About the Rodeo

For three wild weeks in January, One Yellow Rabbit presents the High Performance Rodeo, an international festival of live art.  It’s a chance for Calgarians to watch touring performances from across Canada, acclaimed international shows and new and experimental work from artists here at home.  The programming is bold, cutting-edge, funny, frank and full of heart.  From theatre to dance, music to film, free lunchtime concerts and last-night cabarets, there’s something for everyone.
The Rodeo takes over downtown Calgary, defying description and tickling the tastebuds of arts and culture lovers.  Audiences brave the January cold, or revel in the chinook heatwave, comb over the festival guide and come out to play. The High Performance Rodeo is all about championing creativity, building community, celebrating diverse voices and promoting self-expression.
In 1987, Michael Green launched the first “One Yellow Rabbit Secret Elevator Experimental Performance Festival”.  Intrepid audience members called a number for directions, met at a mystery location, were ushered into a darkened elevator and transported to a make-shift venue that was, by day, the One Yellow Rabbit office.  That first year, artists tried out new writings, played compositions on toy pianos, climbed out windows and invited audience to party of the rooftops.
Over the next three decades, the High Performance Rodeo grew, establishing itself as a small but important forum for innovation and experimentation, placing Calgary artists at the fore. The festival grew an atmosphere of collaboration and experimentation, quickly attracting artists from across Canada, the USA and beyond. OYR taught not only Calgary theatre practitioners but theatre audiences to be open to the novel and choose the unexpected.  This international festival in the middle of the prairies knocked down barriers, both creative and geographic.  The choice to build this festival here in this city is one the Avenue Magazine called one of the “20 Decisions that Shaped Calgary”.