10 Fun Things to Check Out at Chinook Blast

From February 2 to 19, check out light installations, sports demonstrations, markets, art exhibitions and more.

Photo by Neil Zeller.

Calgary’s largest winter festival is back for its fourth year, and it promises to be brighter than ever. Running from February 2 to 19, Chinook Blast brings Calgarians together to celebrate the winter season with art, music, sports, lighting installations and more.

Alongside the art and light displays that illuminate the downtown core, Chinook Blast features a number of partner events and festivals. High Performance Rodeo kickstarts the winter festivities with theatre and dance performances; Big Winter Classic and Block Heater bring music and comedy to locations around Calgary; and Ethnik Festival of Arts & Culture showcases Afro-Canadian and Caribbean cultures and traditions.

In addition to these events, there’s plenty more to see and do during Chinook Blast (you can find the full list of events online). Here’s a look at just some of the things worth checking out.

 

2024 Nitrocross

When: February 2 and 3

Where: GMC Stadium

Action sports crew Nitro Circus is coming to Calgary for a special mix of rally racing and big air jumps. While this show has been performed around the world, the snow and ice make this version of the adrenaline-filled motor sports event unique to Calgary.

 

BonBon

When: February 2 to 19

Where: Olympic Plaza

This installation invites users to play, stack and rearrange modules in whatever way they like. Made from recycled plastic, each of the pieces is shaped like an oversized candy (hence the name).

 

Parc Installation

When: February 2 to 19

Where: Olympic Plaza

This wooden canopy transforms into a gorgeous sculpture inspired by snow drifts. The archway’s plastic covering resembles the winter snow and ice and will be lit up underneath to create a surreal experience (and a perfect spot for photos when you walk through it).

 

Cosmic Nexus: An Illuminated Encounter

When: February 2 to 19

Where: Olympic Plaza

Cosmic Nexus is another one of this year’s massive light sculptures. More than 20-feet high, this sculpture of LED tubes displays light patterns that change with every touch, allowing you to be part of the atmosphere of Chinook Blast.

 

The Starquarium

When: February 2 to 19

Where: Olympic Plaza

Described as a “one-of-a-kind, intergalactic aquarium,” this 22-foot high sculpture illuminated with lights and video effects shows fantastical creatures through the gateway. Guests can interact with these creatures in specific ways.

 

Festival of Sport by Sport Calgary

Photograph by Neil Zeller.

When: February 3

Where: Olympic Plaza

Watch, try and learn about interesting winter sports with Sport Calgary on the ice at Olympic Plaza. Catch some speed skating demonstrations, synchronized skating performances or try your hand at luge. At 5 p.m., bring your skates (or grab some of the free complimentary skate and helmet rentals) and participate in the free public family skate.

 

Luminescent Tall Tales

Photograph by Neil Zeller.

When: February 9 to 10 and 16 to 18

Where: Olympic Plaza

Three Left Feet presents Luminescent Tall Tales, a unique performance of stilt dancers who will stand tall above the audience in LED-lit costumes. These stilt-walkers, including four-legged creatures new to this year’s program, will be featured throughout the area, so bring your camera and watch for them.

 

ImaginAsian: Asian Night Market

When: February 9 to 11

Where: City Hall Atrium

This cultural market features food vendors, traditional and cultural clothing, and artwork for attendees to enjoy. At the centre of the market, a stage will be set up for a number of performances showcasing music, dance, martial arts and more.

 

Snow Rodeo

When: February 9 to 11

Where: WinSport, Canada Olympic Park

As part of Chinook Blast’s celebration of winter, you can head to WinSport to watch the FIS Snowboard Slopestyle World Cup and the FIS Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup. Along with slopestyle and halfpipe events, there will be a rail jam contest that’s brand new this year. Be sure to check out the rest of the activities like DJs, beer gardens and more in the crowd zone.

 

Broken Hearts, Friends + Lovers Market by Market Collective

When: February 16 to 18

Where: City Hall Atrium

In partnership with Chinook Blast, Market Collective is hosting a downtown market with more than 50 vendors selling unique, locally made goods. In accordance with the Valentine’s Day/love theme, the event includes DJs spinning tunes, love note-making stations, art installations and a “make-up/break-up lounge.”

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

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