Indigenous peoples, a Chinese orchestra and a Texas Chainsaw Massacre: what's on in Calgary this weekend

Experience Indigenous music among other events as part of National Indigenous Peoples Day, a performance by the Calgary Chinese Orchestra, a summer solstice event, an oyster festival and other stuff this weekend in Calgary.

Join in Sled Island's free Mad Max Ride YYC on Saturday and walk to an afternoon of free indie rock

Diyet and the Love Soldiers Album Release at the Yukon Arts Centre on March 9, 2018. They perform at Fort Calgary Saturday as part of APTN's Indigenous Day Live concert (© Alistair Maitland Photography)

Tomorrow — June 21 — is the first official day of summer. While the weather may not cooperate, there are still plenty of indoor and outdoor events happening in Calgary to keep you and your family entertained over this wet weekend at the end of June.

Homestretch director Tracy Fuller collected a few highlights and shared them with host Doug Dirks on Thursday.

National Indigenous Peoples Day

National Indigenous Peoples Day is officially celebrated across Canada on June 21 — Friday — but many of the events happen on Saturday, so the whole family can get involved. You may have already noticed a number of celebrations happening around the city this week, including a mini Powwow in Olympic Plaza on Thursday. Saturday is the big celebration, with dozens of events happening across Southern Alberta. 

APTN Indigenous Day Live

Saturday afternoon at Fort Calgary will be packed with music, including Crystal Shawanda from Wikwemkong First Nation on Manitoulin Island, Blue Rodeo, The Love Soldiers, Ghostkeeper and more. Earlier in the day, there will be a free pancake breakfast and a powwow, with the grand entry happening at 12:30 p.m. Also, Enmax Park on the Stampede Grounds will host a celebration of Indigenous languages and stories, hosted by the University of Calgary from 2:30 - 7 p.m. on Saturday. Reg Crowshoe will also host some fireside chats. 

Armond Duck Chief performs Saturday at the APTN Indigenous Day Live concert at Fort Calgary (Courtesy Indigenous Day Live)

Outside the city

There are great events happening outside the city as well. The Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park, southeast of Calgary past Gleichen, are hosting a Warriors Welcome as part of their National Indigenous People's Day Celebration. it will feature a demonstration of Siksika Warriors' horse riding skills, along with traditional dance, tours and a bannock barbecue.

The Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge is offering free admission on Saturday, as they celebrate the heritage and contributions of First nations, Inuit and Metis people in the gallery.

Alberta's parks, such as Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park southeast of Lethbridge, contribute to local jobs, businesses, sustainable economic well-being, community resilience and our health and social wellness. (Alberta Parks)

The World Heritage Site Head Smashed-in-Buffalo Jump is offering a full day of free programming, once you enter the park, including guided tours, live birds of prey demonstrations, Blackfoot storytelling, drumming, and dancing,

If you're looking for a free lunch and heading south, stop in at the Galt Museum and Archives — near Dead Man's Flats — where they're hosting a National Indigenous People's Week feast from 11:30 to 1:30 on Saturday.

Finally, Writing on Stone Provincial Park is offering free Rock Art Tours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, with food, Dancing and drumming — all in recognition of Blackfoot culture in Alberta.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

It's a suitably dark and dreary day to talk horror, too. That's because this weekend, one of the most truly disturbing films ever, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, is being feted. The film that introduced Leatherface to the world has been remastered in 4K, so if you only saw a fuzzy VHS copy at a Halloween sleep over it's time to get terrified all over again at the Calgary Horror Convention — Horror Con — this weekend.

Marilyn Burns made her big-screen debut as Sally Hardesty in the 1974 slasher film Texas Chainsaw Massacre. (Bryanston Pictures)

Several stars from the original movie, including Teri McMinn, John Dugan and Bill Mosely, who played Chop Top Sawyer in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 will be there. There will be other horror alumnus in the house this weekend, including Kane Hodder, who played Jason in Friday the 13th, part 7, 8, 9 and 10, will be there. Danny Lloyd — the actor who rode that Mighty Cycle through the halls of the fictional Overlook Hotel in The Shining — will also be at Horror Con, which happens Saturday and Sunday at the Clarion Hotel. There will be screenings, panels, Special Effects makeup tutorials and more.

Summer Solstice Block Party

How about something lighter?

That's because Friday, June 21, marks the longest day of the year and the summer solstice. If you're looking to celebrate, the community of Currie is hosting a Summer Solstice Block Party Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. 

They'll also be celebrating the opening of two new community parks — Bishop Carroll Walk  and Officers' Mess Garden — both in and around Bishop Way SW. There will be roving musicians, with a magic show at 6 p.m., bouncy castles, airbrush face painters, Fiasco Gelato and food truck treats.

Alternately, the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society is hosting a "Dog Days of Summer event at Cold Garden from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Bring your dog and your family to enjoy an afternoon on the patio. 

If summer means seafood to you, check out Alberta's third annual Oyster Festival at Rodney's starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Raw oysters from B.C. have been linked to hundreds of cases of norovirus in four provinces. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Calgary Chinese Orchestra

Saturday night, the Calgary Chinese Orchestra hosts a Sunday night concert at the Leacock theatre at Mount Royal University. It's called "Scenes from Tea Horse Road", and will feature both folk music from southwest China and new music, including a Canadian premiere. You can also listen to suona virtuoso, Wu Zhong-xi, from Vancouver.

Sled Island

Kari Faux at Sled Island 2018, performs at Broken City (Allison Seto)

Sled Island is going strong this weekend, with concerts, comedy shows, film screenings, art exhibitions and more. Some are family-friendly, including the Mad Max Ride YYC rolling out from the Stampede grounds on Saturday as they ride their way to the Sled Island Block Party at 10th and 10th in Inglewood.

The group will meet at 1 p.m. and depart at 2 p.m., showcasing the best in post-apocalyptic ath-leisure attire.

All modes of non-motorized active transport are welcome, including bikes, skateboards, rollerblades and more. Prizes will be handed out to best family costumes, child costume, teen costume, adult, engineered wheels and musical entry.

It's free, but you do need to register on Eventbrite if you want to be in the running for the Mad Max prizes.

Once you get to the block party, you can catch a whole host of bands for free. Among them is one of CBC Searchlight 2019's Top 100 bands — Calgary band Beach Season.

With files from The Homestretch