Pride in the prairies 2023
A look into the past Pride events and those yet to come
It’s June! Happy Pride Month! It’s the time of year when lots of places around the world celebrate the 2SLGBTQIA+ community through Pride events and a Pride Parade. Pride is an incredible time and often is part of a week-long series of activities leading up to the Parade. All six of the major cities in the Prairies (Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Edmonton) have celebratory Pride events.
As I mentioned last year, this is not meant to be a comparison of different pride events or to say one is better or worse than another, but a showcase of Pride events in the prairies that allow queer people to celebrate themselves and their community. By the time this article is released, some of these events will have already happened, and some may not have. As this is being written, some events have happened, and some have not.
In Brandon, Manitoba (where I go for Pride), Pride Week is from June 11 to 17. It starts on Sunday, with a Sunday Church Service. For many queer people church is scary and religious trauma is very real. But, as someone who has been to the Knox United Church in Brandon multiple times, it’s full of pride flags year-round. They speak about Pride and supporting the 2SLGBTQIA+ community through more than just June. It’s a great place to be if you’re religious and queer, or if you’re queer and wanting to explore religion.
Also on Sunday is Pooch Pride. Which, yes, is dogs and pride. You can take your dog out to the park or go visit some dogs! There are two events on Monday. The first is a history event at the Community College, which is also available online. It covers how queer people were persecuted during WWI. At the same time is an online-only event about how to be a supportive parent to a 2SLGBTQIA+ child. There are three events on Tuesday; the first is a luncheon that will teach the history of pride as an event. The other two are both at 6 p.m.; the first is a talk about queer activism and solidarity, and the other is a trivia night at Black Wheat Brewing with the local House of Hex drag queens: Mercy, Lilith, and Cosmic Hex.
Wednesday night has two events and the first is in the morning. It’s the annual raising of the pride flag at City Hall. The other is a board game night in the evening at a local cafe. Thursday night has another two events, the first bring a sketch game called Drawing Drag with Luna Hex from the House of Hex. The other is a queer karaoke night. Friday night gives the options for a music night at Chez Angela cafe (which I highly recommend to anyone in the Brandon area or travelling to) and, shortly after, a comedy show at Lady of the Lake (which you can find my review of from last summer on our website). The final day of Brandon Pride is on Saturday. It starts with a rally, then the march, and finally the march ends at Rideau Park. Later that night is a Pride social event.
Pride Winnipeg actually starts a little bit before June. Pride Winnipeg was from May 26 to June 4. There are so many events in Pride Winnipeg I can’t even list them all. There’s karaoke, art exhibitions, comedy shows, drag shows, workshops, park get-togethers, movies, hiking, and even wrestling. If you want to go somewhere in the Prairies for Pride with lots of events, go to Winnipeg.
Pride week in Regina, Saskatchewan, is from June 2 to June 11, which is a little over a week (but the more Pride, the better).
There are six events on the first day, including the Pride Flag Raising Ceremony at City Hall. There are two library reading events, two artist gallery events, and one library movie event. The following Saturday, June 3, had five events. The main event was the Queer Local Market, which was a way for queer artists in Regina to showcase and see their work. There’s also a Pride Story Time, a button-making session, and two movie showings at the library. On Sunday, June 4, the only event was the Pride Tea Social, a social event with tea (presumably both kinds) and cake. On Monday, June 5, there was an event called Rainbow Realms, which is a queer Dungeons & Dragons one-shot following a queer storyline. On the following Tuesday there is a bandana-making workshop and an open mic night.
There were six events on Wednesday. A Zoom presentation about gender, a movie showing at the library, a craft workshop, karaoke, another movie showing, and the Pride Awards Gala. The Gala is a celebration of the leaders of the queer community in Regina and a way to thank them for their work. Thursday has seven events. There are three film events at the library, a drag story time, a Zoom presentation about inclusive language, and a lesbian dance party. There were another seven events on Friday, June 9. Two were films at the library; one was another session of Rainbow Realms, there was an event for families called “Family Pride Festival of Fun” which was a workshop about sexuality, and a White Party. The last event on Friday was a preparation for Pride itself, which happened on the next day: Saturday, June 10. There’s the parade, a park event, two film library showings, and two party-like events. The last day of the Pride celebration in Regina is June 11, which had two church events and a choir performance.
Pride Saskatoon is June 9 to June 18. The only event on June 9 was a showing of the Enter the Drag Dragon movie. There are two events the next day, a car wash and a family picnic in the park. On Sunday, June 11, there were two movie showings and a park event. The Flag Raising took place on June 12, along with lawn bowling, a dance party, and a library event. June 13 had an event called “Spark Your Pride” at the Western Development Museum. There were three events on Wednesday the 14, an art exhibition, a concert, and a party. As we get closer to the Pride March, there are even more events.
On June 15, there’s an online history presentation, bingo, a fashion show, a makeup presentation, and “Welcome to the Gayborhood.” On the 16, there’s a sign-making event for the parade, a French drag show, an event about two-spirit people, a concert, and a foam party. The busiest day is June 17. There’s a BBQ in the morning, the parade itself, a kid’s event, an artisan event, a party, and Pride in the Park all before a youth event and another party. The last day, June 18, is a Father’s Day breakfast.
Calgary and Edmonton both have Pride weeks, but not until much later in the summer. Pride Calgary is August 26 to September 4. Pride Edmonton is August 18 to 26.
Happy Pride, everyone! I hope you get a chance to go out and celebrate this June (or this summer).