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Chinook Blast: Calgary announces new mid-winter festival

As summertime excitement winds down the city of Calgary promises a winter festival to energize Calgary tourism.

On Monday, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi announced that Calgarians can look forward to a winter festival called Chinook Blast in the new year.

In partnership with local non-profits and community associations, this six-week-long festival will showcase Calgary’s arts and culture scene with live performances from local musicians and entertainers.

“When we look at Calgary’s tourism industry, we see a drop off in the winter, particularly in hotel room bookings. But here’s the thing, Calgary is awesome in the winter,” said Nenshi.

“Chinook Blast is a real opportunity for Calgarians to send a message to those wanting to visit our city that it’s just as great in the short winter days as it is on these long summer days.”

Nenshi said how the festival will proceed is still up for debate pending what restrictions Calgary faces in January.

“Let’s be honest, we don’t know what the world is going to look like Re-COVID in January 2021,” he said.”

“Of course, the more we keep our physical distance. The more we do our hygiene and the more we wear masks, the more likely we are to have a great festival in 2021.”

As for what the future holds for the festival, Nenshi hopes it’s an event that defines generations.

Calgary communities welcome the new festival

Not everyone was excited about the announcement as anti-mask protestors bombarded Nenshi’s address. (Photo by Paul Villena/LiveWire Calgary)

Calgary Downtown Association general manager Jennifer Rempel that Calgarians are excited for this new event in their community.

“Downtown is the perfect backdrop for Calgarians, local business, and visitors to gather in celebration of our winter city, but also in the spirit of togetherness when we can safely do so again,” she said.

“Chinook Blast will help drive support for our local businesses and keep Calgary’s creative spirit thriving into the future.”