50 things to do in Calgary this May

Dec 19 2017, 11:24 am

Planing ahead? Here is our list of the top events happening in Calgary this May.

For a complete list of events, check out our Calgary Buzz events calendar.


Free things to do

Spring Design Workshop

  • What: award-winning interior decorator Katie Rioux and designer and artist Vandy Midha will teach you spring-specific design tips. Learn how to make you personal spaces even more beautiful and add original art to various spaces.
  • Where: The Commons Calgary – 150 1900 11th Street SE
  • When: Wednesday, May 4 from 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Cost: Free, RSVP to [email protected]

Inglewood’s Girls Night Out

  • What: Over 50 participating vendors in Inglewood will be open late. There will be exclusive cocktail hours and discounts at your favourite boutiques. Take your girls out for a night of shopping in Inglewood.
  • Where: Inglewood Calgary – 9th Avenue SE
  • When: Thursday, May 5 from 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Jane’s Walks

  • What: In conjunction with free neighbourhood walks all over the world, join in on walking tours in Calgary. There are close to 60 walks to choose from to get to know our city including The Beautiful Beltline, Canyon Meadows Pathways and Parks, and Glenmore Historical Walk.
  • Where: Various locations – check online
  • When: Friday, May 6 to Sunday, May 8
  • Cost: Free

Farm Safety Day

  • What: This one day educational program welcomes Grade 6 to 9 classes increase their awareness and understanding of rural and farm safety.
  • Where: Stampede Park, Agrium Western Event Centre
  • When: Thursday, May 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Food and drink festivals

YYC Taco Fiesta 2016

  • What: Combining food and charity, YYC Taco Fiesta, a six day long festival celebrating tacos, makes its debut in Calgary this year.
  • When: Now until Thursday, May 5
  • Where: Various venues throughout the city (click here for participating restaurants)

Calgary International Beerfest

  • What: Sample more than 500 different beers on site, take part in beer seminars, enjoy the live entertainment, and much more.
  • Where: BMO Centre, Halls A-E – 20 Roundup Way SW
  • When: Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7
  • Cost: $19 (general admission); $30 (weekend pass)

Alberta Burger Fest

  • What: A province wide competition where burgers and restaurants are highlighted to raise funds for Charity. 10% of your purchase will go to charity then you vote and the winner will be the Burger champion of their municipality.
  • Where: Various Locations
  • When: Friday, May 6 to Monday, May 16


  • What: The second annual gin-centric celebration is back giving you a chance to sample a variety of gin-inspired cocktails carefully crafted for the event.
  • Where: Various locations around downtown
  • When: Wednesday, May 18 to Wednesday, June 1

Farmers Markets

Calgary Farmers’ Market

  • What: Full of fresh food and free entertainment as well as many different vendors to visit this little market is the perfect spot to visit during the spring.
  • Where: 510 77th Avenue SE
  • When: Thursday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Crossroads Market

  • What: Posses farm-fresh produce and tasty treats plus lost of unique finds from the large variety of vendors.
  • Where: Cross Roads Market – 1235 26th Avenue SE
  • When: Friday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Symons Valley Ranch

  • What: Visit the many different vendors and explore what the Symons Valley ranch has to offer.
  • Where: Symons Valley Ranch – 14555 Symons Valley Road
  • When: Tuesday to Sunday, various times

DJ Market

  • What: The family owned and operated business has been operating for over 20 years and carries fruits and vegetables produced in Alberta and British Columbia.
  • Where: 4645 12th Street SE
  • When: Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday and holidays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers’ Market

  • What: Head to Hillhurst Sunnyside where they’ll bring the the best in high-quality local food, live music, and more.
  • Where: 1320 5th Avenue NW
  • When: Every first and third Wednesday of the month until May 4 from 3 to 7 p.m.

