Free This Week
Don’t miss Storymusic Creations’ free storytelling concert on November 19 | Photo: Courtesy of Calgary Music Events

Free This Week

Get ready for a very busy week ahead and check out these free events

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free

Calgary’s arts community kicks into high gear this week with a ton of great events. And the best part? A whole bunch of them are free to check out. With concerts, receptions, festivals, and, of course, seasonal show and sales to hit up, there’s something for everyone. Here’s what’s on our calendar:

Marda Loop Justice Film Fest

Until November 19, 2017
Multiple locations

This festival is all about film with a social edge. Screenings include post-show discussions with local and international artists and experts, as well as opportunities to interact and connect with community.

ProArts Presents Calgary Performing Arts Festival 2017 Scholarship Recipients

November 15, 2017, 12:10 – 12:50pm
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (604 1st St. SE)

Featuring two scholarship winners from the 2017 Calgary Performing Arts Festival, don’t miss this free lunch hour concert featuring vocalist Justine Pariag and pianist Joshua Wong.

Home Turf

November 15, 2017, 12:15 – 12:45pm
Contemporary Calgary (117 8th Ave. SW)
Free, registration recommended

Join Contemporary Calgary over your break for its lunch hour author readings. This week, take in a performative reading of Home Turf from Calgary-based writer, curator, and artist Tomas Jonsson.

Artist Tour: Everywhere Possible Therefore True

November 16, 2017, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Nickle Galleries (410 University Court NW)

Calgary-based multidisciplinary artist Miruna Dragan utilizes diverse techniques including encaustic paint, photography, textiles, and architectural intervention to examine archetypes, myths, and symbols. Join Nickle at Noon for this free lunch hour artist tour.

Herringer Kiss Gallery Opening Receptions

November 16, 2017, 5:00 – 8:00pm
Herringer Kiss Gallery (709A 11th Ave. SW)

With two new shows, head to Herringer Kiss Gallery for this reception featuring Joe Fleming’s newest work Signs of the Time and Jason Frizzell’s Worn Out Shoes and Back Page News.

How Do You Create A Framework For Mental Wellness?

November 16, 2017, 5:30 – 8:30pm
Arts Learning Centre, Arts Commons (205 8th Ave. SE)

A free art workshop that’s part of the public art project 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.

Dick Averns’ Recognition… Validation… Reassurance… Art + Mental Wellness | Image: Courtesy of Dick Averns

Single Onion #145

November 16, 2017, 7:00pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4th St. SW)

The Single Onion wraps up its fall season this week with a reading from four great poets—Bruce Hunter, Nora Gould, Catherine Graham, and Angeline Schellenberg.

Living with Coyote

November 16, 2017, 7:00 – 7:20pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration essential

A doubleheader at the Esker Foundation, Living with Coyote is a short documentary that follows generational sheepherders and urban biologists in the American West who share a common concern—coyote presence.

Living with Wildlife

November 16, 2017, 7:30 – 8:15pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration essential

The second film of the night, documentary Living with Wildlife tells the hopeful story of how communities in the Bow Valley have come together over the past 20 years in order to coexist with grizzly bears and other wildlife. Filmmaker Leanne Allison will be on hand following the screening to answer questions and discuss the film.

Late Night Thursday with Trevor Varem

November 16, 2017, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Contemporary Calgary (117 8th Ave. SW)
Free, registration recommended

Join tattoo artist Trevor Varem as he shares the stories and creative process behind some of his favourite designs. This talk demonstrates how tattoos act as personal narratives and the varied ways in which symbols and script are read and create meaning.

Art Now: Maddie Alexander

November 17, 2017, 10:00 – 11:30am
Taylor Family Digital Library, University of Calgary (410 University Ct. NW)

Part of the University of Calgary Department of Art’s visiting artist and scholar series, multidisciplinary artist Maddie Alexander discusses failing, starting over, coming out, and art’s power to create space and critical dialogue. Don’t miss The queer art of failing – then making it look like you did it on purpose.

She Who Dares

November 17 – 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.

Contextural Fibre Arts Cooperative Christmas Artisan Sale

November 17 & 18, 2017
Christ Church Elbow Park (3602 8th St. SW)
Free admission

A textile-focused sale providing the opportunity to meet the artists and makers of silk-screened, EcoPrinted and hand-dyed scarves, pillows and bags, art pieces, and so much more, come enjoy a warm cup of cider and meet the Contextural artists.

