This article was published on August 6th, 2013
It was picture-perfect weather all-day long for the annual Vancouver Pride Parade, held this past Sunday, August 4 in downtown Vancouver. Hundreds of thousands of people showed up for Vancouver’s largest parade to support the LGBT community.
The Vancouver Pride Parade has a 35-year history in the city. What started out as a march for equality has since become a celebration and is now an official civic event.
Hosted by Vancouver’s fun-loving drag queen, Joan-E, the parade included colourful floats and entries representing members of the LGBT community, local not-for-profit organizations, members from local, provincial and federal governments, corporate partners, community organizations, and local businesses.
Premier Christy Clark became the second Premier in British Columbia’s history to march in the Vancouver Pride Parade. Clark has been a long-time supporter of the anti-bullying day, Pink Shirt Day. Clark becomes the second female Premier in Canada to march in a pride parade, following Premier Redford who marched in the Calgary Pride parade last September.
Pride events, such as the Vancouver Pride parade are no longer targeted gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals; it has become an important part of the community attracting families, friends, allies, children, government officials and corporate organizations.
Pride events, including the Vancouver Pride Parade, are an opportunity to demonstrate around the world that we should celebrate diversity and respect the rights and freedoms of every individual. Organizers of the Vancouver Pride Parade hope that this years parade will help remind other countries and jurisdictions around the world that Canada is a leader in LGBT rights and equality, and that they should follow suit. This year’s message is particularly important given the recent law changes in Russia where it is illegal to promote homophobic messages.
Other official Vancouver Pride events over the weekend included the Davie Street Party, the Dave Wallace Pancake Breakfast, and the Pride Festival at Sunset Beach.