25 Best Things To Do In Calgary This March
This month, feel really zen after attending Calgary’s first Prana Yoga Festival, eat special prix fixe menus at a lot of different restaurants, try to win your weight in beer after running a St. Patrick’s Day race and discover the appeal of puppeteering.
The 30th St. Patrick's Road Race is on March 12.
Photograph by Neil Zeller
This is the month to support new businesses — there’s a new brewery and a new cookie dough stall opening — and support the Calgary arts scene by seeing one-woman shows, shows based on books and shows with only puppets.
Here are 25 suggestions for an entertaining March.
There’s going to be a new brewery out by the airport. It's called Caravel Brewery — named after those big ships that Spanish explorers used in the 15th and 16th centuries — and it is scheduled to open its doors in March. Take a tour of the space and try one of the brewery’s three main beers. There’s the Captain’s Lager, the Dead Ahead Irish Red and the Hazy Horizon Hefeweizen.
Caravel Brewery, Bay 12, 10221 15 St. N.E., caravelbrewery.com
photograph courtesy of alberta theatre projects
Gracie is like a typical teenager in a lot of ways. But in others, she’s not like your typical teenager at all. Gracie was born into a polygamous community. As she gets older, she’s feeling pressure from this community to fit into this world of faith. But she’s also yearning to see the world beyond this community. Alberta Theatre Project’s one-actress show Gracie opens on February 28 and you have until March 18 to see the world from Gracie’s point of view.
Martha Cohen Theatre, Arts Commons, 403-294-7475, atplive.com
(Spoiler: It’s an instrument with a 2,000-year-old history.)
You can hear what it sounds like and see how it’s played by attending the Wu Man and Friends concert at the Bella Concert Hall on March 3. Wu Man is a Grammy Award-nominated musician and is considered to be the best pipa player in the world. So, if you’re going to hear the instrument for the first time, hear one of the best perform. And chances are, you won’t have heard anything quite like it before — the four-stringed, Chinese instrument is similar to a lute.
Bella Concert Hall, Mount Royal University Conservatory, 4825 Mount Royal Gate S.W., 403-440-6111, mtroyal.ca
Foodies love March. That’s because it marks the return of the annual food festival, The Big Taste. From March 3 to 12, more than 95 Calgary restaurants are participating in The Big Taste by offering prix fixe three- or five-course meals. Choose to treat yourself at lunchtime with either a $15 or $25 three-course meal, or plan to go out for a $25 or $35 three-course dinner. There are also $65, five-course gourmet meals offered at select restaurants and a few signature events, like a Canada 150 Tribute Dinner at The Guild at a Winemaker’s Dinner at Deane House.
Various locations, calgarydowntown.com
The annual Calgary Maple Festival des Sucres runs on March 4 and 5 at Heritage Park. It’s an entire weekend of workshops, performances, circus and magic shows and music, all of which celebrate French Canadian, First Nations and Metis cultures. And, of course, there will be the opportunity to eat a lot of maple taffy too.
Heritage Park, 1900 Heritage Dr. S.W., calgarymaplefest-eng.com
This isn’t your usual pep rally. Instead of cheering for a sports team, everyone who attends the event is rallying behind a future without poverty and raising funds to help women and kids in the developing world. The Walk in Her Shoes Calgary 2017 kick-off event on March 5 and includes a 5,000-step, mapped walk around the zoo as well as games, a silent auction and snacks. In addition to the kick-off event, the full Walk in Her Shoes Calgary Challenge runs from March 5 to 11 and participants will walk at least 10,000 steps each day. The goal is that participants will raise awareness for women and children who have to walk miles each day for basic rights, like education, water and healthcare.
Calgary Zoo, care.ca
photograph courtesy of theatre calgary.
In 2007, Khaled Hosseini’s second book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, was published. Like his first novel The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns was also a bestseller and received high praise. From March 7 to April 1, Theatre Calgary presents a play based on the novel. The powerful story is set in Afghanistan and closely follows the unlikely relationship of two women, Mariam and Laila, who are born a generation apart but brought together by the same man.
Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons, 403-294-7447, theatrecalgary.com
Big Rock Bouldering is a new bouldering facility that opened in Okotoks in late December. And it’s worth making the drive south if you’re interested in trying out the sport or visiting a new climbing facility. (If you’re not sure what bouldering is, we sum it up here for you.) A day pass costs $14.25 per adult — renting shoes will cost an extra $5 — and you can try completing as many bouldering problems as possible.
Big Rock Bouldering, Unit 28, 64062 393 Ave. E., 587-757-9060, bigrockbouldering.com
You’ll find the newest Red’s Diner in the basement of the Lido apartment in the heart of Kensington. (If you’re not sure where that is, it’s where the greasy spoon, Lido Café, used to be.) The diner opened in January and it’s already a popular neighbourhood brunch spot, serving four different Bennies, breakfast sandwiches, scrambles and omelettes.
286 10 St. N.W., 587-356-1808, redsdiner.com
photograph by coleman saunders
If you thought the ukulele was a simple, unimpressive instrument, let Jake Shimabukuro prove you wrong. On March 9, the musician performs a concert with only his ukulele. He proves what this little instrument is truly capable of, re-working songs like "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Over the Rainbow."
Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts Commons, 403-294-9494, artscommons.ca
Derek Selinger is sure to impress Calgary audiences on March 10. The illusionist’s two-hour, theatrical performance has everything you want in a magic show: there’s mind reading and card tricks and plenty of other illusions. The proceeds from the show support Dreams Take Flight, a non-profit that helps kids with medical, physical or other challenges travel to Disneyland.
Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts Commons, 403-294-9494, artscommons.ca
A modern pop-up market is coming to the southwest neighbourhood of North Glenmore this month. Little Modern Market: Winter Edition runs at the Earl Grey Golf Club on March 11 and 12. Stop by to purchase items like clothing, jewellery, home décor items and more, made by local producers.
Earl Grey Golf Club, 6540 20 St. S.W., littlemodernmarket.com
Calgary’s first Simons is set to open its doors on March 16, so get ready to head downtown to do a lot of shopping at this Quebec City-based department store. The space itself is impressive: the five storey, 95,000-square-foot space was designed by McKinley Burkart and has artwork by local artists in it, too. Spend some time cruising the department store and shopping for some Simons private-label brands, like Twik.
Simons, The Core, simons.ca
photograph by neil zeller
If you usually celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by drinking green beer, mix it up a little this year and register for a running race. The annual St. Patrick’s Road Race is on March 12 this year — that’s also the same day at Daylight Saving Time, so keep that in mind when you’re setting your alarm to make it to the start line. Like before, there’s a grand prize draw where you can win your weight in beer. New this year is the addition of a 30km distance because this year is the race’s 30th anniversary. (There are also the usual 5km and 10km distances, if 30km sounds just a little too intimidating.)
Central Memorial High School, 5111 21 St. S.W., calgaryroadrunners.com
Everthine Bridal Consignment Boutique is a new, secondhand bridal store located in Inglewood. If you’re a bride on a budget, or you know a bride who doesn’t want to spend big bucks on her dress, book an appointment to visit this boutique. There are more than 200, once-worn dresses here that you can find for as much as 80 per cent off the original retail price.
Everthine Bridal Consignment Boutique, 2, 1232 9 Ave. S.E., everthineboutique.ca
It’s Demo Day on March 14. Ten startups that have gone through Batch #1 of The Accelerator program will show what they have been working on over the last five months and work on their pitches. Network with the founders of these startups and hear what their businesses are all about.
Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, 850 4 St. S.E., 403-543-5115, eventbrite.ca
photograph courtesy of alberta ballet
One of Alberta Ballet’s biggest hits comes to the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium stage from March 16 to 18. The audience will dive into the world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and it will be a visual delight. The production is choreographed by Edmund Stripe, there are colourful sets and costumes, and of course, your favourite characters from the story will appear on stage as well.
