Broken City has been a vital contributor to Calgary’s music scene since it launched in 2004. From supporting local festivals to offering space for bands and comedians, the venue has brought the sound of music to the Beltline district.
In the past, the space has hosted hometown heroes such as Chad VanGaalen and Woodpigeon. It also attracts bands from across Canada, such as METZ, Babysitter, Jay Arner and more. Broken City’s regular events have become a highlight of Calgary’s nightlife. Its Comedy Monday Night started soon after the venue opened, giving local comedians the chance to do five-minute sets. It also took over the weekly “Rockin’ 4 Dollars” show after the event’s former home, the Nite Owl, transitioned away from live shows. Organizers provide gear, while bands volunteer to play for 15 minutes for free beer and the opportunity to score anywhere from $200 to $1000. The Unity Sound Reggae Jam offers Jamaican eats and beats every Saturday afternoon, followed by a hip-hop party in the evenings.
The venue also puts on shows with several of Calgary’s biggest festivals. The Sled Island Music and Arts Festival has brought countless international stars to Broken City’s stage, including Ex Hex, Colleen Green and more. It was one of two bars to host the Big Winter Classic in 2016, with bands such as Big Animals and the Shiverettes playing on the venue’s outdoor patio.