9 Calgary Festivals to Check Out in September

Featuring everything from beer to movies, these nine festivals happening throughout September promise plenty of fun.

The Calgary International Film Festival returns in September. Photo courtesy of Calgary International Film Festival.

Although summer is coming to an end and back-to-school season is fast approaching, there are still some local events to experience before the weather begins to cool. From watching films at the Calgary International Film Festival to enjoying a beer at DandyFest, September brings plenty of festival fun.

Here are nine festivals to check out this September.


Fiesta Filipino 

When: September 1 to 3, 2023

Experience the dreamy vibrance of Filipino culture this September. Fiesta Filipino returns with a stellar weekend of authentic food, local vendors and performances from the Filipino community, including a special performance from P-pop boy band BGYO on September 2.

Olympic Plaza, fiestafilipino.ca


Chinatown Lantern Festival 

When: September 8, 2023

In addition to its beautiful displays of lights and lanterns, the Chinatown Lantern Festival features local vendors, booths and food trucks. Hosted by Calgary’s Chinatown Business Improvement Association, this festival is free to the public and is sure to delight all of Calgary.

2 Avenue S.W. and Daqing Square, calgarychinatown.com


Rotary RibFest YYC

When: September 8 to 10, 2023

Just because summer is coming to a close doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying delicious barbecue. Head to Rotary RibFest YYC at McMahon Stadium for a mouthwatering weekend of great food, artisan vendors and a children’s fun zone. Try some of the best ribs that this year’s ribbers — Blazin’ BBQ, Billy Bones, Bone Daddy’s and Buckeye’s BBQ — have to offer.

McMahon Stadium, yycrotaryribfest.ca


Zen Garden Festival

When: September 9, 2023

For this festival, Waterfront Park will be transformed into two lush gardens to celebrate the best in house, tech-house, disco, hip-hop, funk, rap, soul and bass music. This year’s stacked lineup includes DJ Sneak, Fred Everything and Joanna Magik, so make sure you’ve got your dancing shoes on. When you’re not on the dance floor, Zen Garden has you covered with a cantina, bar service, food trucks and art installations.

Waterfront Park, zengardenfestival.com


Taste of Italy Festival

When: September 10, 2023

After a successful debut last year, the Taste of Italy Festival returns to deliver a slice of Italian culture to Calgary. Expect delicious food from some of the city’s local restaurants, performances from the Calgary Crescendo Choir and the Gli Azzurri Calgary Italian Dancers, and watch as featured artists Rino Friio, Lois Focca and Dana Balbi paint live throughout the festival.

Bridgeland Riverside Community Association, italianfestival.ca



When: September 14 to 17, 2023

Beakerhead’s decade-long presence in Calgary has been a celebration of arts and engineering showcased through engaging exhibits and insightful presentations, and this year won’t be any different. This year’s programming includes an immersive night-time installation, AI and machine learning, an adaptive skateboard showcase, cellular bubble art, installations and more.

Multiple locations, beakerhead.com



When: September 16, 2023

Held by Dandy Brewing Company, DandyFest is described as a celebration of all things “dandy” — beer, music, food and art. The festival has two sessions, one at 11 a.m. and the other at 4 p.m., and each has limited capacity. Regardless of which session you check out, expect to find food trucks, live music and beverages from more than 20 breweries and cideries. All events are 18+ and tickets can be purchased on Dandy’s website.

2003 11 St. S.E., thedandybrewingcompany.com 


Calgary International Film Festival

When: September 21 to October 1, 2023

Now in its 24th year, the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) is showcasing 175 multi-genre feature and short films from across Canada and around the world. As Alberta’s largest film festival, CIFF’s mission is to entertain and engage its audience. In addition to being an Oscar-qualifying festival for short films, CIFF supports local filmmakers by including a selection of Alberta features. You can purchase ticket bundles to this 11-day festival online, or opt for single-screening tickets when they go on sale on September 7 at 10 a.m.

Multiple locations, ciffcalgary.ca


Apple Fest 

When: September 30 to October 1, 2023 

Held at Granary Road, Apple Fest showcases and celebrates all varieties of apples, with plenty of jams, jellies, syrups and other apple-based treats to taste and enjoy. Sip on a hot apple cinnamon cider, go “bobbing” for apples or enter your apple pie recipe into the event’s baking contest.

226066 112 St. W., granaryroad.com

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