Sled Island Testimonials

We've been asking members of the Sled Island community to tell us what the festival means to them. Check them out below, and please consider donating! We are grateful for contributions of all sizes and all donations will contribute to Sled Island’s operating and programming costs. To donate, visit our Donate page


"I mark my calendar every June for Sled Island. Every year, Sled Island programs a spectacular array of music, art, film and comedy that always entertains, challenges and inspires me as a fan of music, a musician and a citizen of Calgary. The importance of this festival cannot be understated. Everyone from attendees, artists, the host venues and more transform Calgary into a magical musical destination that has done much to stretch the definition of what Calgary is." - Adam Kamis, CJSW Station Manager

"Sled Island means so much to the Calgary arts community. Firstly as an audience member - Sled Island brings in bands and artists I never thought I would get to see in Calgary, people who I would normally have to travel outside my hometown to experience. Every June the festival brings our city to life, filling our venues, restaurants, galleries, shops and bike racks with a vibrant, dynamic community (both local and from all over the world). Secondly, as an artist, Sled Island provides the most valuable opportunity available in our city to showcase our music, build our audiences, connect with other artists and network with industry folks. Surviving as an artist in Calgary is no easy task, but Sled Island helps make this more viable for us. Through all of this, Sled Island has also shown themselves to be a leading festival in our community for embracing equity, inclusion and responsible practices around environment, safety and community-building." - Erin Jenkins, Calgary Queer Arts Society/Crystal Eyes

"Sled Island is such an important festival for the diversity alone. It opens up so many different avenues of music, comedy and art to people that they might not know they liked before. I have so many bands in my playlists now that I found by just wandering into a random venue during Sled. It truly has something for everyone!" - Alan Lindsay, Broken City 

"Over the years I have discovered so many of my favourite bands by following groups of new friends into churches, basement bars, and hot dog shops during Sled Island. Sled is such a cool festival and it’s one of the absolute best ways to find new innovative music. I recommend booking off work!" - Fraser Tuff, 101.5 Today Radio  

"Sled Island started in 2007, and I’ve been amazed at how it’s grown and thrived every year since then. Sled is an integral part of the cultural scene in Calgary. I love music festivals (as many Calgarians do), and it has always been exciting to have our own homegrown music festival bringing such amazing musical acts to our city, and nurturing local acts, year after year!" - David Khan, Alberta Liberal Party Leader

“We look forward to the way Sled Island lights up the city every year. We get to see local artists in the spotlight alongside some amazing international music, comedy, art and films that we wouldn't otherwise get the chance to experience. But more than anything we love the way you can feel the excitement and energy just walking down the streets. To us, it makes Calgary a much more exciting place to live.” - Allison Dunne and Colin Gallant, Pink Flamingo

“Sled Island is a journey and a joy ride. Their discovery passes fulfill the promise year after year. Most bands that play the festival are young, fresh and vibrant unknowns on the upswing as they carve out new frontiers. While those that have histories are the hidden or forgotten gems, their legacy largely unexplored. And when it all descends on Calgary’s clubland, the city is ripe for adventure.” - Brad Simm, Beatroute/Mount Royal University

“It is important for festival organizations to provide artists not just the opportunity to perform, but the opportunity to grow through connection to professionals of industry as well as future bookings. Sled Island supports artists while placing them in environments that highlight them as professional working artists and further connects them to community locally, nationally and internationally. Today it is vital organizations like Sled Island receive support through donations from patrons within the community. Without us working together as a collective community by way of donations, the organization would not be able to accomplish the great work that they do in the province. I am proud to be a community supporter of Sled Island and you will be too.” - Kimberley Jev, Afros in tha City

(Photo: Mike Tan)

"Many of my favourite Calgary adventures were spent riding bikes from venue to venue having my mind blown from a wide variety of phenomenal artists at Sled Island. I may only know of a few of the featured artists once each festival begins but I always end the weekend with a fresh (and long) list of inspiring musicians and comedians to follow. Sled Island is an important institution for Calgary as it showcases the diversity, adventurous spirit and good times that exist within this western town." - Cameron MacGowan, NUTV/Calgary Underground Film Festival 

"Calgary is super lucky to have such a rad festival like Sled! In every aspect! The artists are always so good, every year there’s a really good mix of both newer up-and-comers and well-established artists in every kind of genre. Every year you fall in love with new bands! It has such a great set-up all around downtown! You can move from one venue to the next in just a couple minutes which makes going 'sledding' super easy! It encourages walking and BIKING so you’re always interacting with others at the festival, which really brings the word PALgary to life! It’s a festival run (mostly by volunteers) by passion and good vibes! Expect a lot of new buds, unique experiences and high fives when attending Sled – can’t wait for 2020!" - Kirstin Steier, Virgin Radio Calgary

“Sled Island is a true local arts and music festival, bringing together a great community that enriches the lives of Calgary music and art lovers. The grass roots nature ensures exposure for established and more importantly our emerging artists. Sled Island rocks and makes Calgary a better place.” - Bob Sumner, Parker PR

"I'm always grateful for the musical experiences Sled Island provides, but it is so much more than a bunch of concerts. For one week every June I get a glimpse of the city that Calgary could become, a place full of energy and enthusiasm, with a community brought together by its passion for culture. From the start, Sled has changed how I see this city, and every year I look forward to a new dose of inspiration." - Peter Hemminger, Quickdraw Animation Society

"Living in the prairies, one sometimes feels isolated from the rest of the world. Our favourite artists' tours don't often stop in our town. We wonder what it would be like to live in a real-life hotbed for music, art, comedy, and film. We feel irrelevant, like the rest of the art world doesn't know we exist. These feelings evaporate for five days in late June every year when Sled Island comes to save us from our isolation. Acclaimed artists from the world over descend on our little home and turn Calgary into as active and exciting a place to be as anywhere else on Earth. It's better than sex, Christmas, and Disney+ combined. For me, without Sled Island, there is no Calgary." - Evan Resnik, Ship & Anchor/Sunglaciers


"Sled Island is a true community builder and a Calgary unique, original, phenomena festival that became an integral part of Calgary’s pulse as a vibrant young city. Sidewalk Citizen has been supporting the festival for years and is committed to doing so in years to come." - Michal Levi, Sidewalk Citizen