Here comes the sun: 10 Calgary festivals this June

By Shane Flug
“Sun, sun, sun, here it comes!” Smiles are returning to the faces of Calgarians as summer arrives and festival season kicks into high gear. Soak in the rays with music, arts, dance and food with these 10 Calgary festivals scheduled in June. [Photo credit: 4th Street Festival Society]

Here comes the sun: 10 Calgary festivals this June

FunnyFest Calgary Comedy Festival

Bringing rays of sunshine to us via laughter, FunnyFest keeps our ribs tickling for 11 straight days during their annual comedy fest. Headlining comics this year include “Canadian Guy” Glen Foster and “Unfamous” Sheffield import Simon King.

  • When: June 1 to 11
  • Where: Multi-venue
  • Admission: $20 per show
  • Festival website

Calgary Ukrainian Festival

Get a taste of Eastern Europe during this annual weekend celebration of Ukrainian heritage, featuring food and dance as well as arts and crafts. New this year is their After Hours party on June 3, featuring a wide dance floor and the best of Ukrainian beer and vodka. Zabava!

4th Street Lilac Festival

Named after the blooming of the lilac bushes on the side streets as spring comes to a close, this mainstay fest has unofficially been cemented as Calgary’s kick-off to summer festival season. With a parade, vendors, bands and kids’ activities, Lilac Fest is a can’t-miss for the whole family. See this Smart Tip for full details on what’s in store this year.

YYC Beer Week

Watch out, Beerfest, there’s a local kid in town! This inaugural weeklong beer festival, brought us by the fellas at BeerGuysYYC, is dedicated to celebrating all things local craft beer. Sample handcrafted local craft beer with tastings, cheese  and BBQ pairings, brewery tours and more!

  • When: June 5 to 9
  • Where: Multi-venue
  • Admission: Varies by event and your party size
  • Festival website

IGNITE! Festival of Emerging Artists

A multi-disciplinary live theatre festival showcasing up-and-coming performers, Sage Theatre’s IGNITE! shines the spotlight on artists via improv, dance, workshops and theatre works. Explore the human condition through the story of a progressive Arab-Canadian navigating his sexuality or via monologues on the Tinder trials and tribulations of Millennial dating.

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Discover more things to do in Calgary:

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Sled Island Music & Arts Festival

With 250 artists, around 35 venues and attendees topping 40,000 in recent years, Sled Island is Calgary’s premiere music festival for the month of June. Hop on your bike and take in the best of independent music, film, comedy and art from both abroad and here at home. Don't miss the visual feast that is festival guest curator Flying Lotus’s live show set-up.

  • When: June 21 to 25
  • Where: Multi-venue
  • Admission: Varies for single tickets/$35 (all-ages pass)/$125 (sampler pack)/$214 to $366 (passes)
  • Festival website

Parkland Summerfest

Featuring a classic car show, disc golf and rock ‘n’ roll, this one-day neighbourhood fest is here for a good time, not a long time. This year’s headliner is Canadian classic rock quintet Trooper with openers The Static Shift. So, as the band would say, “have a good time” in Parkland – "the sun can’t shine every day!” While currently sold out, check their Facebook page June 1 for possible limited extra ticket opportunities.

After a cold winter, Calgarians cherish the summer season and the festival favourites it rings in annually. Whether you’re discovering new indie music or taking in the tastes of Calgary, however you spend your festival season bucks this June, “I say, it’s all right!”

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