We at Kootenay Pride are not letting 2020 get us down. The show must go on. Even though there will be no parade down Baker Street this Labour Day weekend like there has been since 1996, Kootenay Pride still has lots of COVID-19 safe events and projects planned to celebrate the whole rainbow.
The volunteer committee that drives Pride met in early April and made the tough call to cancel the parade. It was early but there were already some other Pride organizations across the country who were making that call as well. The committee wanted to err on the side of caution and above all keep the community safe.
It will still be a sad Sunday on Baker Street with no colourful dancing crowds followed by the throbbing pink flat deck. The parade means so much to the queer community. Not only do we get to show off our true colours but we have the community right there cheering us on. It’s a big love fest.
But this hasn’t stopped the Kootenay Pride committee. There are lots of fun events to celebrate this season. You can find all the details on the Kootenay Pride website www.kootenaypride.org or the Kootenay Pride Facebook and Instagram pages.
“I’m really proud of the creative events that our Kootenay Pride 2020 volunteers are putting together this year,” says Stephanie Wiggins, one of the key volunteer organizers.
“The events are a wonderful mix that keeps everyone safe, while still allowing us to show our queer community pride.”
The fun starts on Friday, Sept. 4, with Quirk: a Pride Variety Show online from 6 to 9 p.m. You can buy a link to the Zoom event to share in the fun or just watch for free on the facebook page. All donations and ticket proceeds will be donated to the ANKORS Foundation Fund (to support local people with HIV or Hep C) and the Christopher Moore Community Fund (to support the local trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming community).
Also on Sept. 4 will be the first of two drive-in theatre movies. On Friday we will show Paris is Burning. A queer film classic, this stunning 1991 documentary is about the drag subculture in 1980s New York.
The Watermelon Woman, showing on Sept. 5, is part love story, part reinvention of African-American film history. This is a classic of new queer cinema.
During the day on Saturday you can take your car down to Railtown for the Queer Car Wash from noon to 3 p.m. Tune your radio to Kootenay Co-op Radio (93.5fm) during that time for a three-hour disco show.
Ongoing is the community call-out for archival material for the Queer Archives at Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History. Michael Wicks has been working continuously to ensure that there aren’t any gaps in the archives housed at Touchstones. He is encouraging you to look in your drawers, coat pockets, costume boxes for any queer archival material – ticket stubs, posters, pins, etc. These can be dropped off at Touchstones Nelson Museum and left with the archivist.
There is also a colouring contest with four different age categories from under five to 18-plus. The prizes have been donated by our lovely supporting businesses Isis Essentials, Otter Books, Urban Legends, and Secret Garden Toys. The contest has been extended till the end of September. Pick up and drop off entries at Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History during business hours.
Kootenay Pride is well aware that 2020 is not what anyone planned and they worked hard to create events that are uplifting, fun and full of love. They hope you have a safe Pride week and the rest of 2020 and look forward to seeing you in the parade next year for our 25th anniversary.