By Kait Kucy

Sled Island Music & Arts Festival has officially kicked off, marking the start of a hot music-filled summer here in Calgary. While Sled Island is certainly known for their incredible lineups of world-renown musical acts at awesome venues all over the city (including the main stage at Canada Olympic Plaza), there is also some seriously weird and fun (and plenty of free!) events going on all over the city in partnership with the festival. Expect to experience everything from riding your bike as you participate in a scavenger hunt to eating at a pig roast to cheering on your favourite local roller derby team. Sled Island is all about the music but there is so much more!

Go to a Concert in a Shoe Store

CKUA is broadcasting live concerts all week from inside Gravity Pope on 17th Ave SW. Shop for festival wear for this weekend’s shows while you bob your head along to the sweet sounds of The Garrys or Lonely Parade. Blackbyrd Myoozik record store is conveniently located within Gravity Pope if you like what you hear while you are in the shop.
June 21 – June 23
Gravity Pope
1126 17th Ave SW

Look at Poster Art + Drink Cocktails

Sled Island is known for its support of artists and its visual art component; their annual poster show is no exception. Head down to Phil & Seb in Mission to check out this year’s masterpieces (they are for sale too so snag your favourite while you can) and sip sweet summery drinks by the formidable cocktails slingers from Sugarwater Bar.
June 22 7-11pm
Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters Mission
2207 4th Street SW

Go on a Bike Scavenger Hunt

Have some time to kill on your bike? Hidden around downtown Calgary are ten pages of a deconstructed zine turned treasure map. Find them all to put the zine back together again. If you are one of the first 300 players to collect all 10 you will win a limited edition prize. Get your bike and hit the road. Pick up the first page at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel from the Sled Island pass pick-up table.
June 21-25
Fairmont Palliser Hotel

Watch Nosferatu with Live Music

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to watch the classic horror film Nosferatu with a band playing the score right in the theatre? No? Me neither. But that doesn’t you won’t enjoy it. Presented alongside the Night Terrors Film Society, Shooting Guns, known for their psychedelic, heavy metal, stoner rock sound will accompany a screening of the film at the Globe Cinema.
June 22 9-11pm
Globe Cinema
617 8 Avenue SW

Hang out with Designers and Musicians

Perhaps you are a musician or perhaps you are a designer. The folks at OK Social want to bring these two communities together for an afternoon of networking and creativity. Design and music go hand-in-hand with album artwork, merchandise, website design, gig posters and even social media strategy!
June 23 3-5pm
Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters Mission
2207 4th Street SW

Eat a Ton of Cotton Candy

Leave it to Beatroute Magazine to plan a cotton candy themed party. Come for the amazing line-up of bands, leave with a permanently pink or blue stained mouth.
June 22 7pm-12am
Local 510
510 7th Ave SW

Go to a Roller Derby Match

This all ages activity is a great way to enjoy some live music while checking out some roller derby matches. Hosted by the Major Minor Music Project, an all ages volunteer run arts and event production non-profit, the afternoon promises four bands and three roller derby matches. Get ready to rumble.
June 24 12-5pm
Max Bell Arena

Buy Some Zines

As part of the Sled Island visuals art programming, the We Are Not an Island Queer Zine Fair is a free two-day event at the Legion No 1 Branch in the heart of the city. Expect to see zines, comics, books, posters and other print material for sale and exhibition. The Fair seeks to provide a safe, accessible and exclusive space within this community. Entry is free but donations to HIV Community Link Calgary will be accepted at the door.
June 24 + 25 10am-4pm
Legion No. 1 Branch – 116 7 Ave SW

Attend a Block Party

The Sled Island Block Party is the biggest free, outdoor, all-ages Sled Island event in the city. It is going to be a huge dance party with plenty of other fun things to do while you are there. Steam Whistle Pilsner has set up a beer garden, there will be lots of food trucks to keep your appetite satiated, merch will be available and Market Collective will be setting up a special vintage clothing market to shop.
Saturday June 24 2-10pm
10th Ave & 10th Street SE in Inglewood

Go to a Pig Roast

Steamwhistle Presents the Annual Sled Island Pig Roast & Wrap-up Party on the last day of Sled Island. If you’ve ever wanted try out some slow roasted pork right off the spit, now is your chance. Nine bands will hit the stage throughout the day, meaning you can sit back, relax (or rock out) and order that pulled pork poutine you’ve been craving all weekend.
June 25 at 1pm – onwards
Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club
109 7 Avenue SW

Mike Morrison