Dying tumour cells can elicit a potent anticancer immune response by exposing the calreticulin (CRT)/ERp57 complex on the cell surface before the cells manifest any signs of apoptosis. Here, we enumerate elements of the pathway that mediates pre-apoptotic CRT/ERp57 exposure in response to several immunogenic anticancer agents. Early activation of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-sessile kinase PERK leads to phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2alpha, followed by partial activation of caspase-8 (but not caspase-3), caspase-8-mediated cleavage of the ER protein BAP31 and conformational activation of Bax and Bak. Finally, a pool of CRT that has transited the Golgi apparatus is secreted by SNARE-dependent exocytosis. Knock-in mutation of eIF2alpha (to make it non-phosphorylatable) or BAP31 (to render it uncleavable), depletion of PERK, caspase-8, BAP31, Bax, Bak or SNAREs abolished CRT/ERp57 exposure induced by anthracyclines, oxaliplatin and ultraviolet C light. Depletion of PERK, caspase-8 or SNAREs had no effect on cell death induced by anthracyclines, yet abolished the immunogenicity of cell death, which could be restored by absorbing recombinant CRT to the cell surface.