7 Calgary festivals to mark on the calendar in November

By Andrew Cormier

Even though things are starting to get a bit colder in Calgary, the fun doesn’t have to end just because Halloween is in the books. November has plenty of festivals you won’t want to miss, even if the weather is less than hospitable. [Photo credit: istockphoto.com/gb/portfolio/efcarlos]

7 Calgary festivals to mark on the calendar in November

Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival

If you’re making a trip out to the Rockies this November, why not catch a flick or pick up a book focused on the surrounding area? There are plenty of unique stories to be told in the area, something this festival seeks to accomplish over its nine-day schedule. With speakers like mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington and kayaker Erik Boomer, there will be plenty to get you inspired for your own adventure.

Calgary European Film Festival

Eighteen European countries from Albania to Norway will converge at the Eau Claire Cineplex for the sixth Calgary European Film Festival. Some entries this year include Bota (an entry from Albania) and Indivisible (Italy’s entry). Each production will be screened with English subtitles.

JazzYYC Canadian Jazz Festival

Some of the best and brightest in Canadian jazz will get down to business during this four-day festival scheduled to be held at some of Calgary’s best venues. Presented by JazzYYC, a local organization with an aim to promote the local jazz scene, the festival also includes the very popular JazzWalk through Inglewood.

Marda Loop Justice Film Festival

Since 2006, programmers of this film festival have sought to program a lineup that focuses on empowering Calgarians to engage with local and global issues. The documentaries screened take a focus on social issues, environmental issues and human rights, with various post-film talks scheduled after screenings. As an added bonus, admission is free.


The Calgary Underground Film Festival returns with their fifth annual CUFF.Docs film festival, which showcases the best in documentary film over four days. Programmers started the film festival after noticing an influx of documentary films being submitted to their April festival, and since its establishment CUFF.Docs has become one of the more popular local festivals.

Zoo Lights

Though traditionally thought of as a Christmas event, Zoo Lights is a great event to check out when the temperature dips, even in late November. With 1.5 million lights on display, the Calgary Zoo never looks more magical. Bring the kids to participate in ice skating and snow bowling and wrap up the whole day with a glass of hot chocolate.

Christmas events

The Christmas season officially kicks off in November, with many concerts, festivals and markets set to help you get in a festive mood. Check out Christmas markets in New Brighton (Nov. 18) and Winter Greens (Nov. 18), or check out the Curated market over four different weekends in November and December at Deerfoot City.

But most of all, make sure you don’t miss Theatre Calgary’s annual production of A Christmas Carol, running Nov. 23 until Christmas Eve. For many Calgarians, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without watching the show.

Though the weather might dip down to freezing temperatures soon, there’s still plenty of time have fun out in Calgary. Grab your warm jacket and toques and get out there.

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