Canada 150: Where to celebrate Canada Day in Calgary

By Sarah Sussman

Canada Day 2017 marks a very important day for our country – it’s our 150th birthday and sesquicentennial celebration. In the festive spirit of the occasion, Calgary is planning an extremely extravagant birthday party for the nation.  Here's where you should go to celebrate Canada Day 2017. [Photo credit: istockphoto.com/jewhyte]

Canada 150: Where to celebrate Canada Day in Calgary

Studio Bell National Music Centre

As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, Studio Bell National Music Centre celebrates its first birthday at their new location. On Canada Day, the centre offers visitors free admission all day from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Immerse yourself in Canadian music’s rich history with Studio Bell’s interactive exhibits and prepare yourself for a jam-packed day of music that includes buskers, concerts in the performance hall, organ demonstrations and a massive building-wide conga line. Make sure you drop in to the newly-restored King Edward Hotel across the street, which will serve up beer, eats and live music all day.

Chinatown

An integral part of Canadian history, Chinese settlers arrived in Canada nearly a century before Canada even became a country. This year, Calgary’s Chinese community celebrates its contributions to our great nation with a day full of cultural performances and exhibitions, which kicks off with a parade at 11 a.m. at Sien Lok Park.

Afterwards, you can trek over to the Chinese Cultural Centre for a stunning painting and calligraphy exhibition. Make sure to stop by Daqing Square to enjoy the day’s line-up of performances, music and more. While you’re in the area, take a look through the shops and businesses in the Chinatown district. Stop in to Dragon City Mall for imported Asian candies, kitschy home décor, affordable fashion and more. Wrap up the day with dim sum at one of Calgary’s landmark Chinatown restaurants – Silver Dragon Restaurant and U & Me Restaurant are highly recommended.

Calgary Public Library

For a family-friendly Canada Day experience, head over to the Central Library downtown for a day of play that includes campfire singing and storytelling, arts and crafts, a story wall, Lego construction and a giant chess tournament.
Since membership at the Calgary Public Library is free, you may as well borrow some items while you’re there. You can borrow up to 99 items at once, including up to 30 DVDs and Blu-rays.

East Village

Offering up something for everyone, Calgary’s East Village celebrates the big 150 with the East Village Street Fair at the Simmons Building. Browse the fair’s vendor booths and meet some of the city’s favourite local retailers and business owners. And if you’re hankering for something to eat, YYC Food Trucks will be on-site serving up mobile munchies and decadent street eats.

Olympic Plaza

If you want to get your fill of Canadian arts and culture, spend the day at Olympic Plaza and enjoy music, dance, comedy and artistic performances throughout the day from 10 a.m. onwards. Watch members of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra perform, take in an Alberta Ballet performance and – of course – witness some classic Calgary cowboy line dancing.

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Discover more of Calgary for Canada 150:

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Fort Calgary

An important landmark for both Calgary and Canadian history, Fort Calgary is a national historic site and where Calgary grew into what it is today. Nowadays, the Fort is home to a municipal park and interpretive centre, as well as the River Café’s sister restaurant, the upscale Deane House.
Canada Day 2017 at Fort Calgary kicks off with a free pancake breakfast at 9 a.m., followed by an opening ceremony hosted by Calgary’s beloved Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Throughout the day, Fort Calgary will play host to a petting zoo, musical performances, arts and crafts, nature walks for kids, food trucks and a handful of historic exhibits and activities.

Prince’s Island Park

Celebrate two essential parts of Canadian history, the Francophone community and the military, at the scenic Prince’s Island Park.  Check out military displays and interactive activities courtesy of The Military Museums and take in some French Canadian culture with interactive games, music, puppet shows, Metis workshops and – of course – lots of poutine and smoked meat.

The nearby Eau Claire Market also plays host to Canada Day 2017 performances and events. If you’re one of the first 1,000 people there for the day, you’ll receive free ice cream. Sounds like a pretty good incentive to start your Canada Day 2017 off early!

Enjoy performances throughout the day courtesy of Windigo, Son of Ray, Transit and more. Finish the day off by watching the fireworks from Prince’s Island Park, which is one of the Calgary’s most scenic spots and best locations for watching fireworks.

With so much happening around town for Canada Day 2017, there’s something for everyone to see and do. Whether you’re looking to learn more about Canadian history, immerse yourself in Canadian culture or simply spend the day  surrounded by your fellow patriotic Canadians, Canada 150 is the national birthday celebration you need to attend.

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