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Pride Events and Festivals

Calgary Pride; Tips for Having Fun and Being Safe!

Happy Calgary Pride! It’s going to be a weekend full of great entertainment, celebration and awesome events. Here are some tips to ensure you have a fun and safe Pride weekend:

  1. The legal drinking age in Alberta is 18 years of age and older. Staff will ID guests who are consuming alcohol if they appear under the age of 30.
  2. Non-alcoholic beverages including water, juice and pop are allowed in public areas. It is illegal to consume alcoholic beverages in public.
  3. For everyone’s safety, please do not bring pets, furniture, large signs, drugs, drug paraphernalia, weapons, or objects that could be used as a weapon to any events or festivities.
  4. Remember to use sunscreen. There are many convenience stores and pharmacies near the Parade and Festival grounds if you forget or run out.
  5. Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you are going to be consuming alcohol or be in the sun for long periods of time.
  6. If you have an emergency or need medical assistance, please see a Calgary Pride volunteer, Police or security guard.

Remember to go out and have fun!


This Weekend: Calgary Pride 2012

It’s going to be one of the most colourful, fabulous and fun weekends of summer 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, as the city hosts Calgary Pride. There are a whole host of events and activities throughout the weekend. Here are just a few of the key events not to be missed.

The weekend starts off on Friday, August 31, with the Calgary Pride Kick-Off Party at the Arts Hotel in downtown Calgary. The line-up of entertainment and music includes The Perry Twins (Los Angeles, California), Tyrell Witherspoon (Vancouver, BC), April Storm (Calgary, AB) and Goldstar (Calgary, AB). The Kick-Off Party is from 9:00pm – 2:00am and tickets can be purchased for $20 in advance at Priape.

On Saturday, September 1, Pure Pride presents The Official Calgary Pride Dance Party, featuring Chad Michaels, star of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 4, gay porn star Spencer Reed, DJ Nick Bertossi (Vancouver, BC), and Mantra (Vancouver, BC). The party will be held at Flames Central from 9:00pm – 2:30am. Tickets are available at Priape.

Stephen Avenue will be the place to be at noon on Sunday, September 2, as more than 60 parade entries make their way from the  Calgary Olympic Plaza to the SHAW Millennium Park. Lesbian rock singer, Carol Pope is the Grand Marshal, leading the way.

Following the Pride Parade is the Pride Calgary Street Festival at the SHAW Millennium Park hosted by Master Sara Moanies. There will be over 40 vendors, a large beer garden, and performances by Peter Breeze (Vancouver, BC).

For more information and a complete listing of events, visit the Calgary Pride website.


Calgary Hopes to Find Rejuvenation at Pride 2012

Yee Haw! This weekend is Pride in Calgary! It’s been a particularly tough year in the LGBT community in Alberta, so this year is incredibly important for cow-town to come out and show support.

Earlier this year Calgary said goodbye to Club Sapien and  FAB Bar, and very soon they will also say farewell to the Calgary Eagle

“In the disappearance of these places there is a dangerous assumption that Calgarians are all wildly onboard and supportive of human rights for all,” said Dallas Barnes, President of Pride Calgary. “This is simply not true. The community is still feeling the violence and effects of homophobia within this city and that is why more than ever we need to celebrate Pride Calgary boldly.”

In addition, the community has also been under pressure for years because of the strong conservative political views within the province.

Since Premier Redford was elected, the LGBT community has seen a glimmer of hope. Redford is an Ally of the LGBT community. She has agreed to participated in the annual Pride festival and will make a short public address.

“For Albertans to play the diversity game, we must empower our allies,” said Barnes. “Allies are people who are wildly supportive and onboard with our cause and people who may disagree or have resistance to what we are up to.”

On a happy note, Alberta has also seen some great movements in 2012, including the reinstatement of funding for gender reassignment surgery and increased participating from the LGBT community in the recent provincial election.

Barnes has called upon Calgarians to come out and support Calgary Pride, citing the LGBT community needs to draw upon itself in order to grow.

