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Lois Szabo Commons opens, recognizes prominent leader in Calgary's LGBTQ2S+ community

Lois Szabo Commons is located on the corner of 9 Street and 16 Avenue S.W. and is named after the woman who founded Calgary's first gay club, Club Carousel, in 1970. CREDIT: Nick Blakeney/CityNews

CALGARY — A new park has opened in Calgary’s beltline which looks to commemorate a prominent leader in Calgary’s LGBTQ2S+ community.

Lois Szabo Commons is located on the corner of 9 Street and 16 Avenue S.W. and is named after the woman who founded Calgary’s first gay club, Club Carousel, in 1970.

Lois Szabo not only founded the club but also volunteered lots of her time there and helped to provide a safe, open place for the LGBTQ2S+ community.

“I am so pleased that the LGBTQ2S+ community is being recognized through my name,” said Szabo. “From Club Carousel and the dark alleys and dingy basement dives, we now enjoy more freedoms to be ourselves. This has been a long journey.”

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he has always been a fan of naming parks after community builders and heroes, and Szabo fits that bill.

“She was courageous during a time when many didn’t accept LGBTQ2S+. Lois created a safe space for community and for political activism that would shape the Calgary we are today,” said Nenshi.

Lois Szabo Commons will be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.