By Willow Grier
CALGARY — Somehow we made it through…. we all breathed a collective sigh of relief that the shit storm of 2016 is, at least calendar-wise, over. Who knows if the horrors will continue, but for now, we lick our wounds and lay mildly optimistic.
While January is typically a slow month for us, there are a handful of special events worth crawling out from under the blankets of winter denial for.
January 10th brings the return of Fragments Multi Art Gala, which previously ran in 2010-2013. The festival sees a resurgence with the passing of founder Chris Tenz, and all proceeds will benefit the Centre for Suicide Prevention. The event’s manifesto is to “Reduce stigma and promote and enhance mental health by creating lasting conversations and knowledge through collaboration of arts and culture.” Film, music, visual art, and performance will be combined for this special event that takes place at the Plaza. Advance tickets are by donation (suggested $10), and also available at the door for $15. A longer story about the event is available at BeatRoute.ca.
Continuing the spirit of fundraising for great causes, an event benefitting the Standing Rock Sioux Nation will take place at Dickens on January 7th. The event features musical support from The Ashley Hundred, Miesha and the Spanks, Mammoth Grove, Fox Who Slept The Day Away, Iron Tusk, The Heirlooms, Alex Borden, Abductees, and Odder Otter. To cram in that much awesome music, the event has an early start time, so be sure to arrive early to take it all in! All proceeds will go directly to support the Medical and Legal Funds of the “Water Protectors” of The Standing Rock Sioux Nation in North Dakota who valiantly have been fighting for environmental and human/Indigenous rights for many months in the wake of egregious persecution. Full disclosure: this fundraiser is organized by the author.
It’s no secret that the BIG Winter Classic is breaking up the monotony of the year’s slowest month, kicking off the weekend of January 19th, with headliners TUNS, Said The Whale, Holy Fuck and Northcote. As in the past, the event features Calgary’s hottest locals, including many who have graced this very section in months past. So, I thought I would recommend some up-and-comers who you may not have seen in The Calgary Beat as of yet (spoiler alert! You will very soon). Be sure to check out The Rondel Roberts Band (who first caught my attention at several Rockin’ 4 $ events in months past), Andrew’s Pale Horses, Fake James, and The Frontiers! BIG has done a fantastic job in including these rising stars, and all of them have a ton of new tunes just begging to be shared.
And finally, later in the month, Major Minor brings us another super all-ages lineup with their Halloween in January event on January 28th at the Radisson Heights Community Association. This event features the powerful heaviness of Numenorean, Outlaws of Ravenhurst, Norwegian Icebreaker, and plenty more. Costumes are highly encouraged, and in another awesome turn of events, all the proceeds will go towards The Calgary Distress Centre, and creating more all-ages shows in the future.
With a month this full of rad tunes for rad causes, it’s pretty much impossible not to be a good person! Just go out to make a difference! We all knew you would do it anyways, right?AB, Alberta, Calgary art, Calgary rock