Free Events In Calgary: Campfire Chats, New Canadian Plays and a Listening Party
There are numerous free (or really affordable) events happening in Calgary in the next 30 days. Here are a few to put in your calendar.
In & Out of Love runs June 21 to 24.
Photograph by Ryan Bartlett
Free events in the next month
June 15 to 18
The annual jazz festival has a range of free and ticketed events over its four days. There are ticketed events at venues such as the Ironwood Stage and Grill, Lolita’s Lounge and Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre. For a really affordable day of jazz music, make plans to attend the Jazz Walk on June 18. The afternoon event includes numerous free, family-friendly jazz concerts (and an art walk) at stores, restaurants and other venues along Music Mile in Inglewood.
Various locations, jazzyyc.com
Until June 24
For three decades now, Lunchbox Theatre has been helping produce and create Canadian one-act plays. Three new plays have already been staged and five other new Canadian plays will be staged between June 16 and June 24. See new plays that are continuations of shows that have already come to the Lunchbox Theatre stage, like Book Club II: The Next Chapter and Flora & Fawna Have Beaver Fever.
Lunchbox Theatre, 115 9 Ave. S.E., 403-265-4292, lunchboxtheatre.com
Celebrate Calgary’s fourth annual Neighbour Day by getting to know to your neighbours and celebrating community spirit. A range of events and parties are taking place on June 17 including picnics, barbecues and clean-ups. There’s even an art party at Framed on Fifth and a party in McKenzie Towne with trampolines.
Various locations, calgary.ca
Learn about First Nations perspective of space through traditional storytelling methods at St. Patrick’s Island Park. Bring along a blanket and spend the longest day of the year listening to individuals like Rob Cardinal and Wilton Goodstriker tell myths that are connected to the universe.
St. Patrick’s Island, ucalgary.ca
June 21 to 23
This weekend-long, family-friendly festival highlights Latin American culture through food, music, dancing and shopping. Bring along some cash, but know that admission to this summer festival is free.
Olympic Plaza, 228 8 Ave. S.E., fiestaval.ca
Because it's Canada 150, there are going to be even more celebrations than usual. As well as things that happen every year like fireworks and free pancake breakfasts and a living flag, there are new Canada Day events this year. Try to make it to the opening of a time capsule from 1967 at Confederation Park and to the Tegan and Sara concert at Riverfront Avenue East. If you’re into Canadian music, there are also special events at Studio Bell and at the King Eddy.
Various locations, calgary.ca
July 7 to 16
The Stampede Downtown Attractions committee makes sure that the Stampede experience is accessible to all. Expect a variety of free, Stampede-related activities at Olympic Plaza and on Stephen Avenue for the 10 days. There will be free breakfasts, square dancing, wagon rides, a hat stomp competition, a parade and a lot more.
Olympic Plaza and Stephen Avenue Walk, stampede-downtotwnattractions.com
This annual festival is all about protecting Alberta’s parks and natural areas. The day includes family-friendly live performances by the Juno Award-winning group Peter Puffin’s Whale Tales and by Calgary musician Jennie Harluk. The day also includes an interactive nature presentation, a yo-qi experience and guided walks about wetlands and beavers.
Bow Valley Ranch, friendsoffishcreek.org
Affordable events under $20 you should know about
Until June 17
Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre doesn’t present ordinary theatre shows. The group presents site-specific plays — there have been plays in coffee shops and yoga studios. This time, Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre is presenting a show in a house in Calgary’s northwest. Everyone We Know Will Be There is a one-act house party. It’s Bradley Freeman’s birthday and the audience will be split into groups to follow one of five central characters during this birthday party.
10 Tuscarora Way N.W., 403-710-0093, swallowabicycle.com
June 21 to 24
During Sled Island, the beautifulyoungartists — a group mentored by One Yellow Rabbit — performs a “listening party” about love, lust and mistakes. The group uses movement to explore these themes and the soundtrack includes popular songs from the 21st century. Expect to hear songs like Grimes, City & Colour and more in this production. As well as the $15 tickets, there are a limited number of pay-what-you-can tickets available before each show.
Big Secret Theatre, Arts Commons, 403-294-9494, oyr.org
If you think you know a lot about baseball, about Luke Skywalker and about author Mark Kingwell, come to Memorial Park Library on June 22 to prove it. Poet Richard Kelly Kemick hosts the third edition of this trivia evening and, this time, all the questions are inspired by Mark Kingwell’s book Fail Better: Why Baseball Matters. It’s a guilt-free competition and you could win beverages.
Memorial Park Library, 1221 2 St. S.W., eventbrite.ca
June 24 to 25
Attend The Shoe Project in Canmore and you’ll hear 12 inspirational stories told by 12 immigrant and refugee women living in the Bow Valley. Earlier this year, all 12 women participated in a workshop led by Canadian author Marina Endicott where they wrote about when they first arrived in Canada and how they adapted. Their stories begin all over the world in countries like Nepal, Japan, South Korea and Tibet, but all end in the Bow Valley.
artsPlace, 950 8 Ave., Canmore, 403-609-2623, artsplacecanmore.com