Free Events In Calgary: A Cosplay Parade, Secondhand Book Sales and a Block Party and BBQ
There are numerous free (or really affordable) events in the next 30 days. Here are a few you should know about.
Catch the POW! Parade of Wonders on April 28.
Photograph courtesy of Downtown Calgary
Free events to know about
Calgary’s first bouldering specific climbing gym opened earlier this month and its grand opening party will be on Saturday, April 22. Expect a big celebration with plenty of climbing elements. Admission to the gym is free from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (you’ll still have to pay for equipment rentals) and there will be a just-for-fun competition in the evening you can watch. Also in the evening there will be a DJ, prizes and food from the Yummi Yogis food truck.
Bolder Climbing Community, 5508 1 St. S.E., 403-255-9565, bolderclimbing.com
From April 25 to August 29
Kit and Ace has teamed up with Saje Natural Wellness to host a six-part speaker series. It started in March and there’s one speaker session each month until August 29. Each month, the venue alternates between Saje and Kit and Ace. The goal of each talk in the series is to provide attendees with the tools and inspiration they need for personal development, growth and mindfulness. A few of the upcoming speakers include Andrew Obrecht, Stan Peake and Mallory Chapman. The next event in the series is on April 25 at Kit and Ace and the following sessions will be held on May 30, June 27, July 25 and August 29.
Saje Natural Wellness, 880 16 Ave. S.W.; Kit and Ace, 800 16 Ave. S.W., eventbrite.ca
The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo isn’t free to attend, but you shouldn't miss out on the event entirely. The fifth annual POW! Parade of Wonders will see pop culture-loving Calgarians, dressed in costume, walking through downtown Calgary. It’s free to participate — you must be in costume, though — and it’s free to watch. Last year more than 2,000 people joined in the parade. This year, the parade takes a new route through downtown. Hang out around Stephen Avenue if you’re a spectator and want the best show.
Stephen Avenue, calgarydowntown.com
April 29 and 30
For the first time, the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary is hosting a secondhand book sale. It’s also part arts and craft sale. Proceeds support the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary, which is a not-for-profit supporting vulnerable and marginalized women. If you can’t make it this weekend but still want to attend a secondhand book sale, know that the CBC Calgary Reads Big Book Sale is also coming up. It runs May 12 to 14 and admission is also free.
The Hub at West Canadian, 1601 9 Ave. S.E., elizabethfrycalgary.ca
During your lunch hour on Tuesday, May 2, make a point to drop by Olympic Plaza because there’s going to be a party going on. Alberta Theatre Projects is celebrating its 2017/2018 season with a free barbecue lunch and live music by local musicians. Be sure to stick around to learn more about the theatre group and what goes on behind-the-scenes when you work in theatre.
Olympic Plaza, 215 8 Ave. S.E., 403-294-7402, atplive.com
May 5 to 7
If you want to learn more about different pockets of Calgary, join in the annual festival of free, neighbourhood walking tours. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Jane’s Walk in Calgary and hundreds of community-led walking tours are expected to run over the weekend. Learn about the redevelopment of Bowness Park or go on a gastronomic walk through Brentwood or see Calgary through the eyes of local bottle pickers. Basically, you can spend the whole weekend walking through Calgary and learning things about the city you never knew before.
Various locations in Calgary, janeswalk.org
Kick off the Stampeders’ 2017 season with a free party. It all starts with a pancake breakfast at 8:30 a.m., followed by games and activities on the McMahon Stadium field. There’s also a good chance you’ll run into Stampeders athletes, coaches and alumni.
McMahon Stadium, 1817 Crowchild Tr. N.W., stampeders.com
You can visit all of Calgary’s top art galleries in one day if you attend this annual gallery hop, presented by the Art Dealers Association of Canada Inc. The goal of this annual gallery hop is to raise awareness of the visual arts in various cities across Canada. Here in Calgary, a few of the stops along the way include the Herringer Kiss Gallery, Paul Kuhn Gallery and Newzones Gallery.
Various locations, facebook.com
Events that are $15 or under
April 22 and 23
Spring is here and the food trucks are back. YYCFoodTrucks’ first food truck festival of the year is this weekend and admission only costs $5. There’s music, entertainment and a lot of food options. Be sure to save some cash to sample lots of food — more than 15 food trucks are expected at the festival.
RiverWalk Plaza, eventbrite.ca
There are more arts and crafts markets in and around Calgary this season than you could possibly attend. There are markets for the fibre-lovers (the Ujamaa Grandmas Fabric and Yarn Sale is April 21 and 22), markets for people who love shopping with mimosas in hand (the Commonwealth Collectors Club is April 30) and markets for people hunting for vintage treasures (the Alberta Dames Modern Vintage Market is May 6).
May 5 to 7
If you’re the kind of person who loves mineral specimens and meteorites and crystals, head to this three-day show. It’s the biggest rock and mineral show in the city, and this year, 49 dealers will be selling everything from specialty rocks to jewellery supplied to gems.
Vivo, 11950 Country Village Link N.E., crlc.ca