CALGARY – Today Calgary Pride launched its 26th season of celebrating and promoting a Calgary community free from discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. This year Calgary Pride is spurring diversity saying, no matter who you are, “it’s your year to join.”

“Every year I hear from hundreds of people who tell me they’ve always wanted to participate in a Pride Parade, but have never found the right time to do it,” said Stephen Wright, President of Calgary Pride. “Well we’re here to say, this is that time. Maybe you’re an older gay person who never found the right occasion, maybe you’re a trans person that hasn’t quite felt comfortable, perhaps you’re non-binary and weren’t sure if this was the place for you, or you could be an ally who wondered if you should come to the parade. I’m telling you, on behalf of the Calgary community, this is your year to join in!”

This year’s Calgary Pride Festival will run from August 26th until September 5th, with the signature Pride Parade and free Pride in the Park music and arts festival will be held on Sept 4th 2016.

Today Calgary Pride has launched a new website at CalgaryPride.ca and opened applications for entry in this year’s parade. There are only 125 spots for entries, and the parade is over-subscribed every year. With Calgary Pride growing each year, exceeding 50,000 attendees in 2015, organizers are encouraging Calgarians to register their organizations early.

Pride was also pleased to announce today that award winning Calgary-born musician Rae Spoon will be the 2016 Parade Grand Marshal. Rae Spoon, who identifies as gender non-binary, released their new album, “Armour”, which is a highly anticipated follow-up to the Polaris Prize– nominated “My Prairie Home”, a musical about Spoon’s fraught childhood in Alberta.

Following on the heels of organizing the largest Trans Day of Visibility event in Canada to date, Calgary Pride is pleased to further partner with the Trans Equality Society of Alberta (TESA) by sharing the proceeds of all merchandise sales made throughout the year. As trans rights continue to be a key issue in homes, schools, workplaces and politics, Calgary Pride is committed to supporting the exceptional advocacy work that TESA continues to do.

“We are looking forward to this being another record-setting year for Calgary’s most colourful celebration, and we are committed to this being a Pride for all,” said Wright. “There are also dozens of amazing celebration and learning events that take place over the course of Pride week, many of which are free.”

Visit the brand new CalgaryPride.ca to sign up for the Parade and see a listing of festival events as they are announced.

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