January 12, 2018 6:32 pm
Updated: January 12, 2018 8:24 pm

Edmonton naturist group invites Calgarians to its naked swim event

CottonTail Corner has been organizing naturist swims, including scuba events, in Edmonton for years.

Courtesy: cottontailcorner.ca

An Edmonton naturist group has extended an invitation to its nude swim event to any Calgarians put out by that city’s decision to cancel a similar event there.

“Calgary Naturists! We have secured another lifeguard for Saturday, so if you’d like to come on up to Edmonton for CottonTail Corner‘s Naturist Swim, come join us!” reads a message posted on the group’s Facebook page on Thursday.

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“If you are bringing your kids, please bring their birth certificates for the lifeguards to see, and bring your driver’s licence.

“Naturists helping naturists… that is what community is about,” the message reads.

Earlier in the week, the organizer of the Edmonton swims said the public outcry in Calgary shocked him. John Martens said the City of Calgary has rented city pools to other family-friendly naturists groups for the past several years. He said several Edmonton-area groups, including CottonTail Corner, have rented out Edmonton pools for private, all-ages nude swims for the last five years.

“Nudity does not equal sex,” Martens said. “It doesn’t equal sexual activity and, whatever some people down in Calgary seem to think, it doesn’t mean pedophilia.”

READ MORE: Organizer of naked swims in Edmonton speaks out: ‘Nudity does not equal sex’ 

The City of Calgary cancelled a nude swim event set to be held at Southland Leisure Centre on Jan. 14 due to concerns for participants’ safety.

In a statement, the city said it made the decision because of potential security risks “arising from volatile public commentary.”

Watch below: A controversial event that motivated thousands of Calgarians to react has hit another nerve. A naked swim at a city pool has been cancelled because of ongoing public discourse. Jill Croteau reports.

READ MORE: Naked swim event at Southland Leisure Centre cancelled by City of Calgary 

While the Calgary Nude Recreation group said it recognized the city is “not the bad guy here,” it was upset by the reaction and decision to cancel the private, after-hours and all-ages event. A statement on the group’s Facebook page said it is “outrageous that lawful recreation can be prohibited by an incredibly vocal minority.

“These people must not be allowed to dictate public policy with threats against law-abiding citizens engaged in lawful activities.”

READ MORE: Petition started to end petition against Calgary nude swim 

After news of the event made headlines in Calgary, two petitions – one against the nude swim event and one against that first petition – were started.

The CottonTail Corner group said it was “disappointed” to hear the Calgary swim had to be cancelled.

LISTEN: J’lyn Nye with the 630 CHED Afternoon News talks with Ray Jorritsma, Naturists, about the cancellation of the naked swim in Calgary

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The Saturday swim in Edmonton is a private rental. Participants must sign in and the doors will be locked. As is CottonTail Corner’s practice, all adult participants are required to surrender their driver’s licence before the event. Martens said in the last five years, the group has had one issue and the person was immediately banned.

Watch below: As controversy continues in Calgary over a naked swimming event at a pool, the City of Edmonton says similar events have taken place in Alberta’s Capital Region without any issues. Sarah Kraus reports.

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