Visual AIDS’ longstanding Day With(out) Art
Don’t miss the the 28th annual iteration of Visual AIDS’ longstanding Day With(out) Art project | Image: Courtesy of ACAD

Free This Week

Get ready for a busy week of concerts, workshops, sales, and shows

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free

A week of transitions for sure, the next few days are jam-packed with great events to hit up. From chances to get into the holiday spirit to thought-provoking exhibitions, Calgary is full of fantastic free events.

Here’s what we’re checking out:

SPARK Disability Art Festival

Until December 8, 2017
Multiple locations

Featuring juried and satellite exhibitions as well as other public programs, the SPARK Disability Art Festival is Calgary’s largest and longest running arts festival for visual artists with disabilities. This year’s festival takes places in seven different venues across the city and includes public programs presented in partnership with the University of Calgary Department of Art, Nickle Galleries, Alberta College of Art + Design Students’ Association, and artist Dick Averns.

Calgary’s Gingerbread House

Until January 2, 2017
Fairmont Palliser Hotel (133 9th Ave. SW)
Free, donations accepted

Explore a life size gingerbread house and support local non-profits this season. On the interior of the house, visitors are invited to write wishes down for families at the Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta. All monetary donations go to the Calgary Drop-In Centre and food donations go to the Calgary Food Bank.

Legacy Christmas Light Parade

Until January 7, 2018
Legacy (2 Legacy Cir. SE)

Presented by WestCreek Developments, Legacy’s annual Christmas light parade returns with over 100,000 lights. Drive or walk through the decorated parks or visit the skating rink on Legacy View.

ProArts Presents MASS ENERGY Choir Concert

November 29, 2017, 12:10 – 12:50pm
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (604 1st St. SE)

Always an audience favourite, the annual MASS ENERGY choral concert brings together four of Calgary’s oil patch choirs for individual performances followed by a combined-choirs finale. Bring your singing voice and join in at this free, lunch hour concert.

Freehand Books Launch

November 29, 2017, 7:00pm
Memorial Park Library Salon (1221 2nd St SW)
Free, all are welcome

Join Freehand Books and celebrate two new novels as Alison Watt (author of Dazzle Patterns) and Daniel Griffin (author of Two Roads Home) show off their work.

Freehand Books Launch Calgary Fall 2017


November 29, 2017, 7:00pm
Gallery Hall, Taylor Family Digital Library, University of Calgary (410 University Ct. NW)
Free for students with ID, community entry by donation

Join Movies That Matter for this screening of Fattitude, a documentary that seeks to inform people about the harsh realities of fat shaming and fat hatred. A body positive documentary and activist movement, the screening is followed by Q&A via Skype with director Lindsey Averill. All seating is first come, first served.

Wildlife in Our City

November 29, 2017, 7:00 – 8:30pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration essential

Did you know that over 400 species of wildlife live within Calgary? Join the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society’s expert staff as they provide information on local wildlife and wildlife-human conflict. A family-friendly program, children must be over the age of seven to attend.

Mental Health in Museums and Art Galleries: A Panel Discussion

November 30, 2017, 12:00 – 1:30pm
Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary (410 University Ct. NW)

Join Dick Averns, Paul Freeman, Tamara Pringsheim, and other special guests to discuss the relationship between mental health, museums, art galleries, art, and artists. Hosted by the University of Calgary’s Nickle Galleries and mounted in conjunction with the SPARK Disability Arts Festival, the discussion is followed by a relaxed reception for Richard Boulet’s exhibition, Rage Hope.

We are all in this together

November 30, 2017, 7:00 – 8:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration recommended

Although the materials used in the work of Mary Anne Barkhouse and Postcommodity share little in common, Naomi Potter explores their connection and commitment to challenging mainstream social, political, economic, and historical discourses by creating space for Indigenous narratives.

Bring the Baby Art Tour

December 1, 2017, 12:00pm
Esker Foundation (1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration essential

A relaxed, social tour, bring your baby to Esker Foundation and have tot-friendly fun while discussing the current exhibitions from Mary Anne Barkhouse and Postcommodity.

