Fifth instalment of Femme Wave keeps resisting

Femme Wave kick off at Dickens Pub in Calgary on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. This is the 5th year of the Femme Wave festival. (Photo by Lexa Chambers)

Femme Wave, the non-profit feminist arts festival, had underground arts and politics lovers crawling from one venue to the next in Downtown Calgary all weekend long.


On Nov. 8, Friday night kicked off with a comedy shop. It featured stand-up comedians Adora Nwofor, Jayme Tucker, Emily Bilton, and Issa Kixen at I Love You Coffee Shop.


Tucker caused an uproar of laughter from behind the mic with how they lost their conceptual virginity. Bilton discussed their sexual identity. Both Nwofor and Kixen shared their personal experiences of living in Western Canada as people of colour.


Upon entry, an optional pin printed with one’s pronouns, a festival guide, and The Abortion Cookbook zine were each given out for free, courtesy of Femme Wave.


Between sets I enjoyed a hot cup of tea in one hand and The Abortion Cookbook in the other.


The Abortion Cookbook, a zine by Nicole Mary, Taylor Harder, and Arcana Shanks, is a compilation of herbal-induced abortion recipes used throughout history.


The festival guide explains that The Abortion Cookbook is “not a how-to guide,” but a “reminder that a person will always have control over their body, regardless of what their government dictates.”


Femme Wave Fun House

10 artists, bands, and DJs rocked all floors of the Royal Canadian Legion 1 during the Femme Wave Fun House later that night.


Quiet Groove, a local shoegaze/slowcore band fronted by vocalist Ana Villanueva, gave an unforgettable performance that left me entranced.


On Nov. 9, Known Local Babes brought garage punk to a packed house at the Palomino where they played songs about defying patriarchy with “one tit out.”


Almost in unison, everyone watching Known Local Babes swayed side to side and bopped their heads to the riffs.


Femme Wave offers a $75 wristband for the entire weekend as at-the-door entrance fees can become expensive; if you’re only planning to attend certain events, it’s essential to pre-purchase them online as they are five dollars cheaper. 


Pre-purchased tickets to the comedy shop cost $10, the Femme Wave Fun House cost $30, and entrance to the Palomino cost $25.


Making waves

A group of women and non-binary community members created Femme Wave. They describe themselves as a “political, personal, rebellious act of resistance born out of the marginalization within the arts community and also our privilege as settlers on Treaty 7 land.”


In the past five years, Femme Wave has showcased over 330 bands, visual artists, filmmakers, comedians, and workshops that feature at least one woman or non-binary artist in their group.

Femme Wave kick off at Dickens Pub in Calgary on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. This is the 5th year of the Femme Wave festival. (Photo by Lexa Chambers)

Previous post

Sexual health goes beyond condoms

Next post

Altameda continues to authentically grow after new album and international touring