The East Village Guide to High Performance Rodeo

Nope, it’s not Stampede just yet – an entirely different kind of rodeo is taking over the city from January 9-27th. High Performance Rodeo by One Yellow Rabbit is back for its 33rd year, bringing 19 days of theatre, music, dance and multidisciplinary art to Calgarians. And since this is one of our all-time favourite festivals, we've put together a guide to Rodeo-ing in East Village. 

Whether you’re a die-hard theatre geek or first-time festival attendee, we want you to make the most of High Performance Rodeo and everything that comes with it. Because it's not just about the shows you see – it's about the time you spend soaking in the local culture! Need a dinner recommendation for before the show? Let us help you with that. Looking to amp up your arts and culture quotient? We’ve got some suggestions.

Read on for our guide!

1.       Freshen Up for Opening Night

Make a grand affair of the Opening Night performance by pampering yourself for the big event. Gents can stop in for a fresh cut and shave at East Village Barbers – no appointment needed. Ladies can pop in for a trim at RedBloom Salon, or get their nails done at Merle Norman East Village.

2.       Take the Scenic Route

On your way to a show, why not leave the house a little early to include St. Patrick’s Island and RiverWalk in your route? Along the way you’ll find beautiful temporary and permanent art installations, a brilliantly lit Reconciliation Bridge (see it light up in red and yellow for the festival kick-off on Jan 9), and – if you detour through EV – the animated glow of lights at C-Square as the train passes by.

3.       When Hunger Strikes

If you’re checking out The Democratic Set or The Shoe Project at the new Central Library and are suddenly overcome with hanger, you need only walk over to LUKES Café on the ground floor of the library. Looking for something hearty? Order one of their huge, stacked sandwiches. To satisfy your sweet tooth, pick up one of the locally-made pastries.


4.       For the Hardcore Fan

If High Performance Rodeo is basically your idea of Christmas and you’ve booked off vacation days just to take in the whole festival, you probably want to stay close to the action. Enter Alt Hotel East Village. We can’t think of better place for a staycation – the brand-new hotel just opened in November, offering modern design and convenience at wallet-friendly rates.


5.       Date Night Dinner

Looking to make the most of an evening with your BFF or better half? Go all out with dinner and drinks at Bookers BBQ before the show. Sure, you might over-indulge in a full rack of ribs, but you’ll have an entire performance ahead of you to kick back, relax, and digest!

6.       The After-Party for Music Lovers

Not ready for the fun to end after you leave your seats? Recap the performance with your plus one at a spot with drinks and live music. A locale that fits the bill won’t be hard to come by if you head over to Music Mile, which stretches from East Village into Inglewood. Our recommendation? The newly re-opened historic King Eddy, which operates as a live music venue, restaurant and bar.


7.       It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

When you’re a fan of High Performance Rodeo, you’re in it for the long haul: back-to-back shows, late nights and jam-packed weekends. So your body might appreciate some TLC and pre-festival preparation. A few visits to Clinic Sport & Health will have you raring to go, ready for even the longest of acts in only marginally comfortable theatre seating. At the end of the month, after the final curtain call, wind down with a relaxing massage. After all, being a dedicated champion for the arts is hard work!

Click here to see the full lineup of High Performance Rodeo shows and buy your tickets.

We’ve been a proud partner of High Performance Rodeo for many years, and are excited to support the local arts community that animates our city.

Evans Hunt