Don’t miss A Youth Explosion celebrating the collective voices of Indigenous youth from southern Alberta
Don’t miss A Youth Explosion celebrating the collective voices of Indigenous youth | Photo: Courtesy of Bridges Social Development

Free This Week

Take in walks, talks, and celebrations throughout Calgary

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free

Calgary is so lucky—not only do we have beautiful skies, we have beautiful art too, and each week offers up a new swath of free events to check out. From tons of programming for this weekend’s Jane’s Walk to Canada Bridges’ A Youth Explosion, it’s a great week to get out and about. Here’s what we’re hitting up:

ProArts Presents Johnny Summers

May 3, 2017, 12:10 – 12:50pm
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (604 1st St. SE)

Calgary’s own Johnny Summers is well-known for his work on the jazz trumpet and as a vocalist. Swing by and hear him perform at this free lunch hour concert.

Herland Screening Event

May 3, 2017, 7:00 – 10:00pm
Theatre Junction GRAND (608 1st St. SW)

The Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF) and Spring Street Films presents this public screening and reception for the Herland Video Production Workshop for Women. Made possible by a project grant from Telus Optik Local, seven filmmakers have spent the past five months working with mentors and you can see the results at this free screening.

Mini Masters

May 4, 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!

Youth Open House at Glenbow

May 4, 2017, 5:00 – 7:00pm
Glenbow (130 9th Ave. SE)
Free, RSVP required

Glenbow’s first youth-focused event, add your voice and influence the future of the museum’s youth programming. The evening includes collaborative art-making inspired by David Altmejd’s The Vessel, 2001, and free food!

Free First Thursday Nights

May 4, 2017, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Glenbow (130 9th Ave. SE)

Have you been to Glenbow lately? A great time to check out this Calgary institution is at its upcoming Free First Thursday Night—the museum is open late and admission is free.

Suzette Mayr & Nicole Markotić Double Book Launch

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

Head to Shelf Life Books for this fantastic double launch of two new novels—Suzette Mayr’s Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall and Nicole Markotić’s Rough Patch.

Opening Reception & Curator’s Tour

May 4, 2017, 7:00 – 10:00pm
Contemporary Calgary (117 8th Ave. SW)

Contemporary Calgary’s Utopia Project continues with this touring exhibition curated by Marco Polo and Colin Ripley. Providing an historical archival component, Architecture and National Identity offers documentation on Canada’s Centennial projects coast to coast.

Bring The Baby Art Tour

May 5, 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.

A Youth Explosion 2017

May 5, 2017, 6:30 – 9:00pm
Festival Hall (1215 10th Ave. SE)
Free, registration required

Bringing together collective voices of Indigenous youth from southern Alberta and celebrating the exploration of their personal experiences and potential, join Canada Bridges for A Youth Explosion. A new name, but the same great celebration, the sixth annual presentation showcases the work being done by the youth participants of Bridges’ Unveiling Youth Potential Program—a youth empowerment program aimed at realizing the potential of youth and young adults by supporting their leadership roles in building strong, resilient communities.

Jane’s Walk

May 5 – 7, 2017
Multiple locations

In the past decade, over 250 volunteers have led more than 200 distinct walks in nearby neighbourhoods, and this year marks the 10th anniversary of Jane’s Walk festival in Calgary. With citizen-led walking tours inspired by urbanist and activist Jane Jacobs, the weekend features stories about communities, and offers participants a chance to explore and connect. Local art takes centre stage in a number of events including the Calgary Stampede Art Walk, a 10-minute play about the humble Canada Jay, and a site-specific dance performance in Calgary’s East Village.

Image for 10-Minute Plays For Jane's Walk

Celebrate Calgary’s neighbourhoods with 10-Minute Plays For Jane’s Walk | Image: Courtesy of Theatre Junction GRAND

10-Minute Plays For Jane’s Walk

May 6 & 7, 2017
Theatre Junction GRAND (608 1st St. SW)

Another Jane’s Walk event but this one should certainly be on your list. Join Theatre Junction GRAND as it presents five 10-minute performance pieces inspired by different Calgary neighbourhoods.

Autospect Opening Reception

May 5, 2017, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Artpoint Gallery & Studios Society (1139 11st St. SE)

A recent graduate of the Alberta College of Art + Design, Kale Vandenbroek’s Autospect is a collection of print-based works that look at an ambiguous narrative imagery about the artist’s introspective nature.

Artist Talk & Panel Discussion

May 6, 2017, 1:00 – 3:00pm
Contemporary Calgary (117 8th Ave. SW)
Free, registration recommended

This afternoon features presentations from Nils Norman, Marco Polo, and Colin Ripley, as well as a panel discussion led by d.talks’ Amery Calvelli.

Airdrie Public Library’s Author Series with Greg Hollingshead

May 6, 2017, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Airdrie Public Library (304 Main St. S, Airdrie)
Free, RSVP required

Looking for a literary treat this weekend? Why not go for a little drive and check out the next edition of Airdrie Public Library’s Author Series. Featuring Greg Hollingshead, the event includes a reading followed by a Q&A session and a musical performance by Giselle de Guzman.

Mount Pleasant Potters’ Guild Annual Spring Sale

May 7, 2017, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Triwood Community Centre (2244 Chicoutimi Dr. NW)

Celebrate Mother’s Day with over 30 local artists displaying pottery in all its forms. Free admission and parking.

Replicating Artifacts

May 7, 2017, 2:00 – 4:00pm
Contemporary Calgary (117 8th Ave. SW)

Contemporary Kids continues with this look at Morehshin Allahyari’s sculptures allowing participants to recreate a famous sculpture out of wax. Each iteration of this monthly series focuses on one specific artwork, artist, or theme found in Contemporary Calgary’s current exhibitions and welcomes families for a brief tour followed by an engaging activity developed specifically for children aged five to 12.

Expressions Featuring Micheline Maylor

May 8, 2017, 8:00 – 10:00pm
Cafe Koi (1101 1st St. SW)
Voluntary cover charge

Part of Calgary’s robust spoken word community, Expressions is a space for truth, beauty and poetry, and May’s edition features our own Poet Laureate Micheline Maylor. There’s even an open mic kicking off at 8:00pm.

SEED: The Untold Story

May 9, 2017, 7:00pm
River Park Auditorium (3818 14a St. SW)

Join the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival‏ as it continues its justREEL series with SEED: The Untold Story. The documentary follows a group of passionate seed keepers who are working to protect the world’s 12,000 year-old food legacy and is followed by a conversation with Roy Beck of Sedgwick, Alberta’s Broadview Farms.

John Creary & Tom Wayman Double Book Launch

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

The feel of a gritty urban existence, and the way music can delight, console, and inspire are the focus of two new poetry collections launching this week at Shelf Life Books. Catch readings from John Creary’s debut collection, Escape from Wreck City, and Tom Wayman’s latest, Helpless Angels.