Calgary Prides mandate is to advance visibility and inclusion for Calgary’s gender and sexually diverse (GSD) communities; to do this, we endeavour to build strong community partnerships, implement ongoing programs like Reading with Royalty (story-time program for ages 0-5), Queerly Festive (free holiday dinner & show), and Evolve: Pride Amplified (LGBTQ2S+ Youth Fundraiser), and produce Calgary’s premier annual celebration of diversity, Calgary Pride Week, Parade & Festival.
Our organization supports a historically vulnerable population of the Calgary community and advocates for change by igniting conversation about the challenges faced by the gender and sexually diverse, including but not limited to the following: homophobia, transphobia, discrimination, and violence. LGBTQ2S+ people unquestionably experience long-term stress related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Furthermore, the effects of COVID-19 disproportionately impact the employment, mental, and physical health of community members.
In addition to the ongoing year-round programming Calgary Pride supports, the annual Pride Parade and Festival is the pinnacle event acknowledging historical and current-day contributions and challenges of the LGBTQ2S+ community and their allies. It is a tangible experience that visibly acknowledges our community. This visibility is a powerful method in which an individual’s identity is not only affirmed, but celebrated, and combats the daily and long-term stress LGBTQ2S+ individuals face.
Calgary Pride has tremendously powerful online presence, reaching over 500 million people through traditional media, and just under 2 million through social media in 2019. In a time where physical distancing is paramount to the health and safety of everyone, the 30th Anniversary of Calgary Pride has been reimagined with the intent to leverage this online presence, connecting our community, partners, organizations, allies and the broader public.
This content will include performances from LGBTQ2S+ artists who in sharing their work offer insight into the diversity of lived experiences that exist in our community. This is an important foundation of enacting change within mainstream society and shifts LGBTQ2S+ identity from being an ‘open secret’, to a celebrated identity that fortifies a cities cultural dynamic. Additionally, we will also provide a wide range of community interviews, workshops and panel discussions, igniting engagement that is both thoughtful, and impactful. In 2019 Calgary Pride supported the artistic performances of over 200 LGBTQ2S+ identified artists, workshop facilitators, and speakers.
To support the above efforts, and have the broadest possible reach, Calgary Pride requires financial support to pay artists and contributors as well as to engage professionals with expertise to create this accessible content that will be both pre-recorded and live streamed simultaneously on facebook, twitch, twitter, linkedin and youtube. The technology solutions that Calgary Pride will implement will not only allow us to bring content to the broader public, safely, it also allows for individuals to connect with each other, directly on the platform creating community and fostering connectivity at a time where so many members of the community are isolated and alone.
Your financial support will allow our organization to continue to be a beacon of light, of visibility and recognition at a time where so many of our most vulnerable community members are alone and afraid; together #WeAreCalgaryPride.