Indefinite Arts Holiday Art Sale + Fundraiser

November 18, 2017, 10:00am – 3:00pm
Indefinite Arts Centre (8038 Fairmount Dr. SE)
Free admission

Join Indefinite Arts for its biggest fundraiser of the year and find one-of-a-kind arts and crafts. Canada’s oldest disability arts organization, it provides artistic training, creation, and exhibition opportunities for artists living with developmental disabilities.

Indefinite Arts' Holiday Art Sale + Fundraiser Poster

Don’t miss Indefinite Arts’ Holiday Art Sale + Fundraiser | Image: Courtesy of Indefinite Arts

Southern Alberta Art Alliance Fall Art Show

November 18, 2017, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Holy Cross Anglican Church (2828 19 St. NW)
Free admission and parking

Previously known as St. Andrews Heights Artists’ Society, local artists from the Southern Alberta Art Alliance present new works in varied mediums and styles. Meet the artists and find out what inspired their work.

Artist Talk: Bill Rodgers

November 18, 2017, 1:00 – 2:00pm
Jarvis Hall Gallery (333B 36th Ave. SE)

An in-depth artist talk with local artist Bill Rodgers, explore his latest body of work, Further Studies in Citizenship, Fiction, and learn the history of this series on the final day of its exhibition.

Let Us

November 18, 2017, 8:00pm – 12:00am
Stride Gallery (1006 Macleod Tr. SE)
Free admission

Featuring fantastic artworks generously donated from emerging and established artists, support Stride Gallery at its annual fundraiser. The night brings together live and silent auctions, so prepare for bidding wars both loud and quiet. The winning bid of the artwork will be split 50:50 between the artist and the gallery.

Handmade Here Holiday Show & Sale

November 18 & 19, 2017, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Triwood Community Hall (2244 Chicoutimi Dr. NW)
Free admission

A boutique group sale, Handmade Here returns for its 13th year and features 25 of Calgary’s best artists and craftspeople. Look for creations in diverse mediums including painting, drawing, printmaking, fibre and textiles, blown glass, fused glass, wood, jewelry, ceramics, and more.

A Storytelling Concert

November 19, 2017, 1:00 – 2:00pm
John Dutton Theatre, Calgary Public Library (616 Macleod Tr. SE)

Featuring two original stories accompanied by live musicians, join Calgary’s Storymusic Creations for a unique and engaging experience. Hear narrator Samantha Whelan Kotkas read Elk’s Wintry Day and Salmon and Dipper’s Wondrous Journey along with Jolivet’s Petite Suite and Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp.

French Connections: Jeunesse Contemporaine

November 19, 2017, 2:00 – 4:00pm
Contemporary Calgary (117 8th Ave. SW)
Free, registration required

A French twist on Contemporary Calgary’s children’s programming, this edition looks at weaving and tapestry allowing participants to decorate their own piece.

2017 E-Gré Winner’s Tour

November 20, 2017, 12:00pm
Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, Rozsa Centre, University of Calgary (206 University Court NW)
Free and open to all

Fulfilling her lifelong dream of creating a place where contemporary composers could make their presence felt by young musicians, the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition for the performance of Canadian and contemporary music is a memorial to composer, pianist, and violinist S.C. (Sonia) Eckhardt-Gramatté. Held annually since 1976 at Brandon University, hear 2017 winner soprano Alexandra Smither at this free noon-hour concert.


November 21, 2017, 6:00 – 9:00pm
Contemporary Calgary (117 8th Ave. SW)
Free, registration required

Introducing the classic anime film Akira, Joshua Whitehead is an Oji-Cree/nehiyaw, Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1) in Manitowapow. He is the 2017 winner of the Indigenous Arts and Stories competition and recipient of a Governor General’s History Award for his poem mihkokwaniy.

Books Centre Stage: A Christmas Carol

November 21, 2017, 7:00 – 8:00pm
Quarry Park Library, Calgary Public Library (108 Quarry Park Rd. SE)
Free, registration required

The first of four events, Theatre Calgary and the Calgary Public Library have teamed up to present thoughtful discussions about the books behind the stage productions. This dynamic dialogue compares Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to Theatre Calgary’s classic on-stage adaptation.