Calgary PRIDE Parade

  • Pride Parade takes over Calgary's downtown core

     
     
    Watch: Lots of people took part in the Pride Parade, an event to celebrate the LGBTQ community in Calgary. Ina Sidhu reports.
     
     
     
    Ina Sidhu

    Ina SidhuVideo Journalist

    @CTVInaSidhu


    Published Sunday, September 1, 2019 10:52AM MDT 
    Last Updated Sunday, September 1, 2019 6:33PM MDT

    Thousands of people lined 6 Avenue S.E. Sunday for Calgary’s 29th annual Pride parade.

    Organizers said this is the city’s largest parade ever, with nearly 180 float entries.

    "Celebrating pride is meaningful for all of us, it is a symbol of diversity and inclusion, welcome and belonging," said Shone Thistle, Calgary Pride Board president.

     

    PHOTOS

     
    calgary, pride, lgbtq, pride parade, downtown, 6 a

    The LGBTQ community was celebrated at Calgary's Pride Parade on Sunday and organizers say running the event is a symbol of unity and inclusiveness for all.

     
    calgary, pride, lgbtq, pride parade, downtown, 6 a

    Participants in the Pride Parade head down 6 Avenue in downtown Calgary to mark the celebration of the city's LGBTQ community.

     
    calgary, pride, lgbtq, pride parade, downtown, 6 a

    Calgary's Pride Parade has grown immensely since it's inception 29 years ago as a small gathering of members of the LGBTQ community.

    Absent from parade participants this year were police officers. The Calgary Police Service did not put in an application to take part.

    Political parties were also not permitted to march, but political groups were welcome to join if invited by an approved group.

    "We were so overwhelmed with applications for the parade this year that we actually didn’t have enough space for everyone and so what we did was we tried to get creative to embed our allies within the parade and we’re very excited to have them here,” said Thistle.

    This year’s parade was led by a recently de-funded group, working to ban conversion therapy.

    "We know that banning conversion therapy is so important and to have this ability to be able to stand in front of the parade and walk with everybody and just really say how important that it be banned is so incredibly honouring," said Nicole Goehring, NDP MLA for Edmonton Castle-Downs and co-chair of the Conversion Therapy Working Group.

    "The message we want to send is conversion therapy is happening in the province of Alberta and our working group is here to ensure the work continues so that we do get it banned."

    Thistle said even though pride is a celebration, more awareness around LGBTQ rights is needed.

    "We live in a society where some people are treated differently and unfortunately that’s still true. It’s very true of our trans community. They struggle on many occasions simply making a bathroom choice and there are small choices we can make as businesses, as institutions to make those things better. Gender neutral washrooms are a very small step and the more we talk about these things the better off we’re going to be."

    Thistle said Calgary Pride has plans to meet with the City of Calgary in the coming weeks to discuss expanding the parade and changing the route for next year.

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