The Vancouver Pride Festival is one of the most well-known and celebrated around the world.
- SEE ALSO: Vancouver Pride Parade 2013 Photos
The build up during the week kicks off Monday, July 28 and includes hot club events, breakfasts, picnics, runs and film celebrating the diversity and strength of the LGBTQ community. It all comes to a climax on Sunday, August 3 at the 36th Annual Pride Parade which attracts crowds of over 650,000.
Along with the Festival of Lights, Vancouver’s Pride Week is an integral part of the city’s summer events and festivities.
So with pride just around the corner we’ve put together a guide of all sorts of events happening all across Vancouver. Click through for a rundown on all the rainbow-filled festivities.
Pre-Pride Week Events
Saturday, July 19: Gayday @ Playland
Image: Vancouver Pride
When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: PNE Playland, 2901 East Hastings Street
Check out local drag talent as they strut their stuff in a Drag Promenade through the PNE @ Playland. In addition to going on the usual rides, mini doughnuts and face painting, Gay Day will also feature a beer garden for 19+ patrons. Drag superstars Joan-E, Carlotta Gurl, Mandy Kamp and Symone will be in attendance to entertain guests.
Tickets are on sale now at the Vancouver Pride Society website. Proceeds will go on to benefit the society in support of other free public events.
Saturday, July 26: Pride Run & Walk + Picnic In the Park
Image: Vancouver Frontrunners
When: 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. (Picnic to follow until the evening)
Where: Brockton Oval, Stanley Park
Cost: $40/individual, $150/team of 5, + $30/additional person. Picnic following the event is FREE to attend.
Runners of all abilities can dress up and head over to Stanley Park to enjoy the 10th annual Pride Run and Walk, hosted by Vancouver Frontrunners. The event includes 5 km, 10 km or walk course options. Prizes will be given for top finishers in the male, female and gender variant (the only race in North America for which this running category exists) categories as well as “Best Dressed” for team runners.
Disco water stations throughout the course will keep runners entertained in addition to the requisite beautiful waterfront view as you head towards the finish line.
Proceeds from the event go towards the Qmunity Pride Legacy Fund and Out in Schools, a program which helps to raise money for building community organizations that fight bullying and homophobia.
To register online as an individual or group head to the Vancouver Frontrunners website at vancouverfrontrunners.org. Registration closes Wednesday, July 23.
Even if you’re unwilling to participate in the run itself, the Vancouver Pride Society will be hosting a picnic located at the end of the Run and Walk finish line. Games, a DJ and a beer garden for 19+ attendees will be available throughout the day.
Vancouver Pride Week 2014 Begins on July 28
Monday, July 28: City of Vancouver Pride Week Proclamation
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Vancouver City Hall
Vancouver Pride Week kicks off once again at City Hall in collaboration with the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Pride Society. The annual City proclamation will feature a panel discussion at 10:45 a.m. to address the current events the LGBTQ community. Afterwards, the Pride flag will be raised on the north lawn flagpoles.
Following the proclamation, attendees can enjoy cocktails and speak with the Vancouver Pride Marshals and Legacy Awards Recipients regarding their support for the LGBTQ community. A barbeque will also be hosted by the City of Vancouver LGBTQ Advisory Committee.
Tuesday, July 29: Trans Youth Film Night
When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Rio Theatre, 1660 E Broadway
Cost: $10/adult, $5/youth
Vancouver Pride Out in Schools is putting on a screening of short films that explore issues facing trans and gender variant youth at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver. The night will include the films No Bikini by Claudia Morgado Escanilla, Radicalizing Intimacy in Queer Asian Canadian Youth by Stephanie Fung and Joanna Yang and Rise Against Homophobia youth short videos.
Between each screening, Pride Parade Grand Marshal filmmaker Gwen Haworth will lead discussions with community panelists.
Image: GayVan via Flickr
When: 4 p.m. (all ages event) / 6 p.m. (19+ event) to midnight
Where: Davie Street
Start your Pride Weekend on the right note with the annual Davie Street Block Party where a host of DJs will have you dancing all night.
Attendees of all ages are free to start the event at 4 p.m. at the Bute Plaza where carnival games, activities, performances and more will be held. A dance floor and the all-ages stage will also be located at the rainbow crosswalks in the heart of Davie Village. No tickets will be required to access this area of the block party.
At 6 p.m. the 19+ beer garden and main stage between Burrard and Thurlow will open. Tickets cost $10 and are available through Little Sisters or online at vancouverpride.ca.
Sunday, August 3: Pride Festival and Market
Image: Vancouver Pride
When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Sunset Beach, Downtown Vancouver (at the end of the Pride Parade route)
The Pride Festival and Market offers a beautiful waterfront gathering place for all Pride Partiers to enjoy all that Pride Week has to offer. Local artisans, entertainment on the main stage, DJs, a beer garden, plenty of street food and cool beverages to enjoy before, during and following the parade.
Image: Hugh via Flickr
When: Noon to 3 p.m.
Where: Robson Street to Denman Street
Parade Route: The parade begins at Robson Street and Thurlow Street, heads west to Denman Street, follows Denman to Pacific Street and Beach Avenue and finishes at the Sunset Beach Festival site. Altogether, the parade route runs along 20 blocks of Downtown Vancouver’s streets. Check out a map of the route here.
It’s the crown jewel of Pride Week and one of the biggest, most renowned pride events on the international stage. Bringing in crowds of over 650,000, this flagship Vancouver event gained civic status last year due to its immense popularity and success.
Make sure to bring a towel if you take in the parade from the Splash Zone on Comox and Denman.
Image: Vancouver Pride
Parade Grand Marshals: The Vancouver Pride Society always selects important individuals who have helped raise awareness of LGBTQ issues and who truly represent the perseverance and spirit of Pride.
- Gwen Haworth is a trans filmmaker most famous for her award-winning 2007 documentary She’s A Boy I Knew that chronicled her transition from biological male to female and highlights the changing relationship she experienced with family and friends. She recently released the short a woman with a past.
- Dean Nelson is a gay rights pioneer who produces the annual WhistlerPRIDE Gay and Lesbian Ski Week and is co-founder of the Mr Gay World mentorship program.
Featured Image: Vancouver Pride Parade via Shutterstock