Sled Island is an annual music and arts festival that began in 2007. Zak Pashak, then owner of the Calgary music venue Broken City, had been inspired by Pop Montreal and the street life that was activated by that festival.
Knowing that Calgary had many more artistic venues than it was usually thought to have, Pashak felt his hometown could host a similar event.
In a downtown where cars often take priority to people, Sled Island is an urban life experiment. The goal is to open up as much of the downtown core as possible and fill it with as many types of people as possible—using music, film, comedy and art as the motivation for people to get together.