Who We Are
Fairy Tales Presentation Society is a not-for-profit, charitable organization located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We celebrate local and national queer artists and share diverse stories based in film. Our artistic endeavors strive to provide a safe and respectful venue for members of all communities to celebrate queer culture across the LGBTTQA spectrum, as well as including those who subscribe to culturally, politically, artistically, and otherwise alternative and innovative ways of contributing to society.
We create engaging social experiences through representative film, and utilize queer film as a vehicle for discussion and social change in our communities. We are passionate about bringing these experiences to Albertans and visitors, sharing the joy of live cinema events, and queer representation on the big screen.
More Than A Film Festival
The Fairy Tales Presentation Society is best known for our annual Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival. As the largest queer film festival in Canada outside of Vancouver and Toronto, the Film Festival is at the heart of our operations, attracting over 35,000 patrons since 1999 and featuring dozens of entertaining and thought-provoking films each year. Our innovative programming ensures that film leaps from the screen to the lived experience, through panels, Q&As and other related events. We show local, national and international work with opportunities for filmmakers, audiences and emerging audiences to engage, network and grow.
We started as a film festival and that will always be close to our hearts. We have had the opportunity to expand into a year-round organization to meet a growing need and desire in our communities for queer film, through diversity education (OUTReels), community partnerships, and youth education (Youth Queer Media Program). Through all of our programs, we create safe spaces for self-expression, representation, discussion, and community.
The Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival began in 1999, under the umbrella of the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF). It emerged out of a growing need in our community to bring the queer community together and present queer stories in film as a social event and a way to discuss pressing issues in the city. As one of the only places to see queer film in Alberta, the series grew to the point of becoming its own organization, and Fairy Tales Presentation Society incorporated on January 30, 2004. In 2006 we also gained federal charitable status, and at the time we were largely a volunteer-run organization.
Fairy Tales continued to move forward from 2006 and started expanding staff positions and programming to meet the growing demand for queer film and education. In 2009, Fairy Tales began the OUTReels Diversity Education Program (originally called Reels On Wheels). OUTReels provides diversity education to the communities around Calgary by using filmmaking and other art forms as educational vehicles.
In 2011, Fairy Tales launched the Youth Queer Media Program (YQMP). The YQMP began as a Public Service Announcement project with the Calgary Police Service to advocate for queer youth, and Fairy Tales continues the program to mentor youth in creating their first short film to address issues faced by queer youth today. Each year, YQMP filmmakers premiere their films with a gala event at the Film Festival.
2011 also launched the Q the Arts program, which began at the Arrata Centre in March 2011, showcasing queer artists through performance, music, spoken word, and visual arts. The program has developed into our community partnership program, where we join forces with other organizations throughout the year to present exciting cinematic and queer focused events. Our partners have included:
Led by a dynamic governance board, Fairy Tales relies on our many dedicated volunteers, community members, and organizations, as well as festival and event contract staff throughout the year. Fairy Tales programming has more than doubled since 1999, significantly growing in length, with the festival now featuring over dozens of films, events, and panels. We continue to be a leader in Alberta and Canada for queer film presentation events and community gathering as we share important queer stories otherwise not given a voice in mainstream media.