Festival season decends upon Calgary for 2012, and I have a rundown of those that are on my radar. I’m sure there are others, so feel free to add them in the comments and I’ll integrate them into the list. Expect an additional post to be forthcoming which will cover festivals that are within a day’s drive of Calgary.
This page will be updated throughout the summer, and “expired” listings moved to the bottom of the page.
Calgary Dragon Boat Festival
August 25 to 26
Dragon boat races and fun.
One-day festival showcasing south Asian food, art, fashion, music, dance and culture.
Choose Yer Own Festival
August 31 to September 2
Super fun and interesting collaborative festival where the events of the festival are guided by the whims of the participants.
Calgary Highland Games
Celebration of Scottish sport and, from what I hear, one of the best beer gardens west of anywhere.
BBQ on the Bow
Canada’s oldest BBQ competition.
Pride Street Festival
Live musical performances by local talent, a market of vendors and community groups, a kids zone, and a large beer gardens.
Calgary Maker Faire
It’s a fair where we make things, learn things, craft things and engage in random acts of creativity. Plus we spell “faire” like we’re Shakespeare.
Calgary Electronic Music Festival
September 14 to 15
Several stages at Shaw Millenium Park covering all manner of EDM.
Calgary Improv Festival
September 17 to 23
Improv is no joke.
Calgary International Film Festival
September 20 to 30
Over 200 films over 10 days.
September 28 to 29
Entertainment, food, drink. And probably pasta.
Gone all too soon and young, but lo, we shall remember them fondly
Fairy Tales Film Festival
May 24 to June 2
Fairy Tales Film Festival is a film fest focused upon gender and sexual diversity.
Contrasts Chamber Music Festival
Performances on May 25, May 27, June 1 and June 3
Dedicated to chamber music and featuring performances from members of Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Calgary Conservatory and Beijing Conservatory and others.
Calgary Ukrainian Festival
June 2 to 3
Zabava! Which pretty much means “let’s party” in Ukrainian. Perogies (or varenyky, as they’d be known in Ukrainian), dancing, and all kinds of good times.
Funnyfest Calgary Comedy Festival
May 31 to June 10
Calgary’s funniest festival, featuring over 40 performers at venues throughout the city.
June 2 to June 9
Celebrating Caribbean music, food, and culture.
Magnetic North Festival
June 13 to 23
Festival featuring new Canadian theatre.
Sage Theatre’s IGNITE!: Calgary’s Festival for Emerging Artists
June 14 to 16
Plays, music, and dance from emerging artists.
Beef: The Festival
June 15 to 16
A celebration of the very best of Canadian Beef.
Foothills Bluegrass Music Society Annual Summer Pick-nic and Fair
BBQ dinner, all-day bands, all-day jams, evening concert, market, artisan tables.
Day-long community celebration of all things bicycle related.
Sled Island Film Festival
June 18 to 20
Sled-curated films featuing creative and musically-related film.
Sled Island Music and Arts Festival
June 20 to 23
Calgary’s indie music festival bringing a shit-ton of bands to stages around the city.
June 22 to 24
The Hellenic Society of Calgary presents a weekend festival celebrating all things Greek, with bands, tourism presentations, dance, and plenty of eating.
June 23 to July 2
A multi-day, grassroots bicycle festival that has rides, parties, and even polo.
June 29 to July 2
Electronic music festival in K-Country with on-site camping.
East Village Street Fair (link is PDF)
Street festival put on by the East Village Neighbourhood Association.
Calgary Turkish Festival
July 6 to 8
Turkish food, entertainment, and so much baklava.
Calgary Stampede and Exhibition
July 6 to 15
You shouldn’t need me to add any explanation here.
Fiestaval Latin Festival
July 21 to 22
Celebration of Latin American culture.
Kensington Sun and Salsa Festival
Sun + Salsa = Festival
Calgary Folk Music Festival
July 26 to 29
My favorite weekend of the summer. Music and beer gardens and late-night parties.
Historic Calgary Week (link is PDF)
July 27 to August 6
Myriad opportunities to learn about Calgary and area history in fun and interesting ways over this 11-day “week”.
Calgary International Bluesfest
July 30 to August 5
Blues and beer.
Calgary Fringe Festival
August 3 to 11
Uncensored, non-juried theatre festival.
Street festival in historic Inglewood.
August 5 to 12
Visual and performing arts festival celebrating African culture.
Mountain View International Festival of Song and Chamber Music
August 5 to 12
Verbosely-titled festival witha week of film, chamber music concerts and master classes.
Chinatown Street Fair
Street festival in Chinatown.
Calgary Wellness Festival
Speakers, vendors, demonstration stage, performance stage, meditation tent.
Marda Gras Street Festival
Street festival in Marda Loop.
August 15 to 18
Live performances from Canadian and international reggae artists. With beer garden.
GlobalFest and OneWorld Festival
August 16 to 26
Calgary’s most explosive festival! (That is, fireworks. And lots of ‘em.)
Taste of Calgary
August 16 to 19
A smorgasbord of international food and drink, all in little sample sizes.
Toast ‘n’ Jam
August 16 to 17
Open jam and sessions for youth musicians.
People’s Poetry Festival
August 17 to 19
Three days of poetry.
August 24 to 26
Music, dancing, food, and art market at Prince’s Island.