It made the headlines as the host of the Winter Olympics, and Calgary has been going strong ever since. Just east of the Canadian Rockies, it’s a favorite winter sports destination. But Calgary is popular year-round, with arts and cultural festivals often overlapping with each other in the summer months. The city loves music, especially country-western twang, and is often called the “Nashville of the North.”
The gay community is large and enthusiastic. Fairy Tales Queer Film Fest, the Gay & Lesbian Film Festival takes place in late May, 2014. The Canadian Rockies International Rodeo 2014, put on by the Alberta Rockies Gay Rodeo Association (ARGRA) in late June 2014 at the Strathmore Agricultural Grounds, includes a three-day music festival. Pride Calgary, one of the city’s biggest annual events, will run August 22 through September 1, 2014.
The Third Street Theatre is "Calgary's Queer Theatre Company," with performances at the Epcor Centre for Performing Arts. The Artist's Collective Theatre company presents new works, showcases and develops artists in ensemble, and mentors emerging artists, at the Pumphouse Theatre.
Calgary International Airport is the city’s main gateway. Buses and taxis take you downtown. Calgary Transit public bus transportation to and from Calgary International Airport includes Route 300 Airport BRT (express to Downtown Calgary), Route 100 with connections to McKnight-Westwinds Light Rail Transit Station and the Route 430 North Crosstown. The fare is $8.50 at Mac's Convenience Stores in the terminal or with exact change cash on board the bus.
Buses and light-rail trains get you around town. See Calgary Transit for info. You might also like to do as the locals do and hop on a bike. There are plenty of paths worth exploring.
Most bars and clubs are located downtown, not far from the river, but community events range far beyond the few gay clubs, with special parties popping up all over town. Check local media for the latest event information.
Media & Resources
Gay Calgary magazine has local news, reviews, features, Alberta business and events listings, and an online reader of current issues. Make sure to check out Daily Xtra for news and features about LGBT Western Canada.
Pure Pride brings entertainers from all over North America and the world to Calgary and Edmonton for Pride and on other dates throughout the year.
Apollo Calgary website has info on all the upcoming LGBT sporting events, including the Easter Weekend Western Cup, North America's longest-running LGBT multisport event.
Fast Forward is the weekly alternative paper with listings, events and reviews.
For information about the local arts scene see the website Calgary Culture.
For map locations and website links to the businesses below, and more, see our gay Calgary listings pages.
Bars & Clubs
Back Lot (209 10th Ave, SW) small neighborhood bar; before the dance club drinks and gatherings, karaoke, bear and fetish events, theme nights.
Pint Pub (1428 17th Ave, SW), gay-friendly pub, Tuesday YYC BadBoys "Beers for Queers," Wednesday chicken wings, Friday "Ladies' Night," Saturday/Sunday $10 brunch.
Twisted Element (1006 11th Ave, SW), big and lively dance and show club, karoake, variety and drag shows; mixed crowe, strip contests for cash.
Vinyl Lounge & Hyde Whiskey Room (213 10th Ave, SW), gay-friendly mixed dance club/bar, ARGRA and PRIDE events; former Boyztown space.
Goliath's (308 17th Ave SW ) the only local men's tubs, jacuzzi, steam room, open daily 11am to 1am. Texas Lounge bar attached.
11th Sreet Lodging Bed and Breakfast (1307 11th St SW), downtown guest house, trendy street, parks, restaurants and shops. Sun porch, Light Rail Transit, Bow River Park & Pathway, Stampede Grounds nearby.
Calgary Westways (216 25th Ave SW), gay b&b near gay clubs; heritage home with Arts and Craft accents, all comforts of home, clothing optional therapeutic hot tub, five-course candlelight dinners.
Twin Gables B&B (611 25th Ave SW), private entrance, gracious suites, shopping & fine dining on nearby 4th St; near Convention Center, Stampede Grounds, 20 minutes from airport.
Adult Source (1540 – 16th Ave NW) 24-hour adult entertainment retail stores; DVDs, sex toys, oils, lubes, etc. Also at three more locations: 4310 - 17 Ave SE; 10210 Macleod Trail SE; and 2323 – 32 Ave NE.
Priape (1322, 17th Avenue SW) - CLOSED October 21, 2013 - Montreal store and Priape.com open for business - casual and sexy clothing, underwear and swimwear, leather and toys, lubes, books and magazines, DVD videos.