Count on these five Calgary venues to provide safe, inclusive spaces for the LGBTQ2S+ community

Pride Month is nearing its end, but seeing as we just welcomed the summer solstice there’s plenty of time left for making memories! We get it, though, sometimes spaces aren’t as welcoming or friendly as we’d like, and that can often lead to a bummer of a time, especially for folks who identify as queer. No, thank you! So, in light of all the summer nights to come, we’ve put together a list of queer-friendly places in Calgary you can enjoy this summer! 

While the city doesn’t contain a specific ‘gay area’ per se, the LGBTQ community is found throughout the city in various neighbourhoods, venues and pop-up events. 

Hot Mess 

Hot Mess is an LGBTQ+ dance party that happens monthly at various local venues. Everyone is welcome—except no jerks! 

The next party is Cowboy Boots the House Down on July 9th at National on 8th– and they’re celebrating ten years of shenanigans! Each year the party gets bigger and gayer, so you won’t want to miss this! 

Grab your tickets in advance here! 

The Palomino 

There is only one rule at the Pal– don’t be a jerk! This downtown Calgary favourite is stacked with a drool-worthy BBQ menu, a hidden patio outback, and an array of signature special events. The restaurant also doubles as a live music venue, featuring local and international acts throughout the week. 

The Palomino has a strict no-tolerance policy for transphobia, homophobia, racism, and disrespect. You can be at ease here. 

Located at 109 7 Ave SW, Calgary, AB.

Twisted Element 

Twisted Element exists to promote equality by celebrating diversity in a unique nightlife experience. It provides a safer space for Calgary’s historically marginalized communities by creating an environment where everyone enjoys the same universal rights to enjoy themselves. Each night offers something different; karaoke, drag shows, dancing and billiards– there’s something for everyone! 

Visit Twisted Element’s website for more information about events and club nights!

Sans alcohol? No problem!  


Kaffeeklatsch is a cafe located in Calgary’s historic Beltline area. Kaffee is German for ‘coffee’, while klatsch carries the meaning of ‘gossip and noise’; the space serves as a meeting place between friends to exchange gossip over coffee. A little tea with your coffee, anyone? 

Coffee and conversation aren’t Kaffeeklatsch’s only M.O, the cafe host various queer-friendly events and programming aimed at promoting creativity and curiosity in a safe space.

Controller Club is a night started by dedicated to aspiring DJs learning from more experienced folks. This information DJ instruction runs every Sunday night at 6 p.m. No experience is required! It’s free; it’s inclusive, and it’s all ages, need I say more? 

Pansy Party is another queer-friendly event that runs out of the cafe. Pansy Party happens the first Saturday of every month (the next one is July 2nd) and is an LGBTQ2S+ party and collective. This month, the Pansy Party celebrates and shows solidarity with the Indigiqueer and 2Spirit community. This event is 18+, pay cover at the door. Masks are highly encouraged at this event space. 

For more information on upcoming events like these, you’ll want to follow Kaffeeklatsch, Pansy Club and Warm Leatherette on Instagram!

Sled Island Music and Arts Festival

Since 2007, Sled Island’s thoughtful, eclectic programming and independent spirit have produced a one-of-a-kind festival experience. Each June, the five-day music and arts festival brings together a community of music, comedy, film and art and over 40,000 attendees across multiple venues. Each year the festival grows and receives rave reviews from attendees, artists and media across the globe.

The festival offers a variety of all-access passes; day passes, single-show tickets, all-ages concerts, and select free events, including the Ramsay Block Party. See the complete schedule here.

You can rest assured at this festival as it also has a strict no-tolerance policy for any type of transphobia, homophobia, racism, or harassment. Attendees, volunteers, artists, or patrons who do not respect their Safer Spaces & Inclusion policy are not welcome at any Sled events. The festival also reserves the right to ban folks who do not respect this policy from the festival indefinitely. 

SAMRU Pride Centre

We hope this article brought you a sense of some fantastic venues, events, and festivals you can check out this summer with ease, knowing that as part of the LGBTQ2S+ community, you are wanted, welcomed, celebrated and loved. 

You should know, that if ever you need a space to unwind, relax, meet friends, or join the on campus Pride community, the SAMRU Pride Centre is here for you. Services available in the Pride Centre include community support resources, a library, free prophylactics as well as referrals and in-centre expertise on topics related to relationships, identity and sexual health.

Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming SAMRU Pride Centre programming starting September 2022! Your favourite programming is back, including Crafternoon, Queer n’ Tell, Wellness Wind Down and of course, the infamous Sex Toy Bingo event!

Keep up to date by following the Pride event calendar on the SAMRU website. 

Happy Pride Month y’all!