Since 2013, it’s been described as a mash-up of interactive experiences, immersive installations and mind-bending performances that blend cutting-edge science with artistic displays.
And now, Beakerhead is celebrating a decade of wowing Calgarians with its biggest offering yet — and it’s all free for attendees to check out.
The 10th annual Beakerhead festival will boast more than 100 exhibits highlighting developments in science, technology and engineering at three Calgary locations from Sept. 14 to 17.
The eclectic festival will be held in eight spaces spread out between Contemporary Calgary, Millennium Park and the Telus Spark Science Centre.
Beakerhead’s executive director Parker Chapple promises that anyone who is curious, interested in learning, or who enjoys being surprised will be transfixed by this year’s festival.
“We like to say at Beakerhead, what you’re experiencing is so delightful and surprising that you don’t even realize that you’re learning,” said Chapple, who uses they/them pronouns.
“It’s really about making those conversations of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) accessible to the widest possible audience and making it approachable.”
‘A community-driven event for the community’
Calgary’s STEM-focused festival was created in 2013, with the goal of inspiring “unprecedented human ingenuity,” according to Beakerhead’s website.
In the decade since then, the event has grown in lockstep with the city, according to Chapple. Over the past nine years, Beakerhead has welcomed 542,000 attendees and reached more than 605 million people online.
“Everyone has always loved Beakerhead and it was born very big,” Chapple said. “I think that, similarly to how people grow, change, adapt and evolve, so too has Beakerhead, because it’s a community-driven event for the community.”
A centrepiece of Beakerhead this year is BODY, an immersive after-dark installation at Millennium Park throughout the festival. The installation combines sculpture with lighting, special effects, sound and fire to portray human biology, giving guests a deeper understanding of the human form, according to the festival’s website.
Multiple showcases, demonstrations on tap
To mark the 10-year milestone, Chapple noted the festival’s focus will continue to be local, highlighting more than 120 partner organizations and 300-plus volunteers who help make Beakerhead a reality.
One of the festival’s highlights will include Academy Skateboard Collective’s showcase on Saturday. Partnering with professional skater Dan Mancina, the local collective will welcome visually impaired youth ages 11 to 20 to a workshop on adaptive boarding. The young participants will learn foundational skateboard skills such as pushing, rolling, turning and pumping their boards.
Gearheads may be interested in Aerodynamic Marvels, a three-day demonstration highlighting modern developments in car engineering and aerodynamics. UCalgary Racing is facilitating the demo at Contemporary Calgary from Friday to Sunday.
Those who have always wanted to attend Burning Man can find a smaller version on Saturday at A Taste of That Thing in the Desert, an artistic celebration described on Beakerhead’s website of “radical self-expression through a display of arts, science and engineering.”
Also on Saturday, visitors can learn you can teach a new dog old tricks when they meet Flint, Telus Spark’s resident robo-dog. Flint, who is Spark’s official education ambassador, will teach attendees all about engineering, artificial intelligence and neural networks.
“You’d be hard-pressed to not find something that excites you,” Chapple said.
Beakerhead a platform to promote tech industry
But more than just an exciting extravaganza, Chapple said Beakerhead is a platform to promote Calgary’s burgeoning reputation as a viable city for tech startups.
“Particularly here in Calgary, you can see we’re on the precipice of a tech boom,” they said. “Beakerhead is perfectly poised to align within that and really broadcast to Canada, North America and globally that Calgary is a rich and dynamic place in which to foster this burgeoning tech industry.”
Chapple encourages those who would like to attend Beakerhead this week to curate their experience by visiting the schedule section on the festival’s website, beakerhead.com.
They also encourage attendees to consider donating, to help ensure Beakerhead remains a free festival.
Beakerhead through the years
Here are some memorable images from past festivals.
Who created the first work of abstract art has long been a fraught question indeed. Better, perhaps, to ask who first said of a work of art that a kid could have made it. A strong contender in that division is the Russian artist Véra Pestel, whom history remembers as having reacted to Kazimir Malevich‘s 1915 painting Black Square with the words “Anyone can do this! Even a child can do this!” Yes, writes novelist Tatyana Tolstaya a century later in the New Yorker, “any child could have performed this simple task, although perhaps children lack the patience to fill such a large section with the same color.” And in any case, time having taken its toll, Malevich’s square doesn’t look quite as black as it used to.
Nor was the square ever quite so square as we imagine it. “Its sides aren’t parallel or equal in length, and the shape isn’t quite centered on the canvas,” says the narrator of the animated TED-Ed lesson above. Instead, Malevich placed the form slightly off-kilter, giving it the appearance of movement, and the white surrounding it a living, vibrating quality.”
