Calgary was always an oil town. The summer Stampede has always attracted the tourists but there’s a lot more to this Albertan city than just cowboys and lassos. Calgary has taken its oil capital and invested it in the arts. Watch out Montreal, Calgary is coming through!
Calgary’s transformation from a pretty boring prairie city into a cultural hub, is turning heads across Canada. These days there’s a lot more going on in this city than just an annual Stampede. From beautifully designed bridges to new public art, here’s what to see and do in Canada’s newest cultural hub.
Museums and Galleries
Museum of Contemporary Art – This is Calgary’s only public visual arts institute that is dedicated to presenting Canadian art in the international context. It’s a centre for visual arts, architecture and design. Being right in the city centre, it’s a great place to start your arts tour with the Glenbow and the Art Gallery of Calgary within easy walking distance.
Glenbow Museum – The museum’s main goal is to introduce more people to art and culture. It’s also at the forefront of offering visitors a new kind of museum experience with a variety of exhibitions and the largest collection of Western Canadian art.
Esker Foundation – Esker has a lot going for it. For one, it’s free to visit and in case you hire a car in Calgary, you can also park it for free underground at this incredible LEED Silver building. The gallery is the place to check out contemporary and modern Canadian art.
National Music Centre – The NMC is home to thousands of rare and unique musical instruments but it’s the building that most visitors are impressed by first. It’s a stunning 160,000 square-foot space spanning 4th Street SE in Calgary’s East Village. It’s a centre for learning, performance art, entertainment and recording.
One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre – Pushing artistic boundaries for almost 30 years, One Yellow Rabbit is one of Canada’s most famous theatre companies. Check out their work at Calgary’s Epcor Centre while you’re on holidays in Calgary.
Want to go?
Fly direct from London Gatwick to Calgary onboard Air Transat in October for £629 (return, with all taxes included). Autumn is the ideal time to visit the city, especially if you’re on a budget. It’s between the summer tourist season and the winter one, when all the skiers come to town on their way up to the Rocky Mountains.