Canadian history has been influenced by numerous cultures since it became a country in 1867. Our country is known for being accepting of various cultures and embracing them into our own, and Calgary is no exception! Celebrations of culture are found throughout the city of Calgary, with 1.3+ million people who speak over 120 different languages in all four quadrants.
Calgary is famous for the multitudes of cultural celebrations seen in the music, art, dance, food, films, and events scenes year-round. "We value diversity and we believe that the expression of individuality through the arts, culture and recreation are vital to a vibrant lifestyle," states the City of Calgary website. Want to know more and get involved? Take a look at a few of the best places to celebrate culture in Calgary and experience it throughout our amazing city!
Calgary Public Library
Where else should you go to learn more about other cultures and experience them firsthand? The library of course! The Calgary Public Library is filled with unique and exciting resources to allow you to learn more about other cultures. In addition to the vast resources found here, the Calgary Public Library also has Indigenous community opportunities. These opportunities allow the public to discover more through initiatives, programs, and events. For more information on the upcoming events and how to get involved, be sure to check out the Calgary Public Library website.
Alliance Française Calgary
If you are looking to celebrate French culture in Calgary, the Alliance Française Calgary is the best place to go. Founded in 1883, this organization is striving to promote French culture and language around the city. Opportunities to learn the language are available for every age with classes and activities provided each month, as well private lessons as an additional option. Aside from learning the language in a conversational way, the Alliance Française Calgary hosts a number of events giving you the chance to explore French culture further.
- Immersion Weekend in the Rockies — May 11-12th
- Book Club: L'Identité de Kundera — May 15th
- Spring Cocktail: Wine, Cheese and More! — May 24th
Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre
Located in the Southeast of the city is the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre — a place where locals can gather to enjoy Chinese culture through the participation in programs and events. This organization is dedicated to "undertake educational and cultural programs to enrich the lives of all Calgarians." This cultural centre is also home to the Chinese Artifacts Museum, the Chinese Library, an auditorium, and other classrooms. Within this building, extravagant events are held giving locals a chance to engage in the art, music, and literature. Visit the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre for more information and to be notified about upcoming events.
Described as a "key cultural cornerstone in Calgary for 50 years," the Glenbow Museum is one of the best places to experience culture in Calgary. It is in this historic museum that you can gaze upon the art and stories of people from many cultures, past and present. The museum showcases featured cultural displays throughout the year, and you can always view the permanent displays that document Western Canadian culture. Some of these permanent displays include "Niitsitapiisinni: Our Way of Life," "New Sun Gallery of Aboriginal Art," "Culture, Where Symbols Meet: A Celebration of West African Achievement," and much more!
Irish Cultural Society of Calgary
Sharing and engaging in Irish culture for over 30 years, the Irish Cultural Society (ICS) of Calgary is "creating a vibrant and hospitable space for the celebration of Irish and Celtic culture." Located in the northwest of the city, the ICS is a place where newcomers to Canada can go to learn more and receive support. For those who want to engage further in Irish culture (beyond St. Patrick's day), there is a membership available that offers discounts for upcoming events, and the chance to support the organization further.
- Celtic Woman at Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium — May 12th
- Stampede Breakfast — July 6th
- ICS Annual Golf Tournament — August 10th
Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary
The Aboriginal Friendship Centre is a non-profit organization that is seeking to provide services and resources to the Aboriginal peoples of the city of Calgary. The Aboriginal Friendship Centre offers many programs such as a women's group, community connections, youth and family drumming, and other exciting activities. There are many ways to get involved, including volunteer opportunities or participating in upcoming events. For more information head to the Aboriginal Friendship Centre website and join the community!
Heritage Park Historical Village
For an experience that will immerse you in the historic culture of our very own home in Calgary, Alberta, the Heritage Park Historical Village is one not to be missed. It is considered Canada's largest living history museum, as the park strives to keep our history alive by refurnishing dated automobiles, outfitting staff in clothing of the time-period, and offering food and services that would have been available back in the day. This educational theme park is an exciting cultural adventure for families to take a train ride, visit the historical houses and displays, and watch live performances!
- Victoria Day Tea — May 20th
- Festival of Quilts Workshops — May 21-24th
- National Indigenous Peoples Day — June 21st
- Canada/Dominion Day — July 1st
These are just a few of the many wonderful cultural locations available in the city. For a complete list, head to the Cultural Resources page on the City of Calgary website!
Want to know more about the culture in Calgary and the many events there are to get involved in? Be sure to check out our blog page for a list of next month's top events!
Justin Havre is the top producing REALTOR® with RE/MAX First, Canada's very first RE/MAX brokerage. Calgary real estate is his passion; Justin specializes in Southwest & Northwest Calgary homes for sale. He can be reached at 403.217.0003 or contacted through this site.