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LGBTQ conference kicks off in Calgary

The Ally Toolkit Conference, an LGBTQ competency-building event for professionals, kicked off in Calgary with a community day at the Central Library on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019.
The Ally Toolkit Conference, an LGBTQ competency-building event for professionals, kicked off in Calgary with a community day at the Central Library on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. Global News

Dozens attended Calgary’s Central Library on Sunday to kick off community day for the Ally Toolkit Conference, an LGBTQ competency-building event for professionals.

Topics the conference explores include allyship, suicide prevention, HR diversity policies and best hiring practices.

James Demers, executive director of Calgary Queer Arts Society, wants the event to facilitate conversations about what LGBT inclusion means.

“It is ideal in a society, in an economy like ours, in a corporate city very much like Calgary, that people feel like they can bring their whole selves to work,” he said.

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“It cuts down significantly on retraining and manages retention and allows for you to get the most possible opportunities out of your LGBT employees. When they feel safe to bring exactly who they are to work, they’re loyal and connected, and that is the best possible way to build a team.”

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The fourth annual conference is a partnership between the arts society and Calgary Pride. Demers said the reception has been positive because of a demand for learning.

“This is an opportunity for all of us to get on the same page and be better neighbours to each other,” he said.

All are welcome to attend the conference, which runs at the TELUS Convention Centre until Nov. 19.