Ten Things to Do in Calgary this July

Eat Texas-style barbecue, go to a fashion film festival and hit up Stampede this month

Calgary Stampede, photo by Canadian Tourism Commission

With its slew of events and festivals, summers in Calgary are as busy as they are fun. Here are 10 things to check out in this Southern Alberta city this month.

Attend the inaugural Canadian International Fashion Film Festival

Learn about the burgeoning art of fashion filmmaking during the first Canadian International Fashion Film Festival. From July 22 to 23, listen to inspiring talks from award-winning filmmaker Ace Norton and Nest founder Rebecca van Bergen, or attend a fashion film screening. There will also be an awards ceremony and after party on the final evening.

Beat the heat at Calgary’s newest ice cream shop

Already a popular fixture at the city's markets and local grocers, local ice cream company Made By Marcus has opened its own storefront on 17th Avenue S.W. The microcreamery’s shop offers ice cream by the scoop and soft serve, as well as macarons, pies, tarts, on-tap kombucha and more. Visitors can also get their caffeine fix here, thanks to a Monogram Coffee pop-up within the shop.

Don your cowboy hat for the Calgary Stampede

They don’t call the Calgary Stampede “The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth” for nothing. From July 8 to 17, catch rodeo events, Peking Acrobats and musical performances from big names like Lady Antebellum and Walk Off The Earth. Be sure to head to the midway and try some of the new food offerings like salted caramel deep fried coffee and nutella glazed mini doughnuts.

Eat Texas-style barbecue at a new restaurant in Kensington

Few things scream summer like barbecue, so it’s practically kismet that Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey opened in Kensington this past June. This new restaurant offers Texas-style barbecue with sides like smokestack corn and macaroni salad, as well as cocktails, beer, wine and about 150 kinds of whisky. If you can, try to grab a seat outside in the Whiskey Garden.

Ride down a giant slip and slide

If you’ve ever wanted to slide down a 1,000-foot water slide, this is your chance. On July 30, Slide the City will make its second of only three Alberta stops in Calgary. The one-day block party features a padded slip and slide set up along 10 St. N.W. and Sait Way, plus live music and tasty eats.

Shop and eat at Calgary’s newest farmers’ market

Wander along the pedestrian-friendly Stephen Avenue and shop for local goods at the new downtown farmers’ market. Pick up a freshly popped snack from Sugar Creek Gourmet Popcorn, some pie from The Pie Hole and more. The next market date is July 19, but it will run twice a month through to September.

Sing (or listen to) the blues at the Calgary International Blues Festival

Get down to some soulful blues music during the Calgary International Blues Festival, which runs from July 25 to 31. Now in its 12th year, the festival features a blues guitar workshop, a talk about the history of blues and performances at Shaw Millennium Park from artists like Zac Harmon, Shemekia Copeland and Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen.

Spend a day in Inglewood during Sunfest

Packed with local eateries, coffee shops and fun boutiques, Inglewood is one of the best neighbourhoods in the city to explore on a sunny day. But if you need another reason to check it out, there’s Sunfest on July 30. Essentially a giant street party, this one-day event features street performers, live music and more than 200 vendors.

Tour some of the best spots for craft beer in the city

Get your day-drink on, and gain a new appreciation for local breweries, during a Calgary Craft Beer Tour. The all-day tour will take you to five local spots including Village Brewery and Tool Shed Brewing Company to sample beers and tour the facilities. 

Watch a Shakespeare play by the Bow River

Every summer, Prince’s Island Park comes alive with the words of the Bard during Theatre Calgary’s Shakespeare by the Bow production. This year’s presentation of Hamlet runs from June 21 to August 21, and, as always, will feature Alberta actors tackling their first professional production. Purchase a picnic basket from nearby River Café and settle down on a blanket to take in the performance.