Illustrated Library

Illustrated Library

It may be a while before you can actually check a book out of the New Central Library, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t read stories there. No library card needed. Simply stroll along 3rd St. SE to immerse yourself in the colourful picture book that Calgary illustrator Serena Malyon has created on the construction hoarding surrounding the NCL site: Maylon’s large watercolours depict the historical timeline of East Village from the untouched grasslands of the early 19th century to completion of the visually-stunning new library in 2018.

Examples of Malyon’s whimsical paintings can also be seen at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and inside Market restaurant on 17th Ave. Her imaginative illustrations have graced the covers of Swerve and FFWD magazines, as well as posters for Downstage Theatre and the Canadian Indigenous Shorts Film Festival. Her fanciful paintings are a welcome new addition to the vibrant public art that already enhances East Village. Take a walk to the NCL construction site to see for yourself that a picture really is worth a thousand words.

EV's Favourite Things: 12 Days of Giveaways

EV's Favourite Things: 12 Days of Giveaways


Be sure to check our EV Facebook and Twitter pages each morning to find out what we're giving away that day. Then be one of the first few to visit our Urban Ambassadors at the EV Experience Centre to take home your prize.*

Can't make it to the EV Experience Centre? Like our Facebook page to be entered to win our grand prize draw on December 18th from our friends at the Calgary Opera. Package includes:        

-4 tickets to the Calgary Opera Sunday Brunch featuring the cast of Carmen – Sunday, March 29 at the Calgary Petroleum Club

-4 tickets to A Taste of the Opera – an evening focused on the upcoming production of Carmen complete with an entertaining educational presentation followed by a reception with food and wine 

-4 tickets to Carmen at the Jubilee Auditorium on Friday, April 24th, plus complimentary parking and coat check and an invitation to the VIP Impresario Lounge for a glass of wine at intermission

EV's 12 Days of Christmas runs December 6-18. Please remember we are closed Friday, December 12th.

*Daily giveaway items are on a first-come, first-served basis and subject to availability. Limit one per customer. Contest rules below

EV Favourite Things 12 Days of Giveaways Contest Rules

Your NCL, Your Way

Your NCL, Your Way

The two-year public engagement process that was incorporated into the library’s plans referenced input from over 20,000 Calgarians about what they want from their new bibliotheca. Part landmark, part destination, part venue and really big part library, Calgary’s New Central Library will have something for everybody.

While you are waiting to take your first step through the door of the stunning new library, check out this video that gives you a taste of what it will be like to actually use the NCL? After all, it’s never too early to start planning that first trip.

There’s an experience for students, who can tap into vast study resources and enjoy plenty of elbow room for project work and families that can flock to the children’s area where youngsters can learn how to learn. And, of course, bibliophiles will relish the books just waiting to be taken down from the shelves. But design fans can also marvel at the inspiring spaces and quality of light; people watchers can sit back with a cup of coffee and enjoy the flow of life through the building; and community groups of all kinds will be able to meet in a multitude of theatres, meeting rooms or in the grand reading room at the pinnacle of the library. Add to that a technology commons, programming for children and teens, and accessibility for all regardless of financial or physical means, and you have a civic institution that will inspire Calgarians now and far into the future.

Construction of your NCL is right on schedule, with encapsulation of the existing LRT line currently underway. By mid-2015, the rising and curving C-train line will be completely sheathed in a concrete tunnel, creating a base on which the library can be built. When the building throws open its doors in 2018, patrons will be able to sit comfortably in the library’s café and spot trains as they emerge from that tunnel.

Once encapsulation is complete, the CMLC development team will entertain tenders for the above-ground work on the library project – the foundation, the structure and exterior cladding, the interior construction and the landscaping. Curious to see Snøhetta and DIALOG’s innovative design take shape before your very eyes? Follow the progress of the New Central Library on CMLC’s construction cam, where images are updated every ten minutes.

How will you experience your New Central Library? 

Christmas in 5th Street Square

Christmas in 5th Street Square

EV residents and visitors are invited to spread some Christmas cheer at our inaugral event in EV's newest urban park, 5th Street Square SE. There will be Christmas carollers, hot chocolate and even a guest appearance by Santa. 

See in you in the square!.

5 Minutes on 5th Street

5 Minutes on 5th Street

5th Street Square, the newest urban park in East Village, is open for relaxation. With furniture now in place and landscaping complete, the little tree-lined plaza at the intersection of 7th Ave. and 5th St. SE is a place where pedestrians and East Village residents can meet up, catch their breath and kick back.

