18 Best Things to Do in Calgary This February

This month, check out an augmented reality exhibition in Inglewood, watch penguins waddle around the zoo and tune in for virtual Black History Month events.

Artist Nicole Wolf painting her window display at Stash for the Northern Reflections augmented reality experience. Photograph by Kunikazu Kawashima.

Watch videos by performing artists during High Performance Rodeo’s virtual anniversary celebration

When: Until February 14

High Performance Rodeo, the international arts festival that normally takes over Calgary for three weeks each January, is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a virtual celebration until February 14. Each day, a new video will be revealed on Instagram and Facebook featuring a different performing artist’s interpretation of the question, “Who are you now?” Catch the videos on HPR’s social media channels each day or watch them here.

Read more: High Performance Rodeo Marks 35th Anniversary with Virtual Celebration



Drink tons of hot chocolate during YYC Hot Chocolate Fest

When: February 1 to 28

Most of us don’t need an excuse to enjoy a delicious cup of hot chocolate, but February is always a particularly good month to do so in Calgary. That’s because YYC Hot Chocolate Fest, which encourages local restaurants and coffee shops to come up with unique hot chocolate drinks in support of Calgary Meals on Wheels, runs for the entire month. Order as many of the 2021 drinks for takeout as you can.



Tune in for virtual events on anti-racism, Black literature, art and more during Black History Month

When: Multiple dates from February 1 to 28

The University of Calgary is hosting several free, online events throughout Black History Month. There are talks on subjects like being actively anti-racist and Black literature, a film screening of John Ware Reclaimed (featuring an intro from playwright, author and filmmaker Cheryl Foggo), an event with artist Simone Saunders, a webinar on Black Canadians’ mental health and more. You can register for most of the events online in advance.



Order a burger from a new pop-up by chef Pigot

Chef Mike Pigot kicked the year off right by launching his new burger pop-up called Pigot’s Burger Club. The menu features five mouthwatering burgers (we like the looks of the bacon cheeseburger pictured above) as well as sides like dirty tots (think tator tots with cheese, sauce and veggies) and kale Caesar salad. Delivery and pickup is available.



Check out photography exhibits online and in-person during a local photography festival

When: February 1 to 28

Back for its 17th year, the annual Exposure Photography Festival has an impressive line-up of exhibits in store for audiences this month. This year’s festival features a mix of shows you can see online, outdoors and indoors (if restrictions permit).

Read more: 9 Things to Check out at Exposure Photography Festival

Multiple locations, exposurephotofestival.com


Get poutine delivered to your door during La Poutine Week

When: February 1 to 7

Calling all poutine fans! La Poutine Week is back this month and a dozen Calgary restaurants and breweries will be offering some awesome takes on this popular dish. You can order smoked beef brisket poutine from Paddy’s Barbecue & Brewery, popcorn chicken poutine from Leopold’s Tavern, smoked meat poutine from Grumans Delicatessen and more. The poutines are delivered through Skip the Dishes.



Try a virtual speed dating event or trivia night

When: Trivia nights on February 4 and 17; Speed dating event on February 10

Single and ready to mingle? The pandemic may have put a kink in your dating plans this past year, but the Calgary Sport & Social Club is ready to help you find love this month with its virtual speed dating event on February 10. If that’s not your thing, the group is also holding a virtual Friends trivia night on February 4 and a virtual Harry Potter trivia night on February 17.



Go for a walk to see augmented reality art in Inglewood


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A post shared by MAUD collective (@maudcollective)

This month, go for a walk through Inglewood to take in the Northern Reflections exhibition. Artistic teams worked together to create colourful art on the windows of 11 local businesses, which can be turned into interactive augmented reality experiences with music through the Augle app. A full list of mural locations is available online or you can follow this handy map.

Multiple locations in Inglewood, inglewoodyyc.ca


Cheer for the Calgary Flames as they take on the Edmonton Oilers

When: February 6, 19 and 20

There’s nothing like a battle of Alberta to get the blood pumping. The Calgary Flames will take on the Edmonton Oilers for the first time this season on February 6 (and again on February 19 and 20), so order some takeout and cheer for your favourite players on TV from the comfort of your couch.



