Aug 28

Calgary Shows off our Mad Skills at World Skills 2009

by Fiona Wren · 0 comments

Mayor Dave Bronconnier, local musician Jay Crocker, and the World Skills Performance Troupe launched the World Skills Cultural Celebration today in Olympic Plaza. The celebration, which lasts from August 28 to September 5, is a showcase of performances, presentations and art downtown and in Stampede Park.

The celebration on August 29 includes a free kickoff concert at the Artisan Village at Olympic Plaza with bands including rockabilly band Hurricane Felix and the Southern Twisters, Shane Ghostkeeper, Juno nominees Twilight Hotel, and the United Steel Workers of Montreal (note for the uninitiated – it’s a band, not actual steel workers). There will also be buskers and roving performers entertaining visitors throughout the day.

Watch for other events at Olympic Plaza during the week, including live demonstrations of pottery, weaving, and guitar making. Amateur and pro jugglers can come down to the Artisan Village on Sunday, August 30 to show off their juggling prowess. For music lovers, there’s a daily concert at the Coca-Cola stage in Stampede Park. And on September 5, the Celebration closes with another concert, featuring high-flying aerial acts, jugglers, percussion shows and music.

The week-long celebration merges culture and the trades, as 900 participants in 45 skill categories converge in Calgary in a competition that shows off their talents in everything from the culinary arts to robotics to stonemasonry. Participants compete to be the best of the best, but it’s also a fabulous opportunity for students (and adults considering a career change) to learn more about career options in the arts, trades, and technology.

Today’s launch also kicked off Culture Month in Calgary; September will also see the city play host to First Thursdays, The ArtCity Festival, Alberta Arts Days, the Calgary International Film Festival, and more. Keep an eye on for news about upcoming events. Terry Rock, Presdient and CEO of Calgary Arts Development, has issued all us Calgarians a challenge: to “step it up a little” and attend an extra arts event this month, then another in the winter.

Admission to the World Skills events is free. To learn more about the events going on during the next week, visit To learn more about culture month, visit

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