Very Calgary Things to Do Online During COVID-19

Tune in for virtual Calgary festivals, online cooking classes and fun livestream sessions without leaving home.

Photograph by Alana Willerton

Explore Glenbow’s art exhibits from home

Get your weekly dose of art from Glenbow museum every Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. That’s when the museum releases online content ranging from virtual tours to educational videos as part of its new Glenbow From Home programming. The Wednesday content is aimed towards children, while the Friday content is aimed towards adults.


Enjoy happy hour with a notable author

Every Thursday night, Wordfest holds online happy hour events where you can enjoy a drink while hearing from notable authors over Zoom live stream. There are even audience Q&As during the sessions. Upcoming authors include Kathy Reichs, Victoria James (on May 11), Sarah Richardson, Jason Rosenthal and more.


Check in on the giant pandas at the Calgary Zoo virtually

While you may not be able to visit the Calgary Zoo right now, you can still check in on its two giant pandas from home. The zoo has set up three cameras to capture the movements of our furry friends. The PandaCam is on from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.


Watch a concert by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra online

While the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra isn’t performing live right now, you can still enjoy its music by checking out the collection of previously live-streamed concerts on its YouTube page. Tune in for performances focused around the music of Beethoven, Brahms and even ones featuring country singer Paul Brandt.

Read more: Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Concerts are Streaming for Free Right Now


Learn how to make a new meal and cocktail with local chefs and bartenders

When: May dates include May 7, 14, 21 and 28

The Brewery & the Beast food festival recently launched a new online cooking experience called Homeschool Series. Every week, a different chef and bartender team will teach participants how to make a specified meal and cocktail (which you get the recipe and ingredient lists for in advance) over video. Tickets are $10 each.


Watch a virtual concert featuring Canadian country artists

When: Every Wednesday at 2 p.m. MST

Get your country music fix every Wednesday with The Blue Jay Virtual Sessions. Each online concert features four Canadian country music artists whose performances are live streamed on Facebook. All PayPal donations during the event will go to the artists.


Break a sweat with an online workout led by a local fitness studio

Calgary fitness facilities may be closed for in-person workouts, but many are still making it possible for you to break a sweat online. Whether you’re looking to do yoga, barre or boxing, several studios in the city have launched online classes or videos to help you stay in shape. And, many of the them are even free.

Read more: Calgary Gyms and Fitness Studios Offering Online Workouts


Watch a movie on Netflix with some friends

Just because you’re social distancing doesn’t mean that movie nights have to be lonely. Thanks to the Google Chrome extension Netflix Party, you can watch a Netflix show at the same time as your friends and chat online as you watch. Need a movie suggestion? Consider watching one of the several movies Netflix offers that were filmed in Alberta.

Read more: Netflix Movies and Shows Filmed in Alberta (and How to Watch Together on Netflix Party)


Clean out your closet with The Upside’s virtual closet edit service

If you’re one of the many people cleaning and decluttering their home right now, consider getting a little help from The Upside. The luxury consignment store is currently offering a virtual closet edit service to help you decide whether you should keep, consign or donate your clothes over a 30-minute video call. You can make a request for a virtual appointment now on The Upside’s website.


Take an online gardening class or workshop with the Calgary Horticultural Society

Now that it’s spring, it’s officially time to start planning your garden. Thankfully, the Calgary Horticultural Society is here to help with tons of online classes and workshops. Learn how to design a yard, how to pick trees and shrubs when you have a small yard and more.


Bid on some local artwork from Rumble House

In Avenue‘s December 2019 issue, we profiled Rumble House, a non-profit art studio and gallery space that normally holds weekly gatherings where attendees make art and then auction it off that same night. The art rumbles are still happening on Wednesday nights, albeit a bit differently right now — artists can drop off artwork in advance, founders Rich and Jess Théroux auction them off via live stream and you can text in your bids. Tune into Rumble House’s Facebook page on Wednesday nights to bid and check out the work of Calgary artists.


Tune in to a virtual jazz festival throughout May

When: Until May 27

JazzYYC is bringing us almost a full month of virtual jazz performances during the International Jazz Days Festival. From April 30 to May 27, tune in online for live streamed performances by Canadian jazz artists.


Learn more about science virtually with Telus Spark

Telus Spark is bringing tons of science fun to us with its current roster of online programming, Spark Science From Home. Check out science Q&As and DIY activities ranging from making egg geodes to liquid rainbows. There are also live events you can tune in for on topics like chemistry and cocktails, making cookies with bugs and a live science show.


Take advantage of the many online services you can access with your library card

Did you know you can do a lot more than just take out books with a Calgary Public Library card? The digital library offers many online services that are perfect to explore while self-isolating. You can find out more about your personal lineage, watch Lynda video tutorials to learn a new skill, take a language lesson and more. Click here to register for a card today.

Read more: How to Put Your Calgary Public Library Card to Good Use While Self-Isolating


Watch local artist performances in Theatre Calgary’s new video series

Theatre Calgary has come up with a new way for us to get our theatre and music fix from home. The local theatre company recently launch tcTakeout: The Arts Delivered!, which is a twice-weekly series of videos featuring musical performances and chats with performing artists. Check back regularly for new content.


Watch Dave Kelly Live on Facebook every morning

Every morning at 10 a.m., Dave Kelly (who you may know from his theatre show Dave Kelly Live) hosts a Facebook live show called “In the Neighbourhood” with Jim Button, Mandy Stobo, Russell Broom and other interesting Calgarians. Tune in for some fun times, art demonstrations and to learn more about what’s going on in the city right now.


Listen to the music you would’ve heard at this year’s Sled Island

Sled Island is one of the many festivals that were sadly canceled this year due to the pandemic. While it won’t quite be the same as being there, you can still get a taste of what might have been thanks to the Sled Island 2020 Alternate Timeline Festival. The festival has released a list of 270 artists that would’ve been at this year’s event for you to check out, as well as a Spotify playlist to listen to.


Find a new show for your kid to watch on Kidoodle.TV

If you and your kids have run out of shows to watch by now, check out a Calgary streaming service called Kidoodle.TV. The platform offers both free and premium paid accounts that will let you stream kid-friendly shows that have been vetted in advance.

Read more: Kidoodle.TV is a Local Streaming Service for Kids


Check out Canadian art with Contemporary Calgary

Contemporary Calgary has launched a new series of online programming in the wake of COVID-19. So far, the contemporary art gallery’s Art Where You Are programming has featured four word challenges to inspire your art, artist talks and challenges ranging from making non-medical face masks to writing Haikus about physical distancing. Contemporary Calgary is also one of 28 Canadian art organizations taking part in Field Trip: Art Across Canada, which features virtual tours, talks and other online art programming from across the country.

Want more suggestions for the best things to do in Calgary? Sign up for our Weekender Newsletter.

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