Gay Calgary might not be one of the first cities that come to mind when you think about having a good time as an gay and lesbian traveler, but maybe it should be. Alberta’s largest city, which sits just 50 miles east of the Canadian Rockies, is high on urban excitement and cowboy culture. Called “the Nashville of the North” for its growing role in the world of country music, much of the city’s cultural activity and nightlife can be found on Stephen Avenue, with its galleries, theaters, shopping, bars, museums and sculptural “trees.”
But the real reason you come is for the rodeo. Each June, Calgary hosts the world’s largest gay rodeo, the Canadian Rockies International Rodeo, where the LGBT community comes together to put our unique twist on the rodeo. This gay and lesbian extravaganza is so large it even draws a big-name sponsor, Bud Light. There are roping and rodeo events, bull riding and barrel racing, of course, but also parties, wild drag events and a competition where you need to dress a goat. Yes, you read that right.
For more information on the HOT places to go, eat, stay and see in Calgary, check out Gay Calgary, the city’s premier LGBT publication.
The Gay Scene in Calgary
Canada is one of the world’s most forward-thinking countries about gays and, though Calgary is conservative—all eight of its federal MPs are members of the Conservative Party of Canada—you’ll find that the gay scene in Calgary is loud and proud. While there is no specific gay scene, there are pockets of gay and gay-friendly establishments in and around downtown.
Restaurants in Calgary
There are plenty of gay friendly dining options in Calgary’s restaurant scene. The city’s diverse population is reflected in the cuisine as well. There is definitely something to satisfy whatever mood you are in.