Canada Day in Downtown Calgary

by Leah Wong · 0 comments

With June quickly coming to an end it can only mean one thing, Canada Day is almost here!  There’s so much happening downtown, a lot of which is free.

This will be my third year walking around downtown taking in our country’s birthday celebrations. I’ve enjoyed the festivities the last two years and would definitely recommend checking out events downtown.  The HOSTs will be out and about from 10:30-7, so feel free to stop us and ask for help if you have any questions!

Prince’s Island Park

Time: noon-5pm
Admission: FREE!

There will be lots of performances in the park during the day on three different stages.  The Family Stage kick off is a Wagon Stage performance, done by University of Calgary Drama Department starting at noon.

Throughout the park there will be many activities, crafts and games.  A special temporary tattoo tent will be set up, as well as over 35 food vendors and other merchandise booths.

Note that no dogs are allowed on the Island on Canada Day, so leave Fido at home!  If you’re wanting to bike downtown, there are two bike lock-up locations on the island.

Olympic Plaza

Time: 8pm-midnight
Admission: FREE!

There will be more performances at Olympic Plaza in the night, with opening ceremonies starting at 8pm.  Enjoy performances from Wil, Souljah Fyah and the United Steel Workers of Montreal.

The USWM will be performing two sets - once before the fireworks and once after - meaning you have two opportunities to catch this blue-collar alt-country band.  Before they take the stage, watch Souljah Fyah - the Best Canadian Reggae band of 2009 - and Wil’s performances.

At around 10:45pm fireworks will be set off from the Municipal building.  Make sure to grab a seat in the Plaza early, as it becomes increasingly difficult to find a spot with good visibility the closer it gets to launch time.

Glenbow Museum

Time: 1:30pm
Admission: Included with regular admission

A concert entitled: “Songs of the Iron Trail” will be hosted on the second level of the Glenbow.  Barry Luft and Tim B. Rogers will sing tales about building the railroad and the “good old days”.

First Thursday

Time: All Day
Admission: Varies, but most events are free

The Calgary Cultural District’s First Thursday will still run on Canada Day, with lots to check out.  The event kicks off with the Historical Walking Tour of Downtown Calgary, departing from in front of the Glenbow Museum at 10am.

If you’re looking to get a pre-Stampede, head start on your pancake eating, Local Library (131 7th ave SW, alley entrance) will be hosting a Free Pancake Show as part of Sled Island.  The event will run from 1pm-7pm with a number of bands playing.

Stephen Avenue Walk

There will be lots of vendors and buskers out on Stephen Avenue on Canada Day.  If you need a break from the main venues, head down and check out what’s going on.

For more information about Canada Day celebrations check the Calgary Canada Day website.  Calgary Transit will be running Sunday service on the holiday, so leave your car at the station and hop on the train if you want to avoid parking downtown.  If you’re planning on parking, check out Downtown Calgary for information on rates and locations.

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