Gay Bars & Drag Shows in Calgary

Queer Performer at Dickens Pub
Queer Performer at Dickens Pub
Queer Nightlife

Gay Bars & Drag Shows in Calgary

The best 2SLGBTQ+ bars and shows in Calgary

Looking for a dazzling night (or afternoon) of fun in Calgary? The city’s queer nightlife scene is thriving and always features top drag performers. Whether you're a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community or an ally looking to have a great time in a safe space, these local spots and shows are for you. 

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Top Gay Bars & Queer-Friendly Venues

From the energetic dance floor at Twisted Element to the cozy ambiance of The Attic Bar & Stage, Calgary has a gay bar or queer-friendly venue for all tastes and preferences. 


Twisted Element 

This queer hotspot, located in Calgary’s Beltline district, oozes with energy. With two floors to groove on, top-notch DJs, drag performances, and a kitchen serving relaxed pub favourites, you can’t go wrong at Twisted Element

Address: 1006 11 Ave. S.W. 


The Backlot 

The Backlot is one of Calgary’s oldest gay bars, serving the community for decades. Its current location in the Beltline boasts a spacious back patio which provides the perfect setting to unwind. The Backlot's themed events, weekly karaoke, and regular drag shows are a must-see! 

Address: 209 10 Ave. S.W. 


Dickens Pub 

Dickens Pub is home to all things weird and wonderful. This treasured alternative space hosts live music, poetry slams, drag and burlesque shows, board game nights, trivia, dance parties and other surprises. This is no ordinary pub. 

Address: 1000 9 Ave. S.W. 

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A fan tipping performer, Brad Diesel, at Dickens Pub (Photo Credit: Hayden McHugh)

A fan tipping performer, Brad Diesel, at Dickens Pub (Photo Credit: Jelly Creative Media)

Felix Juniper performing at The Attic Bar & Stage (Photo Credit: Hayden McHugh)

Felix Juniper performing at The Attic Bar & Stage (Photo Credit: Jelly Creative Media)


Texas Lounge 

If a classic gay bar is what you seek, look no further than Texas Lounge. Known lovingly by regulars as “the bunker,” this bar’s lounge-like atmosphere and great cocktails make the ultimate recipe for your next night out. 

Address: 308b 17 Ave. S.W. (behind Model Milk) 


Ship & Anchor 

Ship & Anchor, on trendy 17th Avenue, is a welcoming pub that hosts live music, drag shows, and its signature Punk Rock Bingo. The patio is the perfect dog-watching spot, and in the winter, the city’s best homemade eggnog lives here. 

Address: 534 17 Ave. S.W. 


The Attic Bar & Stage 

Located in the historic Inglewood neighbourhood, The Attic Bar & Stage is a top-notch queer-friendly venue. Its cozy ambiance, with vintage decor and a completely plant-based menu, sets the perfect stage for the range of events hosted here. 

Address: 1413 9 Ave. S.E. 

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Best Drag Shows in Calgary

Calgary's drag scene includes performers of all identities and expressions. Performances range from the hilarious and interactive Carly’s Angels to unconventional sketch comedy cabaret at Leopard Lounge. So put on your best outfit and get ready for glamour, glitter, and an unforgettable show! 


Carly’s Angels 

Carly’s Angels is Calgary’s longest-running weekly drag show. It’s the perfect choice if you’re new to seeing live drag. Hostess-with-the-mostess, Carly York Jones, and her Angels weave together audience interaction, dolled-up diva impersonation (think Cher, Reba McIntyre, Dolly Parton…) and gut-busting jokes. This show usually sells out, so be sure to reserve your tickets in advance! 

Where: The Attic Bar & Stage 

When: Weekly on Saturday evenings 


Twisted’s Got Talent 

If Canada’s Got Talent and RuPaul’s Drag Race had a baby, you’d get Twisted’s Got Talent! This weekly show provides a stage for new and seasoned drag artists to strut their stuff and receive feedback from established performers in the Calgary scene. The evening is hosted by non-binary drag clown Rip Em and trans femme drag queen Karla Marx. Each week, the top two (or three) contestants duke it out for a paid performance spot in an upcoming Saturday Spectacular show at Twisted. 

Where: Twisted Element 

When: Weekly on Wednesday evenings 

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King Neptune performing at Twisted Element (Photo Credit: Hayden McHugh)

King Neptune performing at Twisted Element (Photo Credit: Jelly Creative Media)

Laye Lowe performing at Twisted Element (Photo Credit: Hayden McHugh)

Laye Lowe performing at Twisted Element (Photo Credit: Jelly Creative Media)


Fake Mustache 

Established in 2004, Fake Mustache is Canada’s largest and longest-running drag troupe. You’ll see a mix of amateur and career drag (plus sometimes burlesque!) artists all in one evening. Organized by drag king and host James Dean, Fake ‘Stache aims to create a stage for drag where every body, identity, expression, ability, and orientation is seen, supported, and celebrated. 

Where: Dickens Pub 

When: Monthly on the second or third Thursday 


Holi-GAY Weekends at The Attic 

Consider skipping your camping trip and turning your holiday weekend into a Holi-GAY Weekend! Co-hosts Noble Oney and Osmo Cis put on a show fit for kings and queens. Make sure to try the pizza. All the food at The Attic is entirely vegan, and it’s good enough to fool any carnivore. 

Where: The Attic Bar & Stage 

When: Saturday evenings on long weekends 


Leopard Lounge 

Cabaret Calgary’s Leopard Lounge is the city’s premier comedy sketch cabaret show. It features a unique cast of drag and burlesque performers, comedians, singers, and tellers of tall tales. You’ll be sure to hear all kinds of hilarious half-truths about Karla Marx’s life in the glittery gutters of Hollywood and Vegas. 

Where: The Attic Bar & Stage 

When: The last Friday of the month 


Starchild Sunday Brunch 

At the Starchild Sunday Brunch, the food isn’t the only thing that’s hot. Fierce and fiery host Angelina Starchild’s Lady Gaga impersonation will satisfy even the most devout Little Monster. Her rotating cast of special guest performers means you can always expect the unexpected. The experience is made even better with mimosas, tater tots, and sweet beats by DJ Anthem. 

Where: Twisted Element 

When: Weekly on Sunday afternoons 

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Elliot Rae Cormier

Elliot is a queer, non-binary, disabled artist, and community organizer.