(We do admit that it’s a little chilly for kicking back outdoors, but not to worry – our inaugural event on December 11 from 2-4pm, Christmas at 5th Street Square, includes hot chocolate, carollers, and even an appearance by Santa himself). 

Attractive benches flanked by green space invite you to sit for a while and five large planters, which will be spilling over with greenery come spring, bring nature to urbanity. Intersected by the Riff – the diagonal pedestrian path that runs through East Village – 5th Street Square is differentiated from that pathway by coloured brick pavers, a sort of visual cue that entices you to slow down and take a breather.

Come see for yourself on December 11 when we ring in Christmas at 5th Street Square.  

The New Central Library: Out Loud

The New Central Library: Out Loud

The free Sept. 4 design disucssion and first look at the features, amenities and function of the New Central Library has been embraced by library and architecure-lovin' Calgarians, and the free tickets are all spoken for.

Didn't get one?  A video of the presentation will be available at by the endo fo the day Friday, September 5.

Visit for all the latest project updates, or to join the discussion!

Flow by the Bow

Flow by the Bow

Back by popular demand is Julaine Antoniuck to lead us during our one hour session.

5:30 - 6:30 - Check in and mat placement

6:30 - 7:30 - Class starts

7:30 - 8:30 - After party with Food Trucks

Bring your mat, a bottle of water, and your Eventbrite ticket to get into this event.

This event was postponed from the original August 7 date to August 28 due to weather concerns.  If you had a ticket from August 7- hang on to it!  It can be used on August 28.  

If you don't have a ticket yet, get it now:

Fit Fast @ EV

Fit Fast @ EV


Come and be a part of free weekly Yoga, Zumba/Pilates, Crossfit and Spin classes led by local pros.  With four different workouts every week, you'll be your best self in no time.  Classes are weather dependent, of course. If the sky is looking iffy, check out our Facebook page.  EV is the 'hood that makes fitness more fun.  Join us!

Tuesdays - Yoga in the Village
Free lunchtime yoga on the deck of the EV Sales and Experience Centre (EVEC), noon - 1 p.m.

Wednesdays - Zumba/Pilates
Join the workout party.  Zumba or Pilates each week.  Check us out on Facebook for the weekly schedule. EVEC deck, noon- 1 p.m.

Thursdays - EV Crossfit
Take your fitness to the next level.  EVEC at noon.

Saturdays - Spin Class
Starting July 12, get your cycle sweat on at the RiverWalk Outlook at noon.  Space is limited, so come early!

Saturdays- Bike Tours and Tune Ups
Join us for a bike tour, led by our e.a.s.t. CREW on Saturday July 26 at 1:00 p.m. Need a tune up before heading out?  No problem.  Bike Mike is on site from 12:30 - 2:30 that day.  See you there!


Voices in the Village

Voices in the Village


Our "Voices in the Village" program is back in East Village for the summer, featuring some fabulous local talent.

Plan a stroll or bike ride along the banks of the Bow on  RiverWalk™ and stop in to join us on the deck of the EVEC Sunday afternoons from 1-3pm for a variety of live music. 

Sean Hamilton is on deck to entertain you starting on August 10th. 

Please plan to join us.  Puppies and picnics are welcome, and encouraged!

Seeking Urban Ambassadors

Seeking Urban Ambassadors

The East Village Experience Centre has become a hub of activity in the community, welcoming more than 15,000 visitors in 2013.  The one-stop sales and community information centre is the heart of all things East Village and features interactive tools and displays that illustrate the vision for the community and where you might live within it.

Now we want to hear from you!

The East Village team is seeking urban explorers to fill ambassador positions working within the Experience Centre.   So if you are a fan of East Village and excited about the future of the community, this is your chance to join the team.

So, who is an "Urban Explorer"?  We believe it is a mindset, not an age group.  It is a broad group of individuals who are interested in what an urban downtown can offer and advocates for creating lively communities that enrich cultural, entertainment and recreational experiences.

The East Village Ambassador positions are a first point of contact in the Experience Centre and represent the future of the community.  It is a critical role suited to passionate and motivated communicators.

Sound like you?  Read more about the Urban Explorer Ambassador profile by visiting  We look forward to hearing from you!


Fifty Days to Fifty 5K's!

Fifty Days to Fifty 5K's!

Come on out and join our lunch hour run club at the East Village Experience Centre. Every Wednesday, starting on April 9th runners of all levels and abilities will meet on the deck and begin training to run a 5 K. Our two awesome instructors Tamara & Mary will sign you in and teach you some simple tips and tricks on stretching and technique.

