Campbell River’s 2020 Pride event is going virtual.
North Island Pride, the Tidemark Theatre and the Foundry have teamed up and are going to be holding this year’s pride event online. Starting on Sunday July 26, the groups are inviting Campbell River to show their pride.
“We’re asking the community to get involved by flying flags or posting pictures in windows, getting dolled up, putting on face paint, doing chalk drawings, whatever they want to do to show pride themselves and also to show support for the LGBTQ2S+ community.” said Anne-Marie Long, one of the facilitators of the LGBTQ2S+ youth group at the Foundry, who helped organize the event.
“Pride is really important for people who may not feel as connected to their community because they’ve been social distancing,” she added. “It’s important to feel solidarity with other struggles happening like Black Lives Matter. We’ve certainly seen that COVID-19 has taken a disproportionately negative impact on members of the LGBTQ2S+ community and certainly those young people who don’t have supportive homes in which they are social distancing it’s especially difficult. We’re all missing our community and getting together in person. We wanted to do the best we can to share some of that pride spirit with our community.”
Photos submitted will be shown during the virtual pride celebration on July 31. People who submit photos will also be entered to win a prize. Submissions are open until Wednesday, July 29, with the celebration to take place on the Friday. The event itself will start at 1 p.m. with a territorial acknowledgement and keynote speech from trans and human rights activist and BC NDP president Morgan Oger. Also featured at the event will be Drag Queens Isolde N. Barron and Peach Cobblah. The event will be free and can be accessed through Facebook Live and the Tidemark website.
One of the biggest parts of the event will be the local talent showcase portion. The Tidemark theatre has been pre-recording acts for next Friday’s show thanks to some new equipment bought with an Island Coastal Economic Trust grant.
“We have invested in some infrastructure to be able to move forward now with digital and hybrid programming,” said marketing and programming coordinator Heidi Cuff. “That was thanks to a grant from ICET and a few other funders. One of the first events that we thought was really important to try and continue on with was pride. It’s a community event that supports diversity and inclusion. We’re thrilled that our first show out of the gate here is going to be our virtual pride event.”
“The big focus is on giving local queer voices a platform,” she added. “We wanted to work with them to create something really special. We have a whole section of local community performers.”
Photo submissions can be sent to Long at firstname.lastname@example.org until July 29. The winner of the photo contest will be contacted by email. Submissions may be used during the slide show at the event, and photos of youth under 18 require parental consent.
“We know there’s a lot going on virtually now, and hopefully this is something fun that is located in our community where people can feel a bit more connected with the community,” Long said. “It’s not as interactive as it would be if we were able to meet in person, but at least we’re doing something.”
More information on the event can be found at the Tidemark Facebook Page.