Author: Ryan Massel

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Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Jake Dyson

Alberta is well known for its western hospitality that warmly welcomes visitors from around the world. With open arms, the province and its people also welcome members of the LGBTQ community by offering an array of festivals and events focused on embracing love of all kinds. 

Of course, there’s celebrations of pride. In June, Edmonton hosts its Pride Week featuring a number of events. In September you'll find Calgary celebrating its Pride. March sees Jasper become home to one of the most unique pride events in the country.  

But there’s much more. Alberta is known as a bucket-list destination for outdoor lovers -- summertime means hiking, rafting and exploring the Rockies, while winter brings skiing, skating and a snowy wonderland – and there’s plenty on offer for LGBTQ travellers beyond the outdoors. 

Mountain views in the indoors 

Jasper Park Lodge, surrounded by the towering Rocky Mountain peaks of Jasper National Park, offers entertaining events throughout the year. In November you can enjoy a two-week long Christmas in November celebration that will have you channeling your inner Martha Stewart as you take part in interactive holiday decor creation. You’ll also be kept entertained by the endless food and cocktail demonstrations and tastings.  If you’re visiting in March, check out the lodge’s annual PJ Party, which has included notable hosts such as actress Molly Ringwald and singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk. 

Catch a flick 

Both cities of Edmonton and Calgary host annual week-long festivals screening some of the best LGBTQ films from across the world. In May, traveling film buffs can enjoy popcorn and flicks during Calgary's Fairy Tales Film Festival; while Edmonton hosts its Rainbow Visions Film Festival in November.  

Looking for alone time? 

The popular and iconic Fairmont Banff Springs, with its history as a cornerstone of the railway that helped bring together early Canada, is filled with beautiful rooms, a world-class spa, an outdoor heated pool with mountain views, and ghost stories worth looking into. While you’re visiting Banff, check out the natural hot spring and rent an old-fashioned one-piece swim suit to enjoy your soak. 

If you're completely looking to disconnect and re-connect, the remote and undeniably charming Mount Engadine Lodge is a must. The live-in staff welcome you like family, and all of your meals will be served in just that way – family style. During the day, you’ll be sent out with snacks to fuel your exploration. If you’re staying in to relax, you’ll receive a charcuterie and board games. Cell reception is non-existent and Wi-Fi is available only in their main building, so you’ve no choice but to focus on the moment. A romantic stay like this will have you falling in love all over again.

Activity Highlights
  • Hiking
  • Dining
  • Unique Stays
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