Coming Up: Summer cultural events in Calgary

With summer just around the corner, festival season’s in full swing and Calgary’s no exception to that. There are lots of exciting cultural festivals coming up in June and July. In addition, June is National Indigenous History Month and International World Refugee Day is June 20. You’ll also get a chance to show some Canadian pride in July with Canada Day and the Calgary Stampede. For full details on what events are coming up in Calgary this summer and when, read on.

June Events

The Calgary Eid ul-Fitr Festival is an annual event hosted by the Muslim Association of Canada. Happening June 17 at Edworthy Park, this festival will provide fun for the whole family. Entertainment includes a BBQ, children’s activities, Inshaad, in addition to a bazaar with various vendors. Tickets cost $15 for everyone over the age of 2 and discounted tickets are being made available to low income families. For more information and to purchase your tickets, visit the EidFest website.

The UN defines a refugee as one who has fled their country due to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”. World Refugee Day is an international day of solidarity meant to recognize the strength and courage of refugees all over the world.

On June 20, you will have an opportunity to recognize Calgary refugees by attending the International World Refugee Day event being hosted in the Lincoln Park Room on the Mount Royal University campus. The event is free to attend and only requires registration. It will include music, dance, speakers, visual presentations, as well as refreshments. For all the details, click here.

National Indigenous History Month started in 2009 with the passing of a unanimous motion in the House of Commons. In June, Canadians celebrate the history, culture, and traditions of First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples. Here are some events you can check out to join the fun:

  • Art Commons Presents: National Indigenous Peoples Day – Taking place June 21 just outside Centre Court on 8th Avenue, this is a free, day-long event for all ages. There will be a mini Pow Wow, an Indigenous music workshop, and an Indigenous film and video tour. For full details, check out the event page.
  • Indigenous Music Day at Studio Bell – Also happening June 21, this program at the National Music Centre is free with general admission. Activities include traditional dance and drumming, Indigenous art displays, and a performance by Métis singer-songwriter Sandra Sutter. Program information can be found here.
  • Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary (AAWC) – Taking place from June 18 – June 23, this is a week-long event that will celebrate the cultural diversity of Calgary’s Indigenous peoples. Kick the week off with the Opening Ceremonies happening June 18 at Olympic Plaza. This event will have free food and entertainment. Be sure to also check out the Family Day Festival & Powwow on June 23 at the Former Indian Village. There will be performances, free food, and children’s activities. For all the details, visit the AAWC website.

July Events

July is arguably the best month to celebrate living in Canada, between Canada Day and the Calgary Stampede. Both are huge events in Calgary that offer something for just about everybody. Canada Day celebrations will be happening all over the city July 1st. For a full list of events, visit this page. Stampede is one of Calgary’s biggest events. This year, the Calgary Stampede will be taking place July 6 – July 15. One of Calgary’s biggest events, you’ll definitely want to check out the Stampede Parade on July 6 and the pancake breakfasts happening all over the city. Also consider bringing your family to the Stampede Grounds on a value day. For the complete scoop on the Calgary Stampede, visit the website.

In July there will be two opportunities to experience Latin American culture in Calgary. Mexifest takes place at Eau Claire Plaza on July 6 and 7. At the festival you will be able to sample Mexican food, listen to Mariachi bands, watch Luchadores wrestle, and much more. Tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door. Admission is free for children under the age of 10 and adults over the age of 70. Further details can be found here.

Fiestaval is a free Latin American arts and entertainment festival that will take place July 20-22 at Olympic Plaza. Come out to enjoy Latin food vendors, the kid’s area, and other attractions while to take in performances by Latin musicians and dancers. Click here for more details.

The Calgary Turkish Festival will take place July 19-22 at Eau Claire Market. This free festival will display both art and food, giving Calgarians a chance to experience Turkish culture and hospitality. Donair, baklava, and Turkish coffee will be among the many food items available for $2. Visit the Calgary Turkish Festival website here for more information.

The 5th annual Calgary ArabFest will be happening July 28-July 29 at Olympic Plaza. Free and family friendly, this event that will share Arabian folk dance, music, food, art and more with Calgary. Be sure to sign up on their website for all the latest news and updates.