Support Lougheed House and Calgary Queer Arts Society’s joint friendraiser/fundraiser!
A Tribute to Club Carousel, Calgary’s first gay nightclub.
Lougheed House and our Beltline community have a unique and enduring connection to Calgary’s queer community, and through our partnership with Calgary Queer Arts Society and Calgary Pride, this fundraising party tells some of the rich history of that relationship, in connection with our current exhibit, OUTLIERS: Queer History in Calgary.
Proceeds from this event support the growth of our new community based outreach programs at Lougheed House. Calgary Queer Arts Society’s proceeds will support all of its programs (Youth Queer Media, OutReels Diversity Education, The Coming Out Monologues and The Fairy Tales Film Fest) that seek to amplify queer voices and work for an inclusive future for all people.
Why Club Carousel?
Created in the 1960s, Club Carousel was Calgary’s first gay bar, our first gay-owned space, and an important milestone in our queer community’s history. It was just two blocks from Lougheed House, and was where Calgary’s queer community collectively declared independence for the first time from our culture of homophobia, repression and intimidation. Club Carousel was a spark, a galvanizer, a gathering place and a place where community was created and nurtured. Everything that our queer community has achieved in the past 50 years is due to Club Carousel and the brave Calgarians who risked so much to open it and run it.
One of these brave Calgarians was Lois Szabo, who in Calgary is the last surviving co-founder of Club Carousel. It was not easy to be a co-founder of the first official chartered private membership club for the LGTB community in Western Canada. It was the late ’60s into the ’70s and during this period, discrimination from society and from police was very common. Lois was know for building bridges however, and in her time with the club she kept it running by developing trust and repore with local police. This meant that instead of raiding the club, they would help support it by keeping the peace outside of its doors.
Throughout her life and career, Lois has been an avid supporter of the Queer Community. Today, well into her ’80s, Lois still actively volunteers with various organizations, including a Seniors Lesbian group at the Kerby Centre. She has always found ways to survive and thrive throughout her life time and has always given back. On May 17th we would like to honour her for her amazing legacy in our city and for her ongoing positive impact on Calgary’s queer community.
If you are queer, an ally, or if you simply value diversity, inclusion and nurturing loving, connected communities in Calgary, we invite you to support this wonderful party/celebration event.
Tickets for the friendraiser/fundraiser are only $20.00 and all funds raised will support the continuation and expansion of all programs at Lougheed House and at Calgary Queer Arts Society.
For even more historical insight, courtesy of James Demers from Calgary Queer Arts Society, click here to watch our Tribute to Club Carousel promo video.