This year Calgary has been named the ‘Cultural Capital of Canada’ and with that title the city has not been short on events. This past weekend there were so many events to choose from. I was even able to pass along several tickets to my readers.
On the top of my list, I decided to check out Alley Oop; a new event and a new concept.
The idea sounded great; as you stroll down the street you’d visit several local shops who would be sampling a wide variety of food and drinks, then at dusk you head into an Alley and watch some fantastic opera.
My final thoughts?
This event was less Alley and more Oops…
As my guest and I head into the first venue, Bang & Olufsen, I spied the bar near the back of the store and made a B-line for it. Hennessy Black and ginger-ale was the specialty drink. I quickly took a swig from the bottle and moved on to find some food.
A nice selection of meats and cheeses sponsored from Murrietta’s, I was tipsy and satisfied.
Then we head to the next shop, Sport Check, and things took a turn for the worse. Patrons were cued up and offered a 2 oz pour of Village Breweries newest beer. We then hustled out of the line over to the table catered by ??? where a tray of quartered sandwiches, 12 pickels and 7 sausages were waiting for us.
My first feeling was disappointment, but reflecting upon the night… this was one of the food highlights.
Only 45 minutes into the event we head over to the next location, The Casting Company and after a hike up some stairs we were welcomed to food by HOME tasting room.
A silver tray of deep fried crumbs, and…
a store bought veggie tray…
Now I have been a big fan of HOME tasting room in the past, they’ve done some pretty amazing things at events I’ve been to, but if this is their new fare, I think I’ll stay clear.
And after a dirty look and some sass from the bartender who couldn’t be bothered to tell us what he was serving us, we moved on to the next place.
For the remainder of the venues it was the same story…
Empty trays that the sponsors couldn’t be bothered to remove from pubic view, to smaller 1 oz pours as they were ‘running out’.
Annoyed and a tad embarrassed that I had given a reader a set of tickets, I started to walk around with my head down.
But then came the silver lining…
It was dusk and a stilt walker appeared; we were being escorted into the alley for the main event.
The stilt walker kept us engaged as we headed into the alley and upon our arrival we were entertained by a variety of acts, including a ‘fire eater’! (At least she got to eat)
Then we were moved into a rather large opening in the alley which was transformed into a theatre.
A cargo van whipped its rear door open and inside a small orchestra began to play. Scissor Lifts started to rise as opera singers gave us an award winning performance.
It may had been the most spectacular way to take opera out of its element and show common folk like myself that it can be fun!
I couldn’t have been more impressed!
As the performance ended and the lifts made there way back to the ground I reflected upon the night… Would I do this again and how would I have felt if I had paid the $84.00 for the 2 tickets?
With the solid 10 out of 10 for the opera and the weak 1 out of 10 for the sampling, my final judgement would have to be 5.5/10.
My hope is that after this review the event organizers come back next year, guns blazing, and turn this into the 10/10 event I know it could be!
Mr. Fab oop