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Food, fun and Beakerhead – Calgary’s cool art & science mashup, September 18-22

Written By | Sep 10, 2019

CALGARY: There are more than a few good reasons to head to Calgary this September.  The changing seasons, great food, fabulous museums, and Beakerhead.  Beakerhead smashes-up Calgary’s vibrant art, science, and engineering scene into five days of exhibits, experiments, and exhibitions from September 18 to 22

About the Beakerhead Creative Society

Beakerhead Creative Society is a registered charity whose mandate is to globally advance education at the crossroads of art, science and engineering. Through year-round educational programs and the annual September festival in Calgary, Canada, Beakerhead aims to engage, delight, surprise and entertain you so completely that you don’t even realize you are learning too!

The event offers four days of curated, eclectic workshops, spectator-pleasing shows, and fun to create an eclectic and futuristic extravaganza.

On September 21, Beakerhead’s signature, finale Spectacle will have your head spinning with sensory input.

“The Calgary Downtown Association is excited to partner with Beakerhead to bring this year’s Spectacle to Prince’s Island Park,” says Marco De Iaco, Executive Director. “Beakerhead is a fun, unique and local creation that offers a new experience every year. We’re excited to host this event downtown!”

Beakerhead is amping up this year’s Spectacle experience by consolidating over 25 engineered art installations into one downtown location. The location making it easier for festival-goers to discover and explore. Be prepared for fire-breathing monsters, roaming engineered contraptions, glowing fashion, inventions of mammoth proportion, food, drink, and much more madness.

Organizers expect over 10,000 people to attend the Spectacle.

Tickets and full details of this year’s festival are available now at their website.

Celebrating Canada Day at The Hotel William Gray and Old Montreal

Here’s a sampling of the 2019 program:

  • Trippity Twitchit and Notorious B.A.D. – Fiery and mystical metal creations by Calgary-based True North Absurdities.
  • Paraluna – A whirling, tilting, pulsating, 35-foot-wide umbrella of 17,000 LED lights choreographed to classical music.
Calgary, Beakerhead, Lunch Withhout Light, Travel
  • Lunch without Light – A culinary feast for the senses.  At Lunch Without Light the Dark Table serving staff, who are living with vision loss, are joined by science writer and broadcaster Jay Ingram and Jaideep Bains from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary to lead you in a sensory experience unlike any other.
  • For Science! – Think “Blue Man Group meets Bill Nye” at this hilarious and science-based performance
  • Make Fashion – Debuts their latest collection of high fashion wearable tech.
  • Community Beacons – Can’t wait for Beakerhead? Get a free preview of some uniquely Beakerhead installations on display in Marda Loop, 4th Street and other communities from September 8 to 20.
Beakerhead offering unique special events:
Calgary, Beakerhead, The Lost Hours, TravelTHE LOST HOURS

The Lost Hours displays visuals in motion based on Salvador Dalí’s theories of space and dimension. Take a solo, simulated dark ride that imagines memories and forgotten childhood scenes blend upon the approach of death to rescue all that is lost. Based on the memoirs of Salvador Dalí and his sister Ana María, The Lost Hours is created and performed by 8ROJO.

As an educational charity with year-round K-12 programming, Beakerhead is having a very successful year.

“Our field trip student enrollment has nearly doubled this year and support from our community partners is at an all-time high,” says Jeff Popiel, Interim CEO at Beakerhead Creative Society. “Momentum continues to build and we are sincerely honored at how Calgary supports and enables Beakerhead’s impact.”

“Beakerhead is a community creator,” says Lori Hewson, director of community investment and social innovation at Suncor. “By uniquely merging art, science, engineering and technology, Beakerhead encourages innovation and brings people together. We are proud to support the ingenious programming and iconic, interactive installations that make up Beakerhead and spark interest and curiosity for all members of the Calgary community.”

The Spectacle is sponsored by Suncor, and the Suncor Energy Foundation is a founding partner of Beakerhead.

Beakerhead is also proud to have the support of the provincial government.

For more information visit:

Get Social:


Facebook / Twitter / Instagram: @beakerhead

More to do: The Calgary Stampede: The most fun you can have with your boots on

Where to Eat in Calgary:

Good food is easy to find in Calgary. From a sandwich to a Modern Steakhouse experience, it’s hard to not find a great breakfast, lunch or dinner meal.

