Mariela Parra, President of the Hispanic Arts Society of Calgary leads the way through Fairmont Palliser Hotel on the first Día de Muertos Parade in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on November 1, 2019.
© J. Ashley Nixon
As Mexican resorts like Acapulco, Cancún and Puerto Vallarta were up in the thirties on November first, many Mexicans and their friends in Calgary were out celebrating at plus 15. That’s fifteen feet, not temperature on the Celcius scale. The latin community of the city was out in force to celebrate Día de Muertos with their first ever parade around the Plus 15 system, a labyrinth of elevated corridors that connect the main buildings of the downtown core. The system provides safer routes for pedestrians, access to the diversity of shops, and a warm haven from the cold winters that can stretch through six or even seven months of the year in this part of North America.
Costumes and Calaveras
The Día de Muertos Parade, an initiative of the Hispanic Arts Society, was presented by them in collaboration with Mictlán Arts Collective. The Hispanic Arts Society is well-known for organizing the annual Expo Latino, the biggest outdoor Latin festival in western Canada. Many walkers and performers in the procession were brightly dressed and made up or masked up with the designs of the calavera, or skull, that has become the symbol of the Día de Muertos celebration.
The parade made a couple of stops for street theatre presentations by the Mictlán Collective before ending near City Hall, where the Consulate of Mexico and CALMECA greeted the walkers and performers with marigold-laden ofrendas (alters) bearing the traditional offerings of pan de muertos, sugar calaveras, tequila, and photographs of the deceased.
Please visit J. Ashley Nixon Communications to see more photos of the first Día de Muertos Parade in Calgary on November 1, 2019.