Image of actors on stage in a production of New Blood A Story of Reconciliation
Don't miss New Blood: A Story of Reconciliation | Photo: Courtesy of Arts Commons

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Reflect on legacy of residential schools with these free Calgary events

Haider Ali

  • Location Various Venues 
  • Price Free

Friday, September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, coinciding with Orange Shirt Day across Canada.

This annual federal holiday was proclaimed last year by the Government of Canada to honour the children who never returned home and the survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. It is one of many opportunities to reflect on our journey and understanding of Truth and Reconciliation. The day coincides with Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led grassroots initiative intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of residential schools, and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters.”

There are a number of free events across Calgary to commemorate the day — our roundup features everything from the annual Orange Shirt Day Walk to film screenings to live music.

Truth and Reconciliation Art Installation

Until September 30, 2022
Southcentre Mall (100 Anderson Road SE)
Free to explore

Southcentre Mall and Colouring It Forward Reconciliation Society present a special art installation that showcases a variety of works from eight local Indigenous artists in Southcentre’s Centre Court.

Trellis’ Orange Shirt Day Celebrations

September 29 & 30, 2022
Stream online
Free to participate, registration required

Trellis invites you to join them virtually for two programs: a workshop that helps you learn through traditional rock painting and a rich cultural experience on the importance of language reclamation.

Remembering Our Children

September 30, 2022, 9:30am – 2:30pm
Prince’s Island Park (698 Eau Claire Ave. SW)
Free to participate, registration required

The fourth annual Pokaiks Commemorative Walk & IndigiTRAILS — Remembering Our Children event (aka Orange Shirt Day Walk) invites Calgarians to honour and stand in solidarity with survivors and victims of the residential school system.

Orange Shirt Day

September 30, 2022, 10am
In-person at Fort Calgary (750 9th Ave. SE) or stream online at
Free to watch or attend

Join The City of Calgary to commemorate Indian residential school victims, honour survivors and their families and commit to acting on reconciliation. Everyone is strongly encouraged to wear orange in remembrance.

Orange Shirt Day

September 30, 2022, 10am – 5pm
Fort Calgary (750 9th Ave. SE)
Free to attend

Join Fort Calgary in reflecting on Fort Calgary’s colonial history and check out Our Stories Our Voices Our Ways, a thought-provoking exhibit presented in partnership with the Lodgepole Center at AUArts.

Speak Up!

September 30, 2022, 10am – 5pm
Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre (850 4th St SE)
Free to explore

The public can visit Studio Bell’s newly updated Speak Up! exhibition to explore different Indigenous perspectives and learn about Indigenous culture and experiences through the lens of music.

Panel Discussion

September 30, 2022, 12 noon
Husky Oil Great Hall, Rozsa Centre, University of Calgary (206 University Ct. NW)
Free to attend, registration required

Join UCalgary and the Calgary Public Library for a panel discussion with Cora Voyageur, Lee Crowchild and Kathleen Mahoney revisiting the Truth and Reconciliation report in light of the unmarked graves, the papal visit.

2nd Memorial Gathering Honouring Our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters

September 30, 2022, 1 – 8pm
Bob Bahan Athletic Field (4812 14th Ave. SE)
Free to attend

Everyone is welcome at this Indigenous grassroots resident-led community initiative. The gathering has vendors showcasing Indigenous arts and crafts, a pow-wow, food trucks, kids’ activities, and a comedy show.

Reconnection, Reconciliation and Resilience

September 30, 2022, 2 – 4pm
Grace Presbyterian Church (1009 15th Ave. SW)
Free to attend

This event discusses the effects of residential schools and their legacy and includes a ceremony with an Elder, a drumming performance from The Stardale Girls Drumming Group and a screening of the film The Road created by Stardale Women’s Group.

Night Raiders

September 30, 2022, 6:30 – 9pm
Patricia A. Whelan Performance Hall, Calgary Central Library (800 3rd St. SE)
Free to attend, registration required

Join the Calgary Public Library and UCalgary for a free viewing of Night Raiders with special remarks from Calgary Public Library’s CEO Sarah Meilleur and UCalgary’s Vice-Provost (Indigenous Engagement) Dr. Michael Hart.

New Blood: A Story of Reconciliation

September 30, 2022, 7pm
Big Secret Theatre, Arts Commons (225 8th Ave. SE)
Pay what you can

Featuring poetry, music, contemporary and traditional dance, the show is inspired by Chief Vincent Yellow Old Woman’s life and his experience as a child in a residential school, how he reclaimed his way of life and became chief of his people.


September 30, 2022, 7pm
Eau Claire Market Cinemas (200 Barclay Parade SW)
Free to watch

Join Indigenous Music Summit, CIFF, BreakOut West and Alberta Music for Giiwewizh, a screening of short films as part of BreakOut West’s programming for National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

Métis Music & Conversation

September 30, 2022, 7:30 – 10:30pm
Lougheed House (707 13 Ave. SW)
Free to attend, RSVP required

Join Lougheed House for an evening filled with Métis music and conversation. They are joined by Métis musicians Richard Piche and Billy Joseph, who will serenade everyone with their songs and melodies.

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