Skiing is probably the last thing on your mind at the moment.

However, sales have opened for Whistler's annual gay and lesbian ski week, with deadlines already looming.

Something important to note is that the festival has a new name.

The annual celebration had been called WinterPRIDE, but a number of other festivals have also taken on that name as well. In order to prevent confusion, it's been renamed as the Whistler Pride and Ski Week Festival.

The 2015 edition, which runs from January 24 to 31, 2015, will be the 23rd year of the annual event.

Early this afternoon, I was in New Westminster in advance of the Pride celebration along Columbia Street.

One of the first groups I encountered was a trio from the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

These queer nuns offer community service to the homeless and people with HIV.

It's incorporated in B.C. as the Abbey of the Long Cedar Canoe Society and is a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency.

I also bumped into New Westminster NDP MLA Judy Darcy, who was at the Hospital Employees' Union booth.

Darcy, the NDP health critic, worked for the HEU before jumping into provincial politics before the last election.

If you thought Pride season is over in the Lower Mainland just because Vancouver had its Pride parade, well, don't pack away your Pride just yet.

New Westminster's fifth anniversary Pride Celebration kicked off on August 8 and continues until Saturday (August 16). It has expanded to a nine-day festival that has moved to Columbia Street.

The 2014 Vancouver Pride Parade took place on Sunday (August 3).

Here's some more photos of the parade by Andrew Chin.

Over the years, the Vancouver Pride parade has grown larger with more corporate floats, more community groups, and yes, more politicians.

Judging from the size of today's crowds, this hasn't diminished its appeal.

The photo above is a float promoting Stolichnaya Vodka, which has a colourful history.

Originