Like so many of the most effective activists, Allison Dunne co-founded her Pink Flamingo group out of a place of joy. Dunne has roots in Calgary’s arts and music scenes as well as Calgary Pride and Voices (a local coalition of two-spirit, racialized LGBTQIA+ and chosen allies). She developed Pink Flamingo as a series of inclusive events centred on QTBIPOC (queer, trans, Black, Indigenous and people of colour) participants. Pink Flamingo parties are ultra-fun and purposely gaudy, but the group’s mandate is serious. That has become more clear as the focus shifts from parties to projects like its ongoing Black Lives Matter murals, which will continue to pop up around the city over the next year. “Calgary is full of Black queer producers, but there aren’t a lot of spaces for us, so we had to create that,” Dunne says. “Being a Black queer woman, I definitely wanted to create spaces for people like me.”
This article appears in the January 2021 issue of Avenue Calgary.