Alberta Views: Beakerhead Sandbox for Ingenuity

Unexpected. Like a human-scale nest. Or a musical trip through the human brain. Or a sustainable Ferris wheel providing a gourmet food experience, or an outdoor theremin concert. Mix science, engineering and art and it seems inevitable that the unanticipated will emerge. That’s what Calgary’s Beakerhead festival is all about.

Read the full Alberta Views article with Jay Ingram

Beakerhead amongst top Instagrammed

Cool beans – Beakerhead was voted #2 out of 18 most Instagrammed places in Calgary by, sharing the limelight with our pals at Nuit Blanche Calgary. We’re honoured to follow the iconic Peace Bridge.

2. September Festivals: Beakerhead and Nuit Blanche Calgary
On back-to-back weekends in September, we risked sensory overload as the inner-city transformed into an arts and science playground with these two festivals. From Ferris wheel restaurants and flaming robots, to a subtle spotlight that lured #nenshi in for a soliloquy, the photo ops were endless.

Check out the full listing at

Beakerhead unmasks the 2014 program

Photo Credit: Pixels and Photons

Science and engineering just got mainstream – and spectacular!

Beakerhead 2014 program announced


[Media Release on 10 June 2014, Calgary, Canada] — A human-sized nest, a plastic bubble meeting room, 90-square-foot home, inflatable giant lotus and other interactive structures, all in a miniature neighbourhood with a fire-breathing gnome and sensor garden – what kind of creatively engineered wonder world is this?

Welcome to Little Big Street! This is the flagship installation of Beakerhead, a spectacle of human ingenuity at the crossroads of art, science and engineering. The 2014 event will erupt on the streets and venues of Calgary from September 10 to 14, and includes a citywide roster of educational entertainment. The 2014 line-up is being announced today at the official program launch.

“Our Government is proud to support Beakerhead in its efforts to spur creativity and innovation,” said the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “Through collaboration, we are making the understanding of science and engineering a part of everyday life right here in Calgary.”

In its second year, Beakerhead will stage dozens of encounters, large and small, with more than 90 collaborators. The five-day long event designed to attract residents and tourists from around the world includes free outdoor exhibits, street performances and ticketed events, like:

  • The Tremendous and Curious World of Beakerhead: A live performance in the Jack Singer Concert Hall with a stage full of talent that will kick off the five-day spectacle.
  • The Periodic Table: The international premiere of a ferris wheel turned dining room that will serve molecular gastronomy meals to diners as they enjoy a city view.
  • Four-to-Six: Rush hour just got fun! Stephen Avenue Walk will fill with big time science buskers that will teach Calgarians a little wondrous something on their way home from work.
  • The Giant Walkthrough Brain: The international, live premiere of a show that will uncover what the brain is really up to.
  • Speakerhead: Dozens of speakers, workshops and wonders that will pop up in different locations around the city.


Visitors will encounter a number of art and engineering wonders making a Canadian debut, such as a two-story-high fire-breathing octopus named El Pulpo Mecanico and a thirty-foot-high giant lotus flower.

“After an outstanding debut, Beakerhead is back with activities and events that are as enlightening as they are inspiring,” said Culture Minister Heather Klimchuk. “We are proud to once again join with Beakerhead organizers, participants and sponsors like APEGA for this year’s event of creativity, innovation and imagination.”

“Beakerhead showcases Alberta’s innovative and creative spirit. It’s an example of the authentic experiences that will strategically help to grow tourism in Alberta,” said Dr. Richard Starke, Minister of Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation.

Many organizations have come together in what is one of Calgary’s largest collaborative efforts, from artists and art groups, technology organizations, teams of friends and colleagues such as TELUS Spark, National Music Centre and Heavy Industries, to Calgary’s post-secondary institutions and the likes of local maker organizations like Calgary Mini Maker Faire. The Calgary Board of Education is offering a summer course for students to design and build projects leading up to September and more than 15,000 students will participate in field trips, school visits and ingenuity challenges during Beakerhead 2014.

