Central Alberta Pride Week a big success

Organizers say week-long celebration eclipses last year’s numbers

Serge Gingras laughs on Monday that he is still riding a “rainbow high.”

And why not?

Central Alberta Pride Week, which wrapped up on Sunday, could not have gone better, says Gingras, chairman of the Central Alberta Pride Society.

“It went phenomenally well,” he said. “It was just a great week. I’m totally pleased with it.

“We had good attendance at all of our events and people were really, really happy with what we offered them.”

The numbers of participants eclipsed last year’s tallies for the week-long event right from the opening Pride in the Park event at Bower Ponds on Aug. 13. About 800 celebrated this year, double the number who joined the festivities last year.

More than 500 turned out for the Drag Show and Dance at Sheraton Red Deer Hotel, compared with about 300 last year, when it was held at a smaller venue.

“It was a phenomenal event,” he said. “In my estimate, it was the biggest event the LGBTQ community had ever hosted in Red Deer.”

Reviews from participants were glowing, as they were for the many other events, such as Wednesday’s sold-out Somewhere Over the Rainbow Burlesque Show and the Trans and Non-Binary Aid Society (TANAS)-hosted Rainbow Block Party.

The block party at the West Park Activity Centre drew many children, teens and parents.

“It was just wonderful to see young people and high school kids play together and have fun together without the fear of being judged,” said Gingras.

“I had conversations with high school students and they said that, you know, we need more safe spaces in Red Deer and more activities like the one that TANAS offered.”

Besides the entertainment, Pride Week provided opportunities for discussion. The LGBTQ and Aging Community Conversation, which drew about 60 people to the Golden Circle Senior Resource Centre last Tuesday.

“It created a safe place for older LGBTQ membres to stand up and share their stories with us,” he said. “It was quite touching for me.”

A human rights forum, “Understanding Gender Identity and Gender Expression in Employment and Services,” at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery was also well received.

“The two events, I think, will lead to more converstions during the year,” he said. “I’m hoping to see additional activity deriving from that.”


Just Posted

Red Deer College waiting for feds to finalize marijuana legalization

Like businesses, Alberta and municipal governments, Red Deer College is waiting for… Continue reading

Class size only part of the problem say Central Alberta teachers

Though the Alberta auditor general’s report points out that classroom sizes continue… Continue reading

Lacombe County promoting crime prevention measures

County pushing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles

Red Deer doctor concerned about patient transfers to rural hospitals

Family physician says the move creates less incentive for expansion at Red Deer hospital

Fire permit season begins in March

Earlier springs in last few years prompted Alberta government to move up fire permit season

WATCH: Red Deer’s River Bend upgrades officially open

River Bend Golf and Recreation Area is the latest venue to be… Continue reading

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Stores make push in scan and go tech, hope shoppers adopt it

NEW YORK — Shoppers at self-checkout lanes scanning all their groceries after… Continue reading

‘Stars seemed to have aligned’ for new Halifax CFL bid, commissioner says

HALIFAX — CFL fans in Halifax have been told the league is… Continue reading

The language of ‘Black Panther’? It’s real. Give it a try.

OTTAWA — The military’s top general has promised to get to the… Continue reading

New execution date set for Georgia’s ‘stocking strangler’

ATLANTA — A man known as the “stocking strangler,” who was convicted… Continue reading

Man says he kicked Chevy Chase in self-defence in dispute

SOUTH NYACK, N.Y. — A New York man says he kicked Chevy… Continue reading

Supporters of Tina Fontaine’s family march in Winnipeg to support her family

WINNIPEG — Hundreds marched through the streets of Winnipeg on Friday in… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month