5 of the coolest winter festivals to check out in Calgary

Jan 3 2023, 7:39 pm

We aren’t going to let some cold weather stop us from having a good time. There are a ton of great winter festivals in Calgary to enjoy.

There are plenty of winter festivals happening in early 2023 to help beat the blues that come after Christmas.

Here are five of the “coolest” winter festivals and events to hit up in Calgary over the next few months.

Chinook Blast

Neil Zeller/Chinook Blast

Chinook Blast returns for another year, celebrating the best of Calgary’s winter in the heart of the city with live music, light and art installations, theatrical performances, outdoor sports, cultural experiences, night markets, and more. New this year is Nitro Rallycross, a high-octane motorsport event on snow and ice featuring world-class drivers like Travis Pastrana at Stampede Park from February 4 to 5. Snow Rodeo FIS Snowboard Slopestyle and Halfpipe World Cups will be held at Canada Olympic Park from February 6 to 12.

Calgarians can experience the Chinook Blast Art Hub in downtown Calgary, sprawling from the East Village through Olympic Village and Stephen Avenue during the three weeks.

When: January 27 to February 12, 2023
Time: Varies by programming
Where: In and around downtown Calgary, with the Chinook Blast Hub centrally located around Olympic Plaza (228 8th Avenue SE, Calgary)
Cost: FREE public programming at the Chinook Blast Hub, other costs vary by event

BIG Winter Classic

BIG Winter Classic is a four-day music and arts festival, celebrating the vibrancy of Calgary outside of just the warm summer months. Taking place in some of the city’s coolest venues, this festival mashes up music, art, local craft beer, and the “best and funniest” Calgarians for an epic time.

When: January 25 to 29, 2023
Time: Varies by show
Where: Various locations across the city
Cost: $117.93 for weekend passes

Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture


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What: Ethnik is part of the celebration of Black History (Excellence) Month during the last week of February. Members of the Afro-Canadian and Caribbean communities come together to celebrate diversity, inclusivity, and to share their vibrant cultural traditions with other communities from across Canada. The 2023 edition will be a display of creative genius from artists in Calgary, other parts of Canada, and around the world to the viewing pleasure of audiences online across the globe.

When: February 24 and 25
Where: TELUS Convention Centre (136 8th Avenue SE, Calgary)
Cost: $25

Block Heater

What: Featuring 32 artists and 13 separate events, Block Heater lets you choose your own adventure at diverse Inglewood and downtown venues. Wave your hands in the air at The Palace Theatre, enjoy a glass of wine at The Ironwood, dress up at the Jack Singer Concert Hall, let the lyrics envelop you at Central United Church, dance or chill with friends at The Horizon Heating stage at Festival Hall, skate and groove around our free stage at Olympic Plaza.

When: February 9 to 12, 2023
Time: Varies by show
Where: Various locations around the city
Cost: Starting at $30

High-Performance Rodeo


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For three wild weeks in early 2023, One Yellow Rabbit’s High-Performance Rodeo, Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts, gives local audiences a chance to watch touring performances from across Canada, acclaimed international shows, and new and experimental work from artists right here in YYC.

When: January 16 to February 5, 2023
Time: Varies by performance
Where: Various venues in Calgary
Cost: Ticket prices vary by performance


Peter KleinPeter Klein

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