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East Village comes alive this summer with dozens of live events and programs

Calgarians looking to take in the East Village this summer will almost have too many choices to make, as the community becomes abuzz once again in 2023 with live music, dance, art, and nature and entertainment programming and classes.

Starting in June, the programming and events put on by the East Village community and the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) run all the way through the summer until September.

The mix, said CMLC, brings back some fan favourites from past years’ programming, along with some new activities with a focus this year on accessibility and inclusivity.

“We’re really excited about some of those programs,” said Emma Stevens, Director, Communications and External Relations for CMLC.

“We really are creating a real mix in types of events and ways for people to participate in the community.”

Coming in the first week of June

Friday, June 2 kicks off the summer with an all-abilities dance class, put on by CMLC and the National accessArts Centre (NaAC). The dance class is free, and teaches anyone of any ability the dance basics of freestyle, party moves, and personal expression.

“It’s happening this Friday at one o’clock, which aligns really well with national accessibility week which ends on Saturday—the timing is just really great,” said Stevens.

“No matter your experience with dance, or your own personal experience with movement, whether you have disabilities or not, it’s really open for anyone. These instructor-led classes are really designed to like explore movement and personal expression in a way that’s open to everyone.”

Registration for the class can be done online at accessarts.ca/naac-dance-party. The class takes place at Confluence Plaza on St. Patrick’s Island.

On June 6, the East Village beehive tours return, letting visitors take in some of the ways that local honey bees are pollinating the riverwalk and producing raw, unpasteurized East Village Honey from MOB Honey.

Sign-ups for the tours must be done in advance and can be made at www.eventbrite.ca/e/east-village-hive-tour-with-mob-honey-tickets-155740228215.

For people looking for more natural experiences, the St. Patrick’s Island BioBlitz returns on June 9 from 4 p.m. to June 10 at 4 p.m.

The annual event invites Calgarians to search the island for plant and wildlife species in a 24-hour ecological treasure hunt that helps to catalogue the island and celebrate one of the inner city’s best natural spaces. More info on the goals of the BioBlitz are available at www.evexperience.com/blog/2023/5/16/bioblitz-2023.

“St. Patrick’s Island has really married the natural oasis part to the native species who thrive on the island, making it a great place for people—human visitors—to spend time,” Stevens said.

And for visitors to the East Village looking to put a little speed on their natural pursuits, Norco Dirt Series will be holding a pop-up mountain bike skills class on Thursday, June 8, with different topics running on subsequent Thursdays until the end of July.

Pre-registration is required, and a nominal $5 fee is being charged to reserve a spot.

East Village exclusives all summer long

For people who want to get more natural experiences throughout the summer, Nature Calgary is holding bird tours of St. Patrick’s Island starting on June 16 and running through September.

A nominal fee of $5 reserves a spot on one of the tours, which start and end on Confluence Avenue. A full list of the dates and times is available at www.eventbrite.ca/cc/birding-st-patricks-island-1928669?aff=odclrlmctfte.

Every Friday evening from 4 to 6 p.m., buskers will be bringing live music to Music Mile, and to the East Village Headquarters, which is returning for the summer.

The East Village HQ will be open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the summer, bringing back some EV-branded merchandise and EV exclusives from local Calgary businesses.

“It’s just it’s a great way to kind of share your local pride and to introduce yourself to some new local vendors,” said Stevens.

Proceeds from those sales go to support the Calgary Drop-In Centre.

Individuals and families looking to take in a picnic or two this summer will be able to take in offerings from some of the many local restaurants that serve the EV, with an East Village picnic basket.

The baskets, which come in a limited edition Eat Village cooler bag are being prepared by the Hilton Garden Grille, Connie and John’s Pizza, 8 Cakes, CHIX Eggshop, and the Deane House.

“This is our second year doing the picnic basket program, and it’s just a great way for people to get to know some of the restaurants and retailers in East Village,” Stevens said.

“It’s great for lunch, great for dinner great for one or two people or for a bigger group. It’s the kind of thing that you can make a day of, or you can add it to any of the other experiences that you’re you’re taking in, in the East Village.”

The picnic basket will be a great choice, said Stevens, for the movie on the rise that will be announced later this summer when CMLC turns the St. Patrick’s Island rise into an outdoor movie theatre.

For a full list of summertime events, and to sign up for the calendar, see www.evexperience.com/event-calendar.