If heading down to the grounds isn’t your thing, why not check out New West Fest – a unique collaboration of music and performance art taking place Friday July 16th from 3:30pm – 10:30pm on Stephen Ave from Olympic Plaza to 1st St. SW.

Two big stages will host a variety of performers including Jay Crocker, Seven Story Redhead, The Smokin 45s, Lorrie Matheson, and NQ Arbuckle featuring Carolyn Mark.  Popular local DJ’s will also be spinning dance jams from 6 p.m. onwards.  Local buskers and street performers will be set up along Stephen Ave entertaining you as you walk between the two stages.

Another cool aspect of the evening will be the Pecha Kucha presentations.  I didn’t know what Pecha Kucha was so I looked it up on Wikipedia!  Turns out it’s a way for sharing ideas, thoughts, or work.  Essentially it’s a slide presentation where 20 slides are shown for about 20 seconds each while the presenter speaks about the slides.  It originated in Tokyo and is a fast-paced, entertaining, and concise way of showcasing ideas.

This event is being presented by CJSW, Calgary Arts Development Agency, the Downtown Association, and the Calgary Stampede.  I think it’s a great way of bringing some of the energy that’s happening on Stampede Park into the core.  It’s definitely something new for the Stampede and the best part is – it’s free to attend!

If you work or live downtown, plan on walking over to New West Fest on Friday after work.  You can take in the festival and then have dinner or drinks at one of the many restaurants along the mall.  For more information on the line-up and to find out when your favourite artist is playing click here.