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The end of summer marks a very special time in Alberta, as several communities across the province celebrate the 2SLGBTQIA+ community through Pride festivals and events. With Edmonton Pride week well underway and Calgary preparing for their upcoming celebrations in September, now is the ideal time to reflect on the incredible value of these communities and organizations that work to make Alberta a brighter and more inclusive place for all.  

Beyond Edmonton and Calgary, local Pride organizations can be found in smaller cities and towns across Alberta. These organizations play a critical role in their neighbourhoods, building a vital community and increasing visibility for their passionate members.  

Additional to the pride festivities and events, these organizations offer community support ranging from diversity and inclusion training, to support groups, to regular events and programming aimed at bringing the community together.

A valuable tourism segment 

In many countries, 2SLGTBQIA+ travellers are becoming more visible—and their numbers are growing. According to Canada's 2SLGBTQIA+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC): 

  • 28% of LGBT+ travellers have a household income of more than $100,000. Of those, nearly half spend over $2,000 per leisure trip and travel 3-4 times per year.  
  • 45% of LGBT+ travellers identifying as lesbian take 3-4 short trips per year.  
  • 23% of LGBT+ travellers identifying as gay go on 2 medium-length leisure trips per year.  
  • The average trip expenditure by LGBT+ travellers has increased by 54%. 

For businesses who are committed to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment, the opportunities are wide-reaching. On average, Canadian LGBT+ travellers spend $1,855 per trip compared to $265 per trip for the general travelling public – which is seven times higher. 

A couple admires the lanterns at Calgary Folk Festival

Get involved 

Learning more about the local 2SLGBTQIA+ community is a great first step to becoming a safe and welcoming space for locals and visitors alike. This will help build authentic relationships based on trust, mutual respect and support. 

Hanna Fridhed (she/her), executive director of Pride YMM in Fort McMurray, explains, “My biggest advice for tourism businesses would be become connected with the queer community in your town or city. Start learning about it and realizing how embracing inclusivity could impact your patrons, your audience members or your customers.” 

Many local Pride organizations also offer inclusivity training programs, safe space certifications, and more. They can help raise awareness of businesses in the community that are welcoming to all. That also means maintaining visibility year-round—not just during Pride week. 

The CGLCC also offers a Rainbow Registered accreditation program for 2SLGBTQIA+-friendly spaces. Click here to learn more.


Education, in general, is key. As a business, displaying your rainbow is always a good way of saying, ‘We're here. Everyone is welcome here.’

Hanna Fridhed (she/her), Executive Director of Pride YMM in Fort McMurray

YMM Pride 2023. Photo by Nicholas Vardy Photography.

Find an Alberta Pride organization 

To learn more about Pride organizations in your town or city and how you can get involved, check out the list below.  

For a full list of 2SLGBTQIA+-friendly businesses or to list your own, visit Rainbow Connect.

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