“The only way Pride Calgary will grow is if we commit and engage as a community,” Barnes explained.

Whether you are straight, gay, bisexual, lesbian, transsexual, queer, questions, etc., Calgary Pride welcomes the support and invites everyone to come and celebrate at the many events this coming weekend.


Calgary Pure Pride 2012

The biggest, hottest, sexiest, and most energized party during Calgary Pride will be Pure Pride. It’s a night of outstanding entertainment, awesome music, celebration, and perhaps even some surprises.

Flames Centre will be bursting with beats by Vancouver’s DJ Nick Bertossi, along with Calgary DJ’s Jay Fraid, LEDJ, and Dopamine.

The list of entertainers is impressive. Star of RuPaul’s Drag  Race, season 4, Chad Michaels will be performing. Chad is one of the world’s top Cher impersonators. Vancouver’s Mantra will keep the crowd moving with her sexy, high energy performance and sexy dancers. And adult entertainer, dancer and model, Spencer Reed, will be an erotic performance not to be missed.

VIP tables are available for groups of four or six. VIP ticket holders will even get the chance to meet the cast and crew!

Tickets are available online.


2012 Vancouver Pride Parade [photos]

The 2012 Vancouver Pride Parade was a perfect day – with clear, blue sunny skies, colourful floats, rainbow flags, sexy outfits, and diversity celebrated by nearly 650,000 people lining the parade route. The Vancouver Pride Parade is the largest event held in Vancouver and the annual parade was once again enjoyed by everyone.

The parade included many notable entries and participants including the Dykes on Bikes, Vancouver City Council members, local heroes like Bill Munroe and trans-gendered crusader Jenna Talackova who placed in the top 12 at the 2012 Miss Canada competition, corporate friends of the LGBT community like WestJet and TD Bank, and organizations that make a profound difference in the local community including Pink Shirt Day, the West End Soccer Association, Vancouver Police Department, Celebrities Night Club, and many, many more.

                                                                        


Barefoot Davie Street Dance Party 2012 [photos]

Vancouver Pride weekend officially kicked off on Friday, August 3, 2012 with the largest block party in downtown Vancouver – the Barefoot Davie Street Dance Party. While the event got off to an unusually slow start, by the time sunset came, the massive block party was just heating up.

The Davie Street Party had a new format for 2012. No longer were there two main entrances, but just one at the corner of Davie and Broughton, which added to the confusion of how to get into the gated street party. Additionally, new for 2012 were advance tickets, as opposed to the previous years Fast Track and General Admission passes. While the new ticketing and entry system had it’s challenges, organizers tried their best to keep things orderly.

The entertainment was spread out over multiple blocks. The cash-only event had beer, wine and cooler tickets available in each zone for the designated drinking areas. Police and security were on-duty to ensure liquor did not leave the gated areas.

As with previous years, the stages has live performances and featured local DJ’s and artists. Many event goers celebrated the kick-off weekend with colourful costumes, hip summer fashions and leather fetish gear.


JuJuBee Makes Big Splash at Vancouver Pride Pool Party

 

Hot guys in speedos, summer sunshine, beats by Nick Bertossi, vodka flowing and JuJuBee performing poolside. It was a winning combination for the annual Rapture HEATWAVE pool party at the Westin Grand for Vancouver Pride this past weekend.

Not only did JuJuBee amaze party goers with her stunning good looks, amazing personality, and beautiful one-piece swimsuits, but her songs were amazing.

The highlight of the poolside party was when JuJuBee surprised everyone and jumped into the pool in the middle of her song!

JuJuBee was incredible all afternoon, mingling with all the guests, posing for photos, and enjoying the afternoon.

 


City of Vancouver Paints Rainbow Crosswalks

Photo Credit: McKenzie McMillan

Photo Credit: Joane-E

The corner of Denman and Davie Streets are alive with colour today after the City of Vancouver painted the 4 crosswalks of the intersection with the colours of the rainbow, just in time for this weekend’s Vancouver Pride.

