This article was published on August 13th, 2019
WHEW. Vancouver Pride was one for the books. The city erupted in full on rainbow celebration as the LGBT community celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and birth of the modern-day gay rights movement. Vancouver Pride delivered the fullest schedule of celebrations, events and festivities for the entire country to enjoy—including the Prime Minister!
The Picnic in the Park was, as it is always, a fun pre-pride event. Picnic in the Park is a picnic hosted by Vancouver Front Runners after the Pride Run and Walk. This is a family event hosted during the day at Second Beach. Friends were united and new ones made at this historical gathering.
Davie Village Promenade was a newly revamped event spanning the entire weekend of August 2- 4, 2019, that offered something new and exciting for the entire community. Produced by the Vancouver Pride Society, the three-day event was an evolution in entertainment in the area, with an un-gated part that was free for visitors to use and bask in the open-air public space.
A celebration. A protest. A party. A place to take up space. The Vancouver Pride Parade was all this and an opportunity to don the finest and shiniest rainbow gear. The highlight of Vancouver Pride Parade was the chance to reflect on the history of the gay rights movement with the over 100 entries of floats and thousands of participants. Love and respect were felt everywhere. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau again marched in the Pride parade.
The Sunset Beach Festival had a new layout, which saw larger crowds and people staying longer after the parade ended. The Sunset Beach Festival that followed at the end of the parade route had three stages, including the Stoli Vodka Stage, located in the 19+ zone, which was a large licensed area with a dance floor. All three played pop and dance music all day and were free to get into. Spectators loved being right on the water in the warm sun on such a beautiful pride day.
Vancouver performers, artists, drag queens, DJ’s and LGBT advocates were highlighted throughout the events and could be seen out-and-about all weekend.
Sunset Beach talent included headliners Eureka O’Hara and Shuga Cain. Coal Davie and the Rockabillionaires, Fake Mustache, DJ Adia, Biawanna, Denique, Carlotta Gurl, and DJ Ingrid Hakanson, and Sister Festivus. Further DJs included: DJ Marty Funkhauser, Macsauve, Vancouver Pride 2019 Grand Marshall DJ O Show, queer artist DEVOURS, DJ Karsten Sollors, DJ ensemble group Sex Traffic Panda, featuring DJ Juicy Fruit, DJ Funky Bunny, and DJ Swirl and DJ Jontin.
Controversy hit the community when the Vancouver Pride Society bannedthe Vancouver Public Library and the University of British Columbia from marching inthe annual Pride parade because they accepted bookings and rented venue space toanti-LGBT speakers over the past year. Both organizations will be reviewing theirbooking policies and consider making adjustments.
Vancouver Pride Society also banned uniformed police officers, including theVancouver Police Department in the Vancouver Pride Parade; un-uniformed officerswere welcomed to march. This has been an ongoing discussion between theorganizations for the past few years. VPS’s belief that Pride is still an opportunity tofights for equality and LGBT rights, and that police injustice is still being foughttoday. Several cities across Canada have also banned uniformed police from participating.
Vancouver is a city that allows Pride to really take over the entire city for aweek. Events hosted by other event producers, at bars, and throughout the city were a welcomed addition to Vancouver Pride weekend, helping to provide spaces, atmospheres, and experiences to celebrate Pride. If you’ve never been to Vancouver Pride, mark it in your calendars for next year.
Learn more about Vancouver Pride: www.vancouverpride.ca