For everyone who completes our program, by participating in at least 5 Run Club sessions, we will pay your way into the Calgary Marathon 5 K on June 1st!

It’s so easy to see yourself running what might be your first ever 5 K in June. Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate.

1.       Set a goal

2.       Show up

3.       Stick to it

4.       Run your first 5 K

 You can do it and we can help you! Run with the East Village and we’ll cheer you on every single step of the way!

Run Club starts April 9 and continues every Wednesday from 12:00 - 1:00 PM at the East Village Experience Centre, located at 553 Riverfront Ave. SE. All you need is appropriate attire, running shoes and to show up. We will help you with the rest! Space is limited to 50 participants on a first come bases. 

To sign up please phone the East Village Experience Centre at: 403-264-0309. YOU CAN DO IT! It's the first step that is the hardest!

Art in April

Art in April

For the month of April, the amazing works of public art in East Village will be highlighted through a series of interactive displays and programs!
Starting Friday, March 28 a group of local artists will begin painting a collaborative mural on the glass windows on the east side of the building. The outline of an urban c...ity scape will be drawn on the glass and each artist will fill in the buildings with how they interpret “revitalization” in East Village. The bottom of the mural will feature the Bow & Elbow Rivers, filled in using hand prints by a group of second grade children from the Calgary Arts Academy. Directed by the Calgary Arts Academy’s Artist in Residence, Carl White, the children will finish the mural on Friday, April 4 and take a tour of the impressive public art located within East Village.

Talented local artist Mandy Stobo, featured in McLean’s Magazine and creator of the “Scuba Nenshi” portrait which helped raise funds for Calgary Flood Relief, will be one of the many artists collaborating on the mural. Mandy will also participate in our Art in April by spending one weekend doing live paintings in the EVEC.

Thursday, April 10 at 7 PM
Our own resident photographer Mark Shannon, who has been capturing the communities revitalization since it’s onset in 2007, will be displaying his work on a digital frame that will loop images from the past 7 years. Mark will be taking a group of young urban photographers on an evening walking tour, where they will have the opportunity to capture images of Langevin Bridge, the St. Louis Hotel, RiverWalk and some of our famous artwork by Ron Moppett, Julian Opie and Light & Soul.

Saturday, April 26 at 12:00, 2:00 & 4:00 PM
Daniel Kirk, one of the creative masterminds behind The Field Manual will be hosting three public walking tours to explore his mural on the East Village bridge abutments and maintenance shed. The public will be able to sign up from one of three tours on Saturday, April 26 leaving from the EVEC.

The Art in April collaboration will see talent from our own Urban Ambassadors, CMLC staff, Market Collective, University of Calgary Arts Program, Alberta Collage of Art & Design and Calgary Arts Academy.

To sign up for the April 10th Urban Photography Workshop: Please email Erin Kergen at to secure your spot. The workshop is free, open to all skill levels and all cameras. Space is limited and on a first come first serve basis.

To sign up for the April 26 Daniel Kirk Walking Tour: Please email or call 403-264-0309. Space is limited and on a first come first serve basis.

Getting Around

Getting Around

Feast in the East

Feast in the East

It's a very special feast this year, because the food trucks will gather at the new south and north landings to St. Patrick's Bridge in East Village and Bridgeland.  Bring friends, try out the bridge and work up an appetite!

You can hit your favorite trucks and then dine along the bridge deck.  See chefs compete in the Mystery Ingeredient Challenge for the coveted FEASTY award.  Live music, great eats and fun on the newest bridge in town at the last YYC Food Truck festival of the year.

When: October 24 and 25

Time:  11:00 am - 7:00 pm each day

 Food truck challenge:  2:00 pm on Satruday

Place: St. Patrick's Bridge

Celebrate the opening of the new St. Patrick's Bridge with us!

Celebrate the opening of the new St. Patrick's Bridge with us!


Skip on over for a week of fun in East Village to celebrate the new St. Patrick's Bridge.  Play, dine and stretch on the new span, inspired by the beauty of a stone skipping across the Bow River.

October 20  Grand Opening Celebration.  Noon - 1 pm.  Join Mayor Naheed Nenshi, members of City Council and CMLC for a ceremonial crossing into EV.  Free Chili for the 1st 200 visitors!

October 21 Tai Chi Demonstration on the Bridge.  Noon - 1pm. 

October 22 Breakfast on the Bridge. 7am - 9am.  First 200 guests.

October 23 Yoga on the Bridge. Noon - 1pm. Free event.

October 24&25 Feast in the East Foodtruck Challenge. 11 am - 7 pm.

