CANMORE – The second annual Canmore Pride celebrates the diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community in Canmore starting Thursday (Sept. 15).
And excitement is in the air.
“This is only our second year, so we’re rookies still, but overall, we’re learning as we're going here,” said Canmore Pride Society co-chair, Sarah Perritt.
“This year, we're really focusing on education. What we kind of want to focus on our vision is establishing visibility, education inclusiveness – we're definitely focusing on the education part.”
Perritt said Canmore Pride has been collaborating with Banff Pride’s Aurora Borin, who does diversity, equity, and inclusivity training.
“I feel like it's important anywhere to have people who are a part of the two is 2SLGBTQ+ community to be seen and be heard,” Perritt said. “It's very difficult. Just to make sure people feel safe, they feel welcomed, and that they are deserving of all the opportunities as anyone else, regardless of their gender and their sexuality.
“Love wins. Love always wins. This is a well-known slogan used throughout the community worldwide. It's a hashtag that queer people can say. We're just fighting for the ability to love who we love. We're still fighting for these rights today and we're still fighting for trans rights.”
Perritt said Canmore Pride is inclusive for everyone and brings more to the community than just an annual weekend of events. She added there is something for everyone to enjoy the entire Canmore Pride event such as movie screenings, open mics, rock climbing, axe throwing and a drag show, among others.
The festivities start Thursday, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. with the raising of a Pride Flag at the Canmore Civic Centre.
“Last year, we actually had more events. It's just that there were a lot more events of lower attendance. This year, less events, higher attendance,” said Perritt.
Following the flag raising, Canmore Pride will welcome folks to enjoy coffee, donuts, and other goodies at the Canmore Museum inside the Civic Centre.
Other notable events throughout the 2022 Canmore Pride weekend celebration include Pride Kick-off open Mic, a barbecue and climb outside event which is crush collaborative, drag queen story time at the library, and speeches from 2SLGBTQ+ community members. Following speeches, Canmore Pride plans to lead participants on a celebratory ‘Street Takeover’, ‘Walk of Unity’ along the pedestrian-only zone of Main Street.
“It's a non-profit and run by 100 per cent volunteers,” said Perritt. “It's always going to be difficult trying to find sponsorships and donations. Last year, we really struggled, kind of kicking off the ground financially because none of us really had anything to put into it. This year, we had a lot of people reach out with sponsorship and donations so we're able to put on, I think, some really good events.”
For more information on tickets and events, visit www.canmorepride.ca.