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5th Annual Baconfest - urban planning film festival

Calgary in the 21st Century - What's on (and beyond) the horizon for our city?

In celebration of renowned planner Ed Bacon, Calgary’s urban planning film festival returns for a fifth year with educational film showings (and real bacon!) on January 17, 24, 31 and February 7. Join us and learn more about the influences that have shaped Calgary to date, and consider, with us, where we go from here.

​​​How does our natural and built environment shape where and how we live? How can we plan and build a city that embraces, celebrates and reflects our diversity? How do we work with our environment and culture to create a sense of place that is uniquely ours?

Each evening features compelling documentary screenings followed by engaging conversation led by Rollin Stanley, general manager for The City of Calgary’s Urban Strategy department.

These events are free, with tickets available at the door. Seating is limited so mark your calendar and be sure to arrive early!

WHEN: Wednesday nights from January 17 through February 7, 2018 Doors open 5:30 p.m.
WHAT: Films and discussion 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. for all events
WHERE: John Dutton Theatre - 616 Macleod Trail SE (second floor)
Presented in partnership with: Alberta Professional Planners Institute (APPI), Calgary Public Library and DIRTT Environmental Solutions.

January 17

The Future of Cities Overpopulated
Inspired by the works of Jane Jacobs and other urban studies influencers, producer Oscar Boyson embarked on a filmmaking journey to define “the future of cities”. His YouTube video, Help Me Film Your City, which asked viewers to capture and share urban problems and innovative solutions in their own cities, earned more than 1,500 submissions from 75 countries. Through the course of a world tour he visited some of the people who responded and chronicled a few of the most creative interventions in today’s urban centres. Those born in 1955 or earlier have witnessed a remarkable thing – the number of people living on Earth has doubled in their lifetime. This startling statistic leaves some asking what should be done about our exponentially rising population and subsequent extreme poverty. According to Dr. Hans Rosling, world famous statistician the situation is already righting itself – which is good news for those of us already here. This documentary-style lecture uses state of the art technology, representative examples and a dash of humor to explain a prediction of how population growth will slow over the next 50 years.
Ted Talk: Every City Needs Healthy Honey Bees (13 Min) Adam Ruins everything: The Real Reason Jaywalking is a Crime
(3 Min)

There is a rising need to create a culture of bee keeping in urban areas. According to some research, bee colony survival rate is higher in cities than rural areas. Could this be part of the solution to combat the world-wide collapse of bee colonies? Could we turn our rooftops and into a source of honey, jobs and environmental stewardship? In this comical skit Adam reveals the derogatory origins of the term jaywalking and explaining how the auto industry influenced lawmakers.

January 24

Tedx Talk: Two Canadas: My story of generosity and systemic racism (13 min) Through My Eyes (60 Min)

The Hon. Ahmed Hussen entered Canada as child refugee, and today is Minister of Immigration and Refugees. In his Ted Talk he shares his experience of Canada: a country of immense generosity, but also one that struggles with systemic racism. Through it he paints a bold picture of how a country can become truly great. Through My Eyes offers honest insight into the realities of Edmonton's at-risk, homeless youth. Acclaimed by the Centre for Global Education as providing "a captivating glimpse into the lives of some of Edmonton's most vulnerable...", the film profiles homeless and formerly-homeless Edmonton youth telling their stories in their own way, in their own words. It also offers the perspective of front-line support providers and others who work directly with at-risk youth. Ultimately, Through My Eyes is the story of a city that must look inside itself to solve a real, but not insurmountable, problem.

Ted Talk: A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA (11 min) Backyard Experiment (10 Min)
Urban gardening can occur anywhere from empty warehouses to busy boulevards, to vacant lots to public parks. This Ted talk highlights what is known as guerilla gardening, in a tough part of Los Angeles. Entertaining and eye opening, it challenges viewers to rethink their yards and patios.
Poorly designed public domain can feel uninviting, dreary and dull. Inspired by placemaking expert William Whyte, the Backyard Experiment installed a pop-up park and time-lapse cameras to observe how creating ‘place’ impacts the use of space. The results were astounding; 247% more dwellers and 190% increase in foot traffic in just 8 days. What can these numbers tell us about our relationship with space?

January 31

Blue Gold: World Water Wars (1 hr 30 min)
Based on the book Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water (M. Barlow and T. Clark) this award winning documentary, directed by Sam Bozzo, analyzes the issues around the loss of fresh water supplies, the politics of fresh water ownership and the risks of commoditizing an increasingly scarce resource.

February 7

Microtopia (55 min) Microhouse, Portlandia (5 min)

How much space, stuff and comfort do we really need? Microtopia follows architects, builders and artists from around the world as they problem-solve their way to reduced consumption, and “off the grid” living that minimizes environmental impact and consequences.


Featured on the show Portlandia, this parody of ultra-minimalist living satirizes life inside a tiny house.

How to Make an Attractive City
(14 mins)
McMansions: The Houses People Love to Hate (5 min)
What principles determine if a city is considered pretty or ugly? This big question is answered in a short animated film by applying six main principles. It identifies the hurdles society must overcome in the pursuit of 'beautiful cities' and gives voice to strategies that incorporate form with function.

This five minute architectural opinion piece showcases a blogger who runs a website dedicated to the architectural review of large houses, commonly referred to as McMansions.It focuses on the origin and elements that define McMansions and acknowledges the reasons peple love to hate them.

Walt Disney’s Ambitious Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow
(26 min)

Walt Disney really was a city builder at heart. He dared to imagine a place that brought Disney magic to life and it started in the shape of a wheel.

About Baconfest

The brain-child of Urban Strategy General Manager Rollin Stanley, Baconfest is named after noted City Planner, Ed Bacon, and celebrates and explores urbanism in all its forms.

Who is Edmund Bacon (1910 - 2005)?

While he may be known first as the father of Kevin Bacon, the impact of Edmund's work helped shape the landscape of the City of Philadelphia, where he served as the head of the planning commission for two decades beginning in 1949. Ed is a national figure in urban planning circles and is hailed as a master builder.

He is best known for his contemporary urban planning style (in the 60's his thinking was way ahead of his time), his work on Urban Renewal (historical building preservation) and his pedestrian friendly vision.

His efforts earned him a spot on the cover of Time magazine in 1964 and the cover story in Life magazine in 1965; he is the only urban planner who has ever achieved this recognition. In retirement, he undertook an extensive four part series titled "Understanding Cities".

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