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Visit Calgary! How to enjoy your trip to the city!

Have you always wanted your own Life and Portraits headshot? Was Fort McMurray a little too hard to get to from your location? Or are you coming to visit from Fort McMurray to update your image? Come VISIT CALGARY and check out these great resources for how to enjoy the city while you’re here! Make your headshot experience into a mini getaway! The studio is located less than 30 minute’s from the Calgary airport, so fly into YYC and let’s do this. While you’re here check out:

Photo of Mount Babel by Thomas Hopkins and he sells prints!

The Mountains are so close!

This is the most obvious one that a lot of people mentioned, but we’re just a short drive from beautiful mountain escapes like Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise. All year round these locations have beautiful scenery, hikes, and tourism focussed events. Bragg Creek is a great little spot to visit if you’re looking for some of the charm without the hustle and bustle of Banff. We love our hand made bird house from the antique strip mall there. Our mountains also offer some of the world’s best skiing and snowboarding.

Shows and Theatre that Visit Calgary

Ticketmaster is just one of the many places where you can find events happening in town. From The Jube (Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium) hosting shows that travel the world, like travelling broadways’ Mean Girls and Hairspray this year, or the incredible Calgary Philharmonic accompanying Holiday Cirque. We’ve also enjoyed the Alberta Ballet performance of The Nutcracker. When Bluey came to town my 6 year old was pumped!

Calgary Philharmonic warming up for a show
Camera’s are not allowed into the shows, and pictures are not permitted during performances, so your sneak peaks here are cell phone snaps before the shows. This is the Calgary Philharmonic warming up for Holiday Cirque.

Great artists also visit the city, like Noah Kahan performing at the Saddledome in March. Aysanabee, one of my new favourite musicians, is performing at the Bella Concert Hall soon too.

Not all the great shows are just here to visit Calgary though, some call the city home. The Arts Common downtown is home to Theatre Calgary, which I have been absolutely blown away by! Last summer I watched 2 shows on the stages of West London, and I’ve seen 4 on broadway, but when I went to see A Christmas Carol by Theatre Calgary last month I was shocked to learn it absolutely rivalled the experience. From the beautiful theatre, to the elaborate stage design, and incredible talent on stage you’ll quickly realize you’re in the world’s next big theatre scene. Plus, while your downtown pop into one of the amazing restaurants on Stephen Ave.

Calgary Theatre about to start


This one is all based on recommendations I’ve had, because I haven’t had the chance to get out and enjoy these myself yet, but here’s what’s on my priority list to try out:

Tom Major is the top recommendation from the fantastic real estate agent who helped us find our new house. Not only is the food supposed to be reliably incredible, but the views of the city are great too!

Buffo was recommended by Calgary Photographer friend Jillian Faulkner as a lunch spot to check out.

Cucina comes highly recommended by my husband, and now that I asked him he wants to go today.

Hy’s apparently sets the standard for steak, and that’s a pretty big promise in the biggest city of a province that is self-proclaimed as having the best beef in the world. Albertan’s know their steak!

Sports Experiences

From the Calgary Flames (I’m not a fan, GO OILERS) but if your team is visiting this is a great chance to come cheer them on in the opponents rink. If you’ve never done that it’s a blast, I try to do it every time the Oilers visit. One of the best things about professional sports teams is the fun rivalry. You’ll notice if you see the giant Flames flag in the back of my next door neighbours house when you visit the studio.

Calgary hosts a huge range of high calibre professional teams! Professional Lacrosse in the Calgary Roughnecks, a CFL team in the Stampeders, WHL hockey at a family friendly ticket price in the Calgary Hitmen (I am a lifelong Hitmen fan and grew up watching them), AHL Calgary Wranglers, Calgary Cavalry Football Club (Soccer), Calgary Surge Basketball, or the high calibre wide range of athletics available to watch through the U of C Dinos, Mount Royal Cougars or SAIT Trojans.

There are also many big events that visit the city! Like The Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Canadian National Skating Championships, and Snowboard Championships.

Cultural Experiences

There are world renown Pow Wow’s held in Siksika and Tsuut’ina each year, as well as many markets where you have the opportunity to purchase your own hand made pieces directly from the artists who made them! We’ve gone to many Pow Wow/s across Alberta as well as western North America, and the beauty of the painted Tipi’s at Siksika’s really stood out.

grass dancer adjusting sons regalia at pow wow
My husband adjusting my son’s regalia (roach) as he prepares to dance in Fort McKay’s Traditional Pow Wow.

My favourite museum to visit in college was The Glenbow which is closed for renovations until later this year, but I can’t wait to check out the new and improved version when it reopens! I saw a Group of Seven exhibit here once as a kid that initiated my immense appreciation for Canadian artists. Now my favourite Canadian painters are Alex Javier, Jason Lucas and Fred MacDonald.

Fan Expo visits Calgary each year, with a new list of celebrity guests and booths.

Learning experiences

Telus Spark is one of my kids favourite places. They can’t get enough of the Imax shows and the hands on exhibits. The Calgary zoo is another place they love, especially during special events like Zoolights. Studio Bell is the one I haven’t been to yet, but it hosts the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the architecture is stunning so I plan to check it out soon.

If you’re looking for something more specific, in depth and intentional there are an endless supply of conferences and workshops available within the city.


Calaway Park was one of my favourite places to head on a. hot summer day, and when we had summer hockey trips to the city my kids have loved to go too. Speaking of hockey trips Canada Olympic Park hosts a wide range of fun experiences! I’m told downhill karting there is a must! Another adventure park recently shared with me is Granary Road and we’re definitely headed there as soon as they open for the season.

During the winter months go skating in the most magical locations downtown Calgary!

magical winter adventure, skating downtown Calgary

World Class Events Visit Calgary too!

The Calgary Stampede is the busiest time of year to visit Calgary, but if you want to make the trip for something epic that’s the time! The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth has something for everyone! Rodeo, amusement rides, expo showcases, concerts, parties and the adventure of a lifetime. If you’re booking your headshot during this time I recommend the headshot first, and stampede fun to follow – not the other way around!


Calgary is home to all the shopping you can imagine. From the popular Cross Iron Mills Outlet Mall, to Calgary’s highest valued commercial building – Chinook Mall. There are also niche spots, like The Camera Store and Strobepro – two of my personal favourite spots as a photographer that are both unique to the city of Calgary!

This hotel is the most easily accessible to the studio, it’s a great price, and also easy to access many of the recommended spots to check out!

Do you have a great recommendation I’m missing?

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