Lab Canada

Calgary celebrates science with annual Beakerhead festival

Calgary, AB – This week, Calgarians will celebrate the annual Beakerhead festival, a fun smash-up of art, science and engineering. The five days of events will commence September 16, with the world’s largest pop-up gallery, called a String (Theory) of Incredible Encounters, with a circumference of five kilometres.


More than 60 public events, ranging from audio-only and taste-only theatre to installations where you walk though a human nose, make up Beakerhead this September 16 to 20. Events range from engineered art, international ingenuity competitions, public performances, community challenges, backyard-built contraptions, and more. The series of public art installations is an exploration in creativity at the crossroads of art, science and engineering. 


International premieres this year include:

  • As Above, So Below – an interactive art installation made with Nanoleaf light bulbs (the world’s longest lasting light bulb) by Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett.
  • The Fabulist – a 35-foot inflatable art by Bee Kingdom Glass (their first venture outside molten materials).
  • – IN/FLUX – an interactive public art made out of 7,000 Ecovative mushroom blocks, which will later go in local gardens for composting.
  • – The Claw – a 30-foot claw arcade game, with larger-than-life joysticks, engineered with a 20% success rate, of course!
  • – The Rock ‘n Roll History of Space Exploration – part science, part rock ‘n roll exploration of the space age with science broadcaster Jay Ingram and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques.
  • – Canada’s largest sandbox of human ingenuity – 6,400 square feet and ready for outdoor yoga, performances by rapper GZA from Wu-Tang Clan, and palaeontology digs by the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

A highlight for would-be scientists is Late Night Labs on September 17 – three hours and six stops for a memorable, hands-on tour of several science labs. Another highlight is Beakernight on September 19, when four blocks of 10 Ave SW close to traffic for a massive outdoor gallery of art and engineering, including fire-spitting skee ball, interactive works, performances and experiences, created in partnership with dozens of local and international partners.


More details and schedule of events are available at Beakerhead’s website.