Gay Friendly Canada
Canada is recognized internationally as one of the most progressive LGBTQ-welcoming countries anywhere, where diversity and equality are openly celebrated. Same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide in July 2005, with Ontario and British Columbia leading the way with legalization in these provinces starting in June and July 2003, respectively. There is also growing visibility in corporate Canada, as openly LGBTQ people hold key positions in the mainstream business world, and large corporations actively court LGBTQ organizations, establishing public working relationships. Pride Festivals, Queer Film Festivals, and community events galore have also been increasingly celebrated in communities large and small, for over 30 years now.
2011 features many historic landmarks for cities, towns, organizations and symbols in Canada’s ten provinces and three territories, including Parks Canada’s 100th anniversary, Vancouver’s 125th anniversary, Canada’s 144th birthday celebrations and the official visit by the royal newlyweds, William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
2011 also highlighted Vancouver as the host city for the second North America Outgames, Human Rights Conference, Vancouver Pride Festival, and Q Hall of Fame Ball, all in the same week. Athletes, delegates and guests from across North America and around the world visited the city for this unprecedented get-together of the LGBTQ community. There was a lot of international media interest in this multi-faceted gathering, where Canada continued to maintain and develop our reputation as a fantastic, LGBTQ-positive place to visit.
In 2012, Canada will honour the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Conservatory of Canada will mark 100 years as the country’s oldest and largest arts organization, and the Calgary Stampede kicks off their 100th year. Victoria celebrates 150 years, the 100th CFL Grey Cup game will be played in Toronto and the CBC turns 75, to name a few.
With so much going on, top tier ratings in annual international travel surveys continue to highlight Canada as a preferred destination of choice by many LGBTQ travelers. To this end, in addition to supporting and hosting major events, our community leaders and travel industry partners maintain a very visible and active presence at major tradeshows, conferences, and events worldwide.
There has never been a better time to visit Canada, or to check out all the amazing opportunities in your own backyard if you live here.
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