What is PRIDE Week: Origin and Events for 2016
The Pride movement traces its roots back to the U.S. In 1970, marches took place in New York, Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the raid that resulted in a riot that took place at a gay bar in Greenwich Village in NYC. In 1971, Ottawa and Vancouver followed suit by holding demonstrations. Toronto was not letting itself stay behind, and by the following year, the city held its first Pride celebration via a picnic at the Toronto Islands. In 1974, organizers figured that one day is not enough and launched a week-long celebration.
In 1991, the City of Toronto officially proclaimed Pride Week. Later on, it turned into a Pride Month. Last year, the grand Pride parade took place on June 28. This was a monumental event highlighted by Toronto Mayor John Tory himself showing support by participating in the march. This year will be an even bigger one as the Prime Minister himself Justin Trudeau is said to be joining the march on July 3 along Church St. and Bloor St.—the first ever Prime Minister to make the effort.
Below are the highlights to watch out for during Canada’s Pride celebration:
Pride Flag Raising Ceremony
This event will signal the start of the Pride Month and will take place on June 1 at 9am at Queen’s Park. Premier Kathleen Wynne and powerhouse community leaders will help hoist up the Pride colours. Mayor John Tory and City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam will proclaim the Pride Month celebration a day before—May 31.
Pride Month Launch Party
There is no better way to launch a Pride Month than with a party. This will be held on June 2 at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) at Dundas Street West where renowned Toronto-based Renaissance Man Bruce LaBruce has handpicked four mesmerizing artists to perform their best.
Gay Day at Wonderland
Canada’s top amusement park will be the venue for the LGBQT community and their supporters to unite and have fun on June 18 at Jane Street in Vaughan.
Nuit Rose Light Parade
Now on its third year, this event is one of the highly anticipated during the Pride Month. This will begin at the Norman Jewison Park on Isabella St. on June 25, from 9pm to 11pm.
Pride Legacy Awards
Individuals who have done so much for the LGBQT community over the years in Vancouver receive their spotlight via an awards show on June 18 at 6pm at the Roundhouse Community Center in Roundhouse Mews.
Positive Living BC provides a one-day sanctuary for those who are HIV positive via a healing retreat on June 24 at 8am at East Hastings Street.
Pride Flag Raising Ceremony
The country’s capital launches its Pride Month celebration via a Pride flag raising ceremony at the City Hall on August 15 at 8am to 1pm.
Capital Pride’s Art/Fashion Swap
Fashion lovers and art enthusiasts can swap their clothing items or art pieces via this event taking place on August 15 from 10pm to 1am.