CALGARY, AB -- Representatives from the Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corporation will be marching with Pride on Sunday.
Members of the Calgary Flames, alongside those from the Calgary Hitmen and Calgary Roughnecks, will join tens of thousands of fans and spectators in celebrating Pride Week festivities in Calgary by participating in the annual Pride Parade on Sunday afternoon.
"I believe we need to show our support," Flames forward Matt Stajan said. "We have a big presence in this community and you can support a lot of things and that's an important one for the whole world; to be accepting of everyone."
Stajan, along with Troy Brouwer , Chad Johnson , and goaltending coach Jordan Sigalet, will represent the Flames in the Pride Parade.
Matteo Gennaro, Taylor Sanheim, Jakob Stukel, and Micheal Zipp of the Hitmen, and Scott Carnegie and Dane Dobbie, and general manager and director of business operations Mike Board of the Roughnecks will join the Flames.
"It's definitely a good feeling when you walk through the parade," said Dobbie, who represented the Roughnecks at the Pride Parade last year. "A lot of Calgary is out there supporting. It's a lot of fun. They put on a fun time and we walk with the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation.
"I think it's important for this city. I really do. One of the reasons I think is especially the Calgary Flames. They have a big input on how the city comes together. People are Flames fanatics here. A lot are Roughnecks and a lot are Stamps, too. It's awesome for the groups of guys and girls to get out there and support the parade and walk in it and hand stuff out and see the smiles on people's faces."
Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke, who served as the 2015 Parade Grand Marshal, will be unable to attend.
"Although I'm disappointed I am unable to attend this year's Calgary Pride Parade, I'm extremely proud to see a strong contingent of CSEC players and staff represent the organization in what is an important event for the Calgary community," he said.
The family friendly parade sees upwards of 60,000 spectators, and over 125 entries from community groups, politicians, corporations and public serves travel down 9th Avenue S, from 1st Street SE to 11th Street SW.
The parade is free to attend and will run from 12 PM to 1:30 PM.
"This is a first for me," Zipp said. "Any time you get to put the Hitmen jersey on, it is a pretty special feeling. I'm looking forward to celebrating diversity in Calgary and representing the Hitmen on Sunday."
Members from the Flames, Hitmen and Roughnecks will hand out pride bracelets to patrons at the parade.
"The presence of all the sporting teams in this city, the Flames, the Stampeders, the Roughnecks, the Hitmen, the Roughnecks … we know that we have a presence in this city and we can make a difference," Stajan said. "When we walk people take notice. That's something we take pride in to make sure we're doing our part for our community."