Free This Week
Movies That Matter closes out its fall season this week with Migrant Dreams | Image: Courtesy of Movies That Matter

Free This Week

From concerts to workshops to open houses, there’s a plethora of offerings

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free

It’s a new month and the week is jam-packed with amazing free events for you all to check out. From Free First Thursdays at Glenbow to talks, open studios, concerts, and much more, there’s something for everyone.

Here’s what’s on our list as we enter the last month of 2016:

SPARK Disability Art Festival

Until December 3, 2016
Multiple venues

Each year In-Definite Arts and Studio C team up to present the 2016 SPARK Disability Art Festival—an amazing series of visual art exhibits that ignite the mind and spark the imagination. In total the festival features over 140 pieces of art in all mediums from Canadian artists pan-disability.

ProArts@Noon Presents Mass Energy Choral Concert

November 30, 2016, 12:10pm
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (604 1st St. SE)

As the Christmas season approaches, four of Calgary’s oil patch choirs gather to present this passionate choral concert. Now in its sixth season, this annual concert features four corporate choirs from ConocoPhillips, Repsol, Suncor, and TransCanada.

Shannon Bool: The Eastern Carpet in the Western World Revisited

November 30, 2016, 4:00pm
Illingworth Kerr Gallery (1407 14th Ave. NW)

Join Illingworth Kerr Gallery (IKG) and Alberta College of Art + Design for this artist talk from Shannon Bool. Her first solo exhibition in Calgary, the show features recent work that revisits textile art from a contemporary art perspective. Following the talk, an opening reception is slated for 5:00 to 7:00pm.

Movies That Matter Presents Migrant Dreams

November 30, 2016, 7:00pm
Gallery Hall Taylor Family Digital Library, University of Calgary (410 University Ct. NW)
Free for students with ID, and for community members with food bank donation

Movies That Matter closes out its fall season with Min Sook Lee’s dynamic and powerful documentary Migrant Dreams. The film tells the undertold story of migrant agricultural workers struggling against Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Seating is limited so please arrive early and a Q&A is set to follow the screening.

Mini Masters

December 1, 2016 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!

Winter Word Fair

December 1, 2016, 5:00 – 8:00pm
Central Library, Calgary Public Library (616 Macleod Tr. SE)

Join the Calgary Public Library for one incredible night of bookish gift shopping. Independent booksellers and vendors will be on-hand alongside music, light refreshments, and snacks.

Free First Thursday Night

December 1, 2016, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Glenbow (130 9th Ave. SE)

Open late and free to check out, make sure you swing by Glenbow for its final Free First Thursday of 2016.

Bring The Baby Art Tour

December 2, 2016 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.

Inner City Stories: Isobars

December 2, 2016, 5:00 – 7:00pm
Loft 112 (112, 535 8th Ave. SE)

Now at the third story of the series, this evening gets kicked off by author Weyman Chan sharing three songs inspired by the character, storyline, and theme from his narrative, Isobars. Come for happy hour, stay for the story and the fun. Sponsored by Ink by Battistella.

Body Dysmorphia Opening Reception

December 2, 2016, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Upstairs Gallery, ArtPoint Gallery & Studio Society (1139 11th St. SE)

Join artist Lizzie Carr as she opens a solo show specifically focusing on body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)—a mental illness revolving around body image issues that results in depression and social phobia. These painted portraits were created as a visual interpretation of discomfort in one’s skin. Art prints will be for sale at the opening reception with a share of proceeds going to the Calgary Silver Linings Foundation.

The Calgary Renaissance Launch

December 2, 2016, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Pages On Kensington (1135 Kensington Rd. NW)

Edited by derek beaulieu and rob mclennan, The Calgary Renaissance highlights some of the diverse experimental poetry and fiction that has emerged out of the past two decades of Calgary writing. The launch includes readings from Hollie Adams, Christian Bok, Nikki Sheppy, and many more.


December 2, 2016, 7:00 – 10:00pm
Greater Goods (8, 606 Meredith Rd. NW)

Experience abstract expressionist Carolyn Jerrard’s new series as the featured artist at Greater Goods Boutique & Tea Bar. With a passion for landscapes that are influenced by imagination, check out her solo show at this artist reception.

Merry Makers Market

December 2 & 3, 2016
ARCHEloft (200, 1209 1st St. SW)

Join ARCHEloft for its third annual makes market featuring curated local vendors selling fascinating wares.

