Vamp’s Guide to Calgary Pride

Written by: Kennedy Enns and Amber McLinden

Calgary Pride starts this week with a host of events, music and parties culminating with the parade this Sunday. As we gear up for this week’s events we think that it’s important we acknowledge the history of pride. While writing this piece we struggled with how to include the important history of the Stonewall Riots as well as the Orlando shootings that happened earlier this year respectfully and without whitewashing history. Looking back at the Stonewall Riots in 1969, we see the beginning of this movement in response to the violence the community faced, being lead by trans women of color and it’s important to note that the “first pride” was not a parade but a riot.

To quote the festival, Pride is just as much “a movement, a statement and a celebration” as it is “a reminder of those we have lost”. Earlier this year the Pulse shootings took place on Latin night and as we look back on the history of this movement we are grateful for the resiliency and strength shown by our community each and everyday. We look forward to this week as a celebration of where we have come from and feel so lucky to be a part of it. With that being said, here’s some of the amazing things you can expect this week from Calgary Pride.

Wednesday, August 31st

Passionate Kisses: An Event of Story and Song

If you’ve ever heard of the Coming Out Monologues YYC, you’ll surely enjoy their upcoming event for Pride, “Passionate Kisses”. Building on the theme “My First Queer Kiss”, the performers bring jazz-influenced spoken word to the stage at charbar. Partnering with Loft 112Calgary PrideFairy Tales Queer Film Festival, Teatro Berdache and charbar, the Coming Out Monologues YYC are prepped to host an amazing night for Calgary Pride. The pre-sale tickets have already sold out, but there are limited tickets available at the door for $35. Come check it out beginning at 8pm at charbar.

Thursday, September 1st

Downtown Gay History Walk

If we’re honest most of history is written by straight, white men. Therefore, most history is about those same people. If you’re a woman, a racial minority, or queer, you can bet there isn’t a lot of mainstream history books written about you. For this year’s Calgary Pride, the Calgary Gay History Project’s Kevin Allen is bringing us the Gay History Walk to educate us with some of the most significant events that influenced the LGBTQ+ community. Learning the history of the community should be a high school requirement, but since it isn’t, come join us from 7pm to 8:30pm with the tour beginning at CommunityWise building.

Friday, September 2nd

Rae Spoon

Rae Spoon is an Albertan treasure. Their music combines an approachable indie pop sound with a lyrical depth not normally found in songs you could just as easily hear on the radio. Their latest album Armour was one of our favorite albums of the year and we are so excited to see them live. As this year’s parade Grand Marshal and featured performer we can’t wait to see them perform at Festival Hall in what promises to be an intimate concert and the best way to start your weekend. Come listen to their music with us at Festival Hall beginning at 8pm.

Saturday, September 3rd

Calgary Dyke & Trans March (2:00pm- 5:00pm; 24th Ave and 1st SW)

The Calgary Dyke and Trans march describes themselves as “an inclusive demonstration forcing resistance from the Dyke and Trans community from discrimination, prejudice and social exclusive practices at large.” Their march is a grassroots movement focusing on visibility from the community. We’ll definitely be attending this event to support the cause and recognize the importance of highlighting this community during Calgary Pride. Come back later in the week for our story on the Calgary Dyke & Trans March, and make sure to check it out from 2pm to 5pm, beginning on the corner of 24th Ave and 1st Street SW.

The Wrong Kind of Girls: Proud, Loud, and a Little Too Vulgar

Describing themselves as “queer feminist ukulele comedy”, local band The Wrong Kind of Girls promise a night of “laughing, groaning and singing along” to songs that range from the topics of birth control, lesbian stereotypes and feminism (all of our favourite topics). Come support your fellow queer ukulele players and laugh along to what promises to be an excellent show. They play from 7pm to 9:30pm at the John Dutton Theatre in the Central Library downtown.

Sunday, September 4th

Calgary Pride Parade

This is the event that most associate with any Pride festival. There is a reason this is the crowning event, because over 125 community organizations, corporations, politicians, churches, and public services will be marching. The parade has drawn over 60,000 spectators and we’re positive it will live up to the same standards this year. Editors Amber and Kennedy will be marching with Calgary Folk Music Festival this year, so keep an eye out for us. If you want to watch the parade go by, find a spot on 9th Ave between 11th St SW and 4th St SE between 12pm and 1:30pm.

Dickens Pub for brunch

There’s not much to say about this. They posted a photo of rainbow pancakes, and now we have to go. Come eat some hangover brunch with us after the Pride Parade!

Pride in the Park (12:30pm- 6pm; Shaw Millennium Park)

After the Calgary Pride Parade (and a little brunch) we’ll find our way to Shaw Millennium Park where Pride in the Park takes place. Check out live music, find your way to the Village Brewery beer gardens, bring your kids to the family zone, or check out a marketplace filled with local businesses. Mourn the end of this year’s Pride and check out some live music from 12:30pm to 6pm at Shaw Millennium Park.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Screening

One of the bests parts of the Halloween season is attending a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, so of course no one can say no to a September showing with Calgary Pride hosting. The cult classic has a long history of being extraordinary, with audience members dressing up as the cast and there’s a number of ways for the audience to participate in the show, ranging from throwing rice to shouting obscenities at the screen. Calgary Underground Film Festival, Fairy Tales, and Hole in the Wall Studios have partnered to bring this special showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show to Calgary Pride. Join us at the Globe Cinema from 10:30pm to 2am.