This article was published on August 30th, 2018
Cities of every size can have a giant heart of gold. The city of Kamloops, a blue-collar, steeped in history, and filled with culture mightn’t always be a force to be reckoned with, is bursting with pride and holds one hellova a pride festival, and there are no holds barred for the epic weekend of love, pride, community, family, and expression at Kamloops Pride. The second annual Kamloops Pride 2018 showed Kamloops is filled with Pride!
Held for the second year at the end of August, Kamloops Pride is a week-long affair of everything gay, queer, and rainbow in British Columbia’s south-central region. Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate life, love, and being out and proud in Kamloops. For those that couldn’t make it to Kelowna Pride, or other Pride events in the Pacific North West or Western Canada, or don’t want all the hustle and bustle of a big city, Kamloops Pride has everything you could ask for and more with their Pride festival and series of events.
Kamloops Pride 2018 included a week of events that included a comedy show, drag show, window decorating contest, pride gathering at the Shark Club, the march, festival, and wrap up party at the Noble Pig. The weekend started out Thursday night with 250 people attending the sold-out Night Lights drag show. This charity Drag show had all the humor and camp of a RuPaul’s Drag Race finale and just as much heart. BC drag legends Raye Sunshine, Alma Bitches, and Rose Butch were among some of the drag legends to perform.
Friday night was the Express Yourself exhibition and art crawl. Show casing art from local queer artists across three spaces, Express Yourself was a great way to mix and mingle while indulging in some art and creative spaces with other like-minded gays. Shirt screen printing, drinks, art, music, and a lot of fun was had by all who attended.
The main event Saturday was the Express Yourself dance party. Held at Shark Club in the center of Kamloops, over 250 party goers danced the night away. A part of Sound Saturdays, all tickets purchased proceeds went to Kamloops Pride.
Sunday saw the second annual Kamloops Pride march. Though it rained early in the morning, the inclement weather subsided and over 800 people, including families, aunts, uncles, and allies alike came out to witness the 1,166 registered marchers (258 individuals, 908 group marchers), participate in the Kamloops Pride march through the streets of downtown Kamloops. The march began at Riverside Park and wound its way through the heart of Kamloops to give everyone a great vantage point to view this celebration of love and pride.
The pride festival was free and held in Riverside park for the estimated 1,000 people who came out to enjoy an afternoon of pride, community, and live music. Trans rights were an important theme with trans activist Morgane Oger giving the keynote at the festival, encouraging all to get involved and stand up for equality for all.
The final event of the weekend was the official Pride after party held at the Noble Pig Brewhouse, where everyone gathered to cheers to another perfect end of Kamloops Pride and all things gay!
The entire community of Kamloops came out to celebrate and support LGBT rights. The entire city, including many local businesses and organizations got behind the movement, sparking conversation, awareness and education.
The winners of the Kamloops Pride window decorating contest were Far & Wide, The Golden Buddha, and Jardine’s Domaine, with the fan favourite being Jardine’s Domaine.
Check out the HomoCulture Facebook page for more photos from Kamloops Pride 2018.