Calgary’s signature winter celebration returns from January 27–February 12, 2023

Chinook Blast is back for its third year, January 27–February 12, 2023, celebrating the best of Calgary’s winter in the heart of the city with live music, light and art installations, theatrical performances, outdoor sport, cultural experiences, night markets and much more!

“We are thrilled that Chinook Blast is back for its third year, and we have a lot to celebrate. This is the first year we are putting on this festival post-pandemic, and we are building the programs the way we envisioned it to be. Our partners are all excited to be bringing the best of the best for Calgarians to experience. We can’t wait to once again warm up and energize Calgary this winter.”

– Franca Gualtieri, Executive Director, Chinook Blast, Tourism Calgary

Iconic festivals to kick-start Chinook Blast

Chinook Blast’s iconic anchor events are back in full force, building excitement before, during, and after Chinook Blast.

● High Performance Rodeo kicks off festivities with theatre, music, dance, and multidisciplinary art from local, national and international artists. Back for its 37th year, the High Performance Rodeo is a showcase of the best in contemporary performance. January 16–February 5

● BIG Winter Classic returns for its 7th year, where music, arts and culture collide. Big experiences take over small spaces in Calgary’s Beltline. January 25–29

● Nitro Rallycross NEW THIS YEAR! An adrenaline-charged motorsport event that showcases elite drivers like Travis Pastrana facing off in the world’s most explosive electric race cars at Stampede Park… oh, and it’s on snow and ice. February 4–5

● Snow Rodeo FIS Snowboard Slopestyle and Halfpipe World Cups come to Canada Olympic Park! With the world’s top slopestyle and halfpipe snowboard stars present, it is a week of high-flying action. February 6–12

● Block Heater, one of the city’s fastest-growing music festivals, is back for its 8th iteration with shows for every taste and vibe. Filled with independent artists from our backyard and the globe. February 9–12

● Ethnik Festival, one of Calgary’s newest arts and cultural festivals, keeps the Chinook Blast spirit alive, as Afro-Canadian and Caribbean communities share their diverse vibrant cultural traditions. February 24–25

Chinook Blast Hub to light up the downtown core

Chinook Blast Hub, radiating from Stephen Avenue to Olympic Plaza to East Village, will once again be animated throughout the three weeks with light and art installations, cultural experiences, sporting activities, buskers, pop-up performances, a community stage featuring live performances, an artists pavilion and night markets. Indoor and outdoor options are planned to accommodate the fluctuating temperatures.

A sneak peek at installations even more invigorating than arctic air:

● The beloved 1,000 lb metal flame-blowing dragon sculpture from True North Absurdities returns to fire up the Hub.

● B!G Art is building a new interactive piece that will cover over 4,000 square feet and a lighting tunnel using 150+ LED bars, pixel-mapped to create a vortex of light pulling visitors through the structures.

● And many more installations from local artists including: Bryan Faubert, Tim Knelson, nLiten Tech, Studio Luma, Bramble Lee Pryde, and PARK.

Our partners include Arts Commons Presents, The Calgary Central Library, National Music Centre, Platform Calgary, East Village, Contemporary Calgary, Telus Convention Centre and Calgary Downtown Association. Many will have programming for all to enjoy, ensuring festival-goers have lots to explore. It’s worth putting on the long underwear!

Some of the partner events include:

● Calgary Public Library – Come to the Central Library for family-friendly activities, including arts and crafts and musical performances. January 27-February 12

● Sport Calgary at Olympic Plaza returns to Chinook Blast with the 2nd edition of the weekend sport festival. Join us on the ice for some fun with demonstrations of speed skating, synchronized skating and more ice sports. Whatever your age or ability, there is something for you during the sports festival. January 28 and 29

● Rock the Nation – National Music Centre celebrates over 50 years of Canadian music, featuring songs from the ‘60s to the present day. National Music Centre will host matinee performances of Rock the Nation, a musical revue presented by Annerin Productions, every Saturday and Sunday at Studio Bell from January 28–March 5

● Contemporary Teens – Contemporary Calgary These programs help inspire young people (ages 12–18) through the exploration of contemporary art, connecting them to communal, global, and social issues that affect all of our lives. January 28

● Hackathon – Platform Calgary Participants have the opportunity to create innovative software that captures Calgary as a Winter City destination, network with tech industry insiders, and compete for real rewards. February 3–5

● Arts Commons takes over Olympic Plaza with a weekend of ArtsXpeditions outdoor concerts. Saturday programming kicks off with a day of funky hip hop and R&B acts that will have the whole family moving. On Sunday, ArtsX co-presents the YYC Music Awards Spotlight Festival for a celebration of Calgary’s most exceptional emerging musicians. ArtsXpeditions at Chinook Blast is presented by Servus Credit Union with support from the Government of Canada. February 4 & 5

● Night Markets – Municipal Atrium A crowd favourite, we’re hosting night markets on all three weekends, with Asian Heritage Foundation presenting the Asian Night Market from February 3–5 and Market Collective showcasing products from local artists from February 10–12

● The Hygge Hut in East Village is a big warm hug in the middle of a long, cold Calgary winter. Grab your crew, a warm beverage and cozy up by the campfire on the weekends. East Village will also be putting on live music, activities and special events on Sundays in C-Square. Ongoing

“Chinook Blast showcases the best of winter and our city. Winter is a season that begs participation and we answer the call with warm hearts and a festival in its honour. Starting January 27th, bundle up and take part in this extravaganza of art and music which shines a light on our downtown and our incredible community spirit!”

– Mayor Jyoti Gondek

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