The Calgary Eagle - 4 years of FUN
By John Finlayson
With our 4 year anniversary upon us we’ve been given this great opportunity to reflect on the life of the Calgary Eagle and what it means to us, past and present. This has proved to be a harder task than we thought as the bar has become an integral part of our being, and that of the Calgary Gay community.
The Calgary Eagle, (“The Bird” as it’s affectionately known by the regulars), although still a Leather and Levi Bar has grown to include many facets of the gay community. As a business within the community here in Calgary, we know that we have responsibilities to that community and the values it represents. The Eagle has worked with a number of community groups and proudly boasts wide community support. That support has enabled us to host a number of events and charity functions.
The Calgary Eagle hosts charitable functions to help raise awareness and funds for such groups as Beswick house with its Calendar, and the Living Christmas tree and turkey raffles each Christmas. In March we will be hosting the Second Annual “Straight to Diva” contest and Silent Auction, a fundraising event for the HIV Peer Support group. In supporting the community in a variety of ways we have also hosted events ranging from a wedding receptions to a memorial for a dear friend of the Eagle and the community. We strive to work with members of the community to be inclusive of many needs and many groups that our volunteers, staff, and we the owners represent. It is a wide cross section of the Calgary community and you know us as not only as sponsors and hosts but participants in many events. Each year we are proud to sponsor a Rodeo Team at the Annual Gay Rodeo and to ensure that we are well represented in the Annual Gay Pride Parade. Boy is that a busy week or two!
Here at the Eagle we have developed a number of events in-house that help work with the diverse nature of the folks that call us home. The Calgary Bears are here on Bear Nights, we are maintaining the continuity of our once vibrant leather community by attracting a new and upcoming leather community with events such as the Mr. Calgary Leather contest, and our Leather Daddy contest. Try not to host event on the night they declare your neighbourhood an evacuation zone during the floods! On the third Sunday of each month, we have Momma G’s dinners - a fast growing tradition here at the Eagle. These dinners have become so popular that the local Prime-Timers group has organized their own dinners here once a month.
This year, in an effort to bring even more of a sense of community to the Eagle we are developing some new ideas and re-working some old standards. This year we continue to host our monthly Leather Nights, Fetish Nights, the Thursdays “DARE” (try it once you’ll be back), Boots and ‘Gar night with the “Hot Ash Contest” and DJ RMG Fridays. This year look out for some new things coming to the Eagle; those of you who are old enough will remember “T-Dances” - those of you who have no idea what we are talking about will just have to come down and find out. They are a tradition held at many Eagles throughout the world, just ask anyone who visits San Francisco where they spend their Sunday afternoons! This years Mr. Calgary Leather, Chris, is bringing us R/T events. These Real Time events are a chance for you “to get up close and personal with those you chat with online.” Our first R/T event on January 28 was an outstanding success.
This year with our new big screen TV we will be hosting all the Flames play-off games. A chance for those sports-minded members of the gay community (yes we know you’re out there!) to come down, socialize and enjoy the games with friends. This is the first of our Sports events with many more to come. To find out what the TV is used for on other nights, well you’ll just have to come down and find out… you won’t be disappointed!
We must also give appreciation and thanks to many of our volunteers who have dedicated countless hours to us and the community. These volunteers (apologies if we’ve missed anyone, there are just so many) are:
Chris E Johnathan F Dakota D Barry B
Rob S Lady Fawwn Terry B Mark M
Annette N Linda C Ian C Steve E
Trudy B Eddie Mark R Wolf
DJ W Ralph B Teddy M Paul T
Lorna L Matt L Kelly G Bill G
Kathleen Roger G Joe L
And with special thanks to Priape, Shane P.; Gay Calgary, Steve & Rob; Blubox, Purr Energy, B&D Emporium, ARGRA, Alan F. of ARGRA, the Pride Committee, ISCCA and many more for their continued support. Not to forget our very supportive and loyal staff: Kevin B. and Jim H. Everyone steps up to the plate to make it happen.
Though some may say the Eagle is in an area of Calgary that is less than desirable, in our eyes our clientele make it the most desirable place to be. In the four years we have been here we have striven to provide a safe place for our customers to visit. To date we have had no problems, our staff know the area and if you have a concern, don’t worry - we take care of our friends. Your car and yourself are safe at the Eagle. It’s our privilege to provide a safe and fun environment.
Our customers are so supportive that they regularly ask how they can help continue to make the bar better. The sense of community is so strong and we can’t thank our customers enough.
We will continue our strong involvement and commitment to the Calgary community, and proudly invite everyone to drop by. The gang is friendly and we’re sure you’ll make a friend or two when you visit. The Calgary Eagle invites you to come and have FUN.
Thank you Calgary - we look forward to many more years.
Ron Scheetz, Barry Gagliardi, Christine Baker, the Staff and Volunteers
The Calgary Eagle Inc.