Great gigs: Summer music festivals in Calgary

Summer is a musical time in Calgary. Festivals such Calgary Folk Music Festival and Afrikadey! focus solely on song and dance, while others such as Opera in the Village feature major musical components, and all feature a deliciously vast variety of styles and genres. So, shake, rattle and roll your way to these top music events in summer 2016. Image credit: iStock.com/knape.

Calgary Exhibition & Stampede Ltd

1
729 24 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 1P5

Calgary Stampede promises huge pop-music bang for your park-entrance buck. The Coca Cola Stage evening lineup includes Christian Hudson, JJ Shiplett, The Dudes, Walk off The Earth, X Ambassadors, The Sheepdogs, Jocelyn Alice, Gord Bamford and Simple Plan. Indoors at Nashville North, country is the flavour, and acts include Tim Hicks, The Dungarees, Wes Mack, Aaron Pritchett, John Conlee, Cold Creek Country, Kentucky Headhunters, Washboard Union and Madeline Merlo. July 8 to 17.

Chestermere Town Of

2
105 Marina Dr, Chestermere, AB T1X 1V7

The bedroom community of Chestermere kicks off Chestermere Water Festival with a wakeboard competition on Chestermere Lake. The family-friendly event held in John Peake Park also features the Kids Fun Zone with a bouncy castle and face painting as well as an artisan market. The music starts at 1 pm with roots and rock acts that include Rock Vega, Eve Hell, The Future Relics, John Hastie and The Alibi, Blaine Stillmanis and Blueswak. Headliner Drew Gregory takes the stage at 9:30 pm. A fireworks display wraps the event. July 16.

Calgary Folk Music Festival

3
PO Box 2897 Stn M, Calgary, AB T2P 3C3

Prince’s Island Park is the green and slightly secluded location of Calgary Folk Music Festival, one of the city’s most-anticipated annual musical events. Featuring a rootsy mix of genres from acoustic folk and world beat to indie pop and rock on several outdoor stages, this year’s lineup includes Bonny Prince Billy, Kathleen Edwards, Carolyn Mark, Corb Lund, Lord Huron, Marty Stuart, Whitehorse, The New Pornographers and Cat Power. Purchase single- and four-day passes for this outdoor event. Grass seating is available at the main stage on a first-come basis. July 21 to 24.

Urban Audio

4
201-501 18 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0C7

Held downtown in the open air at Olympic Plaza, Fiestaval Latin Festival is a free multicultural arts and entertainment event focusing on Latin American culture and promising fun for the whole family. Listen to the music of eight Latin bands, and enjoy salsa, rumba, and Zumba dance-group performances. A local artisan market, Latin food vendors and beer garden are also featured. July 22 to 24.

Calgary Blues Music Association

5
A6433-188 Bowness Rd NW, Calgary, AB T3B 0E6

This full week of blues performances takes place on the main stage at Shaw Millennium Park and indoors at Kerby Centre. Entertainers include Dan Doiron Band, The 24th St Wailers, Albert Cummings, A Little Voodoo, Troy Turner Band, Chet DeFreese, Conor Gains & The Ramblin’ Moon, Shemekia Copeland, Debra Power and more. Single-day and weekend passes are available, and free events and workshops including group guitar lessons are featured. July 25 to 31.

African Festival & Presentation Society Of Calgary

6
9-213 19 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 2H9

A family-friendly celebration of African music and culture, Afrikadey! events are held throughout the city, with the main event day held at Prince’s Island Park on August 13. The day’s featured artists include folk drummer Wura Samba, Afro-beat musician Sandra Izsadore, African-fusion performer extraordinaire Youssou Seck, Afrojazz and Afropop king Munya Mataruse, Afro-beat DJ Yung Jaah and Calgary’s DJ AK. Aug 10 to 13.

Calgary Opera Association

7
1315 7 St SW, Calgary, AB T2R 1A5

Opera in the Village performances of Hansel and Gretel and Archiebaldo! begin at 1 pm and 7 pm, respectively, in the Chautauqua tent in the East Village. Calgary Opera artists perform the classic tale of Hansel and Gretel with a humorous twist, while Archiebaldo, performed by Cowtown Opera, is a humorous, romantic-revenge story. Between matinee and evening operas, from 2 pm to 7 pm, mini entertainment includes a Ukrainian cabaret, emerging local opera performers and the Foothills Brass Quintet – all free with online pre-registration. August 13, 14, 20 and 21.

Esther Honens International Piano Competition

8
888 10 St SW, Calgary, AB T2P 2X1

A four-day piano music festival that promises to “make your ears smile,” Honens Festival is held annually, while the organization’s international piano competition is held once every three years, the next being in 2018. Performance locations include Contemporary Calgary, Cathedral Church of the Redeemer, Jack Singer Concert Hall, Royal Canadian Legion No. 1 and Central Memorial Park. International performers include 2006 competition winner Minsoo Sohn, Vexations and Marc-Andre Hamelin. September 8 to 11.

Calgary’s downtown workers are all about efficiency. But balancing work with family, leisure and exercise time is not always easy. Appealing and easily accessible fitness facilities can help. Early morning training sessions, lunchtime yoga classes and happy-hour squash games are a few of the fitness activities available at these fit spots in the downtown core.
Does your bob need a little lift? Are your roots starting to show? Or worse yet, did you try to colour your hair at home? Lucky for you, Calgary’s downtown is full of salons that have their scissors sharpened, and a solution ready for every hair faux-pas or style requirement you could throw their way. These are the ones to check out. [Image credit: iStock.com/ruizluquepaz]
Whether you have two left feet but wanna shake it like a Polaroid picture, or you’re an experienced hoofer out to acquire new dance-floor moves, there’s a class for you. These dance schools offer instruction in footloose forms from two-step, salsa and jazz to popping, locking and hip hop.
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