Beakerhead reveals initial lineup for five-day event in September

Beakerhead co-founder Jay Ingram (centre) with MLAs Richard Starke and Heather Klimchuk. Photo by Josh Naud.

The inaugural Beakerhead event taking place in Calgary from September 11 to 15 will include outdoor exhibits street performances a green carnival and midway a citywide open-air nighttime gallery a speaker and workshop series and more.

"Beakerhead will be on the ground in the air and everywhere in this city" said co-founder Jay Ingram at the official launch June 10 in the East Village. The well-known science broadcaster and writer described it as "the most amazing convergence of arts science and engineering on this planet."

Beakerhead will bring local national and international arts and engineering sectors together to "build compete and exhibit interactive works of art spectacle and entertainment" according to the media release. Although the program is still evolving and expanding some of the highlights so far include: an international engineering competition; the Sustainival fair and midway at Stampede Park fuelled by renewable energy sources; a massive outdoor gallery called Beakernight that will include illuminated art and 3D projects; pop-up structures at various locations downtown; and famous speakers to be revealed at a later date. Many of the events will be free.

Jasmine Palardy director of programs and partnerships says the combination of makers artists roboticists and more is going to make the rest of the world turn their heads. Beakerhead’s lineup involves more than 60 arts science engineering and educational participants ranging from larger organizations like Telus Spark Glenbow Museum The Banff Centre and Alberta College of Art and Design to smaller groups like Quickdraw Animation Society Truck Gallery Solarbotics and Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre .

Beakerhead was co-founded by Ingram and science communicator Mary Anne Moser an editor of two books on science in society who has a BSc in Zoology and an interdisciplinary PhD. The collaboration is the first initiative of its kind and organizers expect it will attract participants and visitors from around the world.

A list of confirmed programs is available at beakerhead.org with more events to be added later this summer.