Calgary Pride festival kicks off with art displays, online workshops

Artist Mike Hooves poses with his mural Lone United during the unveiling of public art by LGBTQ+ artists in Central Memorial Park on Friday, Aug. 28, 2020.

Calgary Pride “sashayed its way” into reimagined programming to celebrate its 30th anniversary amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual Pride festival began Friday and will feature over 100 online workshops, the work of 300 LGBTQ artists and community events to celebrate resiliency, community and love.

Parker Chapple, the executive director of Calgary Pride, said it has been stressful but exciting to bring the group’s new vision to life.

“It was only four-and-a-half months ago that the world changed very drastically and I am awe-inspired by our team at Calgary Pride and the community for how quickly we were able to sashay our way into a new idea,” said Chapple.

“It was about really understanding what the end goal for Pride is each year. And that is to celebrate, connect, ignite dialogue, create opportunities for folks to learn more about our community and to ask questions.”

 Parker Chapple, executive director for Calgary Pride.

This year, there are multiple #OurPride community partner events happening across the city, each taking place in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines. This includes markets, food trucks, a rooftop party and more events to raise funds for organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

There are also over 50 themes being highlighted in Calgary Pride’s robust learning series, with workshops on topics like Black queer leadership in the Pride movement, LGBTQ 101 and two-spirit identities.

People can also stream Pride content, like daily DJ and drag shows, all week on multiple platforms, including Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and on the new Calgary Pride app.

Chapple said the theme this year is #WeAreCalgaryPride.

“We are Calgary Pride. All of us are. We make Calgary Pride happen,” said Chapple. “It’s not something owned by one individual. It is a collective movement of individuals that are seeking to change the world in a way where we all can love exactly who we want to love being exactly the people that we are.”


Calgary Pride week runs until Sept. 6.

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