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Calgary’s Chinook Blast unveils modified festival lineup

Chinook Blast revealed their final lineup of artists, art, performances, and events on Tuesday.

Owing to the changing conditions of the pandemic, organizers announced a smaller list of events than they originally anticipated. Many of the main events have been moved outdoors to Olympic Plaza, or to the Arts Commons.

“Delivering on our vision has been a challenge these past couple years with Covid-19,” said Franca Gualtieri, Executive Director for Chinook Blast.

The pillar events of the GLOW Downtown Winter Light Festival are going ahead as planned. Block Heater and the Ethnik Festival have had their schedules and venues modified.

Block Heater, put on by the Calgary Folk Music Festival, will be taking place at Olympic Plaza and at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. It was initially slated for Inglewood and East Village locations.

The Ethnik Festival was originally scheduled to take place at the TELUS Convention Centre. That festival has gone entirely online.

The High Performance Rodeo arts festival remains cancelled. Patrons can look forward to performances from One Yellow Rabbit at the HQ Block Party on Feb. 18–19 at Olympic Plaza.

The mainstage at the Chinook Blast Hub will also be live-streamed. Gualtieri said that this would give Calgarians an opportunity to enjoy the festival from their homes.

And the friends of Chinook Blast will be putting on a wide variety of individual events throughout the four weeks of the festival.

“That includes art exhibits, documentaries, Indigenous storytelling, circus demonstrations, and so much more.”

The entire lineup of events and programming is available on chinookblast.ca.

Tim Leacock and Shaye Zadravec performed at the Chinook Blast media launch event at the Marriot Hotel in Downtown Calgary on Tuesday, January 25, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Sports, Arts, and Indigenous programming

The festival and the Calgary Public Library will be creating an artists pavilion at the Central Library.

“It features a curated collection of original exhibits that will celebrate sporting history of Indigenous Hall of Famers from Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame,” said Gualtieri.

Catriona Le May Doan, President and CEO of Sport Calgary, was on hand to announce the Sport Calgary contributions to Chinook Blast. Le May Doan will be serving as Canada’s Chef de Mission at the Beijing Olympics.

“Sport Calgary wants to celebrate the power of sport and the power of the Olympic and Paralympic movement right here in Calgary,” she said.

Starting on Feb. 5, Sport Calgary will be showcasing figure skating, synchronized skating, and speed skating through demonstrations.

All Sport One City is also running this year from February 18–27. Calgarians will have an opportunity to try various sports for free.

“The new part this year is that we’re actually going to family sessions, so we’re going to have children as young as six be able to participate in the program,” said Le May Doan.

Calgarians can send messages of support to Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic Teams at Olympic Plaza throughout Chinook Blast.

Patti Pon, President and CEO of Calgary Arts Development said that Chinook Blast will give Calgarians something to look forward to.

“People are missing live events. They’re missing opportunities to come together with their loved ones and their cohorts to take part in experiences that create joy, that create laughter that makes you happy,” she said.

“With that, we invite Calgarians to come back up, bundle up, show up and warm up by participating in the festivities. We’re not afraid of a little cold.”