8 Ways to Celebrate Heritage Day

Make the most of the three-day weekend by touring a cemetery, watching agile dogs and photographing wildflowers

Celebrate Heritage Day at Heritage Park

Whether you choose to honour Heritage Day by learning more about different cultures or Calgary’s history, or whether you want to do something completely different like take a photography class in the mountains, there’s plenty going on on August 4.

Watch the final leg of the 2014 Tour de Bowness

There’s something inspiring about watching people accomplish athletic feats when it’s blisteringly hot outside. For those suffering from Tour de France withdrawal, or those who just want to see what a herd of cyclists looks like, head down to Bowness on August 4 to watch the criterium, or crit. This stage of the Tour is a short and very fast circuit – cyclists can get as fast as 70 kilometres per hour. With a slurpee in one hand and handmade glittery cheer sign in the other, watch participants zooming by multiple times as they complete the course.

Stay in the neighbourhood after the racing ends to enjoy the street festival organized by the Bowness BRZ.


Learn to take pretty pictures of wildflowers

Spend the Heritage Day long weekend out of the city and in the mountains. Led by Rocky Mountain Photo Adventures, spend August 3 learning how to capture the pristine scenery of this alpine setting. Bonus that the guide for this workshop is an award-winning photographer: learn from one of the best in the industry, National Geographic Traveler photographer Mark Unrau. The day begins at 8 a.m. and finishes at 5:30 p.m., and includes photography tips as well as some hiking. It’s interactive, it’s for all ages and photographers with any level of experience can register.

(Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort, rmphotoadventures.com)

Watch agile dogs at Spruce Meadows

The 2014 Alberta Kennel Club Summer Classic takes place at Spruce Meadows from August 1 to August 4. What better way to enjoy a day off work than watch hurdle racing, agility trials, obedience trials, and of course, the best baby puppy competition. Learn what dogs are judged on and cheer on your favourite canine champion.

(Spruce Meadows, 18011 Spruce Meadows Way S.W., albertakennelclub.org)

Heritage Day at Heritage Park

Heritage Park has an entire day of festivities planned for August 4. The first 500 guests through the park doors will receive a complimentary pancake breakfast. Following that, spend the entire day listening to concerts and roving musicians. Al Simmons performs on the main stage at 1 p.m. and is followed by jocelyn & lisa at 2 p.m. and Maria Dunn at 3 p.m.

But the Heritage Day celebrations don’t stop there. A very special evening concert has been planned for the evening, featuring Holly Cole, Sarah Slean and The Stellas. Proceeds from the concert go toward preserving the park’s historic buildings.

(Heritage Park, 1900 Heritage Dr. S.W., heritagepark.ca)

Attend the 37th Annual Heritage Day Festival

This festival runs from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Olympic Plaza. Expect to celebrate every kind of cultural background you can think of during the afternoon. There will be a range of multicultural performances, food from all over the world, arts and crafts from different cultures and an Indian Village.

(Olympic Plaza, 228 8 Ave. S.E.)

Watch a chuckwagon race

Just because the Calgary Stampede is long over doesn’t mean you need to avoid wearing your cowboy hat and boots until next July – the Strathmore Stampede runs from August 1 to August 4. On Heritage Day, head out to Strathmore to feed that Stampede craving. The tradeshow opens at 11 a.m. and the rodeo kicks off at 1 p.m. Stay until after 5 p.m., since the finals get underway later in the afternoon.

(Strathmore and District Agricultural Society, 122 Brent Blvd., strathmorestampede.com)

Heritage Day at Fort Calgary

Spend Heritage Day at Fort Calgary and learn more about how our city began and grow to become what it is today. Watch heritage-themed movies in the theatre, walk through Fort Calgary’s new art exhibit, the Down on the Farm exhibit featuring the photography of artists such as David Bowering and Aaron Falkenberg, and tour the community garden.

Fort Calgary’s president and CEO will also be speaking about the newest addition to the site: the Sentinels. Sara-Jane Gruetzner will be explaining the significance of the new red towers at the edge of the park and what they mean for Calgary as a whole.

(750 9 Ave. S.E., 403-290-1875, fortcalgary.com)

Take a tour of a cemetery

The City frequently conducts cemetery tours during the summer months, but on August 4, a special anniversary tour has been planned. The 100th anniversary tour of the Union Cemetery takes place at 2 p.m. on Heritage Day. Tour guides will teach participants more about the people who shaped Calgary into the city it is today.

(Galloway House, 28 Ave. and Spiller Rd. S.E., calgary.ca)

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