A still of a band in Fanny: The Right to Rock
Catch Fanny: The Right to Rock with CIFF | Still: Courtesy of the Calgary International Film Festival

Online This Month

With May flowers and fantastic virtual events, this month is looking up

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Location From Anywhere 
  • Price Prices Vary

From Mother’s Day offerings to fantastic festivals, this month brings another batch of digital offerings for you to explore! Calgary’s amazing arts community continues to have a ton of online shows and events to check out so stay home and stay safe.

Be sure to check out these great offerings this May!

She Also Served

Ongoing
Online viewing room
Free to explore

To highlight the contributions of Jewish Canadian servicewomen, and to counter the lack of public awareness of their participation in the Second World War, this online exhibition presents nine original two-dimensional artworks inspired by the stories of these Jewish women. The exhibition is curated by Jennifer Eiserman.
live-ucalgary.ucalgary.ca

Vastation

On demand
Stream online
Free to watch

Calgary Opera offers audiences unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the seldom-seen process of new opera development via a new documentary film series. The second in the series chronicles the creative journey of Vastation, an examination of power and the forces that seek to corrupt. Check it out!
calgaryopera.com

A Three-Body Problem

On demand
Stream online
Free to watch

Join artists Ashley Bedet and Fionn Duffy as they share some of the working processes behind their collaborative project, A Three-Body Problem. What is the third body? And what is the nature of its constituent stuff when there isn’t a material place or physical object to hold it? This talk is presented in conjunction with a book launch.
thebows.org

A graphic promoting A Three-Body Problem: Artist Talk with Ashley Bedet and Fionn Duffy

Watch A Three-Body Problem with Ashley Bedet and Fionn Duffy | Image: Courtesy of The Bows

Stage One Festival of New Canadian Work

Until May 1, 2021
Stream online
Free to watch, registration required

With plays selected from those submitted last year, 2021’s Stage One Festival of New Canadian Work includes online readings by playwrights including Carolyn Ziegler, Jean-Michel Cliché, Grant Tilly, Alix Cowman and Cayley Wreggit, Col Cseke, and more. Sign up for Lunchbox Theatre’s newsletter to register.
lunchboxtheatre.com

Phantom Pains

Until May 1, 2021
Online viewing room
Free to explore

An annual exhibition that features the work of University of Calgary BFA honours students, this year’s showcase, Phantom Pains, features the work by Sarah Almquist, Gillian Coulton, Sarah Hubbell, and Randi Woolford. Be sure to explore it online as the Nickle Galleries are currently closed—it’s a great look at these new artists.
facebook.com

Calgary Underground Film Festival

Until May 2, 2021
Stream online
Prices vary

The 18th annual Calgary Underground Film Festival is set to take place this spring, with two distinct events enabling movie-lovers to stream the bulk of films followed by three days of drive-ins! Most selections will be available to watch on-demand, with special events, panels, and other initiatives.
calgaryundergroundfilm.org

JazzYYC Virtual International Jazz Days

Until May 27, 2021
Stream online
Prices vary

The virtual International Jazz Days Festival presented by JazzYYC features artists from Calgary, along with other select Canadian artists, presented in a professional, quality-sounding, fun, entertaining, broadcast. It kicks off with a concert from world-renowned pianist Kris Davis.
jazzyyc.com

Playwrights Projects

Until May 28, 2021
Stream online
$10 – $50

Alberta Theatre Projects presents a series of seven online workshop readings of new Canadian plays by members of the Alberta Theatre Projects Playwrights Unit. These virtual readings take place Friday evenings and offer a unique opportunity to see the process of creating a new play. Grab your tickets today!
albertatheatreprojects.com

19th Annual Juried Members Show

Until June 6, 2021
Online viewing room
Free to explore

With 102 pieces by 69 artists selected from over 300 submissions, the 19th annual iteration of this annual favourite is going to be a fresh and exciting visual treat. All works will be available for sale and viewable online.
leightoncentre.org

