Five Hidden Music Venues in Calgary

Calgary boasts a number of great music venues, such the Jack Singer Concert Hall, the Jubilee Auditorium and MacEwan Hall, which host the biggest names in rock, pop, country, folk, pop, EDM, jazz and more.

But if you really want to get a sense of why the city has one of the most vibrant music scenes in the country, you have to hit the smaller clubs.

Here are five must-see hidden music venues:


Live music in the basement cellar at Wine-Oh's

Located steps away from Stephen Avenue Walk on First Street S.W., Wine-Ohs is a classic bistro with European flair and a delicious lunch menu. But downstairs, you’ll find the Wine-Ohs Cellar, an intimate venue that hosts everything from local indie rock bands to introspective singer-songwriters and jazz trios. 

You’ll know right away you’ve stumbled onto something cool as you access the Cellar door on the side of the building, facing the alley. It gives off that mildly illegal ‘speakeasy’ vibe, without the imminent threat of being raided by the police.

The warm atmosphere and great acoustics complete the experience.

The Blues Can

Inglewood has become a destination for local music fans during the past few years and The Blues Can is one of the reasons why.

As its name suggests, The Blues Can features a nightly lineup of talented local blues, roots and rock acts, as well as bigger-name Canadian musicians.

Calgary guitarist Mike Watson hosts the Sunday Night Blues Jam, which attracts some of the city’s best blues players.

And if you work up an appetite dancing to Jory Kinjo & Friends at Rocksteady Wednesdays, the venue also offers a tasty southern-style menu.

Tubby Dog

Accordian and Bass Player at Tubby Dog

Want to check out some of the newest, hippest bands in Calgary’s diverse music scene? Look no further than Tubby Dog.

Though it lacks a proper stage (bands set up on the floor in a back corner,) the 17th Avenue eatery hosts several indie rock and punk rock shows each month.

Gigs are free but be warned, the place gets packed early when there’s a show. On the upside, if you don’t have a good view of the band, you can still enjoy a delicious Tubby Dog hot dog while taking in the (usually loud) sounds.

The Oak Tree Tavern

A warm and inviting second-floor pub that boasts one of the sunniest patios in Kensington, the Oak Tree Tavern books rockabilly, country and indie rock acts each Thursday night. As well, a casual Celtic Folk Jam happens every Sunday at 4 p.m.

Mikey’s Juke Joint

Live music at Mikey's Juke JointPhoto Credit: Mikey's Juke Joint

It’s amazing how four or five-piece bands manage to fit on Mikey’s small stage. But the venue manages to attract excellent blues, roots and rock acts night after night. Among its most popular weekly events is the Tuesday night solo acoustic blues of award-winning singer and guitarist Tim Williams. And the Saturday Afternoon Jam, hosted by owner and musician Mike Clark, attracts a mixed and boisterous crowd.

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