12 festivals to check out this February in Calgary

Jan 31 2017, 9:31 am

Calgary has seen a huge increase in festivals in the past couple of years, which is so exciting! Festivals have a magical way of lighting up a city, giving it culture and making it a vibrant, happening place to be.

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Escape from your regular day-to-day activities and check out these 12 fun festivals happening in YYC this February. They are the perfect way to switch up date night or spend an exciting an afternoon with your family, while supporting Calgary’s arts and culture.  

High Performance Rodeo

  • What: Featuring theatre, music, dance and multidisciplinary art, High Performance Rodeo is Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts. Switch up the classic dinner and a movie and instead check out this cultural festival and see performances from major YYC arts organizations, such as Theatre Junction, Vertigo Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, Lunchbox Theatre and more!
  • Where: At various theaters around Calgary
  • When: January 5 to February 2
  • Cost: Price varies depending on the individual shows. Get a festival pass for $120, which is a bundle of 4 tickets and choose from 16 eligible productions

Exposure: Alberta’s Photography Festival

  • What: If photography is one of your hobbies or interests, then this festival will be right up your alley! The Alberta Photography Festival offers various events and exhibitions that will be happening around Calgary and surrounding areas, throughout the month of February, that will feature subjects in the past, present, and future, from experienced image makers, amateurs and professionals, and photographers of all ages and interest levels. Check out this list of exhibitions and events scheduled to occur during the festival!
  • Where: Various places around Alberta
  • When: February 1 to 28
  • Cost: Varies per event

YYC Hot Chocolate Festival

  • What: Drink Hot Chocolate and support a good cause, sounds easy enough right? Grab a “Drink Passport” and try as many hot chocolates from as many vendors as possible in order to be entered to win some fun prizes. The competition is high this year, as the list of specialty hot chocolates are looking mighty yummy! Some of the vendors that will be participating in the festival are Fiasco Gelato, Monogram, Bridgeland Market. Boxcar Café, Analog, Vendome and more!
  • Where: Various locations around Calgary – see list here
  • When: February 1 to 28
  • Cost: $1 dollar from every drink will be donated to Meals on Wheels Calgary

Canmore Winter Carnival

  • What: Winter in the Rocky Mountains is truly magical and the Town of Canmore invites you to come celebrate this beautiful season with them. For two weeks there will be a variety of snowy, family friendly indoor and outdoor events happening throughout the town, such as Ice Carving Competitions, Log Sawing Competitions, a pooch parade, Snowy Owl Kid n Mutt Races and more!
  • Where: Throughout the town of Canmore
  • When: February 4 to 12
  • Cost: Varies per activity

Just Acts Play Festival

  • What: This festival encompasses 4 individual shows, written and directed by Calgary artists, that examine the underlying theme of ‘mental illness(es).”
  • Where: Knox United Church Lower Theatre – 506 4th Street SW
  • When: February 14 to 19
  • Cost: $20/ person

Family Quest at Heritage Park

  • What: If you’re looking for a fun way to spend the Family Day Long weekend, then head down to Heritage Park and discover the magic that Gasoline Alley has to offer. Create your own custom racing flag, get your very own limited edition Gasoline Alley driver’s license, beat the racing record with a radio controlled racer and learn about some of the great drivers in history, while taking a look back at some of the trends that shaped our society and more!
  • Where: Heritage Park Historical Village – 1900 Heritage Drive SW
  • When: February 16 to 20
  • Cost: General admission (15-64 years) – $10.75, Child (3-6 years) – $5.50, Youth (7-14 years) – $6.75, Senior (65+) – $8.50

GLOW – Downtown Winter Light Festival

  • What: In honor of Canada’s 150th birthday Downtown Calgary is hosting a FREE all ages interactive light festival to kick off this special year. There will be a variety of art installations created by local artists, along with family-friendly activities and workshops all located at various locations throughout downtown.
  • Where: Downtown Calgary: see website for exact locations
  • When: February 17 to 20
  • Cost: FREE

Family FISH-tival

  • What: Fishing is a great winter and summer activity that is perfect for the whole family. Kick-off your long weekend by learning the basics of fishing through games, fun activities and various workshops happening throughout the day so you can be a pro next time you venture out on the water.
  • Where: Bow Habitat Station – 1440 17A Street SE
  • When: February 18
  • Cost: Indoor activities: $5/person (Children 3 and under – FREE), Outdoor Activities FREE

Fort Calgary Winter Carnival

  • What: This family orientated carnival is a great way to teach your kids about the history of our nation, in a fun and entertaining way through various games and learning activities. You will get the opportunity to try some frozen maple syrup at the Quebecois sugar shack, hear traditional Blackfoot winter stories, build a dream catcher, try on a Mountie uniform and more!
  • Where: Fort Calgary – 750 – 9th Avenue SE
  • When: February 20
  • Cost: Adults – $12, Seniors (65+) – $11, Students – $11, Youth (7-17 years) – $7, Children (3-6 years) – $5, Children (2 and under) FREE

Winefest Calgary

  • What: If you like wine, cheese and anything sweet, then you better get online and buy your tickets to this festival as soon as you can! Here you will spend an afternoon or evening, sampling an array of wines from famous wine regions throughout the world, while snacking on tasty hors d’oeuvres from local businesses around Calgary. You will also have the opportunity to be entered to win some pretty great door prizes that will potentially continue your wine tasting experience on to anther day – yes please!
  • Where: Stampede Park BMO Centre – 20 Roundup Way SW
  • When: February 24 and 25
  • Cost: $79-$89

WowFest Magic Arts Festival

  • What: Spend a magical day at the 5th annual WowFest Magic Arts Festival – literally! This festival consists of two separate shows, both full of magical fun, exaggeration and mystery that is entertaining at any age!
  • Where: McKenzie Lake Community Hall – 16198 McKenzie Lake Way SE
  • When: February 25
  • Cost: $15

Calgary Mid-Winter Blues Festival

  • What: Take a break from your usual routine and spice up things up this winter by celebrating the wonderful genre of blues music, at the Calgary Mid-Winter Blues Festival. The festival consists of an entire week of blues workshops, concerts and dance parties – sounds like a fun time to us!
  • Where: Venues all around Calgary
  • When: February 27- March 4
  • Cost: Varies per performance