Red Carpet Concert & Lunch

December 1, 2017, 12:00 – 2:00pm
Knox Presbyterian Church (3704 37th St. SW)

Calgary’s newest concert series continues with this noon-hour performance by pianist Akiko Tominaga. A $5 lunch is available for purchase after the concert.

Alternate Endings, Radical Beginnings

December 1, 2017, 7:00pm
Stanford Perrott Lecture Theatre, Alberta College of Art + Design (1407 14th Ave. NW)

Working to raise awareness of Visual AIDS’ longstanding Day With(out) Art, join the Alberta College of Art + Design for this video program that prioritizes Black narratives within the ongoing AIDS epidemic.

tc OUT LOUD – An Evening of New Words

December 1, 2017, 7:00pm
Theatre Calgary Rehearsal Hall (220 9th Ave. SE)
Free, RSVP required

Join Theatre Calgary for this inaugural evening of new work. A low-key celebration, this time hear a reading of Karen Hines new play alongside pieces from three other local artists.

tc OUT LOUD – An Evening of New Words

Craft Sale & Music Night

December 1 & 2, 2017
Northside Bible Fellowship (2911 Edmonton Tr. NE)
Free admission

Peruse the crafts and listen to great bands and solo artists at this free event. Artists include Daniel Shorten, Sami Valavaara, Alissa Ross, and Liam Faucher.

Neon & Cream Pop Up Art Show

December 1 & 2, 2017, 3:00 – 9:00pm
St. Louis Hotel (430 8th Ave. SE)

A two-day, pop-up art show featuring 17 local artists from a wide spectrum of experience, check out never-before-seen artworks that have been recently produced with the intent to investigate the exotic lure of fluorescent pigments.

She Who Dares

December 1 – 10, 2017
Fort Calgary (750 9th Ave. SE)

Heading to its final stop, 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.

Northern Reflections Window Exhibition

December 1 – 31, 2017
Throughout Downtown Calgary

Celebrating the magic of wintertime through a series of painted windows created by local artists, this immersive experience allows visitors to use Augmented Reality to explore this urban art gallery. Just download the app AUGLE and use it to find the window locations.

Star Wars Day: The Library Strikes Back

December 2, 2017, 12:00 – 4:00pm
Central Library (616 Macleod Tr. SE), Shawnessy Library (333 Shawville Blvd. SE) & Saddletowne Library (7555 Falconridge Blvd. NE)

Join the Calgary Public Library for this free all-ages celebration of all things Star Wars. Marking the upcoming launch of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, build your own lightsaber, program a droid, or take a selfie with a stormtrooper. Family-friendly cosplay is strongly encouraged.

Star Wars Day: The Library Strikes Back

Wildflower Art Salon & Sale

December 3, 2017, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Wildflower Arts Centre (3363 Spruce Dr. SW)
Free admission

An annual holiday showcase featuring artworks created by the centre’s professionally trained, practicing instructors, head to Calgary’s own Wildflower Arts Centre this weekend. From ceramics and fibre arts to paintings and drawings, there is sure to be something for everyone on your list and a portion of all sales go to support Footprints Dance Project Society programs.

Wolf Willow Winter Sale

December 3, 2017, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Wolf Willow Studio (9 Spruce Centre SW)
Free admission

Wolf Willow Studio’s annual gathering of local, artists, musicians, and community, this is a great chance to get some shopping done and pick up an aromatic piece of sustainable, native, Rocky Mountain Wreath decor.

Contemporary Kids: Writing with Sculpture

December 3, 2017, 2:00 – 4:00pm
Contemporary Calgary (117 8th Ave. SW)
Free, registration required

Focusing on one specific artwork, artist, or theme found in its current exhibition, Writing with Sculpture allows children to colourfully sculpt their favourite letters, words or poetry through the use of various mediums.

Films of Moyra Davey and John Latham

December 5, 2017, 6:00 – 9:00pm
Contemporary Calgary (117 8th Ave. SW)
Free, registration required

Check out Contemporary Calgary’s Lit Flicks as senior curator Lisa Baldissera presents the films of Moyra Davey and John Latham.