Net Gain

Net Gain

Kids and adults alike shed their shoes to climb and explore the immense mesh structure inside the big white tent, but this was no ordinary bouncy castle. Part conceptual art, part jungle gym, part commentary on spatial perception, the wildly popular free event proved that there is no age limit on play and discovery.

The brainchild of the Viennese design collective Numen/For Use, the self-supporting inflated structure encourages users to push their perception of space and dimension while pushing themselves to scale the flexible mesh. And boy, did Calgarians push themselves. “That was so cool; I touched the roof!” exclaimed one flushed youngster, as she emerged from the tent. “It was actually kind of hard to climb,” her dad admitted. “You have to be quick because it keeps moving on you.”

Net Blow-Up proved so popular that curious climbers waited for up to an hour and a half to tackle its peaks. Beakerhead co-founder and science rock-star Jay Ingram chatted with would-be climbers as the line snaked out of the tent and into the brilliant afternoon sunshine. Parents served as good-natured human place-holders while youngsters chased one another and danced to the upbeat background music. “It was just awesome,” declared one mom as she helped her excited brood get their shoes back on post-climb. “It was so worth the wait!” 

Fall for East Village

Fall for East Village

EV loves fall!  Let us help you warm up to the season with a fall harvest festival on RiverWalk™ Plaza and in the East Village Event Tent, Saturday October 11.

We have loads of fall fun planned for you.  You can shop for artisian crafts, take in live music, nosh from YYC Foodtrucks, strike a pose in the photo booth and more.

A donation to the foodbank grants you access to our pumpkin patch where you can harvest your very own pumpkin!

Join us from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.  All the scarecrows will be there- don't miss it!

PARKLUXE Fashion Show and Sale

PARKLUXE Fashion Show and Sale

PARK (Promoting Artists Redefining Kulture) is an organization designed to connect Calgary fashion and art lovers with spohisticated local designers and artists.

We are pleased that they have chosen to present PARKLUXE, a high-end fashion show and sale here in East Village, this coming weekend.

 Join us in the EV event tent for your chance to see collections from: Caitlin Power, Laura Siegel, Malorie Urbanovitch, Workhall, Paul Hardy, and Matthew Gallagher.

Tickets are still available at www.ourparkonline/parkluxe. 

Hope to see you there!  

VIP parking at the EVEC.   General parking available in the lot located at 6th ave and 6th street, on a first come first serve basis.  The LRT is steps away, and always a good option when visiting East Village.

Beakerhead is back in East Village with Net Blow-up

Beakerhead is back in East Village with Net Blow-up

Net Blow-Up is the creation of three artists from Vienna and Austria called 'Numen/For Use', that encourages people to explore the ideas of scale and direction, and immenseness and absence of space, simultaneously.

People of all ages are encouraged to navigate this floating landscape of nets suspended within a soft structure, which mutuates with every movement of its temporary inhabitants.

Dates & times:

September 10- closed due to weather and power outages

September 11 & 12 :  
11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 13:  
10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Artist talk at 3:00 pm

Sunday, September 14:  
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

East Village Event Tent- RiverWalk Plaza


In order to ensure everyone is able to fully experience this unique interactive sculpture, the number of participants allowed in at any given time is limited. Vistors should be aware that this may result in some short wait times - that we are sure you will agree are well worth it!

Blooming Good Times

Blooming Good Times


For the gardeners who dropped by the bountiful micro-farm on the corner of 5th Avenue and 8th Street SE, it was a chance to spend a sunny afternoon with neighbours, swapping horticultural tips and enjoying lemonade and cookies. Because the only thing better than spending time in the garden with friends is spending time in the garden with friends and lemonade and cookies.

An arrangement of benches and chairs near the little white gardening shed was a popular vantage point from which to survey the fruitful plots and to greet fellow green thumbs. “It’s nice to sit here and talk and visit,” said one senior gardener, taking a break from thinning her beets. “This is my second year having a garden plot,” added her friend. “I just grow from seeds rather than bedding plants, because it’s so nice to have a surprise as to what comes up.”

As she poured out lemonade and offered cookies, Erica from the e.a.s.t. CREW (Events Activity Street Team) paused to admire the lush lettuce and aromatic dill spilling from one of the raised beds. “This is one of the Drop-In Centre’s three plots,” she explained. “They always take such good care of their plots and I know DI clients really enjoy the fresh produce.”

