Located in the heart of the city, Calgary's Cultural District is home to dozens of arts and culture hotspots like galleries, museums, theatres, concert halls and outdoor festival space, plus excellent shopping, dining and nightlife all within a few browsable blocks.
The Cultural District is a public gathering place and offers a tantalizing mix of things to see and do including browsable streets with surprises and discoveries on every block, a hotspot for creativity and experimentation, street vendors and markets, festivals, parades, fireworks, great food and a place for reading, relaxing and people watching.
The Cultural District encompasses 14 blocks of downtown Calgary and includes many of Calgary's arts and culture venues including the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts, the recently restored Grand Theatre, Vertigo Theatre, the Glenbow Museum, the Art Gallery of Calgary, Cantos Music Foundation and Art Central, along with many other galleries and music venues.
Close to the downtown transit lines, the District also includes several major hotels, the Calgary Tower, Stephen Avenue Walk and Olympic Plaza, a key Calgary landmark that served as the medal ceremonies site for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.
The vision for the Cultural District is to become Calgary's - and one of Canada's - most loved urban destinations for arts and entertainment.
The Cultural District offers a place that melds history and the future, reflect's Calgarians enormuous zest for life, capacity for innovation and is a place where Calgary can come together as one.
The Cultural District Renaissance Society of Alberta, a non-profit operating as the Cultural District, is a group of property owners, business managers, arts organizations, attractions, hotels, restaurants, retailers and citizens.
The group has been working together since 2001 to animate and promote the Cultural District, working closely with many community members including The City of Calgary, the Calgary Downtown Association and Calgary Arts Development.
October First Thursday 2012
Showcase 1 — 8:00 pm at Vertigo Studio Theatre
A theatre showcase of quirky short-works by artists exploring themes of urban alienation, childhood nostalgia and post-apocalyptic worlds. *Mature content*
Rain Clocks (Theatre/Drama/Comedy)
Rain Clocks explores gathered half-digested wisdom and observations from someone who doesn’t always believe she knows what she’s talking about.
Islands of Humanity (Theatre/Drama/Comedy)
When was the last time you sent a letter? The information age has made communication easy, accessible, and perhaps frivolous. How do you pack meaning and intention into a letter? Come see how one man does.
The Bus (Clown/Comedy)
A homeless clown finds himself riding the bus for as long as he can in an effort to keep a roof over his head.
Fallen Moon (Comedic Theatre/Puppetry/Dance)
Fallen Moon is a story that follows the life of a fallen moon fairy in 2070, and her adaptation to life as a fertile mortal in a barren world. She sacrifices herself to the noble cause of human survival and learns that there are some aspects of humanity that are just a little difficult to bear.
Mainstage 2 — 9:30 pm at Vertigo Studio Theatre
Melanee Murray (Cat On The Table Productions)
The Hoodwink (Comedic Theatre—Feature Act)
Albie Davis is a singer with a heart of soul. But the world doesn’t seem to be ready for Albie’s blend of outspoken word, creative freedom and righteous take on pop culture, hip hop and hairweaves. In order to find her way in a world dominated by Beyoncés and hard core rappers, Albie makes a choice that might lead her to the brink of either megafame – or megadisaster – and, maybe, just maybe – the love of her life. *Mature content*.
MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art Calgary)
Opening of our newest exhibit Oscar Cahen & Marcel van Eeden
Door open at 4:00
Art Talk Series at 5:00
Opening remarks at 6:00
Cocktail and wine bar (cash bar), free food tasting, and live Jazz music throughout the night.
Wine-Ohs: 811 1st Street SW, Calgary 403.263.1650
Wine-Ohs presents Adam Richer and the Farm Team. Adam Richer is a Calgary born singer/songwriter/guitar player. 2011 marks the first solo release from Adam, after 13 years of playing in various Calgary bands, including current projects Bowriver and Labyrinth Of Dreams. The first 5 song EP, titled "The Death Of Big Jim Krancan", draws upon Adams love of Country songs and Rock n' Roll music. Influenced by artists like Shooter Jennings, Brad Paisley, and The Sadies, Adam has fused elements of country and rock music with the feeling of a real band pouring their hearts into the music.
Alberta Theatre Projects
Go backstage with Alberta Theatre Projects, and we’ll take you on a tour of our Costume Shop!
Immerse yourself in the experience of creating costumes for a play; start at the Stage Door (220 9th Ave S.E.) and up the freight elevator to where it all begins!