Fair enough, but is it art? If you’d asked Malevich himself, he might have said it surpassed art. In 1913, he “realized that even the most cutting-edge artists were still just painting objects from everyday life, but he was irresistibly drawn to what he called ‘the desert,’ where nothing is real except feeling.” Hence his invention of the style known as Suprematism, “a departure from the world of objects so extreme, it went beyond abstraction.”
Malevich made bold claims for Suprematism in general and Black Square in particular. “Up until now there were no attempts at painting as such, without any attribute of real life,” he wrote. “Painting was the aesthetic side of a thing, but never was original and an end in itself.” As Tolstaya puts it, he “once and for all drew an uncrossable line that demarcated the chasm between old art and new art, between a man and his shadow, between a rose and a casket, between life and death, between God and the Devil. In his own words, he reduced everything to the ‘zero of form.’” She calls this zero’s emergence in such a stark form “one of the most frightening events in art in all of its history of existence.” If so, here we have an argument for not letting young children see Black Square and enduring the consequent nightmares — even if they could have painted it themselves.
Being Spider-Man is about so much more than webbing up bad guys. Spider-Man is the neighborhood guy. He gives back to the community. He protects the community. There’s swinging, there’s fighting, there’s dangling, and sure, sometimes he has to traverse the multiverse and see all his alternative versions.
In a new print series from artist Oliver Barrett though, we focus on the simple stuff. Spider-Man just being Spider-Man. Seven prints, available individually or as a series, each showing Spider-Man at his ground-level best. The pieces are from a collaboration Barrett did with Restoration Games/Unmatched and are being released via Bottleneck Gallery and Acme Archives on October 3.
Each piece is a hand-numbered, 10 x 10 inch giclée in various edition sizes and they’ll be available individually (for $30 each) or as a set (for $200) on the Bottleneck Gallery site at noon ET October 3. Check out all the images in our slideshow.
Dr. Frasier Crane has always been an admirer of the finer things in life, and artwork is no different, which is why it feels fitting that, in preparation for his return to our screens, television’s most renowned psychiatrist poses alongside striking pieces of art in new posters designed to promote the launch of Paramount+’s upcoming reboot series, Frasier.The series follows Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) as he enters the next chapter of his life. Viewers will see him return to Boston which will come with its own set of challenges, relationships, and even dreams. Frasier has finally re-entered the building.
While the first of two newly-released posters show Grammer next to a striking collection of statues, the second poster emphasizes the start of the new chapter in his life. In addition to Grammer, the new series starsJack Cutmore-Scott as Frasier’s son Freddy; Nicholas Lyndhurst as Frasier’s old college buddy turned university professor Alan; Toks Olagundoye as Olivia, Alan’s colleague and head of the university’s psychology department; Jess Salgueiro as Freddy’s roommate Eve; and Anders Keith as Frasier’s nephew David.
The new iteration of Frasier comes from writers Chris Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and Joe Cristalli(Life in Pieces), who executive produce with Grammer, Tom Russo and Jordan McMahon. The series is produced by CBS Studios, in association with Grammer’s Grammnet NH Productions. The first two episodes of the new series are directed by legendary director and television creator James Burrows, who is best known for his work as co-creator, executive producer, and director of the critically acclaimed series Cheers, as well as the original Frasier series, Will & Grace and Dear John. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution outside of the Paramount+ markets.
The Legacy of Frasier Crane
The original series, which aired from 1993 to 2004, had an impressive 11-season run and earned numerous awards and honors. It was a major success at the Primetime Emmy Awards, winning an incredible 37 Emmys throughout its time on the air. This accomplishment set a historic record for the most Emmys ever won by a TV show at that point in time. The awards covered a wide range of categories, including recognition for Outstanding Comedy Series, Lead Actor (Grammer), Supporting Actor (David Hyde Pierce in the role of Niles Crane), and Supporting Actress (Bebe Neuwirth as Lilith Sternin), among others.
The upcoming series will premiere in the U.S. and Canada on Thursday, October 12, with two episodes, and on Friday, October 13, in all other international markets where Paramount+ is available. New episodes will then drop weekly on Thursdays, exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and Canada, and on Fridays, internationally. In addition, the CBS Television Network will broadcast a special airing of the first two episodes back to back on Tuesday, October 17, beginning at 9:15 p.m. ET/PT. Until then, check out the new posters below: