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Members of the press welcome!
This is where you can learn more about the 43rd IAGSDC convention that will be taking place in Montréal, Québec, Canada in July of 2026.
Read on to learn more about the event and the people who are behind it and don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions.

Ladies DancingLGBTQ+ individuals have historically found it difficult to participate in the “straight” square dance world and have often been made to feel like they didn’t belong there.

While they are finding more and more acceptance in modern times, it was not the case back in the early ’80s when the IAGSDC was formed to help promote the sport and to give LGBTQ+ dancers a place where they could be themselves and dance with their peers without fear of persecution or prejudice.

The result is a quasi parallel world of square dancing that has evolved alongside the rest of the square dance world but that includes a great deal of cooperation between the straight and gay clubs.

LGBTQ+ square dancers tend to be a bit younger and more affluent than their straight counterparts and they dance with quite a bit more energy and flair, making them the envy of many when they attend straight events.

IAGSDC LogoThe International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs is the administrative body that encompasses all LGBTQ+ square dance clubs in the world. It has members from Canada, the US, Europe and Asia and currently supports 57 clubs

The IAGSDC holds a convention every year where club delegates can participate in workshops and meetings to discuss aspects of square dancing but the biggest reason for convention is for LGBTQ+ square dancers (and allies) to get together to dance to some amazing internationally renowned callers and to socialize with their peers.

According the the 2018 annual general meeting minutes, total registered dancers in the entire association was 1,936. All previous years’ meeting minutes are also of public record.

Yearly attendance at convention has ranged from the low 600s to over 1,100 dancers.

Note: The 2020 and 2021 conventions were online only due to COVID-19 and did not require registration so we have no numbers for them but the Zoom sessions were well attended. The 2022 convention was held in person in Minneapolis, however the numbers were lower as many were still not comfortable about gathering in larger numbers. Ottawa was host to the 2023 convention and welcomed 693 participants from 5 countries.

Montréal, Québec, Canada has never hosted an IAGSDC convention so we have reason to believe that attendance will be high due to the novelty of the venue.

A picture is worth a thousand words and this is true about square dancing. It’s hard to understand gay square dancing unless you’ve seen it.

The 2019 IAGSDC convention took place in Philadelphia and CBS Philly reported on it:

Ottawa Date Squares Convention Group Photo

The Ottawa Date Squares is an LGBTQ+ square dance club based in Ottawa, Ontario. They have existed since 1995 and are full members of the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs (IAGSDC) and the Eastern Ontario Square and Round Dance Association.

Over the years they have hosted several “fly-in” events which bring in dancers from all around the region and also from cities in the USA. The club features dancers of different ages, genders and sexual orientations and has very strong ties to other IAGSDC clubs and to other local EOSARDA groups as well.

The Date Squares are very heavily involved in the organization of the Montréal 2026 convention but unlike other conventions that are organized by the local city’s IAGSDC club alone, Montréal is a joint effort with the Toronto Triangle Squares. Bringing in expertise from other clubs will ensure that this convention will be one of the best ever held.

The IAGSDC has held conventions in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa but this will be the first time it is held in Montréal, Québec, Canada. The novelty of the new location and the charm of this historic city is sure to peak the interest of our American cousins and we expect much greater attendance than in past years.

This event will showcase the rich diversity that exists within the LGBTQ+ community in Montréal, and it is expected to have long lasting positive effects on the community as a whole.

In an age where more and more people are turning to social media and dating apps to make connections, gay square dancing is just the thing to help bring people together in the real world… face to face.

It is a yearly tradition to hold a special tour, called the Fun Badge Tour, which visits several interesting landmarks within the city.

Attendance on these tours is high and always sells out. This year’s tour will host 250 dancers who will be loaded onto coach buses and shown around our beautiful city.

There will be 4-5 stops on this tour and at each stop, everyone climbs off the buses and square dances for 10-15 minutes before re-boarding the buses to head to the next stop.

These flash-mob style events are a delight to witness and a joy to take part in.

A quick search of YouTube will show footage from several such tour stops at past conventions.

The IAGSDC convention is many things to dancers and non-dancers (spouses, retired dancers, curious) alike. Some of those reasons are:

  • Meetings to conduct club business and to plan how to promote our activity
  • Yearly family reunion with old friends
  • Workshops to improve skills and learn new dance moves
  • A reason for a vacation and to visit a new city

What the IAGSDC convention is not, is competitive. There are no contests or competitions. We really are only in this for the sheer joy of dancing and the friendship and camaraderie it brings.

Here are some highlights of the activities that will be taking place during this convention:

  • Opening and Closing Ceremonies
  • Banquet with awards ceremony
  • Special dances that we refer to as Specialty Tips (ex: women only, bears, leather, disco, mobility challenged, etc…)
  • Introduction to square dancing (July 4, 7-9:30pm)
  • Tours around the city and to popular sites including:
  • Lots and lots of square dancing to amazing internationally renowned callers!

A full and interactive schedule of events is available on our website.