25 Best Things To Do This January

Discover the root of your anxieties during a five-minute therapy session, see men in tutus perform traditional ballet and attend a Rocky Horror Picture Show-themed fundraiser.

Alberta Ballet presents Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo January 12 to 14, 2017.

Photograph by Zoran Jelenic


Get a good start to the first month of 2017 by seeing quirky High Performance Rodeo shows, trying new restaurants and cocktail lounges and trying a new workout. 

Here are our 25 suggestions for an entertaining January. 


Celebrate the arrival of 2017 with a fancy Viennese concert

Raise your glass to new beginnings and attend an elegant Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra on January 1. The concert, titled the Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert, is a spectacle. The Strauss Symphony of Canada and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra perform waltzes and other Austrian tunes, while ballet dancers from the Kiev-Aniko Ballet of Ukraine and the International Champion Ballroom Dancers join them on stage. You’ll also hear three European soloists perform. This is definitely more memorable than just a glass of Champagne at home. 

Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts Commons, 205 8 Ave. S.E., 403-571-0849, calgaryphil.com


Recover from the holidays with a facial or massage

If the holidays have left you feeling haggard, treat yourself to a treatment at Distilled Beauty Bar. You’ll find a range of options on the “beauty menu” here, including manicures and pedicures, hairstyling, facials and more. This is more than just a salon — there’s also a coffee bar here, so don’t leave before having a coffee and a snack. 

Distilled Beauty Bar and Social House, 2408 34 Ave. S.W., 403-685-0119, distilledbeautybar.com


Discover how swimming the seas of failure can actually be really funny

Jasmine Fairbairn isn’t afraid to look at her own failures. In fact, that’s the subject of her debut, solo comedy show on January 5. Fairbairn is a Loose Moose alumna who has returned to Calgary after living in Australia. She looks at how she’s failed at parenting, in different relationships and at creating the “perfect life,” but she puts a comedic twist on it all. 

Loose Moose Theatre Company, 1235 26 Ave. S.E., brownpapertickets.com


Master standup paddleboarding in a swimming pool

You’re not going to be paddling on picturesque mountain lakes any time soon, but you can still master the sport of standup paddleboarding (SUP). Stay fit, improve your strength, balance and your SUP techniques from the University of Calgary’s swimming pool. You can sign up for one session — the first is on January 9 — or register for the whole series. It runs until February 6. 

University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. N.W., 403-220-7022, ucalgary.ca


See men in tutus perform classic ballets

It’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re going to laugh while seeing Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo on stage. After all, it’s a troupe of men, wearing tutus and wigs, performing traditional ballets as women. It’s a comedic, boisterous ballet, but the men’s skills are impressive and their performance will wow you just as much as it will entertain you. The ballet runs January 12 to 14. 

Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 14 Ave. N.W., 403-294-9494, albertaballet50.com 


Pretend you’re in a warm place and order a mojito from Ricardo’s Hideaway

Maybe this time last year you were in Cuba. Or Mexico or Florida or some other warm place. If you’re reminiscing about relaxed, beachy days, do it while drinking a rum cocktail at Ricardo’s Hideaway. The rum bar, which opened in mid-July, has about 30 rum cocktails on its menu to choose from as well as white spirit cocktails. Pair it with empanadas or ahi tuna ceviche and you might just feel like you’re back on vacation. Almost. 

Ricardo’s Hideaway, 1530 5 St. S.W., 587-349-2585, ricardoshideaway.ca 


Share your memories to help create a unique theatre experience

photograph by dahlia katz

Michele Polak and Martin Julien in Trace.

High Performance Rodeo returns with all its quirkiness to various Calgary locations from January 5 to February 2. From January 12 to 14, Trace is at the Royal Canadian Legion #1 and it’s going to get the audience sharing intimate childhood memories with the cast. The result is a one-of-a-kind, always-different show that straddles the past and present, and that melds audience members’ memories with memories shared by the cast. 

