Audience members stand up and dance at the Calgary Underground Film Festival, Calgary Queer Arts Society, and Hole in the Wall Studios screening
Do the Time Warp with this annual favourite | Photo: Jessica Wittman

Calgary Pride Festival

Take part in the most colourful celebration of the year

Amy Jo Espetveidt

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An annual celebration striving to create a city free from discrimination against gender identity, expression, and sexual orientation, the Calgary Pride Festival returns with screenings, parties, concerts, and so much more.

The 28th annual festival runs August 24 to September 3, 2018 with the Calgary Pride Parade and free Pride in the Park music and arts festival taking place Saturday, September 2.

The signature, family-friendly parade travels along 6th Avenue and is one of the most colourful celebrations of the year with upwards of 60,000 spectators and over 150 entries. Then take in one of Calgary’s largest free outdoor cultural celebrations as Pride in the Park fills Prince’s Island Park with live music, activities for youth and children, and a marketplace.

But there’s so much more going on. Here are our top picks to check out during this year’s festival:

Pride in Vic Park Kickoff

August 25 & 26, 2018
Central Memorial Park (1221 2nd St. SW)

A multi-generational, inclusive, and educational event to celebrate Pride Week in Calgary, it kicks off with performances by Le Cirque de la Nuit, drag performances, DJs, and gender and sexually diverse artists and musicians.

Pride in Vic Park Activations

August 27 – 31, 2018
Multiple locations
Free – $85

A continuation of its kick-off weekend, Pride in Vic continues with a variety of LGBTQ2S+ workshops and activations hosted at Memorial Park Library and CommunityWise. Workshops include GSD Basics, YWCA’s Non-binary and LGBTQ+ Career Decision Making, What’s Your Story? hosted by Calgary Poet Laureate Sheri-D Wilson, and more. The week even includes a screening of Outliers: Calgary’s Queer History Screening (Directors Cut).

Reversed Racism – Pride Yourself

August 30, 2018, 7:00 – 11:00pm
Dickens Pub (1000 9th Ave. SW)
$10 – $15

A showcase of LGBTQIA2+ BIPOC, this show breaks the traditional Calgarian mold of a predominantly white-centered entertainment space. A braver space with zero tolerance for intolerance, the content might make you feel uncomfortable and it might even be triggering, but the evening is sure to make you think while giving space for QBIPOC to be heard.

CMC Sing-Along: The Greatest Showman

August 31, 2018, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
By donation

Step right up and join the Calgary Men’s Chorus for this family-friendly sing-along movie extravaganza! Tickets are available at the door by donation—circus attire is encouraged.

Premier’s Pride Brunch for Camp fYrefly

September 1, 2018
Hyatt Regency Hotel 700 Centre Street SW)
$60 – $600, all-ages welcome

Support Camp fYrefly at this brunch raising funds for Canada’s only national leadership retreat for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified, two-spirited, intersexed, queer, questioning, and allied youth. Hosted by Mike Morrison of Mike’s Bloggity Blog, the event honours and celebrates sexual and gender minority youth in Calgary.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

September 2, 2018
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
$15 – $20

Back by popular demand, Calgary Underground Film Festival, Calgary Queer Arts Society, and Hole in the Wall Studios have once again partnered to screen this cult classic. Featuring a live pre-show with performances from Phil, Fake Mustache, and Clint Torres, costumes and full audience participation is encouraged.

The Calgary Pride Festival runs August 24 to September 3, 2018 and the full schedule can be found at