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 14 Ave. N.W., 403-294-9494, albertaballet50.com
There’s a new ramen restaurant open in Mission. It’s the LA-based Jinya Ramen Bar and this is its first location in Calgary. While the various ramen bowls are the star of this menu, there are other choices too. Jinya also offers rice bowls, Japanese curries, salads, mini tacos (salmon poke, pork chashu and kimchi) and desserts.
Jinya Ramen Bar, Suite 180, 1800 4 St. S.W., 587-356-0721, jinya-ramenbar.com
Puppets aren’t just for kids. See for yourself during the Festival of Animated Objects. The festival runs March 16 to 19 at various locations across the city. The festival includes puppet shows — both ticketed and free — as well as workshops for all the budding puppeteers in the city. (If you’ve ever wanted to make a newspaper marionette, now is your chance.) You’ll meet a range of characters over the four days in shows like The Dolly Wiggler Cabaret, The Unlikely Birth of Istvan and A Perturbed Palette of Pickled Pickings.
Various venues, puppetfestival.ca
It’s finally happening. You can buy and eat cookie dough in public, without being judged. Cookie Dough YYC officially opens on February 24 and, as it’s from the same owners, it will be operating out of the Family Squeezed Lemonade Kiosk in CrossIron Mills. Cookie Dough YYC serves up raw cookie dough like ice cream, which you’ll be able to enjoy immediately with a spoon out of a cup. That’s right — no more waiting eight to 12 minutes for cookies to bake in the oven when, really, what you actually want is to eat them raw.
Cookie Dough YYC, CrossIron Mills, @cookiedoughyyc
photograph courtesy of prana yoga festival
Life can get hectic. In the middle of the month, slow down, take a little time for yourself and attend the city’s first ever Prana Yoga Festival. The festival, which runs from March 17 to 19, is suitable for every level of yogi, including kids. Expect three days of yoga classes as well as sessions on meditation, movement and nutrition. There will also be special speakers present, including Mark Groves who will be leading a lifestyle session on Saturday.
Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre, 197 1 St. S.W., pranayogafest.com
The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra is performing the magical music of the first six Harry Potter movies on March 19. The concert is even hosted by an old wizard.
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 14 Ave. N.W., 403-571-0849, calgaryphil.com
Lunchbox Theatre is presenting a Calgary premiere this month. Girl Crush is a one-woman show performed by the cabaret artist and comedian Sharron Matthews. (She’s been in big movies too, like Mean Girls and Hairspray.) In the production, Matthews re-imagines popular, diverse musicians — think Cyndi Lauper, Beyonce and Blondie — to help her tell stories of heartbreak and love and a few about obsession, too. Girl Crush is on the Lunchbox Stage from March 20 to April 8.
Lunchbox Theatre, 115 9 Ave. S.E., 403-265-4292, lunchboxtheatre.com
There’s a new brunch menu at Native Tongues. You could order tacos for brunch — because, why not — or sample one of the new menu additions. A few of the new items include a dish with fried chicken, doughnuts and chorizo gravy, and a dish with fried eggs, avocado, tostadas and lots of salsa. The classics are still a great option too, like the hamburger with chips and hot sauce.
Native Tongues, 235 12 Ave. S.W., 403-263-9444, nativetongues.ca
photograph courtesy of theatre junction grand
Annabel Soutar took her husband and three kids on a trip across Canada one summer. But instead of doing the usual, touristy things, the family of five looked into the different factors and elements that are shaping our natural resources. Along the way, the family spoke with scientists and activists and government workers. In The Watershed, the audience is taken along for the journey, and like the family, will discover one truth: we are all water. Theatre Junction Grand presents the show from March 29 to April 1.
Theatre Junction Grand, 608 1 St. S.W., 403-205-2922, theatrejunction.com