GlobalFest Flavours

Until June 15, 2021
Stream online
$10 – $25

GlobalFest presents a new mini-series with a nod to their annual OneWorld Festival. Enter into a different culture to learn about the foods, flavours, spices, and recipes from various cultural partners. There will be opportunity to converse with the hosts and ask questions of participating chefs! You can also get a series pass.
globalfestflavours.eventswoop.com

Riso Postcard Youth Workshop

May 1, 2021, 1:00 – 4:00pm
Stream online
Free to participate, registration required

Thinking of You is an online youth workshop where Yolkless Press introduces the basics of risograph, a hybrid digital and analogue printing method. Using online software, participants will manipulate photographs and digital illustrations to make postcards to mail to friends and family.
eventbrite.ca

Poetic Renaissance

May 1, 2021, 7:30pm
Stream online
Free to watch, donations gratefully accepted

Calgary Renaissance Singers and Players presents a celebration of spring—hope, renewal, love won and love lost, and camaraderie. Musicians are joined by young actors from Calgary Young People’s Theatre, performing monologues and sonnets from William Shakespeare.
renaissance-singers.com

The Tree of Life

May 1, 2021, 7:30pm
Stream online
$12.50

Through one of the most iconic and majestic crafts of Mexico, The Tree of Life, Ballet México Folklórico and Mariachi San Francisco de Simón Casas recreate traditional images and make a beautiful mix of dances, songs, and music of Mexican history and culture. Join Casa Mexico for this celebration.
casamexico.ca

Hermitess + Jessica McMann

May 1 – 7, 2021
Stream online
Prices vary

New Works Calgary presents a concert film featuring Calgary’s most beloved band-of-witches—Hermitess and Cree flautist, composer, contemporary dancer, and choreographer, Jessica McMann. The film also features a new collaboration between McMann and Jennifer Crighton.
facebook.com

SBT On Demand

May 1 – June 30, 2021
On demand
$20

StoryBook Theatre has had an incredible 44th season and it’s not over yet! With three great shows offered this season, now is your chance to see them all again or even for the first time—it’s theatre when you want it! These family-friendly shows are available on-demand for your viewing pleasure, just book and watch.
storybooktheatre.org

Youth Zine Program

May 2 & 16, 2021
Stream online
Pay-what-you-can

The Shelf Life Books Youth Zine program is an opportunity for youth to explore self-publishing practices with the guidance of professional artist, Carlan Savage-Hughes. The participants have the chance to explore alternative forms of storytelling, comic drawing, and visual communication in two workshops!
facebook.com

Virtual Reading with Royalty

May 3, 2021, 2:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch

Reading with Royalty celebrates diversity and encourages children to look beyond gender stereotypes and embrace the exploration of self. Spark your imagination with Calgary Public Library’s glamorous family-friendly storytime program, led by local drag performers!
facebook.com

Kicking Against It

May 4, 2021, 12:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration required

Sled Island Music Festival and Byta present a conversation on ageism and women in the music industry. Tune in as three women—Anne Backus, Amber Goodwyn, and Gabrielle Rubaine—discuss the challenges, inspirations, and opportunities they see standing before them from established and new-to-music perspectives.
facebook.com

Dawnie Walton

May 4, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration recommended

Wordfest’s Imagine On Air presents Dawnie Walton, author of one of this spring’s most highly anticipated novels, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev. The hour-long conversation will be hosted by Shelley Youngblut, Wordfest’s CEO and Creative Ringleader. Be sure to register in advance for your Digital Doggie Bag.
wordfest.com

The Way We Mom

May 6, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration recommended

Wordfest’s May storytelling event features four writers and their unique stories about mothering: Angie Abdou, Perdita Felicien, Harriet Alida Lye, and Keiler Roberts. Each writer will perform an open-mic style monologue on the theme as well as answer questions from the host, Pam Rocker. Register today and don’t miss it!
wordfest.com

Haida Modern

May 6, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration required

THIRD ACTion Film Festival invites you to share and connect over this stirring documentary that follows artist Robert Davidson, passing on the knowledge of the old masters into the 21st century to younger generations. It’s a story filled with hope and magic and the breathtaking beauty of the natural world.
showpass.com