Growing nourishing produce and beautiful blooms enriches all the neighbours who are part of the community garden. Raised beds, a storage chest full of tools and watering cans, and a 1,200 gallon watering tank on site makes tending plots a whole lot easier for the agrarians, many of whom are seniors. The monthly EV Community Garden Party – where gardeners can enjoy lemonade and cookies from the comfort of a shady bench and swap planting tips with fellow enthusiasts – is a refreshing reward for a job well-done.

You don’t want to miss the next EV Community Garden Party. Mark Wednesday, September 3 on your calendar and drop by the EV Community Garden from noon till 2 pm to survey the bounty. Cookies and lemonade are on us. 

Heritage at the Fort

Heritage at the Fort

German, Spanish, French, Cantonese and English all resonated throughout the old North West Mounted Police barracks as families locked each other in jail cells and took turns trying on Red Serge uniforms. The steady stream of strollers through the log gates of Calgary’s birthplace and the rows of tour buses lining the parking lot proved that exploring the past never gets old. At the corner of 6th St. and 9th Ave. SE in East Village, the newly installed scarlet-red Sentinels landmark was a fitting portal to the past.  

“We’ve had quite a few people come through already, and it’s not even noon,” reported the friendly greeter in his Mountie red uniform. “Lots of people are bringing the kiddies, because we have some great activities for the kids today.” A picture-perfect end to an August long weekend, plus free admission all day at Fort Calgary, meant that many families took advantage of the welcoming atmosphere and the accessible location to spend the day steeped in history inside the barracks and soaking up some sun in the community garden and throughout the sprawling grounds.

“How does this work?” one youngster wondered as she tried out the wooden turn-of-the-century toys on display in the hands-on museum. “Mom, did you used to have one of these when you were little?”

The rough jail cells with their chinked log walls and coarse blankets were especially tempting to little criminals of all ages. “I want to go to jail,” insisted one n’er-do-well, luring the rest of his family away from the big black steam locomotive where they had paused for family photos. Happy to oblige, his father promptly fitted him with the smaller set of shackles that were hanging outside the jailhouse doors. “Handcuffs for little thieves! Perfect!” Dad declared before locking his delighted offspring in the cell.

Amateur historians squeezed into the interpretive centre’s theatre to hear Fort Calgary CEO and President Sara-Jane Gruetzner talk about Chief Crowfoot, Colonel MacLeod, Captain Deane and Alderman John Ayer. These key figures from Fort Calgary’s colourful history are all commemorated by the scarlet Sentinels standing guard at the gateway to Fort Calgary and East Village. Elsewhere in the fort, crafty youngsters crowded around a long activity table to create their own Sentinels from red beverage cups and paper cutouts. Across the room, parents gathered around the barrack’s pool table to instruct the next generation on the finer points of snooker.

Along the meandering pathways that criss-cross Fort Calgary’s 40-acre parklands, Calgarians wandered in peaceful contemplation. As they paused to marvel at the heirloom plants in the community garden or reflect upon the abandoned railway line that turned the traditional Siksika land into a settlement, urban explorers could not help but be fascinated by the richness of the bygone days beneath their feet. It was indeed a day for the history books.

Opera in the Big Top and Beyond

Opera in the Big Top and Beyond

Get ready to thrill to the trills and belt out the bravos! The countdown to Opera in the Village has begun.

From August 14 – 23, RiverWalk™ Plaza will once again be brimming with bel cantos, as the outrageous comic romp Candide (featuring the irrepressible Tracy Dahl) takes centre stage in the big white tent. But the repertoire isn’t just confined to the big top. When Canada’s only professional outdoor summer opera festival makes its triumphant return to RiverWalk-by-the-Bow, melodrama will be bursting its banks.

Make sure to plan extra time to take in all the over-the-top action happening around RiverWalk Plaza. Because in true operatic fashion, the side stories are just as much fun as the main libretto.

Let the alumni of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist program prepare you forCandide with a prelude of some of the opera world’s greatest hits, performed nightly at 6:45 on the side stage. Cheer on your favourite diva as Broadway-inclined reality show contestants spar in a contest of vocal gymnastics to take top prize in the So You Think You Can Sing Musical Theatre contest, held on the side stage August 20-22, from 5:00-6:30 pm.

Introduce the next generation to the delights of opera with a child-friendly matinee performance of Hansel & Gretel by Engelbert Humperdink (the other one, not the one who had ladies’ undergarments thrown at him). The kiddies will soak in all the excitement of opera under the big top in one easy hour on August 16, 17 and 23 at 3:00 pm.  And be prepared to shout bravo when the talented youngsters enrolled in Calgary Opera’s summer camp take over the open-air tent with a mini-presentation of Gilbert and Sullivan’sThe Mikado on August 22 and 23.

