Shakespeare, Sci-Fi Night and Pumpkin Meccas: what’s on in Calgary this weekend

The weather might be bonkers, but Calgary’s cultural calendar keeps on chugging right along. There’s lots of shows and festivals on the go this weekend. CBC’s Tracy Fuller shared a few highlights on The Homestretch Thursday.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Myla Southward, Christopher Hunt and Julie Orton in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, a co-production between the Shakespeare Company Alberta Theatre Projects and Hit & Myth Productions. (Benjamin Laird Photo)

If Hamlet is your favourite Shakespearean character, Calgary’s Shakespeare Company has programmed the season of your dreams. That’s because their entire 2018-19 season is devoted to variations on the story of the legendarily broody Danish Prince who thinks aloud in rhyming couplets.

It launches (in a co-production with Alberta Theatre Projects and Hit & Myth Productions) with an absurdist, existential classic from Oscar winning writer Tom Stoppard: namely, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead!

This was once a film, way back in 1990, starring Oscar winner Gary Oldman and Tim Roth, in a hilarious romp through the fictional world of Hamlet, with cameos by all the bold faced Shakespearean characters, people like Hamlet, Polonius, Ophelia, Claudius and Gertrude, so brush up on Shakespeare’s original.

In this one, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are childhood friends of Hamlet who get asked by Uncle Claudius to get to the bottom of what’s ailing the Prince of Denmark, conveniently overlooking the fact that what’s ailing him is that Claudius killed his father and is now sleeping with his mother.

All of this gets a new twist in this ATP/Shakespeare Company/Hit & Myth co-production, which features Julie Orton and Myla Southward, two of Calgary’s finest actresses, in the lead roles.

Pumpkin Meccas

The Calgary Corn Maze is hosting a Flashlight Night every Saturday in October. (Grant Linton/CBC News)

Have you bought a pumpkin yet, or is this the weekend to hit the patch? 

If you like a little more fanfare for your great pumpkin hunt than just rolling into the local Co-Op and plucking one out of a bin, here’s the thing: Butterfield Acres, Cobb’s Adventure Park and the Calgary Corn Maze have all transformed into Pumpkin Meccas.

With hay rides and kid-friendly activities galore, this figures to be a fantastic way to spend a sunny Saturday.

The Corn Maze is even hosting its Flashlight Nights, every weekend in October. That’s where you try and make it through the maze in the dark.

Sci-Fi Night

The Rothney Astrophysical Observatory hosts Sci Fi Night Saturday, featuring a variety of speakers talking about exploring the solar system. (University of Calgary)

The Rothney Astrophysical Observatory — who knew? — along the Cowboy Trail will have a whole host of fascinating speakers Saturday night discussing the topic, Ocean Worlds in the Solar System and Beyond.

You can hear Steve Vance, an astrobiologist and planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, who will talk about this research into oceans on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. He’ll talk about NASA’s plans to explore these moons and search for life.

Jessie Andjelic and Phillip Vandermey will present talks about how they tackle some of the challenges of living in space.

Of course, the real show will be overhead, in the sky: Cygnus the Swan will be overhead, lit by thousands of exoplanets.

It all kicks off at 8 p.m. and costs $30 per car.

Calgary Tattoo and Arts Festival

Over 450 of the best local and international tattoo artists are gathering this weekend at BMO Centre, for the Calgary Tattoo and Arts Festival.

They’ve got a whole schedule of contests, from best sleeve (arm or leg), to Tattoo of the Day to Best Traditional to Best Bad Tattoo.

That last one happens Saturday at 2 p.m.

Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival

If tattoo art isn’t quite your thing, right next door in the BMO Centre you’ll find the best sample sale in town.

That would be the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival, which features samples of all sorts, from wine and whiskey to gourmet foods such as pulled pork sliders with pineapple, rolled ice cream, mini poké bowls,  and mini lobster rolls.

Canadian comedy icon

Debaters host Steve Patterson will be at the Laugh Shop on Sunday night.

CBC’s own Steve Patterson, who hosts the popular and very funny Debaters show, gets out of the studio and up on stage this weekend.

He’s in town for a single night, Sunday night at the Laugh Shop, at 7 p.m.

With files from The Homestretch

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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.


Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

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