It’s Pride Week in Prince Albert and Prince Albert Pride is planning ways to celebrate throughout the week culminating in the annual Pride Parade.
Prince Albert Pride is also putting the finishing touches on their Safe Spaces Campaign.
LJ Tyson, co-chair of Prince Albert Pride, described the parade as the flagship event for the week with
all of the events building up to Saturday.
“The parade is obviously a tradition that has been followed in Pride organizations and in social movements since the beginning of forever,” Tyson said.
“It’s a demonstration. It’s a way to show that the queer community is present and here in Prince Albert. It’s a way for our allies to show that they are committed to supporting the community, and honestly it’s just a fun colourful celebration.”
Organizers have added a caravan this year which will traverse the east side of the city on June 11 starting at the EA Rawlinson Centre at 1pm (line-up at 12:30pm), and ending at the Court of Queens Bench for the walking/vehicle parade. The walking/driving Parade will leave at 1:30 p.m. from the Court of Queen’s Bench and end at Kinsmen Park.
The week officially opened with drumming at the riverbank on Sunday afternoon, after organizers announced the Safe Spaces campaign on Facebook on Saturday.
The Safe Spaces Campaign is a project that Prince Albert Pride is working on to create welcoming spaces for the queer community.
“We are hoping to start mapping out safe spaces in Prince Albert,” Tyson said. “What that means is that businesses would sign on to be considered a safe space and they would get to put the Prince Albert Pride logo at the front of their store. A progress flag will be at the front of their store just to let their customers know and the community know that they are a safe space for the queer community.”
Tyson explained that they are working through finalizing details to make sure the businesses that are named are genuinely safe spaces.
“What we announced was our intention for the Safe Spaces project, and of course we always welcome collaborators and the opinions of the community as we do with all of our project,” Tyson explained. “We just wanted to announce our intentions for this because it is such a massive undertaking for any little small Pride organization like ours. However, we feel like this is needed in the community of Prince Albert.”
Tyson said the campaign would help create a more comfortable shopping environment for the queer community, while also showing supporters where they can shop if they want to support a business that is 2SLGBTQIA+ friendly.
Events are already underway across Prince Albert as part of Pride Week. Monday evening was the Colour Your Pride event at the Mann Art Gallery. There is also a Queer Coffee at Smitty’s on Tuesday and by Zoom on Wednesday, both at 7 p.m.
The John M. Cuelenaere Public Library will be home to a Gaymer Night on Friday, June 10 at 6 p.m.
The Pride Parade is on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. with Pride in the Park to follow at 2 p.m.
There was originally a Youth Talent Show scheduled for Thursday but it has been postponed with a future date to be announced.
“It neatly wraps in a bow with the Calvary United Church Diversity Service, I think it’s a special way to end the week,” Tyson said.
The Diversity Service is at 10:30 am.
“We want the community to come and celebrate with us, whether they identify as part of the 2SLGBTQIA + community or if they are allies,” Tyson said. “We just want to create fun events for everybody that are in a safe space, which goes back to our Safe Spaces Campaign. (It’s) great events and spaces for people to connect. Our theme this year is Connect, and we want to do that in a positive uplifting way.”
Tyson said he wanted to thank the community for all of the support ahead of the week.
“A huge thank you to all of our sponsors and volunteers, the board greatly appreciates it because there is no way this could happen without them,” he added.