If all that singing leaves you parched, we’ve got you covered, in beautiful open-air RiverWalk style. Sit back, relax and enjoy a refreshing beverage on the Big Rock Patio, open throughout the entire festival. Show off your own vocal chops at Karaoke Nights, held in the Big Rock Patio August 15, 16 and 22, from 10:15 pm to midnight. You know you want to.

On Sunday, August 17, plan the overture to your festival day around a delectable Sidewalk Citizen Bakery picnic basket. Simply book in advance with Calgary Opera and at 6:00 pm, share a bountiful basket with your ensemble. Calgary’s entourage of food trucks will also be in attendance throughout the festival to quell those pre- and post-performance hunger pangs.

Check out the shenanigans of the roving carnival performers from Green Fools Theatre, and then be sure to stick around for an operatic after-party of cinema cult classics projected onto a screen, with the beautiful Bow River as the backdrop. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to Outdoor Movie Nights (10:15 pm – midnight), featuring Rocky Horror Picture Show on August 15, Moulin Rouge on August 16 and Beetlejuice on August 22.

Don’t miss out on any of the operatic action. Buy your tickets to the Opera in the Village production of Candide now, and be sure to take in all the extravaganza of Canada’s only professional outdoor summer opera festival:



Opera in the Village

Opera in the Village


Step right up to the return of Opera in the Village under the big top on the banks of the beautiful Bow River.

Roving circus performers, Calgary's gourmet food trucks, fresh-pressed lemondade, a waterfront Big Rock Patio, karaoke, movies and more will keep you entertained day and night August 14-23.

Tickets to Candide and matinee performances of Hansel and Gretel are available at

Get Fit Fast in East Village!

Get Fit Fast in East Village!

Join us on the deck of the EVEC for weeday fitness classes.

Tuesdays- Yoga with Anita Athvale

Thursdays- The Crossfit studio comes to EV

Weekend workout:

Sundays- Bike Tours (meet at EVEC)

See you there!  Noon - 1 p.m. each day.

'Walk: Rocked

'Walk: Rocked

It was an afternoon with a little sun, a little cloud, a bit of breeze, and even a few light spatters of rain. Not enough to worry about, though. For the fourth year in a row, Mother Nature showed that she adores Rock the ’Walk.

Three local bands (Beaver Squadron, Meisha and the Spanks, and The HighKicks) kept heads bobbing and hips shaking, while food trucks fuelled the famished. The Fort Calgary end of RiverWalk™ was music central, with garage-rockers Beaver Squadron wasting no time blasting off the afternoon with some blistering tunes. Beside the Simmons building, Waffles & Chix and Braizen food trucks fired up the fryers for an equally brisk start. Evidently many urban explorers worked up an appetite on their way over.

As the covered tables in the centre of RiverWalk filled with lunchers, some, like Johanna, barely had time for bites between greetings to yet another friend. “Rock the ’Walk just sort of attracts certain kinds of people,” she shrugged happily. “It’s a great place to catch up with old friends.”

“I’ve never been down here for Rock the ’Walk before,” admitted one diner, tucking into his fried chicken poutine. “It’s a perfect day – not too hot – and the music is awesome!” His friend looked up from her colourful kale and beet salad: “I’m having the Superfoods Salad, which is just fabulous!” Superfoods Salad was the apparent buzzword of the day along RiverWalk, with some particularly generous diners even offering up tastes of theirs to complete strangers. “Now I sort of wish I hadn’t already eaten,” bemoaned one lucky recipient of a sample. “I may just have to stay for supper as well.”

Fortunately, dancing to hot tunes and browsing the vendor tents lining RiverWalk Plaza was a perfect way to work up an appetite for an early supper. A mix of new and returning vendors enticed curious customers with everything from vintage lamps to custom jewelry to rockabilly frocks. “This is our first time, and we are thrilled that there are so many people down here,” declared the ladies from Blame Betty. “What a great place to spend the day.”

“I love it! I’m really enjoying the music and all the people,” another first-time Rock the ’Walk artisan said. “However, I just saw somebody with a giant bag of mini donuts, so I’m going to have to bring some home for my kids …  if I don’t eat them all first.” Nothing that a little RiverWalk dancing won’t fix. 

New Central Library: Making Connections

New Central Library: Making Connections


Before the East Village renewal, there was a big and somewhat desolate gap between City Hall on the edge of corporate downtown and Fort Calgary. Today, CMLC is ensuring that the space is being filled with new homes, green spaces, RiverWalk™ and other amenities for all Calgarians.