The East Village is “where Calgary began and where the future of city life is unfolding.” And it is magnificent. It is an eclectic mix of high-end urbanity with a strong sensitivity toward the city street life.

Calgary takes care of its street people, and it is remarkable to see this working experiment taken place in this city.  The Hi Calgary Hostile provides affordable lodging for those visiting the city.  While the Marriott steps up to provide luxury accommodations.

Breakfast at Phil & Sebastian Roast Coffee and the Sidewalk Citizen’s Bakery

Start your day in the East Village with a cup of  Phil & Sebastian’s Roast Coffee with breakfast at the Sidewalk Citizen’s Bakery.  Located in the now refurbished Simmons mattress factory building, this shared space provides an upscale food court that provides culinary excellence on two floors.

Phil & Sebastian roasts fair trade beans to create rich robust brews.  A state of the art coffee roaster is open to viewing (behind glass) allowing java fans to not only see the bean’s transform but also enjoy the warm and inviting smell at the very heart of a good cup of Joe.

Phil Robertson and Sebastian Sztabzyb roast, brew and serve up coffee culture knowledge for the asking. Their beans are sourced around the world, always fair trade.

Phil & Sebastian, Calgary, Coffee, RiverwalkTasting sessions, brewing classes and tours of the roastery keep you in the loop on getting a great cuppa.

The Sidewalk Citizens bakery offers a wide selection of patisseries as well as breakfast and lunch dishes.  There before the avocado craze took off, they already had a perfect charred avocado with bacon and tomato served with a thick slice of fresh sourdough bread.

The vegetarian quiche is robust with flavor and similarly satisfying.

Citizens Bakery, Quiche

Image by Jacquie Kubin for @CommDigiNews

Prince Island Park and the River Cafe for Lunch

Head to Prince Island Park and the River Cafe for a remarkable lunch along the Bow River. While dinner is always a perfect affair, the chance  Like the Simmons factory rehab, the River Cafe is in a rehabbed park concessions building.  Its unique octagonal shape wraps the inside tables around an open kitchen.  But if your there for lunch, opt to sit on the terrace to enjoy a remarkable lunch in this picturesque spot.

In fact, among this restaurant’s many awards, is one of Canada’s most scenic restaurants as well as one of Canada’s top ten restaurants (Wine Enthusiasts). The restaurant’s dedication to the smallest possible carbon footprint makes it one of Canada’s most eco-friendly restaurants.

In Calgary, River Cafe ranks among the top twenty eateries in the city.

Executive chef Matthias Fong has found new methods to present authentic Canadian cuisine. Fong speaks of his commitment to connecting with growers and producers at their farms, gardens, and ranches from the Alberta region. His choice is always the purveyor who is a proven steward of the land.

From the lunch menu, enjoy Dry Aged Berkshire Pork served with Peas, Fairwinds Farm Goat Yogurt, Red Fife, Rhubarb Gel, Red Wine Jus. Or a personal favorite, Heart Rock Ranch Duck Confit presented with Okanagan Stone Fruit such as peaches, cherries, and apricots. Locally sourced items also l Poplar Bluff Beets, Fraser Valley Hazelnuts, Fairwinds Farm Goat Feta

Bison Tartare gives a classic dish local flavor using Oat Crema, Pickled Saskatoon Berries Cucumber, Puffed Red Fife, Garden Herbs & Flowers, instead of the more common onions, capers, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.  A world cuisine dish, Barbajuans are fried filled ravioli. Chef Fong offers a Caramelized Onion Barbajuan are created using hazelnut, King Oyster mushrooms, Coriander vinegar, and River Garden grown herbs and flowers.

Modern Steak

This is not your grand-daddies steak house. Though there are some similarities.  Great cuts of locally grown beef, aged to perfection.  And plenty of Jack Daniels whiskey notwithstanding.

Today’s evening diners are looking for experience and unique tastings over large plates overloaded with carbohydrates and proteins.  And Modern Steak is ready to meet those expectations.  Entering the restaurant it feels like a hyper-cool, contemporary nightclub.  Lots of blue lights, glass, and chrome surround intimate seating.

