January 16, 2018 4:40 pm
Updated: January 16, 2018 5:03 pm

Gord Gillies: ‘Live and let live’ when it comes to Calgary nude swim

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As another week slips away in Calgary, so too, I thought, would slide away another eyebrow-raising story – the naked family swim night.

After days of discussion, some outrage, some buff backers, a protest petition and a petition to stop the petition, it’s a no go. The city has decided that the backlash is too big and concerns about safety are real. So, at this time, Calgary Nude Recreation will not be allowed to proceed with their family-themed naked event at the Southland Leisure Centre.

WATCH BELOW: Volatile threats force City of Calgary to cancel nude swim


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I’ve flip-flopped all over the place on this one. My first reaction was,”Whatever, it’s just some adults who want to hang out au naturel.”

I had done a story about 30 years ago at a place called the Sunny Chinooks nudist club outside of Calgary.  While I was somewhat intrigued by what I’d find, it turned out to be, well, rather quiet. After about twenty minutes, I realized it wasn’t “nudies gone wild,” it was more like “nudies gone fishin’.”

Talk about watching out for the hooks.

Despite everyone being in the buff, there really wasn’t much too see and I did appreciate they let me keep my trunks on. My opinion on nudist clubs was “live and let live.”

In this case, I initially didn’t know it was for families and admittedly that did raise a flag. I assume that’s because I’m a parent and I was concerned about the kids.  Fine for me, if I want to wander around buck naked playing bocce (sorry for that visual), but I’d be uncomfortable making my children tag along. When I  learned it was an open invitation for any “like-minded” people to attend, I really worried about screening.

Who’s watching out for the creeps?  Some city councillors worried about liability should something horrible happen.

WATCH BELOW: Private Calgary nude swim making waves worldwide

Lots of questions and attention and usually that’s a good thing.

As the story unfolded – just like my Sunny Chinooks experience– my view began to change. Other nudist groups chipped in about other similar events all over the country. In a release, Nude Recreation Calgary strongly addressed the screening issue and it seems to me that they had the checks and balances in place.

While cancelling this event, the city agreed it is acceptable and may grant them a private party permit sometime down the road.

I hope they do.

My limited experience with nudists all those years ago and the strict guidelines in place to provide safety now has eased my mind.

I won’t be dropping the trunks if the next event is a go, but I wish them all safe sliding.

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