Where Will The Fun Pop Up Next?

Monday, August 10, 2015


pop-up-cat-piano-funYou’re walking down the street, and you notice something looks “different”. There’s a little hive of activity where an empty space was just yesterday. A small curious crowd is gathering. You step in closer for a peek.

You’ve just been captivated by a pop-up. Pop-ups are temporary installations that can take on many forms. They’re a modern-day version of the kids’ lemonade stand on the street corner.


A pop-up could be an impromptu coffee shop, or a table set up by a local farmer who wants to sell off excess produce. Anyone with an idea can use pop-ups to test a concept. A business owner who wants to expand can populate an empty space in a different neighbourhood to test the market. Companies selling seasonal decor can fill an empty space for a short period of time. An artist can sell paintings on a street corner. Basically, an event can take place in spaces where it never has before.

Pop in to a Calgary Pop-Up

Pop-ups fill gaps in a city, and add to its vibrancy. In Calgary, there are a number of pop-up events that you might want to explore:

Deerfoot Mall Drive-In Series

Bring the kids to Deerfoot Mall for their pop-up drive-in series. Gates open at 5pm and the movies start around 9 or 9:30 pm. Parking is limited so be sure to come early to secure a space.

Pop-Up Picnics

Pop-Up Picnics are outdoor lunchtime events that take place from Noon to 1pm every other Wednesday from June to September. Each picnic will have a different theme, and will be held at a different location. Previous picnics have occurred on Stephen Avenue, the Eighth Avenue Place courtyard, and James Short park.

The picnics always feature a food vendor, entertainment, as well as games like Mini-Golf, giant Jenga, checkers, chess and more! We also set up tables, chairs and picnic blankets so you can enjoy your lunch in the sun!

Lunch Time Pop-Up Piano Concert

Throughout the summer, in downtown Calgary, you can enjoy your lunch accompanied by music from some of Calgary’s finest pianists. There are three unique pop-up piano stages in downtown Calgary:

  • Woodlands Piano at 3rd street and 6th avenue SW – features growing plants as a part of a downtown community garden project
  • Wee Little Piano and Book Exchange near the corner of Stephen Avenue and Centre Street – this tiny 66-key piano has a cabinet on the back so anyone can take, leave or exchange a book
  • Piano Bar on the corner of 3rd street and 2nd Avenue SW

The series includes 20 concerts in total and runs from June 30 to September 3rd every Tuesday and Thursday, from noon to 1 pm. See the schedule here and make your lunchtime plans!

YYC Food Trucks

Calgary has some of the finest food trucks around. They’re everywhere! You can find your favourites by following @yycfoodtrucks.

Container Bar

Set in what was once an empty alley in Kensington, Container Bar is an alley patio that incorporates an empty shipping container and recycled materials into its décor.

The beauty of pop-ups is that they can happen anytime, anywhere. Keep your eyes and ears open, and if you come across one, enjoy it because tomorrow it may be gone!

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