Calgary Entertainment: 5 things to do around the city this weekend

Saturday marks the start of October, and if you're looking to get out of the house this weekend, there's no shortage of things to do. Homestretch director Tracy Fuller breaks down five things happening in and around the city.

From CIFF to Culture Days, and even a religious service for dogs, there's lots to do

Alberta Culture Days 2016 will be celebrated Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. (Alberta Culture Days)

Saturday marks the start of October, and if you're looking to get out of the house this weekend, there's no shortage of things to do. Homestretch director Tracy Fuller breaks down five things happening in and around the city. 

1. Culture Days


Starting Friday, the entire province will be celebrating Alberta culture with activities, performances, music, games and more. In Calgary, a Block Party will take over Olympic Plaza to kick-off the three-day celebration. There will be cultural music and dance performances, glass blowing, print art, speed painting, circus skills, Capoeira and even Baby-Boomer Karaoke.  Arts Commons will be open for the public to explore. Decidedly Jazz Danceworks is hosting free dance classes, a concert and a screening of West Side Story. The Genesis Centre is hosting a free 'Culture Fest' on Sunday. And in High River, there's going to be an adult spelling bee. Most of the events are free.

Culture Days is a Canada-wide celebration that runs Friday through Sunday across the country.

2. Glenbow at 50


The Glenbow Museum is celebrating 50 years, and to make sure all Calgarians can take part, it's charging only 50 cents to get in from Oct. 1 to 5 for a special exhibition called 'Glenbow At 50: A pop-up exhibition of 50 extraordinary works of art.' The curators combed through the Glenbow's expansive collection, choosing 50 representative works to share with Calgarians. The gallery is also celebrating an important addition to their collection on Friday. Imperial Oil is donating a painting called Algoma Waterfall by Lawren Harris, one Canada's acclaimed Group of Seven painters.

3. Blessing of the Animals

2016 marks the 20th year of Calgary's annual Blessing of the Animals service at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer. You don't have to be Anglican to attend. Organizer Heather Trainor had seen a video of the famous blessing that happens in New York City every year. And she thought, "Why can't we do that here?" So the service is part 'laying of hands' on people's pets and also part memorial service for pets who have passed away. There's singing, a choir, lighting of candles — the whole deal!

Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer downtown.

4. Film Festival


With only days left, there are tons of worthwhile films still screening. On Sunday, there will be repeat screenings of some of the festival favourites as voted by movie-goers. One documentary that looks interesting is Cheer Up about Finland's worst cheerleading squad. If you are a Kristen Stewart fan, her latest film Personal Shopper is screening on Saturday. It's about stardom, dead siblings and paranormal activity, not to mention amazing French fashion. Last but not least, the Heartland Extravaganza is taking over Flames Central on Saturday night, celebrating a decade of the CBC series that made everyone around the country want to move to High River. 

5. The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra


The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra will be back in Calgary on Saturday, playing a show at the Bow Valley Folk Club at 7 p.m. Folk fans may remember them from the 2014 folk festival. They're a West Coast collective that celebrates accordions, banjos, fiddles and delicious harmonies.


With files from the Homestretch