Wood's Homes Blog

Celebrating with Pride

August 31, 2018
By Gio Dolcecore, Wood's Homes EXIT Clinician
Celebrating with Pride

Calgary Pride will be hosting its 28th annual Pride Parade this weekend, the final celebration following a week full of Pride-related activities and events (including the rainbow flag raising at City Hall). Calgary will also be hosting the Dyke and Trans March on Sept. 1, where those who identify as lesbian, gender neutral and transgender march to celebrate, empower and educate society at large.

Now one of Alberta’s largest and most diverse Pride celebrations, Calgary may have seemed like a late bloomer when hosting its first Pride ‘rally’ in 1990. Since then, Calgary Pride has become a city-wide celebration and is nationally recognized for its inclusion of political supporters. Only a year after it began, Al Duerr (Calgary’s Mayor at the time) recognized Pride Week as an important and crucial part of the city’s development. About a decade later, Alison Redford became the first Alberta Premier to attend the festivities. In 1993, the Calgary Flames and National Hockey League (NHL) franchise sponsored a float in the parade and, over the years, political figures such as Joe Clark and Naheed Nenshi, Elders, community public figures and celebrities, such as Tegan & Sarah and Rae Spoon, have all participated as well.

When Calgarians took to the streets for the first Pride Parades, many wore masks to hide their identities. With just 100 participants, the first parade was more of a political demonstration and call-to-action to empower members of the community. It also brought needed attention to how civil and human rights were being challenged. Today, over 60,000 Calgarians wear their rainbow flags with pride and courage, demonstrating the collective empowerment and success the community has achieved.

If you are interested in participating in the 2018 Calgary Pride celebration, here are some ideas for you and your family/friends:

  1. Take a picture at the city’s first permanent Pride crosswalk at Mount Royal University, or at one of the temporary crosswalks located on the Red Mile (which also hosts a transgender flag) and Stephen Avenue.
  2. Check out Shake, Stir & Strainbow, a campaign that includes 30+ Calgary restaurants and bars who’ve created Pride-inspired cocktails that will be served until Sept. 2 ($1 from the sale of each cocktail will be donated to Skipping Stone Foundation, an Alberta charity that supports and empowers trans and gender diverse youth and their families).
  3. Attend all-ages events, hosted by Calgary Queer Arts Society and Victoria BIA, all weekend long.
  4. Join the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Jewish Federation of Calgary and Temple B'nai Tikvah for their second annual community Shabbat dinner in celebration of Pride on Aug. 31. For more information and tickets, please click here.
  5. March in the Pride Parade with Wood’s Homes! Please contact Adam Flegel if you’re interested in participating with our proud staff.