One of the reasons why Canada is loved by so many people is how accepting and tolerant we are of everyone. Regardless of race, culture, religion, beliefs or sexual orientation, our country treats each individual as equals. Canada’s embrace of diversity should not be taken for granted, but should be celebrated.
Pride Toronto and the Vancouver PRIDE Society represent the spirit of the history and achievement of Canada’s LGBTTIQQ2SA* community. Both organizations host big annual celebrations every summer that are definitely can’t-miss summer events in Canada.
* LGBTTIQQ2SA is an acronym used to represent Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer/Questioning, 2 Spirited, Allies
Toronto Pride Week : June 19- 28
Billed as one of the largest Pride festivals in the world, it has an estimated attendance of over 1 million people.
This celebration lasts for ten days including a three-day street festival with live entertainment, a street fair, a special Family Pride program, a Trans Parade, a Dyke March and the infamous Pride Parade.
This year, the 35th annual Pride Parade will take place on Sunday June 28th at 1 pm. The parade usually starts at Bloor and Church, heads down Yonge and ends at Church and Gerrard. The Parade is very entertaining with music, floats, marching groups, dancing, interesting costumes (or lack thereof) and thousands of people celebrating the diversity Toronto has to offer. After the parade, floats and groups will be awarded in a series of categories such as Best Costume Design, Best float, and many more.
The Vancouver PRIDE Society organizes approximately 20 events throughout the summer months. Starting off with the PRIDE Legacy Awards in May, the celebration will reach its peak at their final event, the annual PRIDE parade.
This year’s parade will take place on August 2, beginning at 12 pm. On this “hottest day” in Vancity, its route starts at Robson St. and Bute, heads west on Robson to Denman, then all the way south to Beach Ave, ending at Sunset Beach, where the Pride Festival will be held.
Also, this non-profit organization has a unique way of asking for donations during the parade. They encourage the audience to bring some loose change and hand them to their “Toonie* Brigade” to assist Vancouver Pride Society. So keep that in mind and include it in your packing list, in addition to sunscreen and a hat!
*A “toonie” is a two-dollar Canadian coin.
In both cities, you will see many people from different countries and cultures come together in solidarity and enjoying the ultimate celebrations this summer.
Regardless of your beliefs, it is the best way to understand and respect the person next to you in this very diverse country.
Happy Pride everyone!
Erin Casper and Ai Watanabe