“At Suncor, we understand how important innovation can be to creating change and social progress,” said Pat O’Reilly, director of sustainability and outreach for Suncor Energy, a Beakerhead founding sponsor. “We are so excited to once again be part of Beakerhead, an event that brings together art, science and engineering to spark creativity, foster innovation and inspire us all!”

“Beakerhead is an invitation to everyone to imagine and build,” says co-founder Jay Ingram, science broadcaster and writer who co-hosted the Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet for more than 16 years. “Engineer your bike, design an art car, build a robot with your family, race a kinetic contraption … anything goes. Think of it as turning the whole city into the most entertaining laboratory for five days.”

Beakerhead 2014 will take place in Calgary, Alberta on September 10 to 14. Most events are free. Please check the website for program updates and ticket sales. Additional events will be added this summer.

Download the Preliminary 2014 Program Guide.

Looking to learn more?

  • Beakerhead backgrounder:  Click here.
  • Find out which presenters landed a spot on this year’s program list!
  • The Honourable Michelle Rempel added her thoughts on the creative Beakerhead, take a look.
  • And of course, stellar media launch photographs from the equally spectacular Beakerhead Photography Team!
Contact: Michelle Htun-Kay, 403-830-1668 or talks chalk and Beakerhead spread the word this morning about the eco-chalk graffiti that has been turning heads in Calgary, and now around the world, since May 21. The 14th Street and 4th Street underpasses were the creation of Canadian artist duo Komboh, using a new eco-friendly chalk spray created by Vision Media Co.

Haven’t seen them yet? Take a look Here.


Thank you Morfea! 

Funding is to spectacular events, as Voting is to … Beakerhead 2014!

Beakerhead had a blast last year delighting curious Calgarians, and inquisitive minds around the world. As many already know, 2014’s theme is ‘Let Go’, and plans to blow last year’s events into outer space. Beakerhead wants to encourage inspiration, drum-up curiosity, and empower creativity, but needs your help!


Fluor’s Global Community Project Fund has selected Beakerhead as one of 30 finalists worldwide to compete for a $10,000 prize. Voting is the name of this game, and Beakerhead would love your support!


Voting takes only 2 clicks starting…. Now! [Vote Beakerhead] (Please note that link is not mobile friendly.)


The competition closes June 16th, so show your support and Beakerhead will be sure to show its appreciation.

Can’t wait for Beakerhead 2014!

Swerve inducts Beakerhead into summer festival guide

It’s official! Swerve placed Beakerhead on its much-anticipated Summer/Fall Festival guide. With its reputation for highlighting the coolest, must-see events, Beakerhead is honoured to be featured.

Sneak-a-peak Here, and make sure your fall schedule includes Beakerhead September 10-14!


My Modern Metropolis: Eco-Chalk Graffiti Revealed for Beakerhead 2014

To get you excited for Beakerhead, the annual art meets science meets engineering event, the City of Calgary worked with artist Michael Mateyko and Hans Thiessen, also known as Komboh, in creating “green graffiti” on two busy downtown underpasses. The eco-chalk graffiti art is a “ramp-up” to the September citywide happening that brings out tens of thousands of people to celebrate creativity at the crossroads of art, science and engineering. From September 10 to September 14, Calgary will come alive through dozens of events including outdoor installations, street parades, and robot-led performances. You may remember our on-the-ground coverage from last year’s inaugural event.

Read full article at the My Modern Metropolis website.

Media Partnerships: Request for Proposal

Beakerhead hit the streets and airwaves in 2013, with more than 40 events attracting more than 62,500 in-person encounters and more than 60 million national and international media impressions.

Building on the inaugural year success, this not-for-profit, charitable organization seeks media partners in print, radio, online and broadcast media as well as printing and production partners, who will help to tell this story in a highly engaging way across local, national and international markets.

In 2014, Beakerhead will take place from September 10 – 14.

Click here to download: Beakerhead RFP Media Sponsors_2014 

RFP Timeline

  • February 18: RFP issued
  • March 6: Deadline to submit proposals
  • March 17: Selected partners notified

Please direct any queries to Michelle Htun-Kay, Director of Marketing and Communications at