Calgary is a young, vibrant city; the third most livable in the world and home to more than 120 spoken languages and more than 240 diverse nationalities. To say the possibilities for the city’s future are endless is less of a cliché and more of a call-to-action that will require a vast array of perspectives and opinions from experts, creative thinkers, city-builders and engaged citizens across all four quadrants of Calgary.
Running from May 2 to 11, 2023, Avenue’s first Future of the City Festival is a multi-day celebration of the people who are building the future of Calgary today. With the support of our sponsors and community partners, the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Calgary Economic Development, Arts Commons and Glenbow, we invite you to join us at the Future of the City Festival events below.
When: May 2, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
To understand what Calgary’s future holds requires a recognition of — and reckoning with — our collective past. We must grapple with preserving our stories and landmarks while actively decolonizing our own perspectives and building an innovative, forward-looking future. In this fireside chat moderated by Avenue’s special projects editor Tsering Asha Leba with panelists Alex Sarian, president and CEO, Arts Commons; Josh Traptow, CEO, Heritage Calgary; Nicholas Bell, president and CEO, Glenbow; and Terry Wong, City Councillor for Ward 7, Avenue invites you to consider how we can build a city that serves all of us in what promises to be a lively discussion.
View a feature exhibit from the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape’s Year End Show before the panel and attend a cocktail reception following the discussion. Tickets are available now and can be purchased online.
616 Macleod Tr. S.E., showpass.com
When: April 28 and 29, May 2
Hosted by the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL), the Year End Show (YES) exhibit showcases student accomplishments through 3D models, plans and renderings that address social or economic inequality and inspire us to consider resiliency, sustainability and innovative design for the future of Calgary’s downtown. The YES exhibition is open to the public and free to attend from April 28 to 29 in the City Building Design Lab and it will also be available for viewing on May 2 for the Future of the Past panel discussion and reception for ticket holders. Tickets for the Future of the Past panel discussion and reception can be purchased online.
616 Macleod Tr. S.E.
When: May 3, 4 or 5, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Lift the curtain on one of Calgary’s biggest little secrets with a tour of Arts Commons, western Canada’s largest performing arts centre and the home of numerous performing arts companies that are telling Calgary’s stories. On this 45-minute tour, you’ll learn about the foundations of the heritage building and the connecting additions that make up Arts Commons, get a closer look at its state-of-the-art ventilation system, and get a sneak peek of the land where the Arts Commons Transformation, Canada’s largest cultural infrastructure program, will take place.
Tours start at 12:10 p.m. sharp and are limited to a maximum of 15 people by registration only. Avenue A-List and A-List+ members will be invited with early access to register for tickets. Sign up to be an Avenue member by April 17 to get the first opportunity to register for tour tickets. After April 17, tickets will be available to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.
205 8 Ave. S.E., 403-294-7455, artscommons.ca
When: May 4, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Calgary Economic Development’s New Economy Live series engages Calgarians through a suite of online events and thoughtful discussions pertaining to Calgary in the New Economy, the city’s economic strategy. On May 4 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., join panelists Maya Choldin, executive director, Theatre Calgary; Patti Pon, president and CEO, Calgary Arts Development; Roderick Tate, president and CEO (interim), Telus Spark; and Jennifer Konopaki, vice president, sport, WinSport, for an insightful discussion on why and how Calgary’s cultural, community, arts and other experiences contribute to making our city a vibrant and inviting place to visit and live. Registration is required and the event is free for anyone in the public to attend.
For more information and to register, visit calgaryeconomicdevelopment.com
When: May 9, 10 or 11, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
As the preeminent home of Calgary’s collective history, through the art, objects and stories that have shaped this region for generations, the reimagined Glenbow is poised to be a dynamic hub of our relationship to arts and culture. Now, get a rare glimpse behind the scenes of the current renovations taking place at the reimagined Glenbow. PPE will be provided and is required to participate in a tour (hard hat, steel toed boots, safety vest and possibly safety glasses). Attendees will also be required to complete a short safety questionnaire before the tour begins.
Tours start at 11:45 a.m. and are limited to a maximum of 12 people by registration only. Avenue A-List and A-List+ members will be invited with early access to register for tickets. Sign up to be an Avenue member by April 17 to get the first opportunity for tour tickets. After April 17, tickets will be available to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.
130 9 Ave. S.E., 403-268-4100, eventbrite.ca
[Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the correct time of the New Economy Live: The Future of Calgary’s Experience Economy event and the Future of the Past panel and reception.]