(Colin Smith Photography)

It’s time to grab your rainbow flag, Victoria!

As we step into June, summer is on the horizon and Pride Month is officially underway, which means the countdown is on to local Pride celebrations.

Often regarded as the capital region’s most exuberant event, the Victoria Pride Festival and parade return in person later this month.

It follows two years of virtual events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with organizers eager to bring celebrations back to their usual form.

“I’m excited to collaborate with both an invigorated board of directors and our first-ever executive director to ensure 2SLGBTQIA+ communities are the focus of our parade and festival, especially after two years of living in isolation,” said VPS president Britton Kohn.

The Pride Festival is scheduled for June 23rd to July 2nd, as the Victoria Pride Parade cruises through town on Sunday, June 26th.

“The colourful march will envelop the downtown Inner Harbour in the most vibrant display of pride on Vancouver Island,” Victoria Pride Society (VPS) told Victoria Buzz.

This year, the parade will see a new route, taking marchers east over the Johnson Street Bridge and then south onto Wharf Street before turning onto Government, Belleville and Menzies streets.

Throughout the week, other signature events making a comeback include Pride Festival in the Park, the Big Gay Dog Walk, and the Memorial Drag Ball Game.

Parade and festival vendor applications are still available online, with applicants undergoing a new vetting process “to ensure that members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities are the focus of pride,” VPS explains.

Pride celebrations in Saanich

Meanwhile, in Saanich, officials have teamed up with VPS, as well as the refugee support group Inter-cultural Association, to extend celebrations into their district.

On Wednesday morning, Acting Mayor Karen Harper raised the Pride flag at Municipal Hall to proclaim Pride Month in Saanich, saying council and staff look forward to upcoming activities.

The first-ever Saanich Pride in the Park is scheduled for June 16th, with music, food, information displays and other family-friendly activities at Beckwith Park.

“We strive to eliminate discrimination in all of its forms, choosing instead to help create an equitable and inclusive community that addresses discrimination in our diverse home,” added Harper.

Victoria Pride Parade

  • When: Sunday, June 26th at 11 a.m.
  • Where: Starts at the Johnson Street Bridge
  • Join the parade: Apply online

Pride Festival in the Park

  • When: Sunday, June 26th – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: MacDonald Park; Niagara Street
  • Admission: Free

Saanich Pride in the Park

  • When: Thursday, June 16th – 5 to 9 p.m.
  • Where: Beckwith Park; Beckwith Avenue
  • Admission: Free

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