Taylor Centre presents Sweater Season


Sweater Season is a series of stories to spark conversation about the arts community in Calgary, its future, and what it means to centre the arts in our city. The series will raise funds for the MRU Conservatory's Academy Endowment Fund.

Learn more and tune in weekly for new stories.

This video was filmed prior to COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions taking effect. Video by Aximotion.


You will also find local online shows, stories, videos, platforms and upcoming events available for you to enjoy at Taylor Centre Online!

Sweater Season

The Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts is proud to present, in concert with Local Laundry, Sweater Season. While we’re unable to host our traditional concert season for now, the Taylor Centre remains dedicated to centering the arts in Calgary by presenting this unique content series. Learn what Sweater Season is all about! New stories will be shared weekly. 

Listen to a podcast episode with Connor Curran, Local Laundry's chief laundry folder, Phil Cimolai, general manager of the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts, and Brad Mahon, dean of the faculty of Continuing Education and Conservatory talk about the process to create the Centre the Arts campaign, why a local collaboration was important, the significance of the sweater and toque design, as well as what it means to Centre the Arts as an organization.

We had a conversation with Calgary Folk Fest about how it has stabilized the arts community amidst a global pandemic, the challenge of pushing forward with virtual events and what’s next for the festival in the coming months. Folk Fest fans can read more in our interview with Sara Leishman, Executive Director of Calgary Folk Music Festival.    

Listen to Revv52's Sweater Season playlist and read about the group's experience finding inspiration, well-being and community through music during COVID-19. We interviewed artistic director John Morgan along with performers Ken Wilson and Manuella Scotton who share their journeys with Revv52.

We spoke with Wordfest's CEO and Creative Ringleader, Shelley Youngblut, about taking the virtual plunge and diving into the world of online events with huge success. Read the full story and find out what your favourite literary leaders are up to. 

Are you ready for Calgary's newest winter festival, Chinook Blast? The event will take place in the downtown core and pop-up in all quadrants of the city throughout the six-week event. We got the inside scoop from organizers on what to expect and get excited about in January 2021!  

Watch a special performance by Calgary Youth Orchestra tuba player, Aine Kay Sison. Aine Kay defines what it means to Centre the Arts and shares her learnings with young musicians, along with the advice she received from Øystein Baadsvik, a Norwegian professional tuba soloist. 

Hear from Dean Brad Mahon who gives a unique perspective on the beauty of the Bella and shares the Taylor Centre's definition of what it means to Centre the Arts, along with how the campaign came to life. 

We were thrilled to chat with Kate Stevens, Calgary-based R&B/soul singer-songwriter, MRU Conservatory alumna and YYC Music Awards Solo Artist of the Year. She shares her journey creating music during COVID-19 and how surviving a global pandemic doesn't need to be a productivity contest. Read the whole story. 

Mary Kate Aquino is a local singer-songwriter and a fourth-year public relations student at Mount Royal University. Mary Kate shares her experience of performing at the Bella Concert Hall and delights us with two original songs, Shadow Home and Your Eyes. Watch her interview and listen to her tunes! 

Honens International Piano Competition President & CEO, Neil Edwards, talks with the Taylor Centre about overcoming pandemic-related hurdles and unexpected outcomes. Read what he has to say and discover their new podcast! 

Virtual Shows

The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra launched a four-part online series, An Orchestra Adventure, featuring Associate Conductor Karl Hirzer for a fun and educational tour of the Orchestra. This kid-friendly series will take children on a musical journey highlighting the four sections that make up a symphony orchestra including woodwinds, strings, brass and percussions. Parents, educators and children are encouraged to tune in to watch these 15-minute webisodes now available online.

Watch and be inspired by Almighty Voices episodes hosted by Tom Jackson with guests including Myles Goodwyn, Liona Boyd, Barney Bentall & Dustin Bentall, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Bif Naked and more. The project benefits Unison Benevolent Fund, a non-profit providing counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community.

Don’t miss out on Dave Kelly’s show In the Neighborhood on Youtube and Facebook Live Monday to Friday at 10 a.m. The live stream features familiar faces, including hosts Dave Kelly, Mandy Stobo, Jim Button, and Russell Broom, along with other local and international celebrity heroes and guests. Follow @davekellylive on Facebook to get the latest show info!

Wordfest connects Calgarians with life-changing experiences through live events featuring some of the best authors and writers from around the world. During the pandemic, Wordfest is hosting Online Happy Hours with special guests several times a month.


On November 21 to mark International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, Mount Royal Kantorei released its presentation of Please Stay: An Anthem for Hope and Suicide Prevention by composer Jake Runestad. This outstanding virtual performance explores the complex and important subject of suicide, suicide prevention and intends to help destigmatize mental health.

In October 2020, local beloved musician MBF released a new record called Love Valley. In celebration of his launch, we’re sharing a video of Michael Bernard Fitzgerald performing at the Bella last season. To hear his new music, visit Apple Music or Spotify.

Get a glimpse of Calgary's unique live show experience, Dave Kelly Live, in the Bella Concert Hall. DKL is packed with performances, music, art, games and real stories. We can’t wait for the next season!

Barney Bentall & The Cariboo Express performed a benefit concert in support of Classroom Champions at the Bella Concert Hall on November 2019. Backed by The Gold Rush All Stars, this incredible event was full of laughter and storytelling through contemporary songwriting.

The 2019-20 concert season at the Taylor Centre came to an unexpected close but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good one. We welcomed many artists and performers to our stage including Tegan and Sara, Paul Brandt, Skydiggers, Matt Mays, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Dave Kelly Live, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Calgary Youth Orchestra and more. Watch the recap video to get a glimpse at the incredible shows from this season.