*The outdoor season opens May 18

Marda Loop Farmers’ Market

  • What: Get a taste of the “urban culture” where you can buy handcrafted goods and locally sourced food.
  • Where: MLCA Community Hall – 3130 16th Street SW
  • When: TBA – likely opens at the end of May

Festivals and other events

Calgary Performing Arts Festival

  • What: Formally known as the Kiwanis Festival, this display of amateur talent in Calgary will surely amaze you.
  • Where: Mount Royal University – 4825 Mt Royal Gate SW
  • When: Monday, April 30 to Saturday, May 7

Calgary New Music Festival

  • What: The second annual week-long festival is presented by New Works Calgary. The diversity of today’s new music will be presented by a variety of Calgary musicians and ensembles in venues all over the city.
  • Where: Various Locations
  • When: Saturday, April 30 to Monday, May 9
  • Cost: $75 for festival passes

Cinco de Mayo Tequila Celebration

  • What: Tequila expert Eric Lorenz is hosting a night of tequila education. Eric is the first person outside of Mexico to gain the title of Master Catador, the equivalent of a Tequila Sommelier. Learn the difference between Mezcals and Reposados, what makes each tequila unique, and how the terroir can affect the flavours that we are tasting.
  • Where: Craft Cellars – 1345 32nd Avenue NE
  • When: Thursday, May 5 from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Cost: $40

Retail Therapy Night Market

  • What: Head down to Festival Hall in Inglewood where Clothing Bar Boutique is hosting a fashion and shopping event. You’ll see a fashion show, get hors d’oeuvres and drinks and get to do some shopping. The night is in support local charity Juno House, an organization that supports adolescent girls’ and young women’s mental health.
  • Where: Festival Hall – 1215 10th Avenue SE
  • When: Thursday, May 5 from 6:30 to 10 p.m.
  • Cost: $35

Alberta Bike Swap

  • What: The event is consignment-based and every bike sold is fully inspected by a bike tech prior to being displayed. Half of all the profits go to charity – last year they donated nearly $10,000. To rack a bike, sellers must pay $10 if they’re an AMA member and $15 if they’re not.
  • When: Saturday, May 7 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Where: City Centre Parkade – 340 10th Avenue SW
  • Event Page: facebook.com/Calgary-Bike-Swap

14th Annual Calgary Book Drive and Sale

  • What: Servant Anonymous Society of Calgary is hosting its 14th annual book drive and sale.
  • Where: Crossroads Market – 1235 26th Avenue SE
  • When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 6 to 15

Hidden Gems Film Festival 2016

A still from the film Angry Indian Goddesses (Jungle Book Entertainment)

Image: Angry Indian Goddesses (Jungle Book Entertainment)

  • What: The annual Hidden Gems Film Festival will be celebrating the theme of women in India this year when it opens in Calgary this May. The festival will present screenings of several Indian films, including Partu (One Who Comes Back), to be attended by director Nitin Adsul, and the Canadian premiere of Ottaal (Trap).
  • Where: Alberta College of Art and Design – 1407 14th Avenue NW
  • When: May 6 – 8 and May 13 – 15
  • Tickets: Available online – annual membership costs $20; individual tickets for non-members are $15.


  • What: This year’s event will open up the conversation around revolutions and how each individual bares witness to revolutions in their own lives and communities.
  • Where: Libin Theatre at the Cumming School of Medicine – Health Sciences Centre, Foothills Campus – 3330 Hospital Drive NW
  • When: Saturday, May 7 from 12 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $92 – $149. Tickets available online.

Adults Only Night at TELUS Spark

  • What: Looking ahead and exploring the ‘Future of Humanity‘ at this months Adults Only Night. Where might biomedical tech take us? Do we want to go there? There will be free reign to all galleries, a fully licenced bar and music to jam along to.
  • Where: TELUS Spark – 220 St Georges Drive NE
  • When: Thursday, May 12 from 6 to 10 p.m
  • Cost: $19.95 18+

Calgary Reads Big Book Sale

  • What: At the 14th annual event, more than one million used books can be purchased over the 3 day event. There will also be a Jazz and Books Night on Saturday and children’s story tent on Sunday.
  • Where: Calgary Curling Club – 720 3rd Street NW
  • When: Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    Sunday, May 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Cost: $2 for adults

Splash of Red Gala

  • What: The fourth annual Splash of Red Gala will be held at the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary in May, to raise funds – and awareness – in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
  • Where: Fairmont Palliser, Alberta Ballroom – 133 9th Avenue SW
  • When: Saturday, May 14 at 7 p.m.
  • Cost: Tickets available online.

