This year, Calgary Pride is taking place from August 26 – September 5. Pride is a movement that allows us to not only celebrate our diversity, but also acknowledge the contributions of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, learn about the history of Pride, and continue to learn about DEI initiatives.
As a values-based organization passionate about belonging and inclusion, YMCA Calgary is proud to support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. This allyship directly benefits youth and adults in mind, body, and spirit. By outwardly supporting the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, we are creating spaces where all Calgarians feel welcome and safe, allowing them to belong, grow, thrive, and lead. YMCA exists so that everyone has an opportunity to belong.
A brief background – Project Pride Calgary (PPC) was formed in 1987 and produced Calgary’s first Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival in June of 1988. Pride is celebrated in Canada and the United States during the month of June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City. The first Calgary Pride Parade occurred on June 16, 1991. Then mayor, Al Duerr, signed a proclamation declaring June 16-23, 1991, as the first “Gay Rights Week” which put the city into a polarizing uproar. Facing continued political pressure in the weeks following pride, Mayor Duerr renounced his decision. In 1992, the Gay and Lesbian community proclaimed, “Gay and Lesbian Pride Week” themselves without any mayoral or civic endorsement. Calgary Pride moved the parade from June to September long weekend in 2009, in hopes of better weather and attracting more tourists. Since then, it has grown every year into the fastest-growing pride parade in Canada. (Source: History of Calgary Pride, Calgary Pride)
We are proud to support and participate in Calgary Pride along with many other initiatives and partnerships that foster belonging and have a positive impact on our community. This year, YMCA Calgary will be participating in the Calgary Pride Parade on September 4th with our Pride float. We are also hosting in-branch activations with our staff, volunteers, and the public, and will be elevating the voices of community partners who represent and serve this community we’re proud to be a part of.
Let’s get colourful! Check out these Pride events taking place in our city:
August 27 @ 12 – 9 p.m. | Calgary Pride in the Park Kickoff: This free and accessible event will feature family-friendly performances and music, local vendors, food trucks, and a movie in the park. Central Memorial Park – 1221 2 St SW
September 1 @ 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. | Calgary ProPride: Pride at Work Canada will be in Calgary hosting a free evening of networking and connecting with diversity, equity, and inclusion leaders, 2SLGBTQIA+ professionals, and job seekers in Calgary at the Calgary Public Library. Calgary Public Central Library – 800 3 St SE
September 3 @ 10:30 a.m. | 10th Annual Pride Brunch in Support of Camp fYrefly: Centre for Sexuality is proud to host Camp fYrefly Southern Alberta, an educational, social, and personal learning retreat for 2SLGBTQ+ youth held at Camp Chief Hector YMCA. Proceeds from the brunch are used to ensure that there is no cost barrier for any youth to attend camp. This is a ticketed event. Please purchase at the link above. The Westin Calgary – 320 4 Ave SW
September 4 @ 11 a.m. | Calgary Pride Parade and Festival: The parade is held in the Beltline district along 9th Ave, it will start on 5th St SW and conclude in East Village. Immediately following the parade join us at our new festival venue – Fort Calgary! The Festival will kick-off at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 4 and will feature a variety of thrilling performances, food truck vendors, kid-friendly activities, a vendor marketplace, and a beer garden. Fort Calgary – 750 9 Ave SE
For more events happening in our city, please visit Calgary Pride’s Community Calendar