High Performance Rodeo
The cast of One Yellow Rabbit's All The Little Animals I Have Eaten | Photo: Andy Curtis

High Performance Rodeo

Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts returns for year 31

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free - $120
Buy Tickets

A new year can only mean one thing in Calgary’s art circles—it’s Rodeo time!

The High Performance Rodeo is back and ready to take you on one wild ride. With over 200 invited artists descending into the city this January, there’s something for everyone on the schedule of Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts.

Produced by One Yellow Rabbit and presented in co-operation with many of Calgary’s major arts organizations including Theatre Junction, Vertigo Theatre, Theatre Calgary, Alberta Theatre Projects and Lunchbox Theatre, this festival is always a cultural highlight.

So, what are we most looking forward to seeing? Here are our not-to-be-missed picks of the 2017 Rodeo:

Queer Songbook Orchestra's production of Songs Of Resilience kicks off the 2017 High Performance Rodeo | Photo: Guntar Kravis

Queer Songbook Orchestra’s production of Songs Of Resilience kicks off the 2017 High Performance Rodeo | Photo: Guntar Kravis

Songs of Resilience

January 6, 2017, 7:30pm
Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons (240 9th Ave. SE)
$30 – $50

Presented by One Yellow Rabbit and Theatre Calgary, you won’t want to miss the official kick off to the Rodeo. This one-night-only performance from the Queer Songbook Orchestra aims to uplift and empower the audience, while providing an opportunity to foster connections and a broader understanding amongst community.

10-Minute Play Festival

January 7, 2017, 7:30pm
Martha Cohen Theatre, Arts Commons (215 8th Ave. SE)
$30 – $40

Get your tickets quick for this one folks as it always sells out. This evening sees six theatre companies create original 10-minute plays in 24 hours, all inspired by a prop and a line of dialogue.

All The Little Animals I Have Eaten

January 10 – 22, 2017
Big Secret Theatre, Arts Commons (225 8th Ave. SE)
$15 – $40

A dark comedy set in a city like your own, award-winning playwright Karen Hines’ new show gets the One Yellow Rabbit treatment in this year’s Rodeo. Inspired by the Bechdel-Wallace Test, the show tracks a thesis-addled film student as she serves charcuterie to a well-heeled crowd. But thanks to a harrowing shift she starts dissecting some very female conversations with some very unusual characters.

ProArts@Noon Series

January 11, 18 & 25, 2017, 12:10pm
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (604 1st St. SE)

Lunch hour has never been so good! For three Wednesdays in January, grab your food and head to Cathedral Church of the Redeemer to enjoy performances from Frank Rackow and the Black Sea, John Rutherford, and Allison Lynch.

Catch Cris Derksen in Orchestral Pow Wow | Photo: Red Works Studio

Catch Cris Derksen in Orchestral Pow Wow | Photo: Red Works Studio

The Cris Derksen Trio

January 14, 2017
Royal Canadian Legion#1 (116 7th Ave. SE)
$20 – $30

Nominated for a 2016 JUNO-Award for Best Instrumental Album, Cris Derksen is an Aboriginal cellist and composer known for building layers of sound into captivating performances. Often described as electronic cello or classical traditional fusion, hear her perform at this year’s Rodeo.

Juliet and Romeo

January 18 – 28, 2017, 8:00pm
DJD Dance Centre (111 12th Ave. SE)
$17.65 – $65

Decidedly Jazz Danceworks re-imagines this tragic tale with a side of jazz. The company’s high energy style has been described as music for the eyes and its take on the story of the two star-crossed lovers is bound to be breathtaking.


January 19 – 28, 2017, 12:00pm
Various locations in the +15

Get ready to get your hands a bit sticky. Join L’Equipe Boxtape to build a sculpture with clear packing tape that binds together the fabric of the performance. Audience participation is a must.


January 25 – 27, 2017
Calgary Municipal Building (800 Macleod Tr. SE)

An Indigenous creation lab that engages place and people in performative offerings, ARTICLE 11 invites admired artists to collaborate and create a guided art jam in three parts including frank artist talks, an open creation lab, and a raw performance in the evening.

The 31st High Performance Rodeo runs January 5 to February 2, 2017 and the full schedule can be found at hprodeo.ca.

On a budget? There are always good deals to be found at the Rodeo and this year is no exception. With the introduction of $15 Wednesdays, you can scoop up the best seats in the house to some of the hottest shows for just $15. There are even free and pay-what-you-can events for you to check out.