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#ExploreDowntownYYC Arts and Culture

Downtown Calgary pulsates with a vibrant tapestry of arts and culture, weaving together a rich narrative of creativity, expression, and community. From world-class museums and contemporary galleries to lively performance spaces and captivating public art installations, the city's cultural landscape invites residents and visitors alike to embark on a captivating journey through its streets. Downtown Calgary stands as a hub where tradition and innovation converge, fostering an environment where the arts flourish and culture thrives.

Photo by Colin Way / Tourism Calgary

Art, Architecture, and History:

As a testament to its dynamic history, downtown Calgary's streets reveal a mosaic of architectural influences, from the historic sandstone buildings to the sleek, glass facades of the present. The interplay of old and new in downtown Calgary not only shapes the city's skyline but also tells a compelling story of its resilience and transformation over time.

Make sure to check out various exhibitions at Glenbow at the Edison, a satellite gallery.

Head on down to Stephen Avenue for a stroll on this pedestrian mall with historic buildings and outdoor art installations and discover various galleries and boutiques.

The Confluence Historic Site & Parkland (previously Fort Calgary): Explore a historical site with a museum delving into the city's history, including Indigenous roots and early settlement.

Calgary Public Library - Central Library: An architectural marvel with a unique design. Browse a vast collection of books and enjoy community spaces.

Contemporary Calgary: Head to the Centennial Planetarium for contemporary art exhibitions and events.

Olympic Plaza: Visit a public square with art installations and a wading pool. Relax and appreciate the surrounding architecture.

Devonian Gardens: Head to the indoor park on the top floor of The CORE Shopping Centre. Relax and enjoy lush greenery.

Public Art Walking Tour: Take a walking tour to explore various public art installations scattered throughout downtown Calgary.

Crescent Heights Stairs: Walk or cycle along the Crescent Heights Stairs and enjoy public art installations with stunning city views.

City Hall Public Art Gallery: Explore rotating exhibits showcasing works by local and international artists.

Inglewood: Venture into the artsy Inglewood district, explore galleries, vintage shops, and boutiques, and enjoy the local artistic community.

Lougheed House: Visit a historic mansion serving as a museum and cultural center, offering guided tours and exhibitions.

Chinese Cultural Centre: Experience cultural displays, a museum, and a beautiful garden providing insights into Chinese history and traditions.

Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre:  Explore Canada's music history through interactive exhibits and live performances.

Photo by Colin Way

Culinary Arts

Photo by Travel Alberta


Teatro: Renowned for its elegant ambiance and exceptional Italian cuisine, Teatro provides a fine dining experience in the heart of downtown.

Charbar: Located in the historic Simmons Building, Charbar delights patrons with Argentine-inspired cuisine, featuring expertly grilled meats and a vibrant atmosphere.

River Café: Nestled on Prince's Island Park, River Café combines a farm-to-table approach with stunning views, offering a unique and sustainable dining experience.

One18Empire: This upscale restaurant and whiskey bar in the Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel offers a refined atmosphere and an extensive selection of rare spirits.

Raw Bar: A chic destination within Hotel Arts, Raw Bar serves inventive cocktails and Asian-inspired dishes in a stylish setting.

Deane House: Set in a historic home overlooking the Bow River, Deane House provides a charming setting for contemporary Canadian cuisine with a focus on seasonal ingredients.

Pigeonhole: Known for its small plates and creative menu, Pigeonhole offers a unique and intimate dining experience in Kensington, just north of downtown.

Klein/Harris: Celebrating Canadian heritage through its menu, Klein/Harris in the heart of downtown offers a refined and welcoming environment for guests.

Ten Foot Henry: With a focus on vegetable-forward dishes, Ten Foot Henry provides a refreshing and health-conscious dining experience in a vibrant atmosphere.

Model Milk: Housed in a restored dairy building, Model Milk offers a contemporary menu and a unique blend of fine dining and rustic charm.

Innovative Drinks:

Proof Cocktail Bar: Located in the historic Lougheed Building, Proof Cocktail Bar is renowned for its expertly crafted cocktails and stylish ambiance.

Betty Lou's Library: Tucked away behind an inconspicuous door, Betty Lou's Library is a hidden gem offering a speakeasy atmosphere and an extensive selection of cocktails.

Shelter: A chic rooftop bar atop the Marriott Downtown Hotel, Shelter provides panoramic views of the city along with a diverse menu of cocktails.

The Derrick Gin Mill & Kitchen: Known for its extensive gin selection and craft cocktails, The Derrick offers a laid-back atmosphere in the heart of downtown.

The Living Room: Situated in the East Village, The Living Room is a cozy spot known for its craft beers, curated wine list, and signature cocktails.

Vendome Café: In addition to its coffee offerings, Vendome Café has a selection of wine and cocktails, providing a relaxed setting for drinks