Project Pride Calgary was started in 1981 by an ad-hoc group of organizations and supporters who organized their first Pride Festival the following year. The choice to host the event in June was consciously selected to honour the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York, a significant event amongst the long history of open violence against the gay community.
Over the years, the festival grew, along with the trend of gay communities all over the world standing to celebrate who they are with pride. Despite this momentum, many people continued to live in fear and sometimes hide their identities while participating in public events to avoid retribution. Social progress and public events continued to face significant pushback, such as 1991, when an assortment of church denominations organized a large public event to pray for the city during the first Gay Rights Week in Calgary, which eventually led to Mayor Duerr renouncing his declaration to hold a Gay Rights week.
In 1992, the Calgary gay & lesbian community self-declared Gay and Lesbian Pride Week and began to organize a parade, an annual event that has continued to date. The parade and open support for the community continued to grow. In 2009, Calgary Pride officially incorporated as a non-profit organization and moved the Pride Parade to September.
Since then, the parade has become one of the fasted growing pride parades in Canada, and one of the key tourist attractions in Calgary.
Due to the pandemic, the formate of this year's celebration has been re-imagined as a series of opportunities for the public to engage and learn, including the #OurPride initiative, Calgary Pride Learning Series, and social media projects.
"Pride is, at its essence, a celebration of resiliency, community & love. This year will be no different."
CCIS has invited the Centre for Sexuality to present a two-part workshop for our volunteers. We can't wait to learn more from this wonderful organization!