Femme Wave announces lineup, plans for fourth year of Calgary’s feminist arts fest

When you’re established, you can tinker, you can make changes, you can improve and you can continue to grow.

Organizers of Calgary’s feminist arts festival Femme Wave have done just that as they head into their fourth year — adding some new elements and attempting to be even more inclusive with their event.

“Going into our fourth year, we noticed a much broader reach and received applications from artists all over North America,” said co-artistic director Kaely Cormack in a release.

“In our current social climate of #MeToo and Time’s Up activism, we know that creating space for women and non-binary artists is more relevant than ever. We’re proud to continue that fight for gender parity in the arts. Femme Wave is still desperately needed.”

Music is still a huge part of Femme Wave, which this year runs Nov. 15-18 at various locations, in various venues and in various forms around the city.

Some of the acts at this year’s fest are: Vancouver-based First Nations hip-hop and spoken-word artist JB the Firstlady; Calgary sibling duo Two Attached; local fave Samantha Savage Smith; Winnipeg pop-rockers housepanther; Saskatoon electro performer Duchess of Dub; West Coast synth explorer Kellarissa; and

Some of the events that will take place during the weekend include: the Kick-off Cabaret, Thurs, Nov 15 at Dickens Pub, which will feature film “programming on the theme of ‘collectivism and activism,’ a visual arts installation, three comedy acts, a spoken-word performance, three Alberta-based bands … (and a) zine market;  The Femme Wave Fun House, Friday, Nov. 16 at the Royal Canadian Legion #1, with two stages of music focussing on hip-hop and R&B, a site-specific visual arts exhibition, hip-hop karaoke and “a safer spaces sleep over”; an All-Day All-Ages Show Crawl through downtown on Saturday, Nov. 17 that will run across downtown Calgary, starting with a brunch show at the King Eddy before heading to the National on 10th and the McHugh House; and a DJ night later that evening, Dance this Mess Around, at the Eddy.

The rest of the weekend will feature film, visual arts, comedy, workshops and other special events.

Festival wristbands are available now from for $70, with individual tickets and the complete lineup and schedule of events to come.

(Photo of JB the First Lady courtesy Melanie Orr