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2023 Beakerhead: Calgary’s Quirky Science Celebration Returns With Epic 10th Anniversary Plans

Jul 19, 2023

July 19, 2023 | To Do Canada

Calgary’s celebration of awe-inspiring artworks, fire-breathing contraptions and contemporary curiosities will be back this September.

Beakerhead, which brought fire-breathing dragonsand metal flowers shooting fireballs to Calgary, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Spanning four days from September 14-17, 2023, the 10th edition promises an array of immersive experiences, artistic performances, and pyrotechnics across three iconic locations in Calgary: Contemporary Calgary, Millennium Park, and TELUS Spark Science Centre.

Featuring over 50 activities, presentations, workshops, and installations, Beakerhead 2023 showcases the magic that happens when innovators, creators, scientists, and artists collaborate.

At BRAIN in Contemporary Calgary, attendees can delve into virtual reality, explore art installations, and even enjoy roller skating. Journeying to BODY at Millennium Park, visitors can savour Beakerhead Beer, witness adaptive skateboarding, and groove to DJ sets. Back at TELUS Spark Science Centre, robotics and Hack the House, where youth teams convert furniture into sustainable, rideable machines, await exploration.

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The festival’s centerpiece is the immersive after-dark installation called BODY, presented by UK outdoor arts company Walk the Plank. Per the news release, BODY offers a captivating journey through the systems of the human body, employing cutting-edge technology to provide a deeper understanding through light, sound, special effects, and fire. Having been showcased at Northern Ireland’s Science Festival and Ireland’s National Science Week, BODY makes its North American debut at Beakerhead.

“BODY is a fully immersive multi-sensory experience that evokes curiosity and wonder. It is a true display of the mashup of art, science, and engineering and we can’t think of a better festival than Beakerhead for its North American debut,” said Charlie Morrison, Executive Director, Walk the Plank in a news release.

Among the festival’s other highlights, Artsy Microorganism offers a unique exploration of microbiology through agar art, where attendees create stunning works of art using safe microorganisms.

Barmaid on Saturn presents a comedic dance monologue featuring Kathy Austin as “Telracs the Barmaid,” incorporating improvised movement with her White Cane, exploring topics ranging from black holes to human relationships.

Baroque Odyssey presents an immersive concert experience merging imagery and the enchanting melodies of a live Baroque Orchestra. Sacred Teachings offers an immersive virtual reality journey through Writing on Stone Provincial Park, guided by Blackfoot Elder Saakokoto Randy Bottle and acclaimed Blackfoot actor Eugene Brave Rock. Thesis Thunder Clash showcases a thrilling academic showdown between Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary, where scholars present their research prowess in under 5 minutes.

Since its inception in 2013, Beakerhead has been a platform for advancing education at the intersection of art, science, and engineering. As a branch of TELUS Spark Science Centre, Beakerhead offers year-round STEAM programming and culminates in a four-day extravaganza in September. This celebration of science, technology, engineering, and art serves as a platform for community-led projects from diverse cultures.

With events taking place at Millennium Park, Contemporary Calgary, and TELUS Spark Science Centre, Beakerhead’s 10th anniversary promises a memorable and enlightening experience for all attendees.