The groundwork for GlobalFest began in 1993 with the formation of The Calgary Fireworks Festival Society. The not-for-profit Society searched for a suitable fireworks launch site in Calgary for eight years to no avail. There were many potential sites, but none combined the suitable large viewing area, safety regulations, and ability to allow large-scale pyrotechnics to be launched. It wasn’t until 2001 when the Society discovered Elliston Park in Calgary’s Greater Forest Lawn district that the dream could now become reality.
This was a chance encounter that brought together The Calgary Fireworks Festival Society and the International Avenue Arts and Culture Centre, who were interested in beginning a multicultural festival based in East Calgary. The two groups met and they made presentations to the International Avenue BRZ on the same day. Discussions began, and the two groups soon realized the amazing impact their events would have if they partnered together to give Calgary a truly world class celebration of cultural diversity.
GlobalFest burst onto the scene in 2003 with 10 cultural pavilions and three countries presenting pyromusicals in Calgary’s very own international fireworks festival. On the fourth and final night of the festival, GlobalFest celebrated a remarkable accomplishment. The festival reached attendance of close to 100,000 in the very first year, making GlobalFest one of Calgary’s top draws for local citizens and tourists alike.
GlobalFest’s mandate as a not-for-profit society is to produce an inclusive, world class, multi-faceted arts and culture festival that celebrates and showcases cultural diversity and artistic excellence within our communities and across the globe.
GlobalFest is a not-for-profit community development agency dedicated to celebrating, showcasing and promoting Calgary’s ethno-cultural diversity and artistic excellence. We enrich the lives of our citizens and strengthen our community, while simultaneously enhancing Alberta’s reputation as an international destination. GlobalFest is dedicated to facilitating discussions around racism, discrimination, oppression and justice, through forums and educational programming with the intention of sustaining commitment by our community to work towards a more inclusive society.