North Bay Pride is thrilled to announce a series of vibrant and empowering Pride events taking place throughout North Bay and the area from Sept. 13–17. These events aim to honour the 2SLGBTQ+ community, foster understanding, and promote equality for all while standing against hate.
The streets of North Bay will come alive with colour, music, and art, with an outpouring of love and acceptance says North Bay Pride, as this September's fifth annual event will be a joyous display of unity, celebrating the community and its invaluable contributions to society.
“Let us be very clear here," states Jason Maclennan, North Bay Pride's communications director. "If you are homophobic, transphobic, racist, sexist, share misinformation or make statements like “I am not homophobic ... but,” then please do not come, please stay home as your hate is not welcome at any of our events or spaces. We are creating safer spaces for community members to share support and love. If you support the trans community, Indigenous communities, and the queer community, then show up because we need your support now more than ever.”
Various stakeholders, supporters, and dignitaries were on hand for the North Bay Pride events launch Tuesday at Lou Dawg's in downtown North Bay, including Mayor Peter Chirico.
“Pride is a time to celebrate inclusivity and equality, and to recognize everyone’s right to be who they are," says Chirico. "I’m looking forward to another successful Pride Week in North Bay in September.”
"As we embrace the rich tapestry of human identities, this year's Pride festivities are set to be our most engaging and inclusive yet," says Maclennan. "From parades and parties to sharing education, there will be something for everyone to enjoy and support. Community supporters are encouraged to stand in the streets with us, sharing love and support. Show your love North Bay and area!"
Voting for the Ontario Drag Competition opens Thursday, June 22 at www.northbaypride.ca. The voters will decide who will make it through to the finals on Sept. 14.
- The Pride events kick off with a flag-raising ceremony at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at North Bay City Hall. Later, at 7 p.m., North Bay Pride will showcase local talent. This is a free event to attend.
- On Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m., the Ontario Drag Contest finals will be hosted by Alec Mapa and Tranna Wintour. Judges include Drag King Legend, Cyril Cinder of Canada’s Drag Race, Bombae, and from Call Me Mother, Kiki Coe. Additional judges are to be announced. This is a pay-what-you-can event and tickets are on sale now.
- Take to the streets on Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m., for the trans march, led by the trans community. Come and show your support because trans rights are human rights!
- Saturday, Sept. 16, starting at 1 p.m., the Pride Parade hits the streets, followed by a picnic at the waterfront.
- FREE concert with Devon Cole, Carole Pope, and here, on the 25th anniversary of her first album, Bif Naked! This is a free concert; we just ask for a donation if you can.
- Sunday, Sept. 17, our provincial leaders, including Premier Doug Ford, Ontario NDP Leader Marit Stiles, Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner, and the Ontario Liberals have been invited to a round table to discuss the rise in hate, 2SLGBTQ+ issues and questions from the community, and how to move forward in a way that is better for everyone.
- Finishing out the Pride events on Sept. 22, all federal leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, PC Leader Pierre Poilievre, Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May have been invited to join North Bay Pride's discussion about rising hate, questions from the community and how to move forward for everyone.
“We invite the media, community organizations, businesses, and individuals alike to join us in this momentous celebration of love, acceptance, and equality," says Maclennan. "By participating in these Pride events, we demonstrate our commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable society for everyone. We must
stand together against hate and show our love for each other.
"It is also time for our provincial and federal leaders to sit down and talk instead of being afraid of what may be said in these discussions. Leaders cannot just smile and wave thinking everything is OK in our communities without talking to a community. We have asked long enough for these meetings; lip service doesn’t cut it anymore. We have been asking for this since 2018 of all leaders because we saw the rise in hate coming, but we were ignored by everyone except Elizabeth May and Mike Schreiner. Marit Stiles did make it on a zoom call with us recently. Leaders being visible and talking to the community is more vital than ever.”