Pride was in full swing at the sixth annual Pride Day at the Calgary Stampede on Saturday, July 7, 2018. With special guests welcomed on stage and a surprise second Western Trailblazer Award handed out, attendees danced the night away while celebrating equality and inclusiveness.
Charles Macmichael takes a selfie with friends, attendees and Stampede supporters
“I think it’s so valuable to have a safe space for all minority groups, regardless of race, colour or creed,” shares Pride Day attendee Michael Fong. “And it’s especially valuable for large organizations like the Calgary Stampede to become inclusive. Today is a great example of how this is possible.”
Fong and his friends, like many others, look forward to the event every year. Knowing this, the Stampede worked hard with Pride Day creator Charles Macmichael to elevate this year’s event.
Together, the Stampede and Macmichael welcomed Drag Queen Carly and Drag King Moe B Dick to perform for the audience. This was a special treat for the audience as Carly’s popular show, Carly’s Angels, regularly sells out months in advance.
Carly from Carly’s Angels
Following Carly’s performance, Macmichael welcomed Premier of Alberta Rachel Notley to share a few words. Notley began by exclaiming, “It’s so great to see Calgary celebrating pride at the Calgary Stampede!”
David Sibbald, Calgary Stampede President & Chairman of the Board, joined the speakers on stage to present the second annual Western Trailblazer Award, supported by BMO Bank of Montreal, which honours and celebrates individuals who give back to the LGBTQ+ community. Gregory John, this year’s recipient, was recognized as being extremely deserving of this honour.
Most notably, John helped create and solidify a Gay-Straight-Alliance club at Strathmore High School. This club is the first of its kind in the Golden Hills School Division, and is one of few Gay-Straight-Alliance Clubs at rural schools in Alberta. Representing Métis people, John is also committed to continuing efforts to help further reconciliation and understanding in Alberta. He works with the Calgary Police Service Diversity Team and advocates online for issues affecting both Indigenous and LGBTQ+ communities.
As a special surprise, Sibbald and Notley presented a second Western Trailblazer Award to Macmichael for his contributions to the LGBTQ+ community for continually creating inclusive spaces and for bringing together so many people every year for such an important cause.
Members of the Government of Alberta with Charles Macmichael (far left), Darin Scott, Branch Manager and Alberta North Champion, BMO Pride (third from left), Gregory John (fourth from left) and David Sibbald (fifth from left).
A sense of enthusiasm and belonging continued throughout the evening, making for another successful Pride Day.
Brandan Byrne and James B Whiteley
Michael Fong (third from right) with his friends enjoying Stampede Pride Day 2018!