PRIDE! Where to go and when! This is your Summer 2011 Canadian Pride Guide GAYNADIANS!!
We have lots of Pride coverage planned all summer long like THIS or THIS or THIS, and now you can participate in The Gaily’s Pride Hoolapalooza: SEND US YOUR PICTURES!! We will feature you in The Gaily’s Gaynadian Pride 2011 Photo Gallery at the end of the summer. Send hi-res pictures of you in your best Pride geddup to hi [AT] thegaily [DOT] ca (Subject Line: Pride Photos), and include the city where you attended and the first names of everyone in the photo. Please make sure you have the permission of everyone in the photo before submitting.
Pride Calgary will be celebrating its 21st year during the week of September 2-10, 2011. Kicking off the celebrations is the annual Pride Dance on Friday, September 2 at the Arrata Opera Centre with local DJ’s MollyFi and JayFraid keeping you on the dance floor. The Pride Parade and Street Festival happen on Sunday, September 4 at noon with the Parade starting at Olympic Plaza and ending where the Street Festival begins at Shaw Millenium Park. For more information please visit Pride Calgary’s website www.pridecalgary.ca (Gaily contributor Dallas is on the Calgary Pride board and she will be bringing you “Let’s Learn About Pride! series all summer long.)
Unfortunately we are just hitting the very tail end of Edmonton Pride – in its 31st year – with this post, but our dear sexy Edmonton sex columnist Kristi said it was super fun. Most of the events finish up June 19th, but check out the calendar for the final events of the weekend here. www.edmontonpride.ca
Atlantic Canada’s largest pride festival starts on July 17th and continues until July 24th. Halifax’s pride week starts off with their signature event “Dykes vs. Divas” which is a softball game and promises to be a great time for the whole family. There’s also a boat cruise, song writers circle and their 24th annual parade to look forward to. For complete details, check out http://www.halifaxpride.com.
Of course if there was going to be a Pride festival in the Kootenays, it would only happen in one place: Nelson, British Columbia. Land of hemp, draft-dodgers, and free thinkers everyone is somewhat queer. Look for the Kootenay Pride banner across Baker Street (the only real street) between August 29th and September 5th. In true Nelson fashion, it is outdoorsy and family-friendly, with everything from BBQs, a fun/run/walk/job, to drag shows and dance parties. www.pride.inthekoots.com
One of the newest Pride celebrations in Canada and in Alberta, Lethbridge Pride Fest is going strong and quickly gaining momentum. The party starts today, June 18th and runs until June 26th. The Fest includes lots of family friendly daytime activities like OUT in the park at Galt Gardens, an interfaith church service, and swimming and waterloo. Night time activities start tonight at the German Club with a dance, and other events include a Queerekoke at Ric’s Grill. www.lethbridgepridefest.com (We will have ongoing coverage out of Lethbridge throughout the week. YEAH to pan-Canadian contributors!)
Pride festivities in London, Ontario run from June 22nd to 24th and is an artsy festival as well highlighting queer films, art, literary evenings, and a fashion show. www.pridelondon.ca
Montreal first Pride festival of the summer, Divers/Cité, (in its 19th year), running from July 25th to 31st, is the arts and music festival, contrasted with the community and parade aspects of the Montreal Pride Celebration in August. Divers/Cité is a week of outdoor music, dances, drag performances, art exhibits, and outdoor cinema in and around Montreal’s gay village. While most of the outdoor events are free, there are some indoor ticketed concerts and dances as well. www.diverscite.org
Pride in Montreal is so bad ass there needs to be two distinct festivals, the second of which is Montreal Pride Celebrations which this year will take place from August 9th to 13th 3011 – yes, 3011. This years theme is 3011: Odyssey of the Future. The second of Montreal’s festivals features the community day, parade and famous T-Dance in Place Émilie-Gamelin. http://www.fiertemontrealpride.com
While the Okanagan typically screams heterosexy, its beaches, hot weather and party scene make it a great place to visit on your Pride vacay. The Okanagan Pride festival takes place this year between August 11th and 15th. Details are still to be announced. www.gayokanagan.com
Besides Canada Day, Capital Pride is about the only other exciting time to be in Ottawa. If you are going to miss seeing the new Princess on July 1st, you can catch lots of Queens between August 19th and 28th (parade day) for Ottawa’s Pride festivities. However, if you are in the capital region prior to the official Pride week, you can partake in Taste of Pride – “a unique opportunity to sample food from restaurants that support the gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, two-spirited and questioning (GLBTTQ) community within the National Capital Region” – on June 21st. www.capitalpride.ca
PEI celebrates its 13th Pride festival between July 2nd and 9th, 2011 with quaint events from Charlottetown, Stratford, and Summerside, including a youth Pride dance, city flag raisings, potlucks, and church services. www.pride-pei.com
Quebec City’s “rainbow” festival happens at the end of labour day weekend, from September 2nd to 4th, and is a socio-artistic festival that is more family and community oriented. This year features include a community day, a workshops on same-sex parenting, and yet still, a requisite drag show. http://www.glbtquebec.org/
Toronto Pride, one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world with over 1 million attendees each year, is not only a not-to-miss summer destination for any self-respecting East Coast gay but is also now regarded as one of Canada’s premier cultural festivals. From June 24th to July 3rd, visitors will be treated to ten days full of concerts and live shows, street fairs, and special events including a Dyke March, a Trans March, and the world renowned Pride Parade. With a schedule that ensures that there’s something of interest for just about everyone, Toronto Pride does an exceptional job at ensuring that the LGBT community is given the vibrant exposure it deserves. www.pridetoronto.com
You really can’t go wrong anyway, anyhow, at the Vancouver Pride Parade. That being said, if you prefer to sit in chairs or on the grass head to Beach Avenue (earlyish, but excessively is not necessary), where you can set up along the curb or on the grassy spaces and be right there ready for the Pride Festival at Sunset Beach when the parade ends, too. If you’d prefer to stand and be in an more intimae (read: crowded) environment, set-up on Denman or Robson. Over pride weekend you have options, people! There is something for everyone. Be sure to look into Picnic in the Park, the Dyke March, the Davie Street Pride Party, Chicas and Hershey Bar (for the ladies) or he slew oft male parties to see what’s right for you! Vancouver Pride, running from July 23rd to 31st, is in the last year of their three year theme dedicated to educating, liberating, and celebrating, so in 2011 the emphasis is on the latter. http://www.vancouverpride.ca/
Victoria Pride will run from July 1 – July 10, with the annual parade taking place on Sunday, July 10. Apparently the gay ball game is always well-attended and a hoot. The parade has historically been very small and over in 20 minutes so don’t think you can be fashionably late to it, since all that will remain is some spray string and glitter on the street. The kids’ zone at the Pride fest rocks, and is a great place to hang, if not in the beer garden. http://www.victoriapridesociety.org/
Our apologies to Saskatoon and Winnipeg among other cities whose Prides happened before our Pride Guide was published. We will get you next year!
Did we miss an important Pride festival? Email us and let us know the details (and please send the logo) and we will be sure to add it. hi [AT] thegaily [DOT] ca