Calgary gay bars get extended hours during Pride Week
AGLC extends last call one hour for a select group of local bars
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Pride celebrations will last a little longer at local gay bars after the Alberta government extended last call until 3 a.m. during Pride celebrations next weekend.
Twisted Element nightclub owner RJ Fafard spearheaded the move and is calling it a win for the gay community after what he describes as a two-year battle with Alberta Gaming and Liquor Control (AGLC) to extend the hours for last call.
“I started asking them after the Olympics if we could extend the hours at gay clubs for Pride like they did for the Olympics and they kept saying ‘no, no, no, never’ but then they extended the hours during the Juno Awards for some bars so I really started pushing for it even more after that,” Fafard says.
“As a community leader I really pushed to get the hours extended because Twisted Element is more than just a nightclub; people come here to celebrate and that’s what we want to do during Pride.”
Fafard said it took a lot of phone calls, letters and persistence on his part to get the AGLC to agree to the move, which they finally did this week. Fafard worked with his MLA and garnered letters from the local community to support his cause.
“We won our battle and we are allowed to extend our hours and some other nightclubs in Calgary will get the same permission, I believe. It’s just going to be really nice to have the extra hour and then close at 4 a.m. so people can dance the night away,” he adds.
AGLC spokesperson Michelle Hynes-Dawson told Metro extending the hours bars can serve alcohol for special events is something they have been doing in recent years, although she couldn’t speak directly to which bars were given the go ahead.
Pride celebrations in Calgary are underway now until September 5.