Free This Week

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  • Location: Various Venues

Show a little love to the arts community this week by checking out some free and fabulous programming taking place across Calgary, including more festival offerings from Chinook Blast and Exposure Photography Festival!

Chinook Blast

Until February 19, 2024
Various venues
Prices vary

Experience the magic of Calgary’s winter festival celebration. Chinook Blast warms up our city with a celebration of community, culture and civic pride. The best of Calgary’s art, music, theatre, sport and recreation will be on display (read about some of the festival highlights here). Don’t miss it!

Artists Pavilion

Until February 16, 2024
Calgary Central Library (800 3 St. SE)
Free to attend

Take in some arts and culture during your lunch break on Thursdays and Fridays during Chinook Blast! The Artists Pavilion at the Central Library hosts pop-up performances by local artists, presented by Four Winds YYC and 10 at 10 Music and Culture, as well as mini jams curated by One Big Jam.

Exposure Photography Festival

Until February 25, 2024
Various venues
Free to attend

Exposure 2024 shares a wide range of narratives, subjects and explorations of the photographic medium. Check out an exciting and diverse group of solo exhibitions and curatorial themes that audiences can engage with!

Valentine’s Day at the Library

February 14, 2024, 12 – 5pm & 6 – 8pm
Calgary Central Library (800 3 St. SE)
Free to attend

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Central Library! Participate in a hands-on art therapy workshop and capture your favourite moments with a selfie photo station. Later, join a screening of the romantic classic The Princess Bride.

Gai Lan Ensemble

February 14, 2024, 12:10 – 1pm
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (604 1 St. SE)
Free to attend

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Gai Lan Ensemble! Not only will they be playing some traditional tunes signifying good luck, but you’ll also hear music written for bamboo flute (Dizi), hammered dulcimer (Yangqin) and the Chinese lute (Ruan).

NaAC Artist Tours: Storytellers

February 14, 2024, 4 – 5pm
Contemporary Calgary (701 11 St. SW)
Free to attend, registration required

Michelle “Magic” Bennie, applies unconventional narratives and storytelling to Contemporary Calgary’s current exhibition, Three Dimensions, by Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins. Bennie will lead participants on a stimulating exhibition tour to foster new themes and connections.

Single Onion #199

February 15, 2024, 7pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4 St. SW)
Free to attend

The Single Onion #199 Celebrates emerging Black writers in Calgary with this month’s edition curated by aloT of Poetry. The podium will be graced by Joy Idowu (joyandsorrows) and Kamika Bianca Guerra-Walker. Make sure to check it out!

Nickle at Noon – Jocelyn Anderson: Walter J. Phillips and the Art of Japan

February 15, 2024, 12 – 1pm
Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary (435 Campus Lane NW)
Free to attend

One of the most celebrated printmakers in the history of Canadian art, Walter J. Phillips is best known for his iconic woodcuts, colourful depictions of places such as Lake of the Woods and the Rocky Mountains. This talk will explore Phillips’ learnings from Japanese art and examine how his studies shaped his work.

Open Studio for 55+

February 16, 2024, 1 – 4pm
Contemporary Calgary (701 11 St. SW)
Free to attend

Contemporary Calgary’s Open Studio for 55+ on Fridays in February invites participants to bring projects they are currently engaged in, or ideas and materials for projects, offering the opportunity to work with the support of peers and a facilitator with a background in visual art.

Broken Hearts, Friends + Lovers Market

February 16 – 18, 2024
Municipal Hall Atrium (800 Macleod Tr. SE)
Free to explore

At this upcoming Market Collective, visitors can expect amazing tunes spun by local DJs, art installations, a “broken/heart” photo-booth, make-up/break-up lounge, card creation station and 50+ vendors offering some of the most unique, locally made goods for that special (or not so special) someone.

Jon May hosts Saturday Jazz Jam

February 17, 2024, 3 – 6pm
Kawa Espresso Bar (1333 8 St. SW)
Free to attend

JazzYYC presents Jon May (drums) hosting the weekly Jazz Jam. Open to all ages and levels of experience, be sure to head over and join them for a fun afternoon! Drums provided.

Public Launch w/ Calgary Phil Quartet & Augustine Yates

February 17, 2024, 12 – 5pm
University District Discovery Centre (4410 University Ave. NW)
Free to attend

Celebrate the launch of Magna by Jayman BUILT in University District with a special performance from a Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Quartet, music by pianist Augustine Yates and more.

Fabric Art Pop Up Session

February 17, 2024, 1 – 4pm
Commons Area, Village Square Leisure Centre (2623 56 St. NE)
Free to participate, RSVP recommended

Learn some cool fabric art skills! Join Stephanie Bankszy for a fabric workshop and get a chance to make some leaves and houses to contribute to a fabric-art piece that will be installed at Village Square on the wall!

Rise Up Community Outdoor Stage

February 17 – 19, 2024
Olympic Plaza (228 8 Ave. SE)
Free to attend

A diversity of talent is set to perform on the RISE UP Community Outdoor Stage at Olympic Plaza during Chinook Blast. Catch free performances over the festival’s final weekend!

Contemporary Kids: Air, Lungs, and Music

February 18, 2024, 10am – 12noon
Contemporary Calgary (701 11 St. SW)
Free to attend, registration required

Embark on a creative journey inspired by the vibrant Resistance & Respiration exhibition, where kids will discover the fascinating realm of art through the lens of breathing. Join them in crafting unique instruments that transform breathing into a dynamic and expressive expression.

U/D’s Winter Pop-Up

February 18, 2024, 12 – 5pm
Central Commons Park (University Ave. NW)
Free to attend

U/D is embracing the season and helping the community warm up to winter with some fun events. Skate on the Central Commons Park outdoor rink and enjoy the toasty warm fire features, live ice carving, s’mores, music and more!

Family Day at the Library

February 19, 2024
Calgary Public Library locations (see website for details)
Free to attend

Join Calgary Public Library for a heartwarming day of family fun. Capture the moment with free family portraits at select locations or enjoy the selfie station, bring your favourite stuffies for Storytime and get creative with family-friendly crafts and activities.

Family Day at Studio Bell with The Buckleys

February 19, 2024, 10am – 5pm 
Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre (850 4 St. SE)
Free admission

The National Music Centre is hosting a special Family Day event featuring Alberta’s beloved songwriting siblings, The Buckleys. Admission is free, so gather your friends and family for a day of musical fun!

Poetry Parlour Open Mic

February 20, 2024, 7 – 9pm
Pachamama Soul Flavour Emporium (Suite #2110, 830 Canyon Meadows Dr. S)
Free to attend/participate

Join host Ashley Frerichs at the next Poetry Parlour Open Mic. Open mic sign-up starts at 7pm, there are limited slots available and will be filled on a first come, first served basis. The February event will not have a featured reader — open mic only.

Creativity Café

February 20, 2024, 4 – 7pm
BMO Room, Calgary Central Library (800 3 St. SE)
Free to attend

Join Antyx Community Arts for a free Creativity Café Night for all ages! Plus, they’ll have snacks so make sure to drop by!

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