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VICTORIA PRIDE WEEK: YOUR GUIDE TO PRIDE 2019

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Pride month is almost here and?Victoria's?Pride Week?takes place from June 30 to July 7. As always, the?Victoria Pride Society?has so much to enjoy - hence this handy-dandy “Guide to Pride 2019”!?Here are a few free highlights the Victoria Pride Society hosts during Pride Week:

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Youth Pride Kick-Off Party?

June 22 | 7:00-10:00 p.m. | Fairfield Gonzales Community Association
LGBTG2* and ally youth 18 and under are invited to come be part of this free event featuring music, food, beverages, crafts, a Drag Makeup Workshop and more. The night will finish off with a variety show of both youth and seasoned performers.

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The Annual Memorial Dragball Game

July 1 | 12:00–3:00 p.m. | Vic West Ballpark?
See Kings and Queens battle it out on a baseball diamond in moustaches and heels! Bring a picnic and take in the bedazzled entertainment starting at noon on July 1 at the Vic West Ballpark.

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Victoria ProPride: Allyship in Action

July 3 | 5:00-8:00 p.m. | Fairmont Empress Hotel
A panel discussion presented by Pride at Work Canada and the Victoria Pride Society to define what knowledge and behaviours make employers effective allies to LGBTQ2* employees

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Big Gay Dog Walk?

July 5 | 6:00-9:00 p.m. | Beacon Hill Park
Gather and mingle with your furry friends! Join us on a big gay group dog walk, play some games, show off your style and check out the latest gear. And yes, you are welcome even if you don’t have a doggie companion of your own.

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Night Shift: Pride

July 6 | 8:00–11:59 p.m. | Royal BC Museum
Show your colours and come celebrate at Night Shift at the Royal BC Museum大发时时彩, an event supporting Victoria Pride Week! Learn about the history of pride, enjoy a drink with your friends and dance the night away! Allies are welcome.

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Pride in the Word

July 6 | 6:30 | Ambrosia Conference Centre?
Pride in the Word is one of Canada’s largest Pride festival literary events. Each year it showcases the proudest and most talented writers from Victoria and beyond.?

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The 26th Annual Victoria Pride Parade?

July 7 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Downtown Victoria?
Watch over 100 floats and thousands of participants of all ages decked out in glittery outfits and some hot choreography in The Pride Parade大发时时彩 as it winds its way from downtown to MacDonald Park, where the Pride Festival kicks off with vendors and live entertainment. The Pride Parade starts at 11a.m. and winds its way down Government Street to James Bay.

Insider tip: grab your spot on the parade route early to get the best view, then follow the parade to James Bay for a massive party in the park.?

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The Pride Festival?

July 7 | 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. | Macdonald Park?
Macdonald Park will fill with thousands of people to commemorate the end of Pride Week with a giant community celebration. The festival has a food court, beer garden, vendors, a kid’s camp and two stages with a variety of entertainment from drag to burlesque and live music.?
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Find more on Victoria Pride Week events

#LOVEISWELCOMEHERE

WHAT’S PRIDE ALL ABOUT, ANYWAY?

By Sean Guist

大发时时彩Pride is a celebration of community, of queer life, queer culture and of our allies and families - those we were born into and those we have chosen. It is also a time of reflection - to see how far we have come in acceptance and equality and a reminder of how much work is still ahead of us. We wave our rainbow flags proudly in Victoria, but in many cities and towns across Canada there is rampant homophobia, transphobia, and acceptance is slow-moving. In Lethbridge, Alberta, where I studied theatre at the U of L, the city's rainbow flag crosswalk and trans pride flag crosswalk (the first in Canada) were vandalized repeatedly, smeared with tar and manure.?

Pride can bring together communities, inspire conversation and is a catalyst for change. In Lethbridge, the night before the pride parade, a group of University of Lethbridge Pronghorn athletes stayed up all night, camped out on the street and stood guard to make sure that the rainbow and trans pride crosswalks weren't defaced before the parade. We live in a country where many of the elders in our community have criminal records for being homosexual, where there is still a fight for the right to pee, and where queer and trans youth are kicked out of their homes. We also live in a country where our Prime Minster and his family proudly marched in Toronto's Pride Parade.?

So when you tie on your rainbow bandana for the Victoria Pride Parade, take a moment to reflect. Take a moment to promise yourself to make a difference, big or small this year. Volunteer or support organizations that are fighting injustice and atrocities across the globe, say something when you hear a homophobic comment, make a safe space for coming out, march in the parade, and don't just do it this week. Do it all year long.

Happy Pride, see you at the parade!

ABOUT SEAN

Sean Guist is an arts administrator by day and queer artist by night, though that line is blurring. He has directed, performed in, designed and created theatre, operas and cabarets across Western Canada and is the curator of Intrepid Theatre's OUTstages Festival, Victoria's queer theatre festival. Sean is a prairie boy living life on the west coast. He will be walking in the Pride Parade with Intrepid Theatre for the 5th time this year.