Lonely Planet introduces Calgary as “Canada in a Stetson with an American swagger and insatiable thirst for business.” Home of the world’s largest gay rodeo, the Canadian Rockies International Rodeo & Music Festival, it’s not inaccurate…but it’s certainly not all this destination has to offer. Sure, this extravaganza includes roping, bull riding, barrel racing, and even parties, wild drag events, and a competition that involves dressing a goat. And yes, it’s the largest city in Alberta, with the second-highest number of Canadian corporate headquarters among the country’s 800 largest, plus the site of a huge oil boom.
However, Calgary is also home to the arts, such as with the Artist’s Collective Theatre Company at the Pumphouse Theatre, which presents new works, showcases and develops artists in ensemble, and mentors emerging artists. Its summer calendar overflows with festivals and cultural events. Year-round, take in a performance by the Third Street Theatre, “Calgary’s Queer Threatre Company,” with performances at the Arts Commons Centre for Performing Arts. And among the skyscrapers and public squares are hundreds of innovative restaurants and the famous—and gay-friendly—nightlife, shopping, bars, and more of 17 Avenue.
Calgary's small town warmth, coupled with its vibrant urban ambiance, makes it a metropolis of wonderful contrasts. Set in the heart of the city, the Fairmont Palliser is a historic landmark. It offers distinctive accommodations in elegant surroundings, combined with a myriad of amenities and services.
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