A sign and set of international flags along International Avenue
International Avenue is a Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ) in Calgary, Alberta. The district is centered on 17th Avenue S.E. in the neighbourhood of Forest Lawn in the east of the city. The district was created in 1993 to celebrate the rich cultural diversity that exists in east central Calgary. The area has since become a popular location for ethnic restaurants and shopping.
The BRZ was also established to help revitalize the former town of Forest Lawn, which was annexed by the city in 1961. The neighbourhood has long had a reputation for being a haven for crime and drugs. In recent years, however, the area has been recognized for its multi-culturalism and has been slowly developing into a major destination for both Calgary residents and tourists. The city and the BRZ are currently in the process of implementing new urban design and redevelopment initiatives.
Since 2003, International Avenue has played host to Calgary's large multi-cultural event, GlobalFest. GlobalFest combines both a celebration of diversity known as OneWorld Festival and an International Fireworks Festival at Elliston Park. The event takes place annually in late August. The 2009 Festival took place August 21-29 at Elliston Park.