Friday, June 16, 2017

Festival, Events & Protests - How to Find Them

Sometimes people ask me how I know about the events I photograph. For the most part, many of them are events that I go to every year. Then there are sources I subscribe to either by email or on Facebook to keep me informed.  Plus there are friends who tell me about events or festivals I might not have heard about. Which is entirely possible. Calgary has become really diverse and I can barely keep up with all the cultural celebrations that pop up.

If you can't find a weekend festival, then you are not looking. I'm always looking. If there's a fair, festival, pow wow, protest, or cultural celebration that you'd like to share add a comment.

I thought that I had already made a blog of my event sources, but apparently not. So here are lists of a few events I like to photograph and resources.

Festivals & Events

For festival and event lists try these:

Some of my favorite festivals/events:
  • Calgary Comic Expo Parade of Wonders - It's always fun photographing the cosplayers and people who just want to be comic book characters. 

  • Canada Day - This year is Canada's 150th anniversary and there are a ton of things happening in downtown Calgary, and tons of things (musicians, pow-wow dancers, people, show cars, fireworks...) to photograph. If you want something a little less hectic, just south of Calgary is the Canada Day Millarville Races

  • Calgary Stampede - Whether you go to the parade, pay to stroll Stampede Park, or catch the freebies on Stephen Avenue, the Calgary Stampede is a dream to photograph.

  • Inglewood Sunfest - Street performers, musicians, and local shops put on a pretty good show.

  • Calgary Carifest - After a taking a break last year, looks like Carifest is back and active on Facebook.

  • Calgary Pride - Feel the love! Although the actual festival is more than a week long, I usually only go to the Pride Parade, which keeps getting bigger every year, and the party that follows.  This year the parade route has changed and the party has moved to Princes Island Park.

  • Zombie Walk - Totally gruesome fun, usually the second Saturday in October.  With only a Facebook page, the annual Zombie Walk is totally grassroots organized.  This one is touch and go (or run) for me, depending on if I have to work.  I just discovered a Calgary Zombie Survivor, an obstacle course run that's happening in August at the Millarville Racetrack. Not sure, but I think this is the one that started in Cochrane.

  • Remembrance Day - Ceremonies take place in a few key areas in Calgary, notably Memorial Park, Museum of the Regiments, and the Field of Poppies (Memorial Drive west of Centre Street Bridge).


Protests are different than festivals in that some are annual, like Earth Day in April, or spur of the moment, like the Women's March or the March for Science that happened as a reaction to Donald Trump becoming president. A few you can mark on your calendar, while others you will need to connect with activist sites to stay informed.

Activist Facebook sites to follow:

Annual activist events:

The United Nations has a list of International Days commemorating various causes. Here are a few that I have covered in Calgary.
  • International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (a weekend close to March 21)
  • 4/20 (April 20) - An international rally to legalize marijuana. Although with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau soon to make pot legal, I'm not sure where this group is going in Canada. Here is the Calgary chapter.
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • Calgary Pride Parade (first Sunday in September)

Notable Links:

For when you want to get out of the big city, take a look at these websites.

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