This is the first year the City of Vancouver has ever painted a crosswalk or any other landmark in the gay village for Vancouver Pride. Perhaps they got the idea from a blog post I published in June after returning home from LA Pride; where the City of West Hollywood painted the crosswalk in Boys Town in a rainbow at the cost of over $12,000.

City staffers did not return my requests of where the idea came from at the time I published this post. Regardless of where the idea came from, it’s a great gesture from the City of Vancouver. It is not known if the crosswalks will be painted only for Pride weekend, or if the City plans on making them  permanent.

The City of Vancouver is a large supporter of Vancouver Pride, the largest annual event held in the city. The city proudly flies the rainbow flag at City Hall, issues a proclamation announcing Pride Week, participates in the Pride Parade and hangs the colourful rainbow flags throughout the city.

A big thank you to the City of Vancouver for supporting Pride, embracing diversity and the LGBT community!


2012 Vancouver Pride Festival and Market

One of North America’s most beautiful pride festival locations is at Sunset Beach, home of the Vancouver Pride Festival and Market. The annual event, held on Sunday, August 5, 2012,  is located on the shores of English Bay in Vancouver’s West End.

The day-long event attracts over 125,000 people who come to hear local musicians on the main stage, support the over 150 community organizations at the market that support Pride in Vancouver, and to enjoy Vancouver’s only waterfront beer garden.

The family-friendly marketplace includes artisans, community organizations, corporate partners, and a wide variety of food vendors.

The Pride Festival and Market is open from 11:00am – 6:00pm.


Celebrate Vancouver Pride at Celebrities

Vancouver Pride week has kicked off and there are events happening all week long across the city – from the annual Pride Parade, the pride festival on the beach, the street parties and the pride cruises. One of Vancouver’s longest supporters of Pride is Celebrities Night Club. For over 30 years Celebrities has been hosting pride events. Here’s the line-up for Vancouver Pride 2012:

Tuesday, July 31 – Pride Tuesday, with $3 highballs and DJ’s DarylO, Timeline and JP Valdes.

Wednesday, August 1 – Pride Bingo for Life from 8:00-10:00pm, hosted by Vancouver’s favourite drag queen, Joan-E. All proceeds from the evening event will go to the Friends for Life Society. At 11:00pm catch the Dogwood Monarch Society charity drag show.

Thursday, August 2 – Hard Candy, from 9:00pm – 4:00am, with Vancouver’s hottest Go Go boys and hot top 40 remixes.

Friday, August 3 – Celebrities Pride Ball, from featuring LA’s very own, DJ Pornstar.

Saturday, August 4 – B You Saturday, from 9:00pm – 4:00am, there will be circus performers, Go Go boys, and performances by the House of Celebs Dance Group.

Sunday, August 5 – History X1, is a 13 hour non-stop party from 3:00pm – 4:00am. Best Butt contest at 4:30pm, where the winner will take home over $500 in prizes!

Advance tickets for most nights are at www.vancouverpride2012.com.


2012 Barefoot Davie Street Dance Party

The hottest weekend in Vancouver gets started this Friday, August 3, 2012 with the largest block-party in downtown Vancouver; the Barefoot Davie Street Dance Party!

The Davie Street Village hosts the block party, which includes dancers, vendors, DJ’s and live entertainment on multiple stages. Event-goers are welcome to dress up in fabulous outfits and show their Pride.

Inside the Davie Street Dance Party there are a number of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage stations (a 19+ event). This is a cash-only event, so come prepared.

The Street Party has four entrances; the main entrance is at Broughton and Davie Street. New this year, participating West End retailers are selling advanced tickets, or you can buy online using contest code BW45 at time of check-out and save $5 (admission at the gate is $20, or advance tickets online using contest code BW45 for $15).

The Street Party goes from 7pm – midnight on Friday, August 3, 2012.


2012 Vancouver Pride Parade

On Sunday, August 5, 650,000 spectators will line the streets of downtown Vancouver for the largest LGBT celebration in Western Canada, the 34th annual Vancouver Pride Parade.

