Gay Calgary, Canada : A Beautiful City with a Multicultural Vibe

Calgary is a city of unique charms. Nestled beside the beautiful Bow River, and approximately 50 miles east of the Canadian Rockies, it is a city of stunning outdoor beauty, while simultaneously being a thriving, diverse, and cosmopolitan town where everyone can feel at home and find their place.

A Look at Calgary’s History

Calgary is Canada’s fifth largest city, and the center of Canada’s oil industry. Though it is now a thriving and diverse metropolis, it still often goes by its nickname, “Cowtown” in tribute to its early roots in western culture and its laid-back atmosphere. It still celebrates that culture with its famed Calgary Stampede, a massive rodeo held each July. Calgary is a very diverse city, with some 120 different languages spoken by its residents. Calgary is home to a booming tech industry and a younger, multicultural demographic, an offers an endless number of activities and entertainment options for residents and visitors alike.

A Few Fun Facts About Calgary

  • The Calgary Stampede features the largest rodeo in the world.
  • In 2018, Calgary was named the fourth most livable city in the world.
  • The median age in Calgary is 36 years, making it a very young city.

Find more fun facts about Calgary here.

 

The LGBTQ Community in Calgary

Calgary Outlink

Calgary Outlink is a community-based charity dedicated to providing support, education, outreach, and referrals for the LGBTQ and allied community in Calgary. The goal of Calgary Outlink is to promote support and community connectedness for all gender and sexually diverse people.

The Centre for Sexuality

The Centre for Sexuality has been providing services and supports for the LGBTQ community in Calgary for decades. The Centre aims to normalize sexual health in Alberta by providing evidence-based, non-judgmental sexual and reproductive health services and programs.  

 

Calgary Weather

Calgary is known for having mild, comfortable summers, but long, cold and dry winters. Alberta, in which Calgary is located, is actually known to receive more sunshine throughout the course of the year than any other Canadian province.  Over the course of the year, the temperature in Calgary typically varies from 12°F to 75°F, and those who live there will experience the weather typically associated with all four seasons – warm summers, cold winters, spring blooms, and changing fall leaves.

 

Popular Events in Calgary

Calgary Pride

Calgary has proudly been celebrating its LGBTQ community with its weekly pride festival for 30 years and counting. Typically taking place in late August, the weeklong celebration includes workshops, parades, and other events and celebrations to honor the resiliency, diversity, love, and beauty of the LGBTQ community and its friends and allies.

The Calgary Stampede

No guide to Calgary would be complete without mentioning the Calgary Stampede – Calgary’s annual July rodeo, which is often referred to as the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”. The Stampede is a 10-day festival celebrating western heritage and values and along with the rodeo also includes shows, a midway, and other agricultural events.

 

A Few of Calgary’s Best Neighborhoods

Calgary is generally a very welcoming, diverse, and warm-hearted city. Almost anywhere in the city would be a wonderful place to call home, and there is no one “gayborhood” per se. Here are just a couple of many Calgary neighborhoods which are welcoming to the LGTBQ community:

The Beltline

The hip Beltline area of Calgary is bounded by 17th Avenue SW. This part of the city features cool boutiques, trendy eateries, lively nightlife, including craft beer pubs, live music venues and dance clubs, including many of the city’s most popular LGBTQ bars and clubs. The average listing price in The Beltline is currently approximately $630,000.

Downtown Calgary

Downtown Calgary is a vibrant area that offers a bustling mix of businesses, street performers, eateries, bars, and clubs of all kinds. It is also somewhat of a shopper’s paradise, with seemingly endless offerings. It is also the center of Calgary’s arts and entertainment district, and has a diverse and welcoming community of people who make their homes there. The median home sale price in Downtown Calgary is currently approximately $630,000.

 

Arts and Entertainment

Glenbow Museum

The Glenbow is Calgary’s art and history museum, and indeed, it has plenty of art and history to offer. With over 33,000 works in its collection, everyone is certain to find thought-provoking and inspiring art to enjoy.

Theatre Calgary

Theatre Calgary was founded in 1968, and was Calgary’s first professional theatre company. From its early days through the present, it has continued to offer a wide variety of high-quality performances for all audiences to enjoy.

 

Parks and Recreation

Pride Lawn Bowling

Pride Lawn Bowling is a recreational league in Calgary which was founded for the LGBTQ community, friends, and allies to enjoy and encourage social fellowship among lawn bowlers. The league typically meets each Tuesday evening. Be sure to try it out and meet some friends!

Outdoor Sports

Although perhaps best known for its winter sports as it is situated so close to the beautiful Rocky Mountains, Calgary also offers a number of popular outdoor sporting options year-round. From kayaking to bicycling to rock climbing and local sports leagues, truly there is something for everyone!

 

Nightlife in Calgary

Twisted Element

Twisted Element is Calgary’s largest gay nightspot. The club features fun regular events including, among others, a Tea Dance, drag shows and karaoke.

The Back Lot

The Back Lot is a laid-back bar that is one of the oldest gay-owned and operated establishments in Calgary. The entrance is through a very narrow alley, which gives visitors the feeling as if they’re heading to a secret place few people know about, although it’s really one of the more popular night spots in the city.

The Texas Lounge

The Texas Lounge is the oldest gay bar in Calgary, located behind the storefronts of 17th Avenue. The establishment is connected to a local bathhouse, and is a popular spot for karaoke.