellness, this popup is presented in conjunction with Bell Let’s Talk Day. Led by art instructor Dick Averns and curated by art student Jacob Huffman for the Pop-up Gallery Society, check out the show at its opening reception.


January 31, 2018, 6:00 – 8:00pm
John Dutton Theatre, Calgary Public Library (616 Macleod Trail SE)

Calgary’s favourite Urban Planning Film Festival returns for its fifth year. The brainchild of The City’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 features a screening of Blue Gold: World Water Wars.

Movies That Matter Presents Complicit

January 31, 2018, 7:00pm
Gallery Hall, Taylor Family Digital Library, University of Calgary (410 University Ct. NW)
Free for students with ID, community entry by donation

Complicit follows the journey of Chinese factory migrant worker-turned-activist Yi Yeting, who takes his fight against the global electronic industry from his hospital bed to the international stage. While battling his own work-induced leukemia, Yi Yeting teaches himself labour law in order to prepare a legal challenge against his former employers. The screening is followed by a 30 minute Q&A with director Heather White.

Movies That Matter Presents Complicit

Movies That Matter presents Complicit | Image: Courtesy of Movies That Matter

I Spy

February 1, 2018, 4:00 – 9:00pm
Loft 112 (535 8th Ave. SE)
Free, registration recommended

Part of the Exposure Photography Festival, join FosterMAK and see work from five local photographers—Funeh Aliu, Lori Maloney, Nancy MacEachern, Lisa Murphy-Lamb, and Lily Wong.

Each Painted Document Opening Reception

February 1, 2018, 5:00 – 8:00pm
Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary (410 University Ct. NW)

A visual manifest of Mark Dicey’s travels into and out of his workplace, explore recent large works on canvas, mid-sized works on paper, a Swarm, a wall collage of notations, a site-specific installation, and a suite of vitrines housing his dedicated sketch-book-works at the opening reception.

The Artist’s Lens Opening Reception

February 1, 2018, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Artpoint Gallery & Studios Society (1139 Adelaide St. SE)

Part of the Exposure Photography Festival, join the Alberta Society of Artists as it features work from Jack Blair, Gerry Dotto, Peter Glendale, Karin Richter, Lorene Runham, Deborah Lougheed Sinclair, Ray Swirsky, and Edith VanderKloot.

Soon All Your Memories Will Be With Me Performance & Reception

February 1, 2018, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Alberta College of Art + Design (1407 14th Ave. NW)

A new complex installation by current faculty member Lisa Lipton, this presentation follows a science fiction narrative that explores the nature of human experience in relation to futurist technologies, innovation, virtual communication, and space travel. Written as a homage to Harlan Ellison’s Canadian-produced science fiction series The Starlost, the story follows three characters as they journey through deep space in an attempt to save remaining descendants of human civilization aboard The Ship Ultimo.

Free First Thursday Nights

February 1, 2018, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Glenbow (130 9th Ave. SE)

Start February off right with a free evening at Glenbow and explore The Black Gold Tapestry and Eye of the Needle as well as the museum’s permanent exhibitions.

tensions Gallery Tour

February 1, 2018, 6:00pm
Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Alberta College of Art + Design (1407 14th Ave. NW)

The Illingworth Kerr Gallery welcomes back ACAD alumna Amy Malbeuf for her first institutional solo show in Calgary. A Métis visual artist from Rich Lake, Alberta, Malbeuf works in a variety of media, including performance, beadwork, installation, and video. tensions focuses on the artist’s signature use of tarps as an artistic material, and you can get special insight into the exhibition with this artist lead gallery tour.

Amy Malbeuf's tensions

Amy Malbeuf’s tensions | Image: Courtesy of IKG

Chris Gheran

February 1, 2018, 8:00pm
Nash Off Cut Bar (925 11th St. SE)
No cover

Known for his hard folk stylings, Chris Gheran’s music appeals to social activists, lovers, and military buffs. Check out his show and walk away with a bit of history or a new perspective.

We Dream in Glitches

February 1, 2018, 7:30pm
EMMEDIA Screening Room (2005 10th Ave. SW)

Featuring works by Charlotte Clermont, Nikita Diakur, Zachary Finkelstein, Rakel Jonsdottir, Kendra Lohr, Alice Saey, Aristo Vopenka, and Taryn Ward, this screening kicks off the PARTICLE + WAVE Media Arts Festival and explores isolated landscapes of visual spectacles, both nostalgic and strange.

The Channelers

February 2, 2018, 5:00 – 10:00pm
EMMEDIA (2005 10th Ave. SW)

A group exhibition curated by Lauren Marsden and Maria Fedorova, and featuring works by Jeremy Bailey, Philip Huang, Lorna Mills, Yoshi Sodeoka, Sydney Southam, and Rodell Warner, don’t miss this physical extension of Decoy Magazine’s ongoing series of digital art commissions, Bcc:. Showcasing six artists who employ everyday digital materials and platforms such as Instagram, animated GIFs, YouTube videos, memes, banner ads, and online archives as channels for artistic expression, attend a talk with Lauren Marsden from 5:00 to 7:00pm before hitting up the reception at 7:00pm.

Winter Exhibitions Reception

February 2, 2018, 6:00 – 10:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)

Celebrate the opening of two new exhibitions this week at the Esker Foundation—Kapwani Kiwanga’s A wall is just a wall (and nothing more at all) and DaveandJenn’s Paradise for an in-between time.

Kick Off Bash & Opening Reception

February 3, 2018, 10:00am – 9:00pm
Eau Claire Market (200 Barclay Parade SW)

Celebrate the start of 2018’s Exposure Photography Festival and explore three shows—the Open Call exhibition, the Emerging Photographers Showcase, and a solo exhibition by the 2017 showcase winner, Blake Chorley. The day also includes a walking tour of The FENCE.

Artist Talk Kapwani Kiwanga

February 3, 2018, 1:00 – 2:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration recommended

Join Kapwani Kiwanga as she shares the research and interests behind her exhibition A wall is just a wall (and nothing more at all). Kiwanga’s work is often rooted in a period of research before bringing these concepts into the studio where they transform into various mediums.

Curator’s Talk Nabila Abdel Nabi

February 4, 2018, 1:00 – 2:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration recommended

Join The Power Plant’s Assistant Curator, Nabila Abdel Nabi, as she discusses A wall is just a wall (and nothing more at all). The talk explores how Kapwani Kiwanga deconstructs the physical and psychological qualities of different built environments including schools, prisons, hospitals, and mental health facilities.

Sounding Objects: Intro to Electromagnetics

February 3, 2018, 1:00 – 4:00pm
EMMEDIA Screening Room (2005 10th Ave. SW)
Free, registration required

Get to know some of the basic concepts of electromagnetics at this workshop with Martín Rodríguez. Using a hands-on approach, learn fundamental knowledge around electronics and how it relates to sound while experimenting with various electromagnetic devices such as piezos, speakers, and transducers.

Classical Guitar Society of Calgary Preview Concert

February 4, 2018, 2:00pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4th St. SW)

Founded in 1974 to promote interest in and study of classical guitar, hear an afternoon of performances brought to you by the Classical Guitar Society of Calgary.

Can You Hear Me Now? All Ages Poetry Slam

February 6, 2018, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4th St. SW)

Check out 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 share their words, competitively in the slam or non-competitively with the open mic.