Fair Tales Film Festival

  • What: The annual LGBTQA film festival returns with events guaranteed to provoke, challenge, and entertain.
  • When: May 20 to 28
  • Contact: 
403-244-1956 or online

Colin Mochrie and Wayne Jones

  • What: Enjoy a night of improv comedy at its finest. ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’ star Colin Mochrie is performing alongside Toronto-based comedian and executive producer of White Rhino Comedy, Toronto’s hottest improv comedy show.
  • Where: Martha Cohen Theatre – 220 9th Avenue SE
  • When: Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $37.02 – $42.27

Serbian Fest

  • What: Experience Serbian culture with dances, sports, heritage, food, and much more.
  • Where: Serbian Orthodox Church – 16025 243rd Avenue E
  • When: May 21 and 22

Calaway Park’s Grand Opening Weekend

  • What: Enjoy a day of family fun at Calaway Park. With over 32 rides, treats and games there’s something for everyone. Park opens for the season on May 21.
  • Where: Calaway Park – 24503 Range Rd. 33
  • When: Saturday, May 21 to Monday, October 10
  • Cost: $29 to $37.95

HIGH Fitness Night Out

  • What: Enjoy an evening of fitness, fashion and food. The night will include a pre-workout fashion show, a workout, shopping at pop-up shops (HEMM and Apt 22) and healthy refreshments, including cold pressed juice from Juice Because and snacks from Workshop.
  • Where: Theatre Junction Grand – 608 1st Street SW
  • When: Wednesday, May 25 from 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Cost: $25

Calgary International Children’s Festival

  • What: Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the CICF introduces young minds to the inspiration, creativity, and fun of live performance. Enjoy performances from the likes of Fred Penner, Splash’N Boots and many more.
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: May 25 to 28

The Royal Canadian Circus SPECTAC!

  • What: Four generations of Canadians bring SPECTAC to Calgary and it’s an experience your family shouldn’t miss. See circus acts like the flying trapeze, the human swing, aerial strap, silk artistry and much more.
  • Where: Spruce Meadows – 18011 Spruce Meadows Way and
    Crossroads Furniture Mart, 2222 18 Ave. N.E
  • When: Thursday, May 26 to Sunday, June 5
  • Cost: From $30 online

Market Collective

  • What: From art, to clothing, to woodworking, this market sells everything your little local-loving heart could possible desire. The Market Collective aims to engage and empower the community towards positive growth.
  • Where: Chinese Cultural Centre – 197 1st Street SW
  • When: Friday, May 27 from 4 to 9 p.m.
    Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m Click here for more.
  • Cost: $5 for the whole weekend (kids free)


  • What: See Canada’s emerging designers and artists at PARKSHOW 2016. The event will take place over two days and there will be PARK Pop-up Shops available throughout both evenings.
  • Where: Chinook Centre – 6455 Macleod Trail SW
  • When: Friday, May 27 to Saturday, May 28
  • Cost: From $40

Body Worlds Vital

  • What: Celebrating the human body in its healthy, vibrant, and optimal self. Body Worlds is one of the first showcases to provide human specimens on display.
  • Where: TELUS Science Centre – 220 St. George’s Drive NE
  • When: Now until Tuesday, May 31
  • Cost: $24.95 for adults (18 to 64), $22.95 for seniors (65 and over), $20.95 for youth (13 to 17), $17.95 for children (3 to 12)

Arts and theatre

The Light in the Piazza at Theatre Calgary

  • What: The Light in the Piazza has won six Tony Awards and features music that will take your breath away.
  • Where: Theatre Calgary – 220 9th Avenue SE
  • When: Now until Sunday, May 22
  • Cost: Tickets available online.

Michael Jackson’s Back from the Future

  • What: Doc and Marty need to travel back through time to meet a Mega-Popstar-Icon because the fate of the future may lie in his sequined-gloved hand.
  • Where: Jubilations Dinner Theatre – 1002 37th Street SW
  • When: Now until June 26
  • Cost: $67 and up

Flora and Fawna’s Field Trip

  • What: No mean girls allowed when it comes to best friend duo Flora and Fawna friend circle. They are creating a safe place for girls just like them by launching The NaturElles, a social group with a difference. It’s a funny, heartwarming and surprising performance that shows the power, and the price, of being different.
  • Where: Lunchbox Theatre – 115 9th Avenue SE
  • When: Monday, May 2 to Saturday, May 21
  • Cost: $25

