Over 9,000 people have signed a petition to stop a planned nudist event at a city-owned pool in Calgary.
Dubbed "Naked Water Slides And Wave Pool," the Jan. 14 event invites people of all ages to get in their birthday suits for an evening of swimming at the Southland Leisure Centre. It was organized by the group Calgary Nude Recreation, and although it's a city pool, the group is just renting it for the private event.
"What better way to snub winter than by hanging out at one of Calgary's world class indoor tropical beaches naked? Would it sweeten the deal if there were water slides, a wave pool, a hot tub and steam room?" says the Facebook event page.
Calgary Nude Recreation bills itself as "family oriented and kid friendly and open to people of all ages, body types, all genders, sexual orientations, and anyone else in between." They also say all events are "strictly non sexual and are intended to create a safe space to express ourselves in our most vulnerable and natural state all the while having fun!"
The sold-out event will be followed up by two other nude swimming nights on Feb. 11 and March 11.
But some people are asking: What about the children?
A petition was launched on Change.org by April Parker to have the event cancelled.
"I respect the concept and believe in an 18+ setting it could be a popular event," the petition says. "However, having naked children around a bunch of naked adults [doesn't] seem like a good idea for any reason. Realistically there is [a lot] of mental illness out there that this event could trigger/[affect]."
Parker expressed concern the event will be "just like Christmas" for child predators and that there's an "extremely high chance of photos and videos being taken without consent, considered child pornography." She did not respond to BuzzFeed Canada's request for comment.
The people signing seem to agree.
"Perverts are going to be in their glory with this. Might as well serve your kids over to them on a silver platter," said one.
"This is gross," said another.
Calgary Nude Recreation has been defending the all-ages nature of their event on Facebook, saying the backlash "illustrates the disconnect between what people THINK social nudity is about versus what social nudity is ACTUALLY about."
Due to the media attention, the group has also changed the rules for the event. Men will be required to be fully nude, while women are required to at least be topless. "Other genders need to make the decision themselves," the group wrote on Facebook.
BuzzFeed Canada has reached out to Calgary Nude Recreation for comment.
UPDATE: The event has now been cancelled.
The City of Calgary has decided to cancel the event due to security concerns. The Calgary Nude Recreation called it a "terrible precedent."
Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.
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