In August 2012, a group of young people in the community came together and organized Powell River’s first pride event at Willingdon Beach. It was well attended and continued for the next few years until Powell River Pride Society was formed, according to society director Kevin Wilson.
These days, the society organizes an entire week’s worth of activities in support of the LGBTQcommunity. The week’s focus is on bringing together queer people while welcoming straight friends and allies, according to Wilson.
This year, pride week kicks off Friday, August 16, at the Blackberry Festival’s Blackberry Street Party, where the pride society will be hosting a table.
“Come and say hello to us at the street party,” said Wilson. “We will have handouts that tell you what all the other events are so you can put something on your fridge.”
At 12 pm on Monday, August 19, there will be a flag raising ceremony at city hall with North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney, city council members and other dignitaries in attendance.
Wednesday, August 21, the group is hosting a queer-focused potluck from 5 to 8:30 pm at Trinity Hall, United Church at 6932 Crofton Street, featuring games, food and music.
Pride in the Park, an all ages party for the whole family, takes place Saturday, August 24.
“Pride in the Park is our big ‘everybody welcome, come along and show your rainbows’ event,” said Wilson. “The idea here is that everybody gets to come along.”
The society will have several sets of information tables from various different organizations who don’t show up at every event, he added, and will also feature vendors selling pride-related items.
“Not necessarily just flags, but things like headbands, bracelets and pins and anything else you can put a rainbow on,” said Wilson.
There will be also be foot parade that attendees can partake in.
“We will have lots of rainbow flags already on flagpoles that people can just pick up and bring in the parade,” said Wilson. Participants are encouraged to dress however they like, he added.
“There will be lots of colour, lots of people saying ‘hooray.’”
Pride in the Park takes place at Larry Gouthro Park from 11 am to 3 pm. Those interested in getting involved or volunteering can contact the society through its website at prpride.ca.