The simple clasping of hands: firm, reassuring, comforting, familiar. We clasp hands to meet someone new, to hold onto someone we love, and to join someone in a dance. Clasping hands is a sign of solidarity and community. During a time when we could not physically clasp hands, many rose to the occasion to maintain connection in other ways. And with Calgary’s new festival, Celebrating Life, Calgarians from across the city are invited to honour that perseverance. 

This inaugural Calgary festival has been on since March 15th, and it’s not over yet! With events this weekend all the way into June, Celebrating Life is an arts and culture tribute to our community. Calgarians are encouraged to attend these exciting remaining events, and to participate in the festival’s online components such as their digital tributes as well. Come out and make some connections, cultivate community, and honour that bittersweetness we all feel after so much time in isolation.

This weekend, Celebrating Life partners with the First Nations Arts Alliance to bring you a stunning two days of music, art, and dance. Starting on Friday, May 20th at noon and the same time on Saturday, May 21st, this weekend’s event takes place at Many Horses High School – 35 Bullhead Rd, Priddis, AB T3T 0A6. You can RSVP for this free event and find more information and events on Celebrating Life’s website.

On Saturday, June 18th, the festival is hosting the Celebrating Life Vigil at Union Cemetery where community members are invited to celebrate and reflect on the lives of those no longer with us. Reminisce, honour, and connect with welcoming ceremonies, and a Mexican medicine ritual starting at 5:00 pm at the Union Cemetery main entrance. 

You can follow Celebrating Life on Instagram or check out their website for the details on all their upcoming events (including creative reflection sessions and poetry writing!). This is definitely a festival of connectivity that you don’t want to miss!