The Rocky Mountain Taiko Ensemble is one of our incredible resident MRU Conservatory performers. Until you can enjoy a performance live at the Bella, watch the Rocky Mountain Taiko Ensemble perform at GlobalFest 2019.

Take in this amazing virtual performance of Rain in Jiang Nan by the Calgary Chinese Orchestra Youth Ensemble on YouTube. The Calgary Chinese Orchestra is an MRU Conservatory orchestra group that frequently performs at the Bella Concert Hall.

In response to the pandemic, Calgary Opera is sharing several videos in its COVID-19 Concert Series. Watch and listen to incredible local talent and if you choose to share on social media, be sure to tag #thegiftofopera!

The Esker Foundation has an online channel that shares weekly art activities for all under two main categories. Esker Youth Engagement (EYE) is an initiative designed to connect youth to contemporary art and artists through creative activities provided for free by Esker's education team. Every week you will also find new 'Mini Masters at Home' art projects for children and families, with easy-to-follow guides and made using readily available materials. Find out more about Esker Foundation’s online programs.

Watch the Mount Royal Kantorei Choir perform “We Lift Our Eyes”. The choir was set to perform this piece at the Cork International Choral Festival earlier this year. While the performance was cancelled, the Kantorei Choir continues to keep spirits up with this beautiful video showcase.

Our friends at Revv52 put together a special video compilation just for the Taylor Centre! It features two songs from a show that took place earlier this year in the Bella Concert Hall and Revv52's most recent virtual performances. Revv52 opened at the Bella in January 2016 and has performed on our stage every season since.
Be sure to check out the other videos posted to Revv52’s Youtube channel for a ton of living room dance party tunes!

Watch MRU Conservatory faculty and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra members Janna Sailor, Donovan Seidle and John Lowry perform alongside colleagues and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Inspired by the beauty of the Bella? Watch a behind-the-scenes video that looks at the architecture and process that went into creating our world-class concert hall. 

Watch Edmond Agopian, violinist and music director of the Mount Royal Conservatory’s Calgary Youth Orchestra, in a live-streamed performance titled From Our Home To Yours. 


If you haven’t heard about JANN, the half-hour, hit CTV comedy is a quasi-fictionalized reflection of the life of Calgary-based singer/songwriter Jann Arden. The show filmed on Mount Royal University’s campus for seven days in October 2019, in addition to multiple visits during the scouting and organizing process. The creators of the show were so taken with the colour of the upholstery of the seats in the Bella Concert Hall that they sprinkled it throughout the show’s eight episodes. Viewers can spot Mount Royal in five episodes but with Season 2 now airing, we encourage you to watch and support our hometown hero, Jann Arden! Read the full article.

Even though we are physically distanced, students from the Mount Royal University Conservatory continue to connect with the community through their art. Advanced Performance Program students Luka Coetzee and Typhen Chan gave unique one-on-one performances over the phone at two Calgary seniors’ residences as part of a project organized by United Active Living. Read the full story.

Earlier this year, award-winning writer and MRU Professor Natalie Meisner, PhD, was named Calgary’s 2020-2022 Poet Laureate. The position was formally announced on April 27 at Calgary City Hall in combination with the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge. Read more about Calgary’s new Poet Laureate and her inspiring works.

Earlier this year, MRU Conservatory and Ambrose University established a partnership to allow Conservatory students to complete Bachelors of Music at Ambrose University. Under this agreement, MRU Conservatory’s Advanced Performance Program students will be able to apply for and complete their Bachelor of Music beginning in Fall 2020. Read more about this new Calgary-based Bachelors of Music program!

Are you an independent film buff? Mount Royal University student Adam Solway’s short film A Night Out debuted in Los Angeles at the LA Skins Fest late last year. LA Skins Fest describes itself as a “Native American Arts organization that offers year-round programming in film, television and music.” The story cuts to the heart of confronting insecurities, fears about leaving home and missed opportunities. Read more about Solway’s film and his big-screen experience.

Get two great book recommendations and a playlist of punk-folk tunes by reading this article where  MRU English professor Randy Schroeder and former student collaborate to create music based on their newly published novels.


Calgary Public Library lets you access tons of free resources anytime, anywhere. Check out Your Library at Home to discover a treasure trove of digital apps and activities for all ages, including science experiments for kids, study help for students, free online courses for adults, movies and music, virtual programs, and much more.

Contemporary Calgary has several stories and virtual presentations as part of its Art Where You Are program which includes a recent panel discussion on reckoning with a racialized and gendered spectrum of visibility, hosted in partnership with the Vancouver Art Gallery. Watch and listen to hyper(in)visibility here.

Calgary’s iconic Glenbow Museum can now be enjoyed anywhere. Check out Glenbow from Home , a platform that hosts a variety of virtual tours, online collections, offers educational videos, activity ideas, webinars and more.


The virtual edition of the annual Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival is planned for Oct. 31 to Nov. 8, 2020. Stay tuned for more information by visiting the Banff’s Centre’s website.

Chinook Blast is a six-week winter festival that celebrates Calgary and its diverse communities while embracing Canadian winter. Chinook Blast will allow all Calgarians to come together to experience a variety of compelling and accessible winter arts and sports programming for all ages. The festival takes place from mid-January to the end of February 2021. Follow @chinookblast on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest festival news.

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If you would like to support the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts, learn more about the Centre the Arts campaign.