Halloween in January brings the chills to a month that deserves it

It’s the scariest month of the year for many: January.

Christmas has died its slow death, the bills are howling at the door, and winter has its icy grip around the throat of this part of the world.

How could it possibly get any scarier?

Well, how ’bout plunking Halloween at the end of it.

That’s what the Major Minor Music Project are doing with an all-ages event on Saturday night at the Albert Park Radisson Heights Community Association.

The group, which was conceived as a way to help get newcomers get involved in the community  and to foster an all-ages scene in the city, are hosting a night of music at the hall, with all of the trappings one comes to expect during October’s original dress-up day.

Prior to Saturday’s show, organizer Graham Mackenzie spoke with theYYSCENE.

Q: Why Halloween in January?

A: Well what we’ve been using as the tagline is that January has been known as the month for the highest levels of depression and sadness, and the lowest levels of Halloween, so we figured if we mix those together something good can come from it.

Also, there’s a lot of benefits and stuff in December, but nothing really in January. So this is also a fundraiser for the Distress Centre and for Major Minor all ages. So 100 per cent of the money is going to creating all ages events and to the Distress Centre.

Q: What acts do you have performing?

A: The band Numenorean, who are going to have a really big year, they’re going on a world tour and they signed to a pretty major label last year and they released their album on it. This is their first-ever all-ages show in Calgary … It’s a pretty big deal. 

It’s more of a heavier night to go with Halloween and spooky. There’s also the Outlaws of Ravenhurst, who get dressed as knights, like back in the medieval times, and they’re really great. And Hammerdrone is releasing an album in the next month as well, so they’re going to have a really good year.

It’s a lot of up-and-coming heavy music. It’s a cross-section of what’s really going on, and the really good things in the heavy scene — celebrating the heavy music here in Calgary that we’re really fortunate to have. It’s a spotlight on that.

Q: And a lot of these acts don’t play all-ages. Most of them are bar bands, so kids can’t usually get their dose of local heavy.

A: Yeah, a lot of them don’t and there’s not a lot of opportunity.

Q: What else do you have planned for the evening?

A: We’re also going to have a pop-up comic book store — Phoenix Comics has come onboard to help us out. And there’s also going to be some graphic novelists there to answer questions, they’ve started their own graphic novels here in Calgary, and there’s going to be a question table along with the pop-up comic store.

We’re really encouraging people to get dressed up and Don’s Hobby Shop on Centre Street is sponsoring it, so there will be prizes for best costumes and they’ll have gift certificates and stuff for people who really get into it. We’re hoping it’s going to be a big thing and we’re hoping it really gets a good response and we can hold it every year.

Q: Obvious question: What are you going as?

A: I’m going as a monk. (Laughs) A monk or a cockroach.

Q: That’s quite the wild swing. It’s just how you feel when you wake up on Saturday?

A: (Laughs) Yup.

Halloween In January features Numenorean, Outlaws of Ravenhurst, Pill Crusher, Solid Brown, Heavy Weather, Iron Tusk, Hammerdrone and others and takes place Saturday night at Albert Park Radisson Heights Community Association (1310 28 Street S.E.). For information click here.

Mike Bell has been covering the Calgary music scene for the past 25 years with publications such as VOX, Fast Forward, the Calgary Sun and, most recently, the Calgary Herald. He is currently the music writer and content editor for, and the co-host of the show Saved By the Bell, which airs Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. on CJSW 90.9 FM. He likes beer. Buy him one. Follow him at Twitter/@mrbell_23 and email him at