Vancouver’s largest single-day annual community event, the Vancouver Pride Parade will be filled with rainbows, colourful floats, marching bands, and a variety of community groups. There are over 150 parade entries expected for 2012.

The three-hour long parade kicks off at 12:00pm at Robson and Thurlow, along Denman Street, and ends at Sunset Beach for the Pride Festival.

For the 13th consecutive year, Vancouver’s legendary drag queen, Joan-E will host he parade at the corner of Denman and Davie. Her witty commentary is always a highlight of the parade.

The 2012 Vancouver Pride Parade Grand Marshals are Jenna Talackova, Bill Monroe and David Hotzman.

There are a number of road closures in effect on parade day. Public transit is encouraged in and around the downtown core. For people with disabilities, there are reserved accessible viewing areas along the parade route.


JuJuBee to Perform at Rapture: HEATWAVE at Vancouver Pride

 

RuPaul’s Drag Race and Drag U star JuJuBee, will be performing live from the rooftop pool party at the Westin Grand in front of a sold-out audience at Rapture: HEATWAVE on Saturday, August 4, 2012, during Vancouver Pride.

“I’m so excited,” giggled JuJuBee. “I’m going to be all dolled up. I’m excited to go back [to Vancouver].

Growing up, JuJuBee knew she was different. From the time she was a teenager, her instincts told her she was going to be a performer.

“I was always a theatre nerd,” explained JuJuBee. “My love for the stage allows me to be crazy.”

It wasn’t until after she came out of the closet, admitting she was gay, that she could truly realize her path ahead.

“I was living with my aunt,” JuJuBee explained. “She’s the coolest person in the world. I was like, ‘Whatever. You’re not going to stop me.’ I thought that doing drag was an art that was misunderstood. I didn’t really care or get bothered by anyone’s thought about my performance. I wanted them to feel the emotion about it. And there are so many songs that need to be shined on in a certain way. A way that could only be done in drag.”

JuJuBee’s proudest moment was when she auditioned for RuPaul’s Drag Race.

“RuPaul has always been THE drag queen,” JuJuBeen said in an excited voice as she described her drag idol. “When I first saw her on To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, you knew she was a genuine drag queen.”

At the time of her audition, JuJuBee was in a bit of a rut, working a few jobs. She was looking for something different, something more exciting. That’s when she got the call that she had been accepted to come try out for RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Although JuJuBee did not take home the crown at the end of the show, she did proudly walk away with second runner up and an amazing experience that has helped propel her career.

“It was a really good experience as far as making new friends,” JuJuBee recalled as she described her best memories of being on the show. “Meeting the girls and finally meeting RuPaul, and being under his/her wings. Our lives have all changed. We share stories, talk and understand each other.”

But life as a drag queen hasn’t been all roses and sunshine. Yes, even drag queens have their moments.

“I’m an awful dancer,” said JuJuBee, describing her biggest weakness. “That’s the challenge right there. A lot of times when people meet me out of drag they think that I’ll be the exact same way, which is not true. JuJuBee is a character for me. I’m actually pretty shy. When I’m in drag, I’m loud and vibrant.”

JuJuBee fully admits that she needs to work on her dancing skills, but with her busy travel and performing schedule, she hasn’t had time to dedicate to it just yet. When JuJuBee does have down time at home, she admits to being a bit of homebody and playing video games.

Sometimes JuJuBee’s most awkward moments on stage aren’t because of her dancing, but rather, other drag queens!

“I don’t remember where this was, but a drag queen pulled off my wig during a performance,” said JuJuBee as she described the shocking experience. “It was the weirdest thing. It came out of nowhere. It was so odd.”

Note to other drag queens out there, you probably won’t want to try to pull that stunt on her again in the future.

Speaking of the future, JuJuBee’s future includes writing and producing her own album.

“I’ve been so slow and late into music,” JuJuBee admitted. “What I want to make is totally different from what everyone else is making. I’m writing a lot. Every chance I get, I sit down. I just jot it down as I think of it. It’s good beginnings, but I haven’t finished anything yet.