The New Central Library, just east of City Hall, has an important role as a connector between downtown and neighbourhoods to the east. Ellen Humphrey, deputy CEO of the Calgary Public Library, wants the New Central Library to be a portal that “provides an opportunity for people who want to pass through or beyond the existing municipal building into the wonderful world of East Village.”


Carolyn Haddock of MHPM, a project manager on the NCL, describes it as a “great front door” for everyone accessing East Village from downtown – and vice versa, of course.


For Janet Hutchinson, chair of the Calgary Public Library Board, the NCL is a link, a centrepiece and a destination. “So that if you live in Edgemont or Shaganappi or anywhere, coming here represents more than just a trip to the library.  It’s a trip to a really cool part of town,” she says.


Rob Adamson of DIALOG, the Calgary architecture firm working with Snøhetta on the NCL design, says a new attitude is emerging with the New Central Library – the idea of a cultural precinct that includes downtown, East Village and other areas, like arty Inglewood.  


The New Central Library is all that – and it’s a library too, of course. Bill Ptacek, CEO of the Calgary Public Library, says that the NCL will give East Village and downtown their own branch. But like all good connections, the energy goes both ways, and East Village will give the library its true community. “The library is a symbol of the investment in community,” he says. “It will be a place where people can come together.”


Literally connecting Calgarians to the New Central Library construction program started this week when CMLC, with the help of our good neighbours at Bow Valley College, installed a live construction camera on the southeast corner of the South Campus Building. The construction cam allows Calgarians a bird’s eye view of the site during the LRT encapsulation program, and will keep the city linked to the excitement of building construction as well. Get connected to the “cam” by clicking here.

The Sentinels: On Guard for Thee

The Sentinels: On Guard for Thee


The five red glass towers on the edge of the original North West Mounted Police headquarters of Fort Calgary serve as a highly visible (and patriotic) landscape gateway to Calgary’s birthplace and delineate the urban space of East Village from the historic fort. They also commemorate historical figures who were instrumental to the area – and they connect the parklands of Fort Calgary to the homes of East Village. These are clever, hardworking Sentinels.

East Village has tipped its Mountie hat in respect to our historical neighbour by adding touches of RCMP red all along the section of East Village bordering Fort Calgary. Throughout RiverWalk™, by the bridges, and following the thin red line of the 6th Street Edges project, jolts of crimson pay homage to our celebrated neighbour. On the Sentinels site itself, the towers are all decked out in full dress uniform.  

The precise shade of red is such a crucial part of the Mountie uniform that the five glass towers forming the Sentinels installation are programmed with internal lighting, just to keep them that exact iconic shade. The tallest tower, which stands an impressive 28 feet tall, is flanked by four smaller ones, each of which honours a historical character who has left a lasting legacy on the city and the community.

The first tower pays respect to Chief Crowfoot, chief of the Siksika Nation, whose vibrant culture was well established at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers long before the arrival of the North West Mounted Police (NWMP). Colonel MacLeod, the second Commissioner of the NWMP, is commemorated on the second tower for giving Calgary its name. The third tower honours Captain Deane, who was the last serving superintendent of Fort Calgary before it was decommissioned. The final tower thanks Alderman John Ayer, whose ten year struggle to rescue Fort Calgary from obscurity resulted in the City of Calgary purchasing the property in 1974, returning the city’s birthplace to the public realm.

With Fort Calgary right at the doorstep, East Villagers can venture back into our city’s history anytime, in just a few easy steps. And with 40 acres of green space in which to stretch out and relax, you couldn’t ask for a better backyard.

Learn more about the Sentinels of Fort Calgary here: The Sentinels: Stand on Guard for Thee, then come take a look at them for yourself!


Rock the ‘Walk 4

Rock the ‘Walk 4


Ever since RiverWalk™ celebrated its grand opening with the first ever Rock the ‘Walk in 2011, Calgarians have embraced East Village’s liveliest, sunniest, tastiest riverside party with great gusto. And no wonder. Who doesn’t love free live music, food trucks and unique offerings by local artisans? All happening on an award-winning riverside promenade, no less?

This year’s musical lineup of Beaver Squadron, along with Rock the ‘Walk alumni Meisha and the Spanks and the HighKicks, will keep the high-octane energy flowing on RiverWalk Plaza from noon right through until 5 pm this Saturday, July 19. With free live music, a cavalcade of food trucks and twenty artisans offering their wares, the stunning river view won’t be the only thing to take your breath away.