Fanny: The Right to Rock

May 6 – 9, 2021
Stream online
$13.50

This month’s CIFF Top Docs features the untold story of a 1970’s Filipina American-founded garage band that morphed into the first all-female band to release an LP with a major label. 50 years later, bandmates reunite with a new record deal and a second chance to right the wrongs of history. Don’t miss it!
ciffcalgary.ca

Flip the Odds

May 7, 2021, 9:00am
Stream online
Free to watch, registration required

Need a creative boost? Creative Mornings’ theme for May is resilient, and the next speaker in the Calgary series is Kyle Miller, a Canadian born entrepreneur, author, and branding specialist. Tune in on Zoom and catch the free talk, Flip the Odds: Turning Disadvantages Into Greatest Attributes.
creativemornings.com

Long Lunch Quick Reads

May 7, 2021, 12:00pm
Stream online
$6.32

After a long hiatus, join Loft 112 via Zoom and listen to the reading of Road Trip to Edmonton by Vivian Hansen followed by a Q&A with the author. Long Lunch Quick Reads has always been celebrated during these literary lunches, so join in with a lunch of your choosing! The first 28 registrants receive a copy of the book.
eventbrite.ca

Mother’s Day High Tea

May 8 & 9, 2021, 2:00pm
Stream online
$65

From inside one of Alberta’s most lavish and beloved mansions, Calgary’s professional Executive Butler Jimmy-Lee Vennard invites viewers into his mysterious profession as he reveals the hidden world of high society. Check out Lougheed House’s Mother’s Day High Tea live-stream fundraisers in your own home.
store.lougheedhouse.com

Mountain Goat Mountain

May 8 – 30, 2021
Stream online
Free to watch, registration required

Explore a magical world with a rich, beautiful audio experience that guides families through a theatrical adventure in the safety and comfort of home. Mountain Goat Mountain offers an interactive escape from daily life and homeschooling through the magic of theatre, adventure, and creativity! Register to take part!
artscommons.ca

A woman and two kids playing in Mountain Goat Mountain

Explore the magical world of Mountain Goat Mountain | Photo: Courtesy of Arts Commons

Mother’s Day Brunch & Concert

May 9, 2021
Stream online
$15 – $59

Enjoy a streaming concert celebrating moms and motherhood paired with brunch! Aviva Fortunata, Neil Craighead, and Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Ensemble perform Broadway standards, tunes from Cole Porter and Ivor Novello, and operatic gems.
calgaryopera.com

Braving Beauty Cabaret

May 9, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration required

The Braving Beauty Cabaret gathers artists from the African and Afro-Caribbean diaspora, and new and experienced voices from the Indigenous Nations of Treaty 7, and leans into the common ground and beauty that connects them—offering a blueprint for understanding through music, humour, poetry, and more.
facebook.com

Reimagining Dinosaurs

May 10, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration required

Ground-breaking new science is changing what we thought we knew about how dinosaurs looked, moved, and lived. Join Arts Commons Presents and National Geographic Live to meet leading paleontologists Nizar Ibrahim and Sebastián Rozadilla as they share stories about the evolving science of dinosaurs.
artscommons.ca

Jeff VanderMeer

May 11, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration recommended

Wordfest’s Imagine On Air series invites you to dig deeper into the big generous brain of Jeff VanderMeer and his new novel Hummingbird Salamander. This special one-hour conversation is hosted by Wordfest’s Creative Ringleader, Shelley Youngblut. RSVP to get your unique Digital Doggie Bag with links and extras after the show.
wordfest.com

Patti Edgar

May 11, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration required

Owl’s Nest Books presents an online event with Patti Edgar and her new novel, Anna Analyst. On the last day of elementary school, Anna finds a leather-bound book about handwriting analysis, and a mysterious note forces her to make a choice between her graphology obsession and the people she cares about the most.
bookmanager.com

