Let’s be honest guys, we love us some good winter festivals. We are called the festival city for a reason, after all. So, when a winterfest touted to be the mother of all fests happens this close to home, of course, we hit it. So, don’t be surprised if you see fellow Edmontonians flocking to Calgary for Chinook Blast, powered by Shaw.

After its immense success last year, the winter festival is making a grand return this year. And from what we’ve seen and heard so far, it’s going to be just as fab as (or maybe even more) last year.

For the uninitiated, Chinook Blast, powered by Shaw, is a one-of-kind YYC winter fest that brings together a plethora of exhibits, performances, concerts, virtual events, and other creative and sporting activations. While the installations and displays stay on all through Feb 4 to Feb 27, other festivities will happen over the weekends from Friday through Sunday.

Chinook Blast
Image via Curiocity

Now, here’s what makes the fest unique- all events are not the same and all events are not happening at the same place. Like last year, the festival will feature four different types of events. And here’s a quick lowdown of each category:

The Hub

The Hub is quite literally the hub of all creativity and inspo set-up in downtown Calgary. It’ll run from the Municipal Plaza to the Olympic Plaza all the way west through Stephen Ave and down 3rd St. So, there will be light exhibits, creative installations, Digital Displays at the Artists Pavillion (Central Library), pop-up performances at the community stage and several sporting activations including the many versions of ice skating. The Asian Night Market, though, is topping our list.

Image via Curiocity

Pillar Festival Partners

Chinook Blast has what they call their Pillar Festival Partners. What this means is that they’ve partnered with some iconic music fests of the city (think Block Heater, GLOW and Ethnik Festival) and brought them all together. So, some evenings will be extra musical. Frankly, this is the part that we’re most looking forward to.

Community Pop-ups

Unlike most fests, Chinook Blast isn’t staying limited to one downtown location. You can venture outside The Hub into the Community Pop-ups. Community Pop-ups are basically downtown neighbourhoods creating their own versions of Chinook Blast. You can expect winter activities, winter carnivals, food trucks, pop-up performances and of course, the customary art and light displays.

Image via Curiocity

Friends of Chinook Blast

Just like neighbourhoods, Chinook Blast has partnering art and sporting organizations, aka, Friends of Chinook Blast. So you see several art and sporting events and activations happen all over downtown Cal. And there are some seriously unique experiences to look out for. Seeing augmented reality through The Door, checking out musical performances at transit stations and immersing yourself in the Neon vibes of Canada’s First Selfie Studio are just some of them.

The best part is that most of these festivities are free. So, you can have all these amazing winter experiences without giving your wallets a death scare.

With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that the fest has gone on to create all this buzz. Here, check out all the events Chinook Blast, powered by Shaw, is bringing to us this winter. Oh, and FYI, all the events are outdoors, meaning you can comfortably attend them while maintaining a safe, 6 feet social distance.