Participants at the Calgary Pride Parade hold a giant rainbow flag
The Calgary Pride Parade | Photo: Benjamin Laird Arts & Photo

Calgary Pride Festival

Take part in the most colourful celebration of the year

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Location Various Venues 
  • Price Prices Vary
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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 29th annual festival runs August 23 to September 2 with the Calgary Pride Parade and Pride in the Park music and arts festival taking place Saturday, September 1.

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. Originally a small march of LGBT Calgarians, some of whom wore masks and bags over their faces to protect from persecution, the event has grown in leaps and bounds to become the second biggest parade in Calgary.

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:

Outliers: Calgary’s Queer History

August 23, 2019, 4:00 – 6:00pm
Memorial Park Library (1221 2nd St. SW)
By donation

Outliers: Calgary’s Queer History is a deep dive into the historical, social, and political forces, which shaped the development of the queer community in Calgary. Featuring extensive footage and B-roll film from Calgary Pride in the 90s, queer leaders recount a decade of turmoil, loss, and growth of activism and human rights in this locally produced documentary. Join the Calgary Queer Arts Society for this screening.

Memorial Park Pride

August 24 & 25, 2019, 11:00am – 5:00pm
Central Memorial Park (1221 2nd St. SW)
Free admission

Memorial Park Pride is a two-day, multi-generational, inclusive, accessible, and educational event kicking off Pride Week in Central Memorial Park. Revolving around this prominent landmark in Calgary’s queer history, this celebration includes performances from local artists, family-friendly activities hosted by community groups, and diverse workshops.

Making Treaty 7 Talking Series

August 28, 2019, 6:00 – 8:30pm
The Grand (608 1st St. SW)

Opening up conversations around Indigenous queer spaces, discussing growing up gay on the reserves and what it means to leave the reserve in search of self-identity, experience Making Treaty 7’s first talking series. Hosted by Justin Many Fingers, it features acclaimed artist Waawaate Fobister, as well as emerging performance artist Marshal Vielle.

Reversed Racism – Pride Yourself Vol. 2

August 29, 2019, 7:00 – 11:00pm
Junction (628 8th Ave. SW)
$15 – $20, with pay-it-forward tickets available

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, the evening gives space for QBIPOC to be heard.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

September 1, 2019, 11:30pm – 2:00am
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 and Fake Mustache, costumes and full audience participation is encouraged.

The Calgary Pride Festival runs August 23 to September 2, 2019 and the full schedule can be found at