At Modern Steak, whiskey, particularly Jack Daniels reigns.  While there ask for the elusive Jack Daniels Sinatra. Smooth with a distinctive Jack Daniels taste and smell, it is as much a treat as the steaks and seafood.

modern steakhouse, jack daniels, calgary, beakerhead

Image by Jacquie Kubin for @CommDigiNews

Ranch-specific beef and steak-house classics are on the menu here. One thing that makes Modern Steakhouse unique is that owner Stephen Deere can source every steak back to its ranch.  Which is not an inexpensive proposition.  But the quality is well worth the price.  Modern Steaks range from $39 for a Pine Haven 8-ounce petite tender. A 10 ounce Brant Lake Waygu fillet will set you back $89.  However, if you or someone you love, is a massive steak fan, it is absolutely worth it.

Modern Steak

Image provided by Modern Steak

For the couple that enjoys a hearty steak, choose the Modern Steak 45-day dry-aged Tomahawk steak for 2, served with two sides ($128). If your party includes four eaters, try the Wagyu-Super Platter 36 ounces of a flat iron, filet, strip loin or ribeye steak with three sides ($238).

Modern Steak’s menu is more than beef.  They offer fresh fish and seafood, classic Steak Caesar Salad, Beef Stroganoff and veggie and vegan offers.

Calgary, Beakerhead, Modern Steakhouse. Scallop, TravelImmersive Calgary:
The Calgary Zoo:

The Calgary Zoo is dedicated to animal conservation and people education.  Conservation programs are active for African lions, gorillas, Giant Pandas, Whooping Cranes, the Swift Fox, and Lemurs.  Some of the programs can be explored at the zoo, while others, such as the Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary, are programs that the zoo supports around the world.

calgary Zoo, Panda, Panda Breakfast

Image by Jacquie Kubin for @CommDigiNews

Fun for the kids, and adults is the Calgary Zoo Giant Panda Breakfast.

Early access to the Zoo includes a talk, with visual aids, by the zoo’s Panda experts.  Enjoy a truly delicious breakfast buffet while listening to the experts talk about Panda’s, their history and lives, and the need for pro-active conservation.    Breakfast groups will be able to explore the zoo’s more than 120 species of animals, botanical gardens and their pre-historic park.

Early access includes the Giant Panda habitat without the crush of crowds.

The Calgary Central Library:

Truly a 21st Century library, the Central Libary is more than books and a few computers.  It is a completely immersive learning center in the center of Calgary.  The modern structure is worth a tour (call ahead to book).


Calgary Central Library

Promotional image

The library was designed by the Scandanavia group Snohetta in collaboration with the local Dialog Design group. Specialist in designing transit-oriented structures, the library is built over the Light Rail Transit Line that dips beneath the library on a curved half-moon path.

The Central Library features areas for children, teens, and adults.  There are places for reading and places to explore indigenous history and languages. The library also features three authentic tipis.  You can explore Calgary’s history at the interactive kiosk “Glimpses of our Past.

Keeping it in the 21st Century, the audio-video recording studio with post-production studio can be reserved to record your story or your next YouTube video or podcast.  Use of the multimedia studios is free to persons with a Calgary Public Library card.

Studio Bell:

Immerse yourself in sound at the Studio Bell – National Music Center provides exhibitions that preserve Canadian musical heritage.  Each exhibit is designed to immerse the guest into the sounds and stories of Canada’s music from past to present.  Take a seat as the walls fill with animations the help you to visualize the music you are hearing.

Visit the museum-like exhibits to see antique sound and recording equipment.  Learn the stories of Canada’s musical icons like Buffy Sainte-Marie, Leonard Cohen, Anne Murray and K.D. Lang.

Travel, Glen Bow, Music

Studio Bell  Music Museum explores Canada’s music trailblazers – Image by Jacquie Kubin for @CommDigiNews

Then head on to areas where you can play and record music and explore the limits of your personal instrument, your voice as you sing along with Canada’s voices in vocal booths.

If you can get above Studio Bell and look down, you will notice that is shaped like a Gretsch Bo Diddley Electric Guitar.




Jacquie Kubin

Jacquie Kubin is an award-winning writer and wanderer. She turns her thoughts to an eclectic mix of stories - from politics to sports. Restless by nature and anxious to experience new things, both in the real world and online, Jacquie mostly shares travel and culinary highlights, introduces readers to the chefs and creative people she meets and shares the tips, life and travel information people want to read.