Broken City

Calgary musician Kenna Burima's favourite spot for live music is Broken City

Nothing is better than a cold beer after a night of belting out tunes, and Kenna Burima should know.

When she isn’t performing orchestral pop with her band, Woodpigeon, she’s screaming her heart out with the Brenda Vaqueros, a psychedelic garage country rock outfit. And given her longstanding DJ sets on air for University of Calgary radio station CJSW and on stage every Friday night at the local art-draped Hifi Club, Burima’s musical tastes and creative output are both wide and prolific.  

When she’s looking to have a few pints and let someone else helm the speakers, Burima heads downtown to Broken City, Calgary’s watering hole for hip kids, artists and musicians. The intimate venue hosts wild dance parties to live music two or three nights a week, and its delirious Sunday night karaoke will inevitably have you joining tipsy rockers onstage for throaty renditions of old David Bowie tunes.

“It’s the best live music venue in Calgary,” says Burima. “I’m there at least a couple of nights a week.”


“There’s not a lot of pretense. It’s a comfortable, easy place to go for a pint, so you don’t have to dress up.”


Cover ranges from $4 – $25, but you’ll want to show up before 9 p.m. for popular acts or you’ll be sharing smokes with the local scenesters in line. “I go when I’m playing, of course, or Thursday nights around 10 or 10:30, before it gets too packed.”


“It’s grungy, it’s dirty—like a community pub should be. They have huge booths that fit four to a side, which is great—so my whole band can get in.”


“I love to drink Steam Whistle; they’re a grassroots company that support the arts. I joke that they should sponsor the Brenda Vaqueros’ Wednesday night rehearsals. We drink that much.”

Broken City is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

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