ArtsTop Picks

Top picks for getting out June 20 – 26 including Songs of David Bowie, Sled Island and Drags Benny

This week is a great week to live in Calgary (well, all weeks are, but go with me on this one). We have all of the things happening, all of which would make other cities jealous. And with good reason! Why? Read on!

Thursday: Some poetry for you? Check out Single Onion #160, the season wrap-up with five fab poets including John Wall Barger, Patrick Horner, dee Hobsbawn-Smith, Nikki Reimer and Nikki Sheppy over at Shelf Life Books. Christopher Duthie’s A Dinner Party opens at Vertigo Theatre and runs until June 29, and for you ’80s fans, Corey Hart’s Never Surrender Tour with guests Glass Tiger will be at the Saddledome.

Friday: Head down to Olympic plaza at 11 a.m. for The People’s Gathering, honouring the many diverse Indigenous cultures in Canada including the Métis, Inuit and First Nations for Aboriginal Awareness Week. And there’s a little festival called Sled Island happening, you may have heard of it. If you are looking for something Sleddy to do Friday afternoon, head to the Commonwealth for the Mint Records Free Sled Island Party from 2 – 7 p.m. Matt Blais will hold his album release for In Shadow and Light at The Rec Room, and the Songs of David Bowie performed by local musicians will go down at the Ironwood.

Saturday: Get to the Webber Academy Performing Arts Centre for The Dino Martinis tonight, or check out Hellnite at the County Line Saloon. Feel like some Blues? Sherman “The Tank” Doucette will be at The Blues Can.

Sunday: Drag fans! The second annual Drags Benny will take place at the Crystal Ballroom at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel featuring celebrity drag queen Jade Jolie. Go for the drag, stay for the brunch!

Tuesday: Wordfest presents Naomi Lewis with her memoir Tiny Lights For Travellers at Memorial Park Library, and Classical Revolution Calgary presents soprano Alyssa Durnie and pianist Eileen Kosasih at Gravity Espresso & Wine Bar.

Wednesday: Check out the 2019 Enbridge Famous 5 Speaker Series featuring Geeta Sankappanavar at the Crystal Ballroom, Fairmont Palliser at noon, and then later in the evening you can see Matt Storm and Ivan Hartle at The Blues Can. Lots to do!

There is so much more going on in this city than you can imagine. Check out all of the listings to plan your week ahead!

(If you would like to support independent local arts and culture journalism in Calgary, please consider becoming a patron of theYYSCENE by clicking here and donating to our Patreon campaign. Thank you.)

Kari Watson is a writer and former Listings Editor of FFWD Weekly, and continues to work within the Calgary arts & culture scene to promote the city’s numerous and varied events. Contact her at