Beakerhead 2017: The exhibits you don't want to miss

From fire-breathing snakes to a trip into outer space, Beakerhead has something for the nerd in all of us.

Beakerhead returns for 5 days of art, science and engineering

sot-beakerhead 0:31

From fire-breathing snakes to a trip into outer space, Beakerhead has something for the nerd in all of us.

Calgary will be transformed into a giant game of Snakes and Ladders as Beakerhead — the annual mash-up of art, science and engineering — returns with five days of weird and wonderful exhibits.

Running Sept. 13-17, Beakerhead is bringing 14 installations  to locations across the city this year. Here are some of the exhibits you don't want to miss:

Serpent Mother

The Beakerhead spaceman stands in front of Serpent Mother, a 51-metre-long installation with 40 pillars of fire. (Tera Yaworski)

Fireballs are nothing new at Beakerhead, but the Flaming Lotus Girls have turned up the heat with Serpent Mother.

It's the largest fire-breathing installation at Beakerhead to date, stretching 51 metres long with 40 pillars of fire.

The installation is free but only runs at select times. Visit the Serpent Mother info page for more details.

Calgary Municipal Space Station

It was just a matter of time before the Calgary public transit system was extended to the solar system.

A group of artists called Humble Wonder have turned the Calgary Tower into the world's first public transit space station, complete with a virtual reality experience.

Tickets are $24.99 and includes admission to the Calgary Tower.


Mesmerized by the powerful, crushing grip of the claw in the metal scrap yard?

Challengers take on Claw at Eau Claire Market on the opening day of Beakerhead, 2017. (Emily Denooij/CBC)

Claw, made by Geoff Kallweit at Read Jones Christoffersen and Laird Hill of Crystal Services, is your chance to sit in the driver's seat of an industrial-sized claw game to win real prizes.


This installation invites you to sit inside a glowing cylinder two metres in diameter, and uses your motion to bring images inspired by classic fairy tales to life.


A premiere in Western Canada by Montreal artists Creos, Impulse features 15 giant seesaws along the East Village RiverWalk, all equipped with sound and lights.

Come see it all

Want to see everything Beakerhead has to offer? The Snakes and Ladders Tour offers the full Beakerhead experience.

The bike tour starts at the Alberta College of Art and Design and takes participants to all 14 installation across the city.

The Beakerhead spaceman prepares to roast a giant s'more using flames from the Serpent Mother installation at Fort Calgary. (Justin Pennell/CBC)

The tour includes a picnic stop and "surprise treats to support your meal." Organizers say to bring helmets, water bottles and lots of endurance.

Tickets for the Snakes and Ladders Tour are $50 and are available online.