Love Lies Bleeding

  • What: The Alberta Ballet presents it’s final performance of the season. Featuring 14 classic songs by rock legends Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Love Lies Bleeding depicts a musician’s rise to fame, exploring the trials, sacrifices and triumphs of achieving superstardom.
  • Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – 1415 14th Avenue NW
  • When: Thursday, May 5 to Saturday, May 7
  • Cost: $29 and up. Tickets available online


  • What: A twist on the classic tale of Cinderella. Cowtown Opera presents its opera Ella. Instead of going to a ball, she’s going to the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. Enjoy the love story told in modern day with a fun sic-fi twist.
  • Where: Festival Hall – 1215 10th Avenue SE
  • When: May 26 to 28
  • Cost: $38


Sarah Slean

  • What: Fans of Sarah Slean can expect the unexpected when the musician teams up with The Wild West New Music Ensemble on May 4. The ensemble is made up of some of Canada’s biggest and best musicians, many of whom are involved in Calgary’s Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall – 205 8th Avenue SE
  • When: Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Tickets available online for $40. All ages

Oliver Heldens

  • What: Dutch DJ Oliver Heldens made a huge splash in 2013 with “Gecko”, which prompted EDM legend Tiesto to sign the rising star to his label immediately.
  • When: Friday, May 6, 2016 at 9 p.m.
  • Where: Marquee Beer Market & Stage – 4630 Macleod Trail S
  • Cost: Tickets available online for $45. 18+

The Who

  • What: Fans can expect to hear classics hits like “My Generation” in addition to the theme songs from CSICSI: Miami and CSI: New York.
  • Where: Scotiabank Saddledome – 555 Saddledome Rise SE
  • When: Tuesday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Tickets available online from $54.45 to $164.45. All ages

Bif Naked

  • What: She’s a singer, a songwriter, and a motivational speaker, and now Bif Naked can officially add “author” to her resume: her memoir I, Bificus was published last month to rave reviews. Expect to hear stories from the singer’s book in addition to hits like “Spaceman” and “I Love Myself Today.”
  • Where: Marquee Beer Market & Stage – 4630 Macleod Trail S
  • When: Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m.
  • Cost: Tickets available online for $24.95. 18+


  • What: Canadian idols Hedley are traveling to the Scotiabank Saddledome on May 13, but it’s opening act Carly Rae Jepsen who we’re most excited to see. Jepsen released her criminally overlooked album Emotion last year, which failed to take off despite being chockfull of cheesy pop masterpieces.
  • Where: Scotiabank Saddledome – 555 Saddledome Rise SE
  • When: Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m.
  • Cost: Tickets available online from $39.50 to $79.50. All ages


  • What: The low-key superstar, born Kevin Chapman, is a veteran of the Ultra Music Festival and plays Flames Central on May 14 as part of his 20-date North American tour.
  • When: Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Flames Central – 219-8th Ave SW, Calgary
  • Cost: Tickets available at the Flames Central box office for $20. 18+

Selena Gomez

[youtube id=”9h30Bx4Klxg”]

  • What: Selena Gomez brings her Revival Tour to Calgary on May 17. Surprisingly, Gomez has yet to receive a single Grammy nomination despite having scored a handful of hits, but she did take home the prestigious “Best Artist With A Cameraphone” trophy at the O Music Awards in 2012
  • Where: Scotiabank Saddledome – 555 Saddledome Rise SE
  • When: Tuesday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Tickets available online from $50.50 to $116. All ages

E.T. Film with Orchestra

  • What: The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra performs John Williams Academy Award winning score live with the blockbuster film playing alongside on the big screen.
  • Where: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
    1415 14th Avenue NW
  • When: Friday, May 20 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 21 at 2 p.m.
  • Cost: $20 to $80


Skyline Luge

  • What: For the more adventurous side in you, try The Skyline Luge. It’s a three-wheeled cart, part go-kart and part toboggan that is thrilling for all ages and abilities.
  • Where: Skyline Luge Calgary – 88 Canada Olympic Road SW
  • When: May 14 to October 9
  • Cost: $15 for 1 ride; $23 for 2 rides; $32 for 5 rides

Scotiabank Calgary Marathon

  • What: The Scotiabank Calgary Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifier and is 42.195 kilometres or 26.2 miles long. There are over 15,000 people expected to participate this year so register soon.
  • Where: All race-day activities will start and finish in Stampede Park
  • When: Sunday, May 29
  • Cost: $90 to $125
DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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