As the snow melts, the city’s festival season kicks off. April is also jam-packed with concerts and cultural events, particularly the last weekend. Check out our roster of can’t-miss dates for this month.
The Calgary Spoken Word Festival
April 1 – 6
Devoted to literary expression, this festival features a plethora of poetry performances, workshops and panel discussions by Canadian and international artists. Highlighting the week is the energetic Ink Spot Poetry Collective slam competition, in which writers have three minutes to recite their work in front of a rowdy audience.
Kings of Leon
After a three-year hiatus, rockers Kings of Leon are back on tour following the release of their sixth album, Mechanical Bull. While the band has matured, their trademark gritty Southern blues sound remains.
Kenny vs. Spenny vs. Canada
Known for hilarious antics on their off-the-cuff competition/comedy TV show, these two frenemies are facing off on stage at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino.
Art of the Cocktail
April 5 – 7
Celebrate the artistry of the mixed drink at Art of the Cocktail. The spirited three-day mix and mingle kicks off with two grand tastings in the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts Jack Singer Concert Hall lobby. The country’s coolest cocktail creators take part in the Best Canadian Bartender Competition. They also host workshops at top cocktail establishments including Milk Tiger Lounge and the Bourbon Room at National. As well, a three-martini lunch event pairs historical versions of the drink with food.
Calgary Underground Film Festival
April 7 – 13
The Globe Cinema plays host to this festival featuring some of the best local and international indie filmmakers. Film categories include documentaries, animation, short films and feature films. This year’s line-up runs the gamut from the sex comedy R100 by writer and director Hitoshi Matsumoto to the irreverent collection of short films titled People are Strange.
Calgary Flames Home Game
April 9, 11
On April 9, Calgary’s NHL team battles the L.A. Kings in the second-last home game of the regular season. They’ll go up against the Winnipeg Jets on April 11 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The most recognizable voice in comedy performs his stand-up routine at Yuk Yuk’s Calgary.
Chris Millar Exhibition
April 11 – May 10
The works of Calgary artist Chris Millar have a strong air of the farcical about them. A key piece in his latest exhibition at TrépanierBaer is “Reap,” a freestanding, fairy-like sculpture festooned with a riotous mass of tiny found objects. Decadently excessive, his art seems to simultaneously lampoon and revere pop culture.
An Evening with Amanda Lang
Journalist and CBC correspondent talks business, innovation and The Power of Why, sharing tales from the business world and her own off-camera life.
A mother, a daughter and three possible dads. Set on a beautiful Greek island and featuring ABBA’s timeless pop hits, this feel-good Broadway smash has had audiences singing along for over a decade.
California Wine Fair
Raise a glass (or two) at the California Wine Fair. This annual event provides a great opportunity to meet winemakers and sample some of the best labels from the Golden State. A silent auction will feature many hard-to-find wines, some made available only for this occasion. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.
Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo
April 24 – 27
Canada’s largest Canadian-owned pop culture event is back with a bang. This massive convention and trade show encompasses genres such as sci-fi, horror, anime and children’s entertainment. More than 60,000 pop culture devotees and hundreds of exhibitors are expected to pack the BMO Centre for the event. Its aisles will be lined with memorabilia and collectibles. Dressed in costumes from shows such as Star Trek and Doctor Who, fans eagerly line up for comic book artist signings and to have photos taken with a score of television and movie personalities. The event’s impressive celebrity guest list includes Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead), Anthony Daniels (Star Wars) and Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon).
Calgary Dance Stampede
April 24 – 27
Canada’s largest country, swing and line-dancing event features over 100 workshops. Beginners and veterans alike can learn a variety of dance steps or watch the pros as they compete. Saturday night features the Campfire Ball dinner Show in which world-class dancers perform everything from the waltz to West Coast Swing.
The UK’s new It Girl, known for her piercing vibrato and emotive delivery, performs at MacEwan Hall.