JuJuBee hopes to have her first song ready soon. In the meantime, guests who were fortunate enough to purchase advance tickets to the sold out Rapture: HEATWAVE event will be able to watch her perform live, and maybe even get to meet her in person.

“I’m here for two full days,” JuJuBee said, referring to her upcoming trip to Vancouver Pride. “I don’t have any plans yet, probably going to the parade. I’m not sure if I’ll be out in drag or not, you gotta come and see for yourself!”

 


Rapture: VICTORY [Contest]

The superhero’s of Gotham City, Batman, Robin and Cat Women, welcome you join them and their special line-up of DJ’s and entertainers, to the largest circuit party of Vancouver Pride 2012, Rapture: VICTORY.

Presented by TFD Presents, the Sunday, August 5 event takes place at The Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville Street) from 9:00pm – 4:00am. Tickets are currently on sale for $64.25, and will be going up to $81.00 soon. Tickets can be purchased at Priape or Little Sisters on Davie Street in downtown Vancouver, or online.

Three talented, international DJ’s will have the dance floor packed all night long: Danny Vedre (Italy), Rafael Calvente (Rio de Janeiro) and DJ Grind (San Francisco). Entertainment and performances by Vancouver’s Peter Breeze, Toronto’s Cassandra and Lena Love, and Los Angeles’ Shokra.

Contest

Enter for a chance to win two tickets to Rapture: VICTORY. To enter, tweet the following about the contest: I entered for a chance to win tickets to @TFDPresents Rapture: VICTORY from @br_webb. http://ow.ly/chGIs #Contest #VanPride

Receive additional entries by also doing the following:

  1. Leave a comment on this blog post.
  2. Follow @br_webb and @TFDPresents on Twitter. Leave a comment on this blog post confirming you have followed both in a new comment for an additional entry.

Contest closes at 5:00pm PST, Friday, July 20, 2012. One random drawn winner will be announced on this blog post on or before Monday, July 23, 2012. Read the complete contest rules.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

This contest is now closed.

Congratulations Jeff Ojeda, you are the lucky winner of two tickets to Rapture: VICTORY on Sunday, August 5, 2012 at the Commodore Ballroom during Vancouver Pride!

Thank you to everyone who entered. Please keep watching for more contests coming soon.


Gayday at Playland

The annual Gayday at Playland is the sign that Vancouver Pride is just around the corner. The LGBT community is invited on Saturday, July 14 from 10:00am – 8:00pm for a day of rides, carnival games, entertainment and fun. Wear a pink shirt to support anti-bullying.

The Vancouver Pride Society will have a Pride Festival area with a BBQ and information on Vancouver’s LGBT community.

Say “I’m here for Gay Day” at the gate and receive a $5 discount. For every ticket sold $6 will go to the Vancouver Pride Society. Park pass includes unlimited access to over 30 rides and attractions, including Revelation and the Drop Zone.

      


Toronto Pride 2012

One of the largest Pride celebrations in the world, attracting an estimated one million people, the 2012 Pride Toronto festival and  parade was held June 22 – July 1, 2012. Pride Toronto celebrates the history, courage, diversity and the future of the LGBT community in Toronto.

This couple were married on a float during the 2012 Pride Toronto parade.

Bright, elaborate and daring costumes

The events take place over 24 city blocks in Toronto’s Church-Wellseley neighbourhood. The festival includes seven performance stages, 80 community booths, and 147 sponsor, marketplace and food booths.

Activities and community spaces include family pride, youth pride, clean and sober spaces, Trans pride, Dyke march and rally, and 40 affiliate events.

Celebrating diversity and culture

The week-long event involves a significant amount of human resources. Collaboration for the festival and parade takes of 5 full-time staff, 11 board members, 48 year-round volunteer team leads, 45 year-round volunteers, 1,200 weekend volunteers, and 296 performers. There are over 150 parade and march participants, and community groups.