Eugene Stickland

May 11, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch

Eugene Stickland’s First and Last has musician Lenny returning from tour to find his girlfriend gone and his apartment empty. In the midst of heartbreak, people begin to show up at his door: a young couple, a hipster, a synchronized swim team, and two refugees. Join Shelf Life Books for the virtual launch.
facebook.com

FreeFall Magazine Launch

May 12, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch

Canada’s magazine of exquisite writing, join FreeFall Magazine as it celebrates the launch of Volume 31 Number 1 with an evening of great poetry and stories. Its mission is to encourage the voices of new, emerging, and experienced Canadian writers and provide a platform for their quality work.
facebook.com

May Flywheel

May 13, 2021, 6:30pm
Stream online
Free to watch

Hosting the best emerging and established Calgary and Canadian writers, it’s filling Station Magazine’s May Flywheel and you can tune in for an evening of literary delights with authors Andrea Actis, Christy Ann Conlin, and Larissa Lai! Trust us—you won’t want to miss this fantastic reading series, now online via Zoom once a month.
facebook.com

Dr. David Goldbloom

May 13, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration recommended

Wordfest’s Imagine On Air series presents leading psychiatrist and mental health care advocate Dr. David Goldbloom and his timely new book We Can Do Better: Urgent Innovations to Improve Mental Health Access and Care. The hour-long conversation will be live-streamed and you can register for a Digital Doggie Bag.
wordfest.com

Marcello Di Cintio

May 13, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch

Join Shelf Life Books, Biblioasis, and Glass Bookshop for the virtual launch of Marcello Di Cintio’s Driven: The Secret Lives of Taxi Drivers. In conversations with drivers ranging from veterans of foreign wars to Indigenous women protecting one another, Di Cintio explores the borderland of the North American taxi.
facebook.com

Trial by Faith: A Faustian Tale

May 13 – 29, 2021
Stream online
$20

Christopher Faust, an accomplished alchemist, faces his greatest challenge as he races to uncover the mysteries of the fabled elixir of life. Released episodically and online, Trial by Faith examines the relationship between magic, science, and religion in the 17th Century.
diytheatre.org

Keys & Cuisine

May 14, 2021, 5:00pm
Stream online
$150 – $200

Another one-of-a-kind Honens experience, spice up your life with a delectable evening of music, food, and wine! Prepare a gourmet meal alongside chef Nicole Gomes as you enjoy insights and performances by Katherine Chi with a program of music from Coleridge-Taylor, Salfelder, and Rachmaninov!
honens.com

Virtually Yours

May 14 – 16, 2021
Stream online
$20 – $40

Revv52 presents a streaming concert of pop and rock choral music delivered as cinematic short films. Vocal recordings were done individually in studio and the music videos were shot outdoors in many iconic Calgary places. Check it out and stream it online this May—it is sure to be a feast for the eyes and ears.
revv52.com

Quick + Dirty

May 14 – 23, 2021
Stream online
$16.93 – $32.84

Hot on the heels of a two-month, dance filmmaking creative intensive, Dancers’ Studio West premieres seven poignant new films at Quick + Dirty: A Festival of Emerging Artists and Ideas. These urgent films originate and emerge from inquires of imagination, time, gender, culture, and more. Don’t miss it!
eventbrite.ca

Virtual Reading with Royalty

May 15, 2021, 11:00am
Stream online
Free to watch

Reading with Royalty celebrates diversity and encourages children to look beyond gender stereotypes and embrace the exploration of self. Spark your imagination with Calgary Public Library’s glamorous family-friendly storytime program, led by local drag performers!
facebook.com

Annie Wong

May 15, 2021, 12:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration required

Join The New Gallery as they present a free, online artist talk with current exhibiting artist Annie Wong. Tune in as Wong discusses her exhibition 一百鬼 / 100 Ghosts—a visual re-imagining of the one hundred female spirits—and shares the process and research that informs her practice.
eventbrite.ca

