Avenue Staff Picks: Calgary Events We’re Excited About This Fall

From Halloween extravaganzas to documentary film festivals, there’s plenty to look forward to this fall.

Hadestown's 2022 North American tour. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

Pumpkins After Dark

When: September 22 to October 31

As someone who grew up wishing they were Marnie Piper (the pre-teen, mortal-turned-witch in the 1998 film Halloweentown), the award-winning Pumpkins After Dark walking experience is right up my alley. The family-friendly event returns to Winsport until October 31 and features more than 10,000 hand-carved pumpkins, sculptures, displays and lights in the shapes of movie and pop culture icons, Halloween characters, dinosaurs, dragons and more. There are also live pumpkin-carving demonstrations and the opportunity to purchase a pumpkin and get carving tips onsite from local artists — perfect for those who appreciate a good old gourd. —Tsering Asha, special projects editor


The Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival

When: October 28 to November 5

The Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival is the premier fall event in the Bow Valley. You don’t have to be outdoorsy to enjoy watching beautifully captured footage of jaw-dropping alpine feats or hearing talks by authors and adventurers who explore remote mountain ranges around the world. Part of the fun of this festival is being on the Banff Centre campus and hobnobbing with a crowd where the celebrity guests are virtually indistinguishable from the audience members — Blundstones and puffy jackets are about as dressed up as people get. The main attraction for many (particularly ’90s snowboarders like yours truly) will be the talk on Friday, November 3 by Jeremy Jones, a big-mountain snowboarding legend and climate change activist who has a new book out with the awesomeness-personified title of The Art of Shralpinism. —Shelley Arnusch, editor in chief



When: November 21 to 26

Broadway Across Canada never disappoints with its incredible touring productions of popular Broadway musicals. In November, it returns to Calgary with the first show of its 2023-24 season, the Tony Award-winning production of Hadestown. The musical takes on two love stories from Greek mythology, ushering guests into the underworld with Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as King Hades and Persephone. But what makes this production even cooler is that before taking the theatre world by storm, Hadestown was originally partly developed at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre. This interesting Alberta connection has me even more excited to check out this dynamic show. —Alana Willerton, senior digital editor


CUFF.Docs Documentary Film Festival

When: November 22 to 26

If nothing else, I’m a documentary film lover. It could be nature, true crime, food, social issues — give me a film that tells an interesting story of some fringe topic, and I’m in. That’s why I’m excited for this year’s CUFF.Docs Documentary Film Festival. Part of the Calgary Underground Film Festival collection, CUFF.Docs celebrates the best in documentary filmmaking, and brings some docs to Calgary that most people would never get the chance to see otherwise. This year’s film lineup has yet to be released, but I’m anxiously waiting to see what cool flicks will be on the docket. —Chris Landry, assistant editor

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