Watch a free National Geographic Live presentation on photography and science

When: February 8

The National Geographic Live series, which is normally held at Arts Commons, is going virtual for the next five months and Calgarians can catch the first of these presentations on February 8. The free, live-streamed event features photographers Anand Varma and Prasenjeet Vadav, who will share about the relationship between photography and science. Online registration is required.



Have fun at a new winter festival called Chinook Blast

When: February 11 to 28

Chinook Blast is a new free winter festival running over three weekends this month. While the full list of activities hasn’t been released yet, you can expect “outdoor art, light, and cultural displays” set up in downtown Calgary, East Village and other nearby areas.

Multiple locations, chinookblast.ca


Get ready to celebrate the Lunar New Year

When: Lunar New Year starts on February 12

The Lunar New Year is fast approaching, so here are some things to know about the multicultural celebrations. You can also mark upcoming events like the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre’s virtual Chinese Lunar New Year celebration (February 5 to 15) and the online premiere of a new film featuring the Calgary Chinese Orchestra (February 14) on your calendar.

Read more: 6 Things to Know About Lunar New Year


Watch dance performances and a script reading during UNGANISHA


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A post shared by Woezo Africa (@woezoafrica)

When: UNGANISHA runs on February 13 and 20; Maybe script reading on February 27

For its 2021 UNGANISHA performing arts event, Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre is hosting a two-part virtual presentation that looks back at its inaugural UNGANISHA event in 2018. A celebration and examination of how African culture has shaped contemporary dance, UNGANISHA uses local talent to explore the stories behind dance styles like samba, Afro-Caribbean, hip-hop, jazz, capoeira and more. And on February 27, don’t miss the virtual script reading of a story called Maybe, which portrays a married couple dealing with a miscarriage and their relationship.



Go for a skate on two new skating trails

You may have tried some of Calgary’s outdoor skating rinks before, but have you checked out its new ice trails yet? Skaters can now go for a spin on a new 1.6 km ice trail at Bowness Park and a new 730-metre ice trail at North Glenmore Park. Remember to follow current safety guidelines and stay at least two metres away from those outside your household.

Bowness Park, 8900 48 Ave. N.W. and North Glenmore Park, 7305 Crowchild Tr. S.W., calgary.ca


Spend Valentine’s Day watching opera and eating brunch

When: February 14

This Valentine’s Day, treat your partner to a digital opera concert and brunch with the Calgary Opera. Tune into the pre-recorded opera before or after the delivery of your brunch from Devour Catering. Tickets are $15 per household for just the concert, or $59 per person for the concert and brunch.



Watch a colony of king penguins waddle around the Calgary Zoo


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A post shared by The Calgary Zoo (@thecalgaryzoo)

When: Until mid-March

Antoinette, Napoleon, Diana, Louis, Boudicca — these are just a few of the adorable king penguins you could see waddling through the Calgary Zoo during this year’s Penguin Walk. Every winter starting in January, the zoo’s king penguin colony go on a daily morning walk around the grounds that the public can watch (weather dependent). Timed tickets, mandatory masks and stationary viewing are some of the measures that make the event still possible this year. The walks start at the Penguin Plunge at 10 a.m., so don’t miss your chance to see these awesome animals outside of their usual habitat.

Calgary Zoo, 210 St. Georges Dr. N.E., 403-232-9300, calgaryzoo.com


Watch nearly two dozen concerts virtually during Block Heater

When: February 16 to 20

Block Heater, the annual winter music festival put on by Calgary Folk Music Festival, will still take place virtually this month. Nearly two dozen bands and singers will be performing, including ANACHNID, Kelly Bado, The Lovebullies, Ryland Moranz, Tarik Robinson and more. Virtual passes are pay-what-you-can, though Tuesday performances are free to watch.



Shop local online at Little Modern Market’s winter edition

When: February 18 to 21

Support local by shopping from some of the nearly 100 vendors participating in Little Modern Market’s virtual winter market. There are businesses offering jewellery, art, food and drink products, clothing and more. Plus, you can get some serious deals thanks to the discounts vendors are offering.


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