Showcasing culture: 10 Calgary festivals this August

By Shane Flug

Calgary is home to a diverse population of more than 240 ethnic origins, making festival season a perfect time to celebrate such a rich cultural mosaic. Here are 10 cultural and other festivals happening in Calgary this August. [Photo credit: iStock]

Showcasing culture: 10 Calgary festivals this August

Tubby Fest

17th Avenue hot dog joint Tubby Dog will take their support of independent music to the next level in August during the inaugural Tubby Fest. From August 3 to 5, rock with Vancouver grunge punks Dead Soft, Edmonton post-punks Rhythm of Cruelty and local darkwave synth-pop trio Melted Mirror, to name a few acts. A free karaoke afterparty wraps it all up August 6.

Franco Festival Calgary

Francophone heritage isn’t just limited to Quebec and France. Franco Festival Calgary reflects this with music, art and dance showcasing the culture of Francophone nations from across the globe from Haiti to the Ivory Coast. Take the kids to a fabric-painting workshop and catch performers such as jazz-folk singer-songwriter Aude Ray or dance group The Haitian Sistas.

Calgary Dragon Boat Race & Festival

A worldwide tradition steeped in ancient Chinese legend, dragon boat racing has been a sport festival staple in Calgary for more than 25 years. Join more than 4,000 spectators watching more than 1,800 participants paddle for top prize while enjoying live entertainment, food trucks, retail vendors, multicultural performances and lion dance.

No Greater Love Music Festival

Scheduled to take place close to the Rocky Mountains 40 minutes west of Calgary, Christian music fest No Greater Love could not have picked a more miraculous setting to bask in a weekend of music, friends and faith. Headliners include Australian sibling pop duo for KING & COUNTRY and Oklahoma country mainstay Reba McEntire.

Marda Gras Street Festival

A business district chock full of international food vendors, Marda Loop showcases the best of their ‘hood during their annual street festival. Between the live entertainment and many vendors, also check out the afternoon’s pet pageant.

GlobalFest

August’s largest multicultural festival keeps the Canada 150 festivities lit up by hosting all Canadian competitors at the fireworks competition this year. Between the international food vendors and performances, don’t miss a very special citizenship ceremony swearing in 150 new Canadians August 22.

ReggaeFest

The sounds, spice and soul of the Caribbean will arrive in time for the last few summer weeks during ReggaeFest. Get in the groove with acts like Mexican roots-reggae troupe Antidoping, Jamaican singer Etana and many more from across Canada.

See Guillermo Barraza’s Smart Tip for more August music festivals, including Afrikadey! and Chasing Summer.

Calgary Pride Festival and Parade

Pride Calgary has come a long way since its inception during a 1990 rally where protestors protected their identities. Much time – and progress – later, Pride has another year in store celebrating Calgary’s LGBTQA2S+ community. Events include club nights, queer country line dancing, a family pride BBQ and the colourful grand finale: the Pride Parade and Pride in the Park festival Sept. 3.

  • When: August 25 to Sept. 4
  • Where: Multi-venue
  • Admission: Varies – parade day events Sept. 3 are free
  • Festival website

August is a prime month during Calgary’s festival season to celebrate our city’s diversity. All neighbours from all walks of life are welcome to join the fun!

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