Toronto will be hosting WorldPride in 2014, the fourth event ever held, and the first held in North America.

Toronto’s Pride festival attracts visitors from Greater Toronto and across the world, and generates an estimate $136 million for the local economy.

 


CruiseyT Pride Cruises

 

Photo contributed

For over 20 years, CruiseyT has produced the hottest, sexiest and most fun parties on the waters during Vancouver Pride. The 2012 CruiseyT Pride Cruises are even more exciting with two different cruises, both offering two DJ’s, entertainment and oxygen bars. The two most popular cruises for locals and visitors will be held on Sunday, August 5, with a fun industry and Pride wrap-up cruise scheduled for Monday, August 6.

Both Sunday cruises will tour Vancouver Harbour, English Bay, and Deep Cove (no jump off-ship please!), and are aboard three-level party-cruising ships. Roast beef dinner is included with your ticket and will be served as soon as the cruise departs.

The Sunday Pride Party Cruise is hosted on the MV Princess. Boarding starts at 4:00pm and the cruise is from 5:00pm – 9:00pm. Aboard there will be a roast beef dinner as the cruise leaves the dock. DJ Adam Dreaddy and DJ Quest will play the entire cruise. Raye Sunshine and Iona Whipp will be performing. Advance tickets are $50.

If you like the twink-crowd, the Sunday Pride Go Go Cruise on the MV Britannia is your choice – but be warned, it sells out fast. Celebrities resident DJ, Zach Shore and DJ Brett T from Seattle, WA, will have cruisers moving on all three levels. Entertainment includes Joan-E and Carlotta Gurl. Advance tickets are $60.

To purchase advance tickets, purchase online, or at Little Sisters Bookstore or Priape in Vancouver.

 


Celebrities Pride Ball 2012

For over 30 years, Celebrities Night Club has been supporting Vancouver Pride, and for Vancouver Pride 2012, the tradition continues. Their signature Pride weekend event is the Vancouver Pride Ball, which will be held on Friday, August 4.

This year the headliner is DJ Pornstar from Los Angeles, California. He has played some of the world’s largest gay circuit paries around the world, including the Palm Springs White Party, and most recently performed at SummerTramp at LA Pride.

Resident DJ Zach Shore will also be spinning. Throughout the night Vancouver’s hottest go go boys by the House of Celebrs will be performing.

Tickets for the Celebrities Pride Ball are $25 and are available online, or for purchase at Little Sisters or Priape.


Prism Aqua Party

 

The hottest party on Saturday during Toronto Pride is Prism’s Aqua Party at Sugarbeach in downtown Toronto. The Pussy Cat Doll’s, Jessica Sutta, will be performing per hit single, Show Me.

The 8,500 sq metres of white sandy beaches will be hopping thanks to DJ’s Manny Lehman, Honey Dijon, and Aron, who will be spinning from 2pm – 10pm. At sunset a fireworks display will light up the sky!

After you’re done at the Prism Aqua Party, your Prism Weekend pass gets you into the Prism Main Event party at Koolhaus, right across the street!

Tickets to all the Prism Toronto Pride weekend events are available online.


Cruisey-T Canada Day Cruise

Photo Credit: Cruisey-T

It’ll be a Canada Day celebration unlike any other as Cruisey-T, Canada’s largest floating dance party set’s sail for a four-hour evening cruise. Celebrities resident DJ, Zach Shore, along with DJ Kasha Kennedy will keep party goers dancing thoughout the cruise.

The four hour cruise is on a three level boat. The lower and middle decks have bars. DJ’s are located on the middle and top deck. The top deck is also where you will find a large outdoor dance area.

The Canada Day cruise features performances by Vancouver’s legendary drag queen Joane-E, and Sienna Blaze.

For a limited time, tickets are 2-for-1 for this specific cruise ($30 plus a $2 processing fee).

The four hour cruise boards are 4:30pm and departs at 5pm. Remember to bring cash – the bars are cash-only and there is no ATM on board.


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