There will be 3 guided tours of the shop to learn all about the costume making process for Intimate Apparel followed by a Question & Answer period.
Tours will accommodate 15 people per tour -- first come, first toured.
Tour Times are: 6:05 pm – 6:35 pm
6:45 pm – 7:15 pm
7:25 pm – 8:55 pm
The Palomino Smokehouse, 109 7th Ave SW
CBC Radio 3 Tracks on Tracks Winners SHRED KELLY with Spencer Jo and Eric LaRocque, 8pm, NO COVER, 18+
Shred Kelly is a formulation of friends and foot stomping good times born in the East Kootenay’s of British Columbia. Hailing from the town of Fernie, the five piece band is best known for mixing clawhammer banjo riffs that tear the fabric of space and time with ambient synth, high voltage guitar, fierce drums, and hauntingly sweet vocal harmonies to produce a sound that has been properly coined “Stoke Folk”.
While their gritty and fun 2010 album “Goodbye July” still resonates strongly with boot slappin’ s
lacker anthems such as “I Hate Work” and “Ghost Inside My Head”, their newest full length album release “In the Hills” takes the mountain string band and adds a cup of electric shock, belting out stories of small town love and tragedy in the places they hail from. Having recently been awarded 2012 Artist of the Year at the Kooteney Music Awards and winning a spot on the Green Couch Sessions/CBC Radio 3 ‘Tracks on Tracks’ train adventure from Vancouver to Toronto, Shred Kelly is turning banjo doubters into sweaty indie folk rock believers on the dance floor, one town at a time.
Calgary's fabulous new contemporary art gallery, Esker Foundation, is on 9th Avenue in Inglewood, just 8 blocks east of the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts. Although it's not quite in the Cultural District, we welcome the Esker to Calgary's cultural scene, and can't wait for its 2 new shows to open on First Thursday:
Opening Receptions: Landon Mackenzie: Nervous Centre and PROJECT 35
Esker Foundation will be exhibiting Landon Mackenzie: Nervous Centre and PROJECT 35.
Nervous Centre presents a significant selection of paintings and drawings from the last 20 years by Vancouver-based artist Landon Mackenzie. Continuing her abstracted study of cartography to map out human systems of movement, thought and convergence, the exhibition will present new work, rarely seen drawings and several of her better known large-scale abstract canvases.
A touring project from Independent Curators International (ICI), PROJECT 35 is an evolving exhibition of 35 singe-channel video works selected by 35 international curators, each of whom has chosen a work s/he considers vital for contemporary art audiences across the golbe. PROJECT 35 is a travelling exhibition produced by ICI New York. The exhibition is made possible, in part, by grants from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Foundation for Contemporary Art, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation; the ICI Board of Trustees; and donors to ICI's Access Fund.
The Auburn Saloon is a popular artists' hangout and home to many arts events. On First Thursday Sept 6:
Another rich OILMENS REVIEW Art Show
New works by local infamous artists Darcy Lisecki, Harold John Pendergast, and Frank 'the Psychic' Keller!
Back to Style - Downtown Calgary is hosting the third annual Back to Style event starting with First Thursday and running until the end of the month. Dress your best and join us in celebrating everything that makes the city centre the place to be for entertainment, dining and shopping. Be spotted by our street team on Thursday and you could instantly win!
FIRST THURSDAY is a monthly culture crawl in Calgary's Cultural District - all stops (but one) within 3 blocks of the Calgary Tower. Make one stop or try to fit in as much as you can!
THIS IS THE SHORT VERSION OF THE LIST. FULL INFORMATION: firstthursdays.ca.
All events are FREE unless otherwise noted.