Royal Canadian Legion #1, 116 7 Ave. S.E., 403-294-9494, hprodeo.ca 


Attend the first ever Calgary Renovation Show

Anyone who’s looking at re-doing their home will want to attend the all-new Calgary Renovation Show. It runs from January 13 to 15 and includes renovation advice and inspiration for Calgarians interested in home DIY projects. Learn how to finally get your dream kitchen, ask a renovator your questions, join in an interior design workshop and check out the more than 200 exhibitors. Also expect visits from special guests like Jillian Harris of Love It Or List It Vancouver

BMO Centre, Stampede Park, 20 Roundup Way S.E., calgaryrenovationshow.com 


See an explosive percussion concert

Stomp isn’t an ordinary percussion band. In Stomp’s shows, the eight musicians make percussive music out of everything and anything — except actual instruments, that is. See how the group is able to make music out of everyday objects like hubcaps, garbage cans and brooms. The concert runs from January 17 to 19. 

Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 14 Ave. N.W., calgary.broadway.com


Watch a re-imagined version of Romeo and Juliet

photograph courtesy of decidedly jazz danceworks

Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ first show of its season takes the classic story of Romeo and Juliet and turns it on its head. This jazzy version of the story is a little different from the original in that it invents a few new ideas and storylines. Cory Bowles rewrote the story and narrates the production. And, there’s live musical accompaniment. DJD’s Juliet and Romeo runs from January 18 to 28. 

DJD Dance Centre, 111 12 Ave. S.E., 403-245-3533, decidedlyjazz.com 


Catch some of the best films from the Banff Mountain Film Festival

If you weren’t able to get out to Banff earlier this winter for the annual Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, that’s okay. You have two opportunities in January to see the best short films from this year’s festival. There are two programs to choose from, each with seven different short films. Learn about two teenagers who are pushing the boundaries in the sport of rock climbing, dog-powered sports and a mountain in an indigenous community in Yukon that becomes a world-class mountain biking venue. Screenings are January 17 to 22, and January 28 to 30. 

Rozsa Centre, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. N.W., mountainfilm.ca 


Stop by Phil & Sebastian’s newest coffee shop

Phil & Sebastian’s fifth brick-and-mortar location is in the Hudson’s Block on Stephen Avenue. The new space is well worth checking out: it has high ceilings, repurposed fixtures from a Quaker Oats factory and a plant installation wall by Plant Terrariums. And there’s going to be a Market Collective display and retail space. 

Phil & Sebastian Stephen Avenue, 102 8 Ave. S.W., 587-3560905, philsebastian.com 


Be spoiled for choice when shopping for oil and vinegar

photograph courtesy of oil and vinegar bar

A new store opened in Eau Claire in November and it is the store to visit if you’re looking to learn more about olive oils, balsamic vinegars and blends. The 900-square-foot store has 21 different olive oils, 14 dark balsamic vinegars and nine white balsamic vinegars on its shelves. And, you’re able to taste the products you’re interested in before you buy them. You’ll also find olives, artichoke tapenade and Australian skincare products here. 

Eau Claire Oil and Vinegar Bar, 403-668-8568, oilandvinegarbar.ca 


Become part of a choir for a few hours

If you’ve always considered joining a choir, but don’t really want to commit just yet, consider joining in Why Are We Here! It’s part of High Performance Rodeo and it’s basically an impromptu choir performance that takes place in unconventional venues. For this show, you’re not just watching the choir — you’re a part of that choir. The pop-up choir event, running on January 18, 20 and 22, highlights a different part of Calgary’s history and its landscape. 

Various locations, 403-294-9494, hprodeo.ca


See a psychological horror story on stage

Vertigo Theatre presents a new adaptation of the thriller Wait Until Dark. Like the 1967 movie, the film sees a recently blinded woman in New York City get threatened by three men. They wind up looking for something in her apartment, but she is able to use her blindness to her advantage. Vertigo Theatre’s version of Wait Until Dark runs from January 21 until February 19. 

Vertigo Theatre, 115 9 Ave. S.E., 403-221-3707, vertigotheatre.com


Admire a really sticky, spiderwebby sculpture 

photograph by sonya stefan

High Performance Rodeo presents #boxtape and it will be taking over the Plus 15 system from January 19 until 28. It looks like a huge spiderweb, but don’t be alarmed: it’s actually made from a ton of clear sticky tape. The piece is part visual art, part performance art. And it’s not a sit-back-and-watch kind of piece. The public is invited to join in the building of #boxtape

Various locations in the Plus-15 system, 403-294-9494, hprodeo.ca


Have a drink at Calgary’s newest speakeasy

Walk into Betty Lou’s Library for a drink and you might feel as though you’ve stepped into an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. The new speakeasy is a 1920s-style cocktail lounge, so expect a little secrecy here.  

Betty Lou’s Library, Devenish Building, 908 17 Ave. S.W., facebook.com


Run a really cheap half marathon

MEC hosts a road race series each year. The series is made up of seven races, starting in January and ending in October. The first event in the 2017 series is on January 21 and is named The Siberian Slide. Register to run 5 km, 10 km or challenge yourself to an early-season 21.1 km. This is a flat course and it only costs $15 to participate. 

Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade S.W., 403-269-2420, mec.ca


See earthlings land at the Esker Foundation

A group contemporary art exhibition titled Earthlings opens at the Esker Foundation on January 21. The exhibition includes individual work and work created by groups, including ceramic sculptures and paper pieces. Expect a range of pieces that will encourage you to think about dualities, such as the real and the imagined.

Esker Foundation, 444, 1011 9 Ave. S.E., 403-930-2490, eskerfoundation.com


Hear Joel Plaskett perform with the CPO

Joel Plaskett, a rock musician originally from Nova Scotia, takes to the stage for his debut performance with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra on January 24. Plaskett and the CPO will perform hits from the singer’s 20-year career as well as songs from his recently released album. 

Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 14 Ave. N.W., 403-571-0849, calgaryphil.com


Get in a sweaty workout at a new boxing studio

UNDRCARD Boxing Studio is a non-contact boxing studio that opened on Boxing Day — perfect, right? It’s located across the road from Craft Beer Market, National on 10 and Rodney’s Oyster House. (We think all would be ideal spots for a post-workout drink and snack.) The studio is a 5,600-square-foot space that offers classes that will get your heart pumping. As well as getting a workout, expect a kind of nightclub experience here — there’s high-energy music and dark lighting. The two-level studio also has a café with Cru Juice and Sidewalk Citizen baked goods and a store with workout gear. 

UNDRCARD Boxing Studio, 349 10 Ave. S.W., undrcard.com 


Hear some musical hits performed by Revv52

Musical hits by stars like Justin Timberlake, Prince and Lady Gaga are performed in a really big way from January 26 to 28. Revv52 — a group made up of 50 singers and a live, five-piece band — re-invents songs you already know and love.

Bella Concert Hall, Mount Royal University, 4825 Mount Royal Gate S.W., 1-888-749-7388, revv52.com


Go to the last ever Bill Brooks Prostate Cancer Benefit

photograph courtesy of calgary health trust

The Bill Brooks Prostate Cancer Gala is always a big, entertaining event. But this year’s event on January 27 is going to be an even bigger deal that unusual. This year marks the 19th annual event and it’s also the last ever Bill Brooks fundraiser for prostate cancer. This year, the theme is Billy Horror Picture Show, so come dressed as Frank N. Furter or Riff Raff or another character you love from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s an evening of costumes, food, cocktails, live entertainment and a silent auction. And, all proceeds are used to fight prostate cancer. 

Hotel Arts, 119 12 Ave. S.W., calgaryhealthtrust.ca 


Have a five-minute therapy session

It’s true — life is hard. But paying for long therapy sessions might not be the solution you need. Instead, the solution might be as simple as a five-minute chat with Emelia Symington Fedy. She’s a professional advice giver and she’ll listen to your problems, anxieties, fears and despairs. She’ll also offer her thoughts on your problems, but be warned — she’s not here to make friends and will tell you what you need to hear. 5-Minute Therapy is part of High Performance Rodeo and takes place at Bankers Hall on January 27 and the Simmons Building on January 28. 

Bankers Hall, 315 8 Ave. S.W.; Simmons Building, 618 Confluence Way S.E., 403-294-9494, hprodeo.ca


Go night skiing at the Canmore Nordic Centre

Sometimes, a dose of the great outdoors just can’t wait until the weekend. Make the drive to Canmore after work and get an outdoor workout in after the sun sets. The Canmore Nordic Centre has 6.5 km of illuminated trails, which is just the right distance for a mid-week cross-country ski. Stop at Communitea for a hot drink in town before making the drive back to Calgary. 

Canmore Nordic Centre, 1988 Olympic Way, 403-678-2400, albertaparks.ca


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