Inn from the Cold Winter Open House

December 2 & 3, 2016, 11:00am – 2:00pm
Inn from the Cold (106, 110 11th Ave. SE)
Free, family-friendly

With all the free events going on, it’s also great to give something back if you can. Drop in to Inn from the Cold for its annual open house where they’ll be accepting financial donations and gifts in kind. There’ll be holiday entertainment, hot-chocolate and tours of the Emergency Family Shelter.

The Nutcracker & The Snowman

December 3, 2016, 10:30am
Owl’s Nest Books (815A 49th Ave. SW)
Free, donations greatly appreciated

Grab a little one and come along to Bring Your Child To A Bookstore Day at Owl’s Nest Books this week as The Jabberwocky Players Present both The Nutcracker and The Snowman in music and song.

Christmas in Kensington

December 3, 2016, 12:00 – 4:00pm
Throughout Kensington

With four weekends of holiday fun, head to Kensington to get into the Christmas spirit. This Saturday features Rock n Roll Carollers, wagon rides, and a pay-what-you-can showing of Miracle on 34th Street at The Plaza Theatre (1133 Kensington Rd. NW). Proceeds support the Calgary Poppy Fund and Veterans Food Bank.

Uncertain Places with Sans façon

December 3, 2016, 1:00 – 2:00pm
Esker Foundation  (444, 1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration recommended

Through its art practice Sans façon responds to the relationship between people and place. Working internationally, its approach renews awareness and tempts interaction with the surroundings. This artist talk explores the sense of place through examples of past work and the development of new work for the Esker Project Space.

Scent and Memory with Irene Schnell

December 3, 2016, 2:00 – 3:00pm
Esker Foundation  (444, 1011 9th Ave. SE)
Free, registration recommended

Join the Esker Foundation as Irene Schnell, a perfumer who trained in Paris and is based in Calgary, discusses the role of scent in our memories and how it provokes us in our everyday lives. Having consulted on Sans façon’s Project Space exhibition, she speaks to its unique opportunities, inspirations, and challenges.

Happy, Peer Pressured Holiday Card Writing

December 3, 2016, 2:00 – 6:00pm
Loft 112 (112, 535 8th Ave. SE)
Free with donation to the Food Bank

Mulled wine, baking and the chance to write to grandma, this afternoon also features a challenge to send a holiday card to a stranger.

Bee Kingdom Glass Christmas Sale

December 3 & 4, 2016, 12:00 – 5:00pm
Bee Kingdom Glass (427 22nd Ave. NW)

Bring friends and family as Calgary’s own Bee Kingdom blows glass throughout the weekend, so sit down and watch them work. Then head into the house for snacks do some shopping for handmade glassworks. Look out for colourful candy bowls, vases, cute engines, little cute bomb characters, glasses, Christmas balls, and so much more.

Wildflower Art Salon & Sale

December 4, 2016, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Wildflower Arts Centre (3363 Spruce Dr. SW)

Looking for that little something extra? Then check out the 6th annual Wildflower Salon and Sale. Visitors get a chance to chat with the talented people who work at the Wildflower Arts Centre and shop for one of a kind artwork directly from artists. Look for ceramics, paintings, drawings, mixed media, felt, glass, and photography on sale.

Jewish Book Festival

December 4 – 11, 2016
Calgary JCC (1607 90th Ave. SW)
Free unless noted

Browse hundreds of books and listen to authors, ideas and current conversations that make up the fabric of today’s Jewish world. There’s even a kids storytelling corner as well as a series of literary and musical events.

Your Body on Mount Everest

December 6, 2016, 7:00 – 8:00pm
Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters, Marda Loop (2043 33rd Ave. SW)
Free with purchase of a coffee beverage, registration required

Join Beakerhead and Dr. Trevor Day, associate professor of physiology at Mount Royal University as he works  to understand the effects of high altitude on the body. Hear about his past and future expeditions to the Everest region in Nepal.

Tell Me: Calgary’s Steamiest Book Launch

December 6, 2016, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Gravity Pope (1126 17th Ave. SW)
Free, RSVP to

What’s promising to be Calgary’s steamiest book launch yet, celebrate the Canadian print release of Tell Me by M. Jane Colette—an erotic romance set in Calgary and published by HarperCollins UK. The evening also includes burlesque performances by Daisy DeVille and Keely Kamikaze as well as tarot readings by Janine Morigeau and Aspect Tarot.