ART & FILM
All day: "A View through the Windows" and "Dreams, Emotions & Life’s Lessons" (short films), EPCOR CTR public spaces
9-5: Canada on Canvas, The Glenbow, $9-14
10-5: Calgary Art Walk by Canadian Artists for the Poor, Stephen Avenue
10-9: Pentimento: the Past in the Present, Carl White, Art Gallery of Calg, 117-8 Ave SW
1-3: Thursday Afternoon at the Movies, Dutton Theatre, Central Library
4-8: A Night of Music & Art with Carl Beam & Matt Masters, opening remarks at 6pm, MOCA
5-8: Artist Reception: Prints & Multiples, final works given to those present! Ledge Gallery, Epcor Centre, 205-8 Ave SE
5-8: Gallery openings at Axis, Studio C, & 3 new pop-ups, Art Central, 100-7 Ave SW
6-8: Carl White: Experiential Workshop on the theme of Pentimento, Art Gallery of Calgary, 117-8 Ave SW
12:10-1: Reggae Lunch & Learn, National Music Centre, FREE (hot Jamaican lunch $8)
12-1: NMC Street Sounds featuring pianist Andrea Petrity, Stephen Avenue Walk
5-9: The Good Ol' Boys at Original Joe's, 109-8 Ave SW, no cover
6: Guided tour of historic keyboard collection, National Music Centre, 134-11 Ave SE
8: Preshant Michael John in Concert, National Music Ctr, 134-11 Ave SE, $15
8-10: Subarctic with Revelstoke (alt-folk), The Palomino, 109-7 Ave SW, no cover
9: Norine Braun (Vancouver), Wine Oh's, 811-1 St SW, $10 at the door
10: 10 @ 10 at UBU Lounge in the Grand Theatre – a hip-hop showcase of beats & rhymes, 10 artists/10min each
THEATRE, TALKS & TALES
2-3: Historic Calgary Week: Ancestors & Their Attics (Century Homes), Central Library
5:30-7: Strategic Networking, Central Library
6:30-7:30: Story Circle by TALES, Central Library, 616 Macleod Tr SE, main lobby
7: S Shakespeare in the Park: A Midsummer Night's Dream, presented by Theatre Calgary and Mount Royal University at Prince's Island Park (a short walk from the Cultural District)
FOOD & DRINK SPECIALS
11-closing: 50% off bottles of wine, $1 off/glass, Original Joes, 109-8 Ave SW
4-9: 1/2 price sushi and Sapporo beer, UBU Theatre Lounge, 608-1 St SW
4-close: $1 oysters at ParkerHouse, 131-6 Ave SW
4-7: Happy Hour - $3 off all appies, Black Betty Burger & Wine Bar, 606-1 St SW
5-6: 1/2 price appies during Appy Hour at The Auburn Saloon, 163, 125-9 Ave SE
8-closing: Buy one glass of wine, get one free (limit 1 per), Wine Oh's, 811-1 St SW
First Thursday is presented monthly by restaurants, galleries, museums, clubs and many more cool neighbours in Calgary's Cultural District.
10 @ 10 at UBU Lounge is one of the most popular First Thursday stops - get there early if you don't want to have to wait in line to get in!
10@10: a 100 min Showcase of Beats & Rhymes
10@10 is a monthly hip-hop showcase at UBU Lounge for artists by artists. Starting at 10pm sharp, 10 artists get 10 minutes to perform their classic or newest music. With this stage comes the opportunity to not only develop their craft in an intimate setting but, build their network of peers and extend their fan base.
CANADIAN ARTISTS for the POOR
Calgary Art Walk
hosted by the non-profit Canadian Artists for the Poor
Free to all
10 am - 5 pm
Come and stroll along the pedestrian street Stephen Avenue to enjoy viewing the works of local artists. Many artists will be creating onsite. Many types of art available for purchase. There's something for everyone!
Glenbow's Summer Shows now on!
Charlie Russell and the First Calgary Stampede
Organized by Glenbow Museum
In 1912, the famous cowboy artist, Charlie Russell, was invited by Calgary Stampede founder, Guy Weadick, to exhibit his paintings at the first ever Calgary Stampede. This summer, Glenbow is reuniting the paintings from that exhibition 100 years later. Drawn from private collections and major art galleries across North America, this is a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition and will be a must see for Albertans and tourists alike.
Organized by Glenbow Museum
This exhibition features the work of Canadian artists who take the familiar tropes of the West – horses, cowboys, First Peoples and the land – and present them in new and compelling ways. Explore the work of contemporary artists such as James Westergard, Dianne Bos, David Garneau and Kimowan McLain who are repurposing, reimagining and redefining some of this familiar iconography into new statements about history, idealism, representation and what the West means to us now.
Canada on Canvas
Organized by the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Canada on Canvas brings together historical portraiture, landscape and abstract paintings ranging from the 1940s to the 1970s by some of the country's most distinguished artists, including Cornelius Krieghoff, Lawren Harris, Tom Thomson, Emily Carr, Norval Morrisseau and Jean-Paul Riopelle.