Calgary Gay Pride 2016

Celebrating Gay Pride in Alberta's largest city

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••• Downtown Calgary holds one of the largest Gay Pride festivals in western Canada over Labor Day weekend, in early September. photo by Andrew Collins

With a population of roughly 1 million, Calgary is Alberta's largest city and the third-largest municipality in Canada. This sprawling, modern metropolis at the eastern base of the Canadian Rockies has long been considered a bit more conservative than Vancouver, Toronto, and other major Canadian cities - in part owing to the city's agricultural- and oil-industry-based economy - but especially in recent years, the city's sizable LGBT community has become highly visible and prominent.

Each year in late August and early September, the community organizes for Calgary Gay Pride - the main events are typically during Labor Day weekend (Friday, Sept. 2 through Monday, Sept. 5, 2016), but Calgary Pride week officially starts on August 26. About 25,000 people are expected to attend Pride this year.

Calgary Pride 2016 is made up of numerous events and gatherings, including a White Party Kick Off To Pride on August 27 at the Backlot, a drag diva cabaret at Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino, downtown Calgary gay history walks, a Movies on the Rise Pride Edition on St. Patrick's Island on September 1, Rae Spoon live in concert, a presentation of "The Wrong Kind of Girls: Proud, Loud, and a Little Too Vulgar," a Youth Rainbow Rave, a Beef Bear Beer Bash at the Blind Monk, the Grand Finale Pure Pride Calgary party on September 3 at Flames Central, and much more  - you can view a complete schedule of events at here.

The two most prominent celebrations are the Calgary Gay Pride Parade, which this year will take place on Sunday, September 4, from noon until 1:30 pm and the Calgary Gay Pride in the Park Festival, held throughout the same day as the parade, Sunday, September 4, from 12:30 to 6 pm. The festival takes place right where the parade ends, at Shaw Millennium Park, near the Bow River at 14 Street Southwest and 9 Avenue SW.

 

Be sure to take a look at the official Calgary Pride Schedule of Events page for further details.

Note the up in the gorgeous Alberta ski and recreation hub of Jasper, Jasper Gay Pride Festival takes place in the heart of the winter sports season, early March (the dates for the next one are March 9–12, 2017).

Calgary Gay Resources

Many of the city's gay-popular bars, eateries, and other businesses have lots going on during Pride week. Check local resources about the Calgary gay scene, such as Gay Calgary Magazine. Also take a look at the helpful visitor site produced by the city's official tourism organization, Tourism Calgary.