Rock the ’Walk has been a success from the very first instalment, and what began as the grand opening party for the first phase of RiverWalk (then, a four block stretch from 3rd Street to the edge of Fort Calgary) has become one of Calgary’s best-loved blasts by the banks of the Bow. The inaugural Rock the ‘Walk set the bar for a sun-soaked day to celebrate urban riverside fun. And so far it’s worked, with each subsequent Rock the ‘Walk being more gloriously radiant than the last.

Curious Calgarians flocked to RiverWalk Plaza for the first ever Rock the ‘Walk in 2011, to see for themselves just what all the fuss was about. The “oohs” and “aahs” were audible, as intrigued explorers surveyed the flowing Bow from new observation decks and rested on brand-new benches and loungers. Three beloved Calgary bands rocked the Plaza stage for four solid hours at that first Rock the ‘Walk: Meisha and the Spanks, Samantha Savage Smith, and Kris Demeanor and his Crack Band. A dozen vendors from Market Collective enticed savvy shoppers with an intriguing selection of crafty wares. Fiasco Gelato cooled off dancers and over-heated shoppers alike with some sweet treats.

As RiverWalk has grown, so has the party. By the summer of 2012, three phases of RiverWalk (from Centre Street bridge, around Fort Calgary and to 9th Avenue) were fully complete, making even more room for ‘Walk rocking. Under brilliant blue skies, crowds of urban explorers flocked to the banks of the Bow, absorbing the music and the party atmosphere along with the rays. Rock the ‘Walk 2 took the tasty factor up a notch with five of Calgary’s finest food trucks ready to show hungry villagers some love. Twenty Market Collective vendors offered near-endless shopping opportunities and Bike Calgary took curious walkers on free old-timey bicycle rides. Hello Moth, Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk, and Reuben and the Dark kept tunes ringing and toes tapping through the afternoon.

By Rock the ‘Walk 3 in 2013, everybody knew the drill. Sun: check; smiles: check; awesome party by the river: check. Cool shades and hot dance moves were the fashion accessories of the day as music lovers, shoppers and food truck aficionados strolled RiverWalk beneath cloudless skies. A village of vendors under white tents transformed RiverWalk Plaza into a shopping mecca; food trucks offered up mouth-watering fare; and Mark Mills, Eve Hell & the Razors, and the HighKicks had the rhythmically-inclined bobbing their heads and shaking their hips. The high-octane tunes proved hard to resist; even a few Maker Faire robotic chairs got down and funky.

On July 19, hop on your bike, board or the bus, or simply lace up your sneakers and stroll over to RiverWalk Plaza from noon to 5 pm for East Village’s signature summer celebration. And don’t forget to save room for gelato


The NCL: Challenges and Opportunities

The NCL: Challenges and Opportunities

The site of Calgary’s New Central Library, located just west of City Hall in East Village, fulfills many objectives: it keeps the NCL downtown so that many communities can access it, and it provides a key destination and link that will draw Calgarians from downtown through City Hall to the NCL and East Village.


At the same time, the site’s unique character is making the architects and developers do the best work of their careers. “Having a train running through it, a crescent moon shape, and the municipal building directly to the west offers unique challenges,” says Kate Thompson, development director for CMLC, the NCL’s developer.


The train challenge is being met through an encapsulation process that will cover the train in such a way that transit will be little affected during construction. The site shape challenge is going to produce a building that will be unlike any other. “The site is predetermining a great building,” Thompson says. “It can’t be boring and it can’t be basic just by virtue of where it is.”


The NCL’s prime design consultants, Snøhetta of New York and Oslo and Calgary’s DIALOG, relished the opportunities offered by the shape the site. “We saw a great challenge in the site – something pushing back at us that would allow us to react in a unique way,” says Snøhetta founder Craig Dykers. “Those kinds of challenges prompt unique solutions.”


As for the proximity of City Hall to the site, well, the architects are hard at work making the connection both seamless and exciting.


The encapsulation process has already begun. The work in progress on the design will be shared with the public in early September. We’ll keep you posted on updates. Watch and hear architects and the development team discuss the NCL site here.


Rock the 'Walk 4

Rock the 'Walk 4


Come on down to RiverWalk Plaza for free live music, a market with 20 unique vendors, foodtrucks and a whole lot of fun!

This year's rocking line up:

Beaver Squadron 12:30
Meisha and the Spanks  1:30
HighKicks  3:00

There is a whole lot going on in East Village, including some temporary road closures.  Confluence Ave. and Riverfront Avenue are closed this Saturday.  Use 6th street or walk/bike in to celebrate summer on the banks of the Bow.

Noon until 5 p.m. See you there!