Calgary businesses prepare for a busy Pride weekend – Calgary

When Alison Goulet opened Rising Tides Taproom in April 2022, she wanted to create a safe, comfortable, and inclusive space like the ones she’s seen on her travels.

“It’s really cool to see people from the queer community, from the Montgomery community and from the beer community come together and organically co-exist,” Goulet said.

The West Coast-inspired tasting room has a permanent pride flag and a selection of local beers. Goulet says it’s the kind of place she wishes she had when she was growing up in Calgary, and she strives to make sure everyone knows he’s welcome.

“You can say you think everyone should know they are welcome, but unless it’s explicitly said, these people have lived marginalized for a long time and our community hasn’t always been welcome in all places. spaces,” explained Goulet.

While an inclusive space is the goal year-round, it comes into focus this weekend as Calgary celebrates Pride. Events are planned all over the city and although it is located in the northwest, Goulet knows that its regulars will stop there.

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“Even if we’re not exactly where the action is, (the queer community is) like, ‘We want you to exist, we want you to continue to be a safe space for us’, so they’ll make a duty to come in. come in and be here and support each other.

Craig McFarlane, better known as “Trivia Daddy”, organizes trivia games, bingo and “Name that tune” in Calgary pubs and beer halls. It held four events last week and is sold out throughout the weekend. He says it’s not just businesses owned by the LGBTQ2 community that are taking part in the celebrations.

“Ten to fifteen years ago, Pride was very focused on known queer establishments,” McFarlane said. “Now we’re trying to show that Pride is available everywhere and for everyone.”

Goulet and McFarlane agree that this year’s Pride celebrations are especially important given the number of events derailed by protesters this year. They say it’s not just about showing support for LGBTQ-owned businesses and their allies, but also about sending a message to the next generation.

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“A lot of my friends said, ‘We want a space where we can start getting our kids to experience queer culture in a safe, family-friendly way,'” Goulet said, attributing the sentiment to the reason. for which the village hall has recently started allowing minors. .

“Take your kids out, bring your teenager,” McFarlane encouraged. “Let them know that there are safe and welcoming places [places]and if they know they can go anywhere at 18, they can date someone of the same s*x and there will be no judgment.

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