Safety concerns prompt officials to cancel naked swim at Calgary pool
An after-hours naked swim that was booked at the Southland Leisure Centre this weekend has been cancelled by officials after a number of complaints surfaced concerning the all-ages event.
The city says corporate security and Calgary police conducted a review after concerns about safety and security were brought forward by the public.
“Recent events have created the potential to impact safety of participants, public and staff using the facility entirely. There’s a large number of events happening that night and we’ve been required to cancel this booking,” said James McLaughlin, acting director, Calgary Recreation. “The outcome of that review has suggested that it’s not prudent for us to proceed at this point in time out of concern related to the safety of all users and all people coming to the building.”
McLaughlin says the city has the right to cancel or amend permits under the terms and conditions of the facility rental agreement.
“It’s not in response to the public backlash. It’s in response to specific commentary that was made in some of the threads within the discussion that were ongoing,” he said. “We typically don’t review every and each booking, we only review when there’s an arising condition or arising item that creates the need.”
The city says the organizer has been made aware of the cancellation and that no decisions have been made about future bookings.
“We’re actually in conversation with this group with respect to future bookings and how we might be able to arrange them to occur safely for everyone using the building,” said McLaughlin.
Calgary Nude Recreation posted a statement on its Facebook page saying that ‘It is outrageous that lawful recreation can be prohibited by an incredible vocal minority. These people must not be allowed to dictate public policy with threats against law abiding citizens engaged in lawful activities.’
The group went on to say that the ‘city staff at the pool and elsewhere have been amazing to work with’ and that it will continue to work with the city to ensure future events happen.
The Calgary Police Service also issued a statement and said it received a report of a threat against Southland Leisure Centre on Monday in connection to the event.
Officers responded and determined that there was no immediate danger but police are not releasing any further details.
The service confirms that it was consulted by the city about security concerns but says the final decision to cancel the event was made by Calgary Recreation.
Officials say they have upwards of 16,000 bookings in a year and that they have to look at each on a case-by-case basis.
The city says photography is not permitted in pools and changing rooms and that all private bookings must comply with city requirements.