21 things to do in Calgary on Canada Day weekend

Jul 1 2016, 1:37 am

It’s the first official long weekend of summer.

And we’re also celebrating Canada Day!

With so much going on around town this weekend, here are some events to check out while dressed in your finest red and white. And make sure you catch some fireworks!

Canada Day 2016

Say Happy Birthday to Canada all day long. More than 250,000 people are expected to join in Canada’s 149th birthday celebrations throughout downtown with events like fireworks display off the Centre Street Bridge, Canadian Armed Forces activities, Canadian musicians on the Riverfront Avenue stage and much more.

Aboriginal Showcase and Powwow

Explore a proud part of Canada’s heritage as Prince’s Island Park comes alive with the heartbeat of our First Nations peoples, storytelling, drumming, and dancing.

Where: Prince’s Island Park – 698 Eau Claire Ave SW
When: From 10 am to 6 pm

Canadian Military

Learn more about our Canadian Armed Forces and Canada’s military history and meet members of the 41 Canadian Brigade Group, HMCS Tecumseh, and more.

Where: Prince’s Island Park – 698 Eau Claire Ave SW
When: From 10 am to 6 pm

Living Flag

Don your red and white and show off your Canadian spirit in this Canada Day tradition. The first 1000 people to check-in will receive a free Living Flag t-shirt.

Where: Fort Calgary – 750 – 9th Avenue SE
When: From noon to 1 pm

Riverfront Avenue

There’ll be family friendly activities, interactive booths, and food trucks, plus experience Francophone heritage and culture with maple sweets and music.

Where: Riverfront Avenue, between 1st Street SE and Macleod Trail SE
When: From noon to 11 pm

Riverfront Stage

Mayor Nenshi will kick off official ceremonies at 7 pm and the stage will erupt with entertainment including The Grapes of Wrath, The Zolas, and Joel Plaskett.

Where: Riverfront Avenue, at the Harry Hays Building, on the North lawn, facing the Bow River
When: From 7 to 11 pm

Olympic Plaza

Tour a market, make crafts, learn some history or visit a popular food truck all while taking in busker and stage performances at this historic downtown park.

Where: Olympic Plaza – close to the Fort Calgary, East Village and Stephen Avenue
When: From 10 am to 9 pm

Downtown Calgary

The historic Stephen Avenue Walk will host a day of entertainment including live music on the #IAMDOWNTOWN stage, plus patios, street vendors and buskers.

Where: Downtown Calgary – Stephen Avenue Walk
When: From 11 am to 8 pm

Eau Claire Market

Enjoy SHINE Youth Singers, jugglers, live music, food trucks, kids’ activities, MarketSpotYYC Artisan Market, and free ice cream for the first 1000 guests.

Where: Eau Claire Market – corner of 2nd Street and 2nd Avenue SW
When: From 11 am to 9 pm

Canada Day Outdoor Carnival

A free, fun-filled afternoon for families, including huge inflatable bouncers, face painting, a petting zoo, carnival games, Story Land, toddler play area and more.

Where: Springs Church Calgary – 924 Heritage Dr SW
When: From 11 am to 2 pm


An all-day celebration of Canada’s birthday and decades of Chinese contributions to this great country in Calgary’s Chinatown district.

Where: Approximate boundary of Chinatown is Riverfront Avenue to 4th Avenue, and 1st Street SE to 1st Street SW
When: From 9 am to 11 pm

Fort Calgary

Celebrate in the birthplace of Calgary with a free pancake breakfast, live music and entertainment, children’s crafts and petting zoo, food trucks and Indigenous arts.

Where: Fort Calgary – 750 9th Avenue SE
When: From 9 am to 4 pm

East Village Street Fair and Show & Shine

Enjoy all kinds of family fun at the fair including crafts and artisan vendors, or head to Calgary’s premier classic car show, the Show & Shine.

Where: East Village Neighbourhood
When: From 9 am to 4 pm


Against a breathtaking backdrop of Calgary’s skyline and the setting sun beyond the Canadian Rockies, the fireworks will be a spectacular end to Canada Day.

Where: Centre Street Bridge
When: 11 pm

Epic Canada Day Tent Party – YYC

An epic party of hip hop vibes, funk & breaks, indie dance, and house music, all in a 6000 sq.ft. Featuring DJ Chizum, DJ Blair Van Riesen and a bouncy castle.

Where: Shakers Fun Centre – 9900 Venture Avenue SE
When: From 9 pm to 2 am
Tickets: Available at online, $20 for general admission or $25 for VIP including shuttle bus, 18+

Grand Opening of Studio Bell

Studio Bell is ready to open and they’re celebrating with a bang on Canada Day. For the whole day, enjoy free entry but beware that entry will be on a first come first served basis.

Where: National Music Centre – 134 11th Avenue SE
When: Friday, July 1 from 10 am to 5 pm
Cost: Free

Calgary Stampeders vs Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Get in on the action as the Stampeders take on the Blue Bombers Friday night. A special Canada Day fireworks display will be held after the game.

Where: McMahon Stadium – 1817 Crowchild Trail NW
When: Friday, July 1 at 8 pm (fireworks after game)
Cost: $25 – $120. Available online


Otafest is an annual conference for anime enthusiasts which first started at the University of Calgary 1999. Fans can show their passion and appreciation of the hobby, the music videos they have created, the art they have painted and show off the costumes they have made. You will see the latest shows and videos, as well as the fondest classics, and wii get to see anime on the big screen as well as a chance for the curious to see what it’s all about.

Where: Telus Convention Centre – 120 9th Avenue SE
When: Friday, July 1 to Sunday July 3
Cost: $35 (single day admission), $60 (3 day pass)

Cyclepalooza 2016

The annual 10 day bike festival is back. Events include bike polo, Bike Maintenance 201, Bike Prom 2016, 2nd Annual YYC Bike Awards and much more. Check website for details.

Where: Various venues around town
When: Friday, July 1 to Sunday, July 10
Cost: Varies. Tickets can be purchased online

Wagonstage Children’s Theatre at the Calgary Zoo

Enjoy two 20 minute shows performed by Drama students from Wagonstage Children’s Theatre. Hippo Needs a Bath is performed in the green space between the Kitamba Café and the Rhino enclosure and The Dinosaur Club, No Babies Allowed! takes place in the Prehistoric Park Amphitheatre. Shows take place Wednesday through Sunday at 11:00 am and 1:30 pm

Where: Calgary Zoo – 1300 Zoo Road NE
When: Now until Friday, August 19
Cost: Regular admission to the Zoo

HIGH in the park

Take advantage of a special one-time only class for everyone and sweat out your Canada Day treats. HIGH Fitness is a hardcore fun fitness class that incorporates interval training with music you love, and intense easy-to-follow fitness choreography.

Where: Prince’s Island Park (Stage area) – 698 Eau Claire Avenue SW
When: Saturday, July 2 at 9 am
Cost: Free

Go Camping

Actually, go camping. Grab your tent, pack and hit the outdoors.

Where: Any of Alberta’s campgrounds
When: Whenever you are able to!

Happy Canada Day!

DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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