Thursday, January 8, 2015

Lots to Look Forward to in Calgary, Alberta for 2015

Happy New Year! As we turn the page on 2014 with its festivals, annual events, celebrations and family fun having being turned into wonderful memories, we can look forward to another jam packed year of amazing things to see and do in the city of Calgary. The annual events like the Stampede are already getting ready for their chance to shine, and other events, like the Tim Horton’s Brier is making Calgary home for another year of curling excellence. As usual, the city will host something for everyone this coming year, with plenty of things to see and do for the entire family to enjoy together and perfect date night opportunities to boot. 2015 is poised to be another great year to get out and have fun in the city.

First up is the Tim Horton’s Brier, running from February 28-March 8 at the Scotiabank Saddledome. This is the first time since 2009 that the men’s curling championship will be hosted in the city, that year the rink representing Alberta won it all. Will it be a repeat this time around? Tickets go on sale later in January for this event, and are available in multiple draw packages so you can see even more of the action.

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Attention all you foodies out there, the Calgary Dining Festival is taking place this year from March 6-March 15 at various restaurants around the city. This is the festival that is specially designed for your taste buds, as you can partake in lunch, dinner or gourmet meals, attend tastings, buffets, and enjoy flexible menus as the foodies take over the downtown and bring with them their world class cuisine.

The Western Canadian Ringette Championship comes to town in March at Canada Olympic Park’s Markin MacPhail Center. Here you can watch the provincial winners of four different age groups compete for bragging rights in Western Canada. Teams from Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Manitoba are featured in this championship event.

Since 2006, the Calgary Comic andEntertainment Expo has been growing, gaining in popularity and adding to its attendance numbers each and every year. Today it is the largest event of its kind in western Canada, with attendees showing up in droves to take in the many different elements of pop culture and entertainment. 

This year, the expo runs from April 16-19th at the Stampede Grounds and is home to everything from the sci-fi, anime, gaming, animation, fantasy and horror genres that you can imagine. The festival also features special guests, tutorials, talks, booths and the opportunity to dress up as your favourite character and meet people with the same interests all in a family friendly and wildly entertaining venue. The guests for this year’s installment are yet to be announced, but if last year’s event was any indication, the 2015 version will be bigger and better than ever.

The Calgary International Children’sFestival is being held this year May 20-23. This festival is all about the little ones and is billed as something that will ‘inspire, delight and surprise’ both children and their families alike as you join local, national and international artists in this family friendly event. Watch shows, visit the many booths, dance and wiggle and just have a great time being young… this is what the Children’s Festival is all about.

Who doesn’t love to laugh? Well, from May 28-June 7th you can do just that when you check out Funnyfest—the Calgary Comedy Festival. Take part in eleven days and nights of funny with over seventy performers, and eleven themes. Tickets go on sale soon and the Funnyfest is at various locations throughout the city.

The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth is of course back, right where it belongs, this year running from July 3-July 12. TheCalgary Stampede has long been one of the city’s premier events and brings people from all over the world to the city for pancake breakfasts, the parade, the world class rodeo events and all of the fun of the midway, the foods, the rides, the games and the world class entertainment. This year, Miranda Lambert (July 9), Jason Aldean (July 11) and Blake Shelton (July 10) are just a few of the artists that are already scheduled to appear.

Last year, the Stampede outdid itself with the food offerings that included some, shall we say, different ideas so it is always fun to find out what will be included in this year’s menus. The folks are busy planning away and soon all will be revealed but you can bet this year will be all about making Stampede 2015 the best yet!

Summer is all about family outings, picnics and fireworks. Alberta’s ‘most explosive festival’ is GlobalFest and it is the biggest annual pyromusical festival in town. It runs this year from August 20-29th at Elliston Park and features fireworks from China, Spain, Vietnam and the Philippines along with twenty cultural pavilions, 12 ethnic food booths and three stages. There is also a Tipi Village and an international night market to enjoy as well as adult and children’s entertainment. If you plan to attend, take your own lawn chairs and blankets to sit on and make a night of it out under the stars.

This August 28-September 7th are the dates for Calgary Pride, this year marking twenty five years of pride in the city! The numerous activities, the festival and parade are all aimed at supporting diversity and inclusiveness of everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual preference or religion. Calgary Pride is held at Shaw Millennium Park and includes entertainment stages, beer gardens and a family zone.

The 13th Annual CalgaryInternational Film Festival is an eleven day showcase of films from Canada and forty countries around the world. This year, the fest runs from September 18-28th and offers gala events, screenings, awards and presentations, not to mention question and answer periods and panels and film talks that are open to the public. Tickets will go on sale and more information will become available come the summer of 2015.

Of course 2015 is also sprinkled with the annual summer festivals that we have come to enjoy that highlight cultures, countries or neighbourhoods. There is the every entertaining Shakespeare in the Park, the growing Calgary Folk Festival, and many shows and events throughout the year around town to keep us all entertained. Then we have the fall months that are busy with pumpkin carving, corn mazes, petting zoos, hay rides and ScreamFest, and they will once again lead us into the busy Christmas season.

The New Year of 2015 is shaping up to be a great one, again, in the city of Calgary. Whether you like to laugh, watch live sports or concerts or enjoy getting out with the family and learning something new, there is something for you to enjoy this coming year.