Amid pandemic, shows went on across the city in 2020
April 20: Matt Masters launched Curbside Concerts.
A prime example of innovation in the time of COVID, singer-songwriter Masters created Curbside Concerts, which found him visiting people's homes for socially distanced outdoor shows. The idea caught on and expanded. By the end of the year, the organization had delivered 500 gigs from Ottawa to the Yukon.
April 27: Natalie Meisner named Calgary's Poet Laureate.
Poet, playwright and Mount Royal University instructor Meisner was named the city's Poet Laureate, a two-year term. She replaces Sheri-d Wilson.
May 30: Folk festival launches online concerts.
The Calgary Folk Music Festival launched Virtually Live, which paired local and North American or international acts for online concerts. The series ran until July 4 and featured acts such as Tom Phillips, California folkie Tre Burt and Brazilian singer Josyara, among others.
June 22: Calgary Underground Film Festival went to the drive-in, online.
The annual celebration of genre cinema wasn't about to let COVID-19 win, pivoting to a mostly online version and experimenting with drive-in screenings at Big Rock Brewery.
June. 27: Theatre Calgary put the Bard online.
Theatre Calgary presented an online version of Romeo & Juliet, paving the way for similar offerings from most of the professional and community theatre companies.
July 6: CPO CEO Paul Dornian announced his retirement.
After serving five years as
CEO and president of the Calgary Philharmonic, Dornian announced plans to step down in August 2021.
July 23 to 25: Folk fest went online.
The Calgary Folk Music Festival presented an online concert during the weekend it would normally be held at Prince's Island Park. Lucy Dacus, William Prince, Amythyst Kiah, Copperhead and Birds of Chicago were among the performers playing concerts from home.
July 26: Season 4 of Calgary-shot Wynonna Earp aired on CTV Sci-fi.
After a lengthy delay due to everything from funding problems to COVID-19, the fourth season of the cult favourite supernatural western finally hit the airwaves.
Aug. 21: Musicians rallied for Ironwood Stage and Grill.
Calgary singer-songwriters rallied behind the beloved Inglewood venue in late August, which faced a grim future due to COVID-19. It raised $68,000. Another fundraiser was held Sept. 18-19.
Aug. 27: Historic Plaza Theatre closed its doors.
Financial pressure due to COVID-19 led to the closure of the Kensington landmark, which began life in 1928 as a garage and became a movie
house in 1935.
Sept. 8 to Dec. 8: Wordfest pivoted, attracting literary stars.
Most arts organizations were forced to rethink how to deliver during COVID-19, but few did it with such confidence and success as the annual literary festival. In its 25th year, Wordfest held a number of online events, attracting huge names such as Margaret Atwood (twice!) and filmmaker Charlie Kaufman and morphing into an online broadcast channel.
Sept. 12: Jubilations Dinner Theatre reopened.
Jubilations Dinner Theatre was the first dinner theatre to reopen with Night at the Museum of Rock and Roll. It had limited seating capacity and actors lip-syncing to pre-recorded tracks.
Sept. 17: Contemporary Calgary opened Yoko Ono exhibit.
After a delay due to COVID-19, Calgary's newest gallery opened its most high-profile exhibit yet. The sprawling exhibit included both the Art of John and Yoko and the interactive The Instructions of Yoko Ono.
Sept. 21: Calgary-shot hit comedy, Jann, returned.
Jann Arden's meta sitcom, which became one of the country's biggest hits in its first season, returned to the airwaves for Season 2.
Sept. 25: Arts groups united for Rise Up drive-in concerts.
Six music festivals teamed up to bring live music to Big Art's Drive-in at Telus Spark.
Sept. 23: Ghost River went live, online with Sensory Box.
Ghost River Theatre presented the one-man show Sensory Box simultaneously live at the West Village Theatre and online.
Sept. 24 to Oct. 2: The Calgary International Film Festival held hybrid in-cinema, online screenings with a local focus.
The 21st annual festival pivoted to a hybrid model, with limited screenings and online viewings. It also featured the most local films in its history. It reported an estimated attendance of 30,720, far exceeding box-office expectations.
Oct. 30: Workshop Theatre revived live theatre.
Workshop Theatre presented a Halloween production of Night of the Living Dead with a cast of 17 actors all wearing see-through masks for limited audiences at the West Village Theatre. It was the only fullscale, live theatre production of the pandemic.
Nov. 5: Banff Centre unveiled a revamped and renamed Jenny Belzberg Theatre.
While its official opening date is still up in the air, the Banff Centre unveiled its newest digs to media in early November, showing off the $7.1-million renovation of the facility formerly known as the Eric Harvie Theatre.
Nov. 26: Fraggle Rock to come to the Calgary Film Centre.
In late November, members of the Alberta film and television industry confirmed that the reboot of the 1980s Jim Henson classic would be shot in Calgary. Cameras are expected to roll in mid-january.
Dec. 16: Alberta Ballet went online.
Alberta ballet posted a short film of The Nutcracker for fans, as it didn't mount the annual Christmas classic for the first time in its 29-year history.
Dec. 18: Calgary Opera presented online Yuletide special.
While the pandemic has darkened opera stages around the world, Calgary Opera remained productive during its downtime. That included a Dec. 18 launch of the online Yuletide Sessions featuring members of the company's Emerging Artists Ensemble.