It’s almost time to let your Pride flags fly, Victoria!
The Victoria Pride Festival kick-off is just days away, and this year, organizers are gearing up for a celebration like never before, according to the Victoria Pride Society (VPS).
That’s because the festival returns in person following a pandemic pause with a brand-new parade route and festival experience, mixed in with the signature free Pride events the community already knows and loves.
Just in time for summer and driven by the theme ‘Pride In You,’ the 2022 Victoria Pride Festival launches this Thursday, June 23rd, until Saturday, July 2nd.
“The pandemic has been hard on 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and we are looking forward to connecting again,” the VPS exclaims.
Starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Youth Pride Kick-off offers a ‘Queer Prom’ night of dancing, music, local performance, and art opportunities for ages 15 to 21 at E & N Roundhouse.
Then on Friday, June 24th, the Big Gay Dog Walk hits Dallas Road at Cook Street from 6:30 until 8 p.m., with dog owners and their furry friends invited to mingle and participate in a trick and costume competition.
Come Sunday, June 26th at 11 a.m., the highly-anticipated Victoria Pride Parade will take marchers on an all-new route east over the Johnson Street Bridge and south onto scenic Wharf Street before turning onto Government, Belleville, and Menzies Streets.
“The colourful march, with as many as 140 entries and 40,000 plus spectators, will envelop the downtown Inner Harbour, and opening ceremonies will include Songhees Nation and other Indigenous Two-Spirit guests of Honour,” the VPS said.
Foot traffic only will march down Kingston, Oswego, then onto Niagara Street to enter the popular Pride Festival in the Park.
That’s happening at James Bay’s MacDonald Park from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., where thousands are expected to gather and take part in the multifaceted queer-themed festival!
“Programming includes an early afternoon family-friendly festive atmosphere with music, fun activities, bouncy castle, drag story time, and surprises,” the VPS explains, noting admission is a suggested $5 donation.
“Later transitions into an experiential afternoon of music, dance, live bands and some of the best drag talent in Canada.”
For the first time, festival grounds will be entirely fenced in and licensed, “creating a dynamic, festive atmosphere where you can take in all the action, walk throughout the venue and have room to social distance,” the VPS added.
Other Pride events include Queen Activism Night on Thursday, June 30th from 5 until 8 p.m. at the Bay Centre; the Memorial Drag Ball Game on Friday, July 1st at noon at Victoria West Park; and Pride in the Word on Saturday, July 2nd from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Victoria Conference Center’s Lecture Theatre.
Victoria Pride Society revamps for 2022
Since the last live Pride event in 2019, VPS has undergone several changes, including electing nine new board members, naming a new president, and hiring Deirdre Rowland as its inaugural executive director.
Aside from Rowland’s role, all Pride events are 100% volunteer run!
“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 complete Pride 2022 overview can be found online here!
- When: Sunday, June 26th at 11 a.m.
- Where: Starts at the Johnson Street Bridge
- When: Sunday, June 26th – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Where: MacDonald Park, Niagara Street
- Admission: Suggested $5 donation
Victoria Buzz is a proud partner of Victoria Pride 2022