Alberta films, music and trains: Lots to do this weekend in Calgary

Summer is over — but that doesn't mean you have to hibernate just yet.

A film festival, multiple concerts, dances and events will make this a busy few days

Tim Roth and Christina Hendricks are featured in Tin Star, a Calgary-filmed TV series. Several episodes will be screened at the 2017 Calgary International Film Festival. (Kudos and Sky Atlantic)

Summer is over — but that doesn't mean you have to hibernate just yet.

The Homestretch's director and entertainment columnist Tracy Fuller has you covered on what to do this weekend in Calgary as Autumn officially begins.

All the films

Red carpets, spotlights, lineups and swanky parties are taking over downtown for the Calgary International Film Festival.

A number of big budget productions will be showing, such as Stronger, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany, and Breathe, with Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, and Borg McEnroe with Shia LaBeouf.

Be sure to check out two films with strong Alberta connections.

First, Tragedy Girls, a dark satire by Calgary's Tyler MacIntyre. In it, two teen girls with a popular blog manipulate a local serial killer into doing their bidding. These tragedy girls, as they're called, aren't afraid to get their hands dirty as well.

That guy they kill, that's Josh Hutcherson, a.k.a. Peta from the Hunger Games series.

The second pick is Never Steady, Never Still, about a recently widowed woman with Parkinson's who fights to regain her independence. Her son has left home to work in Alberta's oilsands. The film brings the two of them together again as adults, to face struggles neither of them asked for. It's definitely going to be a tear-jerker, so bring your tissues.

You can also catch the first two episodes of Tin Star, the big name United Kingdom-produced crime drama that's set in the Canadian Rockies and filmed around southern Alberta. It's at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Eau Claire Market theatres, with a cast Q&A hosted by CBC's own Russell Bowers.

Film Fest events

Many of the panel discussions at the Calgary Film Festival are free. 

Former Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones will talk on Saturday afternoon, and there's a panel on Alberta's secret film locations on Sunday. Plus, there's one on the art of creating a film score on Saturday.

Railway Days

On Saturday and Sunday, Heritage Park's steam trains will be front and centre with the grand unveiling and inaugural start up of the recently completed CP Rail Steam Railway Crane. It's the only working 100-tonne locomotive crane in Canada.

Calgary's train history will be celebrated at Railway Days. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

The Railway Days events will include train demos, storytelling, model exhibits and caboose rides. Lots of other train demonstrations will be happening throughout the weekend.

Alberta Ballet

The Alberta Ballet has opened its season with Tango Fire, the dance of love. The show promises sublime sensual performances, drawing inspiration from the great tango houses of Buenos Aires. 


For something completely different in the world of dance, check out Zenkora: The Seven Eras, a multimedia creative project that follows the adventures and stories of an original fantasy universe. 

This "new age" concert series runs 8 p.m. Friday at University Theatre, on the University of Calgary campus.

You can watch a teaser online. The full show will include ballet, opera, animation, a stage-play, a radio-play and even a live video game, all with the accompaniment of a live orchestra.

Spiritus Chamber Choir

This choral music concert will get your blood pumping and satisfy any lingering Beakerhead cravings.

Calgary's Spiritus Chamber Choir, with its award-winning, angel-voiced singers, are coming together Sunday with the Calgary Girls Choir — and a neuroscientist —  to turn their concert into a visual experience of how the body responds to music.

That's at Sunday at 3 p.m. at the U of C's Rozsa Centre.

With files from Tracy Fuller and The Homestretch