Calgary Weekender: November 4th through 6th, 2011

With so many fantastic things happening in Calgary this weekend, we promise it’s gonna be an ‘animated’ one. (Har, har.)

Friday evening we suggest heading over to The Plaza Theatre in Kensington where GIRAF, or the Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival, is taking place. This annual animation fest celebrates the spirit of independent, underground, and experimental animation, showcasing Canadian animators and presenting diverse animations from around the globe.

Friday evening’s show (7pm) is the much-anticipated presentation of a retrospective of the animated works of David O’Reilly, including award-winners Please Say Something and The External World, and many more films that you will not see anywhere else! Stay after the screening for an exclusive Q&A with David who will be on-site.

Afterwards, why not pop next door to Kensington Brasserie for a pint of beer or bottle of wine. Inspired by “a love of European food and atmosphere,” its décor of deep reds and dark woods and innovative food and drink menu will have you feeling like you’re in the old world. We suggest trying one of their famous poutines – Brasserie uses 100 per cent duck fat deep fryers, so you know their fries are full of flavour.

Saturday morning we have you heading back to Kensington. Looking for a great brunch spot? Well, if you didn’t get your fill of all things Belgium last eve you are in luck, Kensington Brasserie offers brunch on weekends and with such a talented team in the kitchen, their breakfast is one of the best kept secrets in the city…until now that is.

After brunch (we hope you indulged in mimosas) you are off to the Hillhurst Community Hall (famous for its Sunday flea markets). This Saturday, the hall will be playing host to Green Calgary’s Green Art Market. Upwards of 30 local artists, designers, and artisans will be selling a broad range of environmentally-themed work for sale. Not only can you purchase art, there will be live entertainment and the YYCFoodTrucks will be on-site selling their delicious fare.

After doing your part to support Green Calgary, you are going to stray a little from the theme of the weekend and head to the first annual Calgary Snowfest at Canada Olympic Park. With the ski hills opening in the mountains this weekend, we know you’ve got powder on the brain. Come and check out the live entertainment of big air demos and extreme sled tricks as you check out over 100 booths.

Once you’ve prepared yourself sufficiently for the ski season, you are going back downtown to the Alberta Theatre Projects in the Epcor Centre by 7pm for the second last showing of Penny Plain. This marionette show is about Penny Plain who sits in her overstuffed chair, listening to the news of civilization’s inevitable end. When her companion dog, Geoffrey, leaves to live as a man, the outside chaos invades Penny’s sanctuary. With a cast including survivalists, a serial killer, a cross-dressing banker, talking dogs and mysterious strangers, Penny Plain is a chilling apocalyptic gothic drawing room comedy of ill manners.

A show like that may leave you ‘reeling’, so a beverage to calm the nerves is just the prescription. A mere five-minute walk will take you to UBU Lounge. Located inside the lobby of Calgary’s Theatre Grand, you are sure to dance the night away as you sip cocktails with other YPs. Saturday evening is sure to be bumping as they host the uper lineup of DJ Anthem, Ck Sax (saxophone), and Brent Van Dusen (percussion).

Sunday is all about taking it easy. If you haven’t been yet, don’t forget to check out the Glenbow Museum’s latest exhibit ‘Watch me Move: The Animation Show’. It is considered to be the most extensive exhibition ever presenting the full range of animated imagery produced in the last 150 years ranging from cut-out, collage, puppet, clay and stop-motion animators, auteur filmmakers and contemporary artists to works from major studios such as Walt Disney, Fleischer, and Pixar.

After, why not take a leisurely and quiet stroll down Stephen Avenue – the corporate crowd is all at home. A little fresh air will do you good and get your appetite going. Which is perfect because within several blocks of each other are the two locations of Deville Coffee (treats pictured above). This Calgary coffee shop offers some of the best in the city and a stellar food menu including gourmet sandwiches, quiche, soups and salads.

By that time, you’ll be just about ready to head home and prepare for the week. ‘Cause we know that as a YP you probably have a ton of things planned in between heading to the office.