Saskatchewan isn’t necessarily known as the world’s most progressive place. With our biggest exports being grain and potash, the common stereotype is that we’re akin to America’s deep south – conservative, closed-minded farmers. And it doesn’t help that a once-frustrated hometown star, Joni Mitchell, labelled the entire community of Saskatoon as bigoted.
Gay Bars & Nightclubs in Saskatchewan
That’s why it’s impressive that we have a few dedicated spaces for the LGBTQ community. While there is no “gay district”, we’ve got gay-friendly locales that you can spread out to across the province.
Since Pride Month is in full swing, I thought I’d take some time to raise awareness for the gay nightclubs and bars in Saskatchewan that you can take advantage of all year. Because homosexuality should be accepted as a norm in society and we’ve still got a long way to go.
Enjoy a cocktail and meet up with other like-minded peeps. Between Regina and Saskatoon, there are three major nightclubs that serve gay clientele:
Opening nearly 40 years ago, Diva’s is a historic establishment that boasts itself as “Saskatoon’s Premier Gay Bar”. Come in through the back alley on an average weekend for laser lights, live DJs, and dancing. Save the date for special events like regular Ru Paul’s Drag Race viewing parties, drag queen contests, and eye-popping live entertainment.
With a multi-level interior design that changes almost as quickly as a chameleon, PiNK’s operators like to keep patrons on their toes. The last time I went, they had a giant raised pole in the middle of the dance floor – who knows what they’ll have next month! Plenty of inclusive events happen here regularly.
As one of the last community-owned gay bars in Canada, Q is a hub for Regina’s LGBTQ crowd. Feel connected and welcomed at weekly open mics, drag queen bingo, karaoke, trivia, and more! Q also hosts special events complete with go-go dancers.
Local Gay-Friendly Bars
The following Saskatoon* spots work with the LGBTQ community to create a gay-friendly space and regular themed events:
Guitar shop by day, inspiring event space by night. This one-of-a-kind venue is not a regular bar, but hosts many live music shows, weddings, fundraisers, and more throughout the year.
Capitol is a downtown spot with a full-menu and massive interior space for dancing, live music, and comedy nights. For something different, go during the afternoon to enjoy the hanging indoor plants and skylight.
They have signs placed all around the bar explaining what to avoid talking about while inside, including politics and religion.
One of Saskatoon’s biggest community-centred hubs, Amigos Cantina is a place where you’ll enjoy a wide variety of Mexican cuisine and pub classics. They host live musicians, improv comedy, karaoke, and themed dances – sometimes on the same night. Enjoy a cold cocktail on their patio after a long day.
Louis’ is a casual student hang-out that partners with the USSU Pride Centre to host LGBTQ events. Along with pub fare, you can find many different reasons to check out Louis’ for live shows and sporting events.
Whether you’re dropping in for a late brunch, or want spectacular twilight view of the riverbank, the whimsical Drift Sidewalk Cafe & Vista Lounge has some incredible options for you. Both their space and menu is dynamic, with seasonal eats, local craft beer, and cocktails that hit the spot.
Located on the corner of Spadina and 25th Street, Finn’s Irish Pub is a nice place to stop in for a cold brew while walking along the riverbank with your honey. They offer regular free live music, paint nites, and special holiday events. Check out their large patio in the summer time.
*At publishing, I couldn’t easily track down gay-friendly nightclubs or bars in other Saskatchewan cities. If you want to be included on this listing, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.