Bits and Bibs and Beakers to Add to This Month’s To-Do List

BODY at Beakerhead

Ten years of Weird

If you’re going to celebrate double digits, do it in style.

That’s why the “mash-up of art, science, and engineering” known as Beakerhead is going all out to celebrate their 10th anniversary in the city.

This year’s event, which runs Sept. 14 to 17 at Contemporary Calgary, Millennium Park and TELUS Spark Science Centre, will be four days of free, family-friendly fun featuring more than 50 events, activities, workshops and other ways to get involved.

”For our 10th anniversary, we are thrilled to unveil an extraordinary year of cross sector collaborations, promising an exhilarating experience for all to attend,” Parker Chapple, executive director of Beakerhead, said in a release.

The main attraction this year is BODY presented by across-the-pond outdoor arts company Walk the Plank. Taking place at Millennium Park, it’s described as “an immersive after-dark installation that brings you on a journey through the systems of the human body.”

Attendees can also enjoy other things in the park such as DJs, adaptive skateboarding, performances from Cirque Nuit and, for those of age, the Beaker Bar, featuring a special blonde ale Beaker Beer produced by local brewery Cold Garden.

Other activities throughout the festival include a roller rink in Contemporary Calgary, art installations, virtual reality, robotics and, at Spark, Hack the House, “where youth teams have turned a piece of furniture into a sustainably powered, rideable machine.”

For more information and a full schedule of events, go to

Keys to Happiness

You know, sometimes we clean up pretty good as a city.

Well, culturally anyway.

Such is the case with the Honens and their events, especially the prestigious Honens International Piano Competition, which, every three years, brings to Calgary some of the finest classical pianists in the world.

This September, though, they continue their community outreach and continued classyfication of Calgary, with their 2023 annual Honens Festival.

Running from Sept. 7 to 10 in several venues and locations across our pretty city, the free and ticketed fest features performances by artists including 2022 Honens Prize Laureate Illia Ovcharenko and Ladom Ensemble.

For more information on the festival and all that Honens does, please go to 

Fine and Dandy

Another festival marking a milestone in the month is Dandyfest, which takes place on Saturday, Sept. 16. The fifth year of the adult-only beer, food and music event hosted by Calgary’s Dandy Brewing Company will feature the fare of more than 20 breweries from around North America for sippers to sample. Announced suds suppliers include Cascade (Portland), Dieu Du Ciel (Montreal), Brasserie Dunham (Dunham, QC), Alesmith (San Diego), Dageraad (Burnaby) and Nokomis (Nokomis, SK).

Also on tap at the “festival of simple pleasures,” are DJs and live local bands.

There are two sessions with limited capacity, one for the early risers/drinkers that starts at 11 a.m. and another at the more civilized 4 p.m.

For tickets and more information, go to

Back to School

If you haven’t been up and around the University of Calgary or the Alberta Children’s Hospital in a few years, you really should.

The area has changed dramatically, with the now-dubbed University District turning into a pretty fantastic 15-minute city.

Restaurants, retail, movie theatre, grocery stores, residences — it really is impressive.

So if you haven’t checked it out — or are looking for an excuse to return — stop by on Sept. 17 for the UD Block Party.

The family- and pet-friendly event at University Ave. N.W., between McLaurin Street N.W. and McCraig Street N.W., is a way to get to know the area, offering music, outdoor patios, a Lego building booth and more.

Free three-hour parking will help you walk the very walkable town within a town, and enjoy all that it has to offer.

For more information, visit

Lighting the way

Looking for a little illumination in your life?

September has a few events that should brighten your day or, rather, night.

On Sept. 8, you can experience the Chinese Lantern Festival, which takes place from 4 to 10 p.m. in Chinatown at 2 Ave. S.W. and Daqing Square (just west of the Chinese Cultural Centre).

Hosted by the Calgary Chinatown Business Improvement Area, the evening includes light and lantern displays, booths with local vendors and an assortment of food trucks. 

It’s a great way to get to know one of the city’s true cultural gems.

Looking for something a little artier, you’ll want to check out N!GHT L!GHT, which takes over the Victoria Park neighbourhood Sept. 28 to 30 

The first-time festival is a “three-night celebration of curated light, art and performance that will transform multiple venues and public spaces throughout Victoria Park … (with) projection-mapped architecture, light-art installations, music and other art forms.”

For more information, go to

There’s also the more global Lantern-Fest on Sept. 30, which is presented by the International Avenue Arts and Culture Community. 

“Inspired by the German Lantern Festival and the many other lantern festivals around the world,” the free event kicks off at Southview Community Association (2020 33 St. S.E.) where there’ll be entertainment and you can decorate paper lanterns. Then, at 7:30 p.m. you can participate in the Parade of Lanterns, which is “a walk from the community centre to Unity Park,”  which you’ll be able to explore before a procession back to the community centre.

Paint the Town Orange

For the second year, on Sept. 30 Canadians will commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation along with Orange Shirt Day “to honour the children who never returned home and the survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities.”

Throughout the day and across the country there are a number of events focussed on learning, understanding and moving forward together.

In Calgary, there are a number of events to mark the occasion.

Some of them include:

  • Pokaiks Commemorative Walk & IndigiTRAILS: Remembering Our Children event (aka Orange Shirt Day Walk), which leaves from Prince’s Island Park and is meant for participants to honour, support and stand in solidarity with survivors and victims of the residential school system.
  • The City of Calgary’s Orange Shirt Day gathering at Fort Calgary, beginning at 9 a.m. Participants are encouraged to purchase an orange shirt from any Indigenous company to show that they’re on the right side of history.
  • National Music Centre’s Studio Bell is also joining in on the day by updating the Speak Up! exhibition, which “showcases Indigenous artists who have made a social impact on music in Canada, while motivating a new generation to take action and offering a better understanding of where they come from.”
  • An evening of Métis music and conversation, featuring Métis musicians Richard Piche and Billy Joseph, at Lougheed House. The evening’s emcee Dawn Wambold, the historic site’s Indigenous Curator, will, between songs, also teach the audience the history of Métis music and instruments. Lougheed House also has a two-part exhibition — Forgotten: The Métis Residential School Experience and Remembered: The Story of Métis Children at St. Joseph’s-Dunbow Residential School — you can also explore.
  • New Blood: A Story of Reconciliation at the Big Secret Theatre in Arts Commons. The show includes poetry, music, contemporary and traditional dance, and is “inspired by the life of Chief Vincent Yellow Old Woman and his experience as a child in residential school, how he reclaimed his way of life and became chief of his people.” Directed by Deanne Bertsch, the night includes Indigenous artists such as George Littlechild, Doug Levitt, Skip WolfLeg, Chris Eagle Rib, Sho Blunderfield, and Nikko Hunt.
  • And, finally, the rest of Arts Commons will also be a hub of reconciliation events. Those include Indigenous films provided by The National Film Board; artistry and culture at the Makers Market market curated by Four Winds YYC; and the Elders Story Project, which has Indigenous elders sharing “their personal stories about their residential school experiences and their healing journeys, while demonstrating the resilience and strength of Indigenous peoples and the power of their traditional practices.” More information can be found at

The City of Calgary will also honour the day by illuminating several landmarks in orange — Olympic Plaza, TELUS Spark Science Centre, Reconciliation Bridge and the Calgary Tower.