Calgary planning to host six-week-long winter festival in January

Jul 27 2020, 8:33 pm

It might be the height of summer right now, but the City of Calgary is already looking at ways to warm up this winter.

A release from the city announced a brand new winter festival coming to YYC this January aptly named Chinook Blast.

The festival is expected to run for six weeks and is the collaboration of over 55 partners including tourism, sport, arts, and neighbourhood organizations.

“Calgary’s arts, culture, and sports scene is vibrant no matter the season,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi in the release.

“Chinook Blast is our way of putting a stamp on the winter weather as a badge of pride. With the partners assembled on this festival, there will be enough energy flowing throughout our city to keep everyone warm. These six weeks are going to be something special whether you’re from here or coming to experience the best of Calgary in the winter.”

Given that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic still presents a very real threat to public health, and likely will continue to do so well into 2021, the release noted that adjustments and protocols will be in place to ensure the safety of all participating in the wide range of events planned as part of Chinook Blast.

Those events include both paid and free experiences at a number of venues throughout the city hosting music performances, art installations, sporting events, and much more.

“Research shows that 93% of Calgarians engage with the arts in one way or another – and that was pre-COVID,” said Calgary Arts Development President and CEO Patti Pon in the release.

“We also know people are really leaning on the arts during the pandemic, whether it’s picking up that dusty old guitar or attending an online concert. Chinook Blast is something we all need – a great opportunity to participate in a festival of arts and sports programming in a safe way in the heart of downtown. We are excited to be involved and even though it’s a mid-winter festival, I know Calgarians will bring all their warmth to it and I can’t wait to be part of the celebration!”

The city and partners are hoping that the inaugural festival will give Calgarians and the world at large the opportunity to see what YYC is capable of as a host city — even in the winter.

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