Garden Festival

Lougheed House’s free annual fest expands with six days of programming

Amy Jo Espetveidt

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Bigger and better than ever, you need to head to the Lougheed House this July for this free summer festival taking place in the heart of the Beltline.

With six days of indoor and outdoor concerts featuring Leo Dumont Band, Rondel Roberts Band, Ghostkeeper, K.P. Smith, and Natalie Gauthier, it’s your chance to enjoy games, tours and dance lessons, a family fun day, and so much more.

“The tradition of big backyard summer get togethers—so familiar to Calgarians who live in the suburbs—is not an option for most residents of the Beltline, so the annual Lougheed House Garden Festival is our gift to this community,” says Lougheed House Programs Manager Holleay Rohm in a statement. “For six days our three acres of grass and gorgeous gardens will host celebrations of the vibrancy of this neighbourhood. Adults, children, and even the family dog can enjoy fun activities, contemporary performing artists, and the history of our Victorian mansion and gardens, all for free.”

From parades to dancers, concerts to comedy, Garden Festival launches on July 20 with four outdoor concerts by Calgary’s most captivating bands, the raising of the Métis flag, a beer garden, food trucks, and hands-on games and crafts for kids of all ages.

You can even get free admission to Lougheed House and explore its current exhibit From Racialization to Peoplehood: Exploring Métis Identity, Past and Present.

And speaking of parades, last year’s dog pawrade attracted over 100 local dogs, and this year the house is expanding and improving it by staging three different dog pawrades on July 20. With prizes from Fairplay Pet Supplies, watching the parade is free, but if you want your dog to compete, you must pre-register.

The festival continues with free guided tours of the gardens with Head Gardener Marie Gattinger and traditional herbalist and Métis knowledge keeper Kalyn Kodiak, an evening of outdoor fiddling, jigging, and dance lessons, and a Sunday morning of classical music in the park.

There’s even a family day on July 27 featuring a juggling and comedy show by Jeffery Olynek and a visit from Malcolm Russell’s Victorian-era character, Parker Doodlebug.

The Garden Festival runs July 20 to 27, 2019 at Lougheed House (707 13th Ave. SW). Head to lougheedhouse.com for the full schedule.

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