Calgary businesses provide much-needed Pride Week support during pandemic

A Calgary brewery is creating a special drink as part of Pride Week, giving people a chance to enjoy a cooler for a cause.

“It’s called Pride Alive,” Common Crown Brewing Company general manager Damon Moreau said. “It’s what we call a berry blast, so it’s raspberry, cherry and blueberry.”

Proceeds from sales of Pride Alive will go toward supporting Calgary’s LGBTQ community at a time when that support is really needed.

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“Given COVID, a lot of fundraising efforts this year are down substantially, for a lot of different organizations,” Moreau said.

“Anything we can do to help out is something we really pay attention to.”

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COVID-19 restrictions mean no parade and other major Pride events are scaled back, but organizers are encouraged by the support they’re getting from more than 60 Calgary companies.

“(They’re providing) food truck drive-thrus, a hotel balcony drag show,” Calgary Pride executive director Parker Chapple said.

“There are so many different opportunities for folks to get engaged in a way that feels good for them.”

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Money raised through the partnerships during Pride Week in Calgary will go toward year-round programs in the city.

“To provide support and empower members of the community,” Chapple said.

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Organizers say having local businesses on board for the 30th anniversary of Calgary Pride Week will help a lot of people.

“Right now, in this pandemic, anything we can do to help foster and ignite the economy — to help as many small businesses as we possibly can — that’s what’s really important,” Chapple said.

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Staff at Common Crown say working with the LGBTQ community was an important part of creating the Pride Alive drink.

“We spoke with many people from the community, hosted them here in our taproom and had a discussion of what they would like to see,’ Moreau said.

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“Everything from artwork to how they wanted to be represented to what the product was going to be.”

Calgary Pride organizers say the partnerships with local businesses give people a chance to support each other during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You can go out and support local businesses that are working really, really hard to support our community,” Chapple said. “And that’s really what community is about: it’s about working together.”

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