Student Writers Group Showcase

May 15, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
By donation

Alberta Theatre Projects is delighted presents new work from emerging young playwrights. Each member of the Student Writers Group has developed an original 10-minute play and has been paired with a professional director or dramaturg and a team of some of Calgary’s finest actors.
albertatheatreprojects.com

City Spaces: Spark Science Centre

May 15, 2021, 7:30pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration required

Calgary Philharmonic’s City Spaces concerts sees musicians recording at some of the city’s iconic downtown buildings. This week’s performance features Gwen Klassen on flute, Jonathan Yeoh on bass, Trish Bereti Reid on bass, Dave Reid on bass trombone, and Jesse Morrison on viola.
calgaryphil.com

Conversations on Art, Ritual and Inquiry

May 16, 2021, 2:00pm
Stream online
By donation

A series of monthly conversations with author Barbara Bickel and women artists represented in Bickel’s newly published book, Art, Ritual and Trance Inquiry: Arational Learning in an Irrational World, this month’s guest is Wendalyn Bartley. Be sure to check it out!
art-ritual-trance-inquiry.tumblr.com

Coconut

May 17, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch

Canadian Individual Slam Champion and Edmonton Poet Laureate, Nisha Patel, is launching her debut poetry collection, Coconut, and celebrating her birthday! Join Patel and award-nominated poet Bertrand Bickersteth (The Response of Weeds) for an online reading, followed by a Q&A. Don’t miss it!
eventbrite.ca

Camilla Gibb

May 18, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration recommended

Imagine On Air invites you to dig deeper into the generous brain of Camilla Gibb, returning to the Wordfest stage with her new novel The Relatives. This special one-hour conversation will be hosted by Wordfest’s Creative Ringleader Shelley Youngblut. Register in advance for your Digital Doggie Bag with bonus extras sparked by the conversation.
wordfest.com

Philip Goldberg & Sadhguru

May 20, 2021, 6:00pm
Stream online
$35

Author and speaker Philip Goldberg joins Sadhguru to explore the complexity of the karmic structure and the integral role of memory in its making. This discussion hosted by Shelf Life Books seeks to clarify many misconceptions and point us to life’s tremendous possibility— absolute freedom.
facebook.com

Leslie Kern

May 20, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration recommended

Wordfest’s Imagine On Air presents Dr. Leslie Kern and her book Feminist City: A Field Guide. The hour-long conversation is hosted by City of Calgary Councillor Druh Farrell. Feminist City is part of Wordfest’s monthly series, Building Community One Book at a Time. Register for your Digital Doggie Bag.
wordfest.com

Home is in the Body

May 20, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online

Free to watch, registration required

Join Owl’s Nest Books, ANAK Publishing, and Bahaghari Filipinx for an evening with readings from contributors who identify as trans Pinay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, queer, questioning, asexual, aromantic, gender non-conforming, and some as allies of 2SLGBTQIA+. There’s also a panel discussion followed by a Q&A.
bookmanager.com

Single Onion #175

May 20, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch

The Single Onion presents a literary evening not to be missed! Featuring performance poet and painter David Bateman, writer, visual artist, and journalist Laurie MacFayden, Poet Laureate Natalie Meisner, author and editor Billeh Nickerson, and poet John Williamson, be sure to tune in and check it out!
facebook.com

Berlin Alexanderplatz

May 20 – 23, 2021
Stream online
$13.50

CIFF’s next Global Perspectives screening features Berlin Alexanderplatz. An African immigrant struggles to make a new life for himself in the big city in director-co-writer Burhan Qurbani’s audacious, neon-lit reinterpretation of Alfred Döblin’s 1929 novel. Grab your tickets—you won’t want to miss this one.
ciffcalgary.ca

A still fromBerlin Alexanderplatz

Catch Berlin Alexanderplatz this May | Still: Courtesy of the Calgary International Film Festival

Getting to Know… The Sound of Music

May 20 – 23, 2021
Stream online
$20

St John Choir Schola releases its newly recorded performance of this musical theatre production. Strict COVID protocols have been followed, and the students have worked hard to bring you their music.
sjcsparentsociety.square.site

Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival

May 21 – 30, 2021
Stream online
Prices vary

For 10 days, nearly 40 filmmakers will expose you to their perspectives. You will see queerness through the eyes of another and no two people will see the same film. Be sure to take in some uniquely queer experiences from queer filmmakers around the world and see what happens!
fairytalesfilmfest.com

The Smartest Girl in the World

May 21 – June 13, 2021
Stream online
$32

Big brother Leo has convinced his little sis Lizzy that being smart and winning a local TV kids’ quiz show is the key to helping their family escape a tough, uncertain reality. The Smartest Girl in the World takes a look at the bonds of family and the key to facing life’s challenges together.
storybooktheatre.org

Otafest

May 22, 2021, 10:00am – 9:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch

With a full day of interactive, live-streamed programming, Otafest 2021 will be a safe, fun, and exciting convention experience unlike anything you’ve seen before! More information will be announced so keep an eye out for a sneak peek into this year’s features and programming!
facebook.com

The Scenic Geology of Alberta

May 25, 2021, 7:00pm
Steam online
Free to watch

Join Shelf Life Books and Dale Leckie, who will guide you to select scenic sites in and beyond Calgary, telling the story of Alberta’s landscape evolution. Leckie blends storytelling with science, history and art to breathe new life into the geology of the landscape.
facebook.com

Rachel Kushner

May 25, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration recommended

Imagine On Air presents Rachel Kushner and her new book The Hard Crowd, in which she gathers a selection of her writing from over the course of the last 20 years. This special one-hour conversation is hosted by Wordfest’s Creative Ringleader Shelley Youngblut. Register in advance for your Digital Doggie Bag.
wordfest.com

Virtual Reading with Royalty

May 26, 2021, 2:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch

Reading with Royalty celebrates diversity and encourages children to look beyond gender stereotypes and embrace the exploration of self. Spark your imagination with Calgary Public Library’s glamorous family-friendly storytime program, led by local drag performers!
facebook.com

Calgary Black Film Festival

May 26 – 30, 2021
Stream online
Prices vary

The Calgary Black Film Festival is dedicated to giving unique voices in cinema the opportunity to present audiences with new ways of looking at the world. CBFF’s ambition is to promote more films on the reality of Black people from around the globe. Don’t miss it!
calgaryblackfilm.com

Jordan Abel

May 27, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration recommended

Wordfest’s Imagine On Air series presents Jordan Abel and his astonishing new memoir NISHGA, a groundbreaking, deeply personal, and devastating autobiographical meditation. This special one-hour conversation is hosted by author David Chariandy. Register in advance to get your Digital Doggie Bag.
wordfest.com

You Look Good for Your Age Launch

May 27, 2021, 7:00pm
Stream online
Free to watch

Join University of Alberta Press and contributors to the anthology join Rona Altrows to celebrate the publication of You Look Good for Your Age. Facing ageism with wit and wisdom, readers include Aritha van Herk, Laurie MacFayden, Paula Kirman, Moni Brar, and Debbie Bateman.
facebook.com

City Spaces: Heritage Park

May 29, 2021, 7:30pm
Stream online
Free to watch, registration required

Calgary Philharmonic’s City Spaces concerts sees musicians recording solos and duets at some of the city’s iconic downtown buildings. This week’s performance features musicians Laurent Grillet-Kim, Jennifer Frank-Umana and Doug Umana, John Lowry, and Adriana Lebedovich.
calgaryphil.com

The Voice of Jazz: Legendary Jazz Vocalists

May 30, 2021, 3:00pm
Stream online
$22.23

Pour yourself a glass of wine and get ready for a guided listening of some of the most exceptional singers in jazz history, courtesy of Buckingjam Palace! In this webinar, vocalist Caity Gyorgy shares the iconic voices and songs that have inspired and sustained her.
eventbrite.ca

Have an online offering that’s not listed? Email us at events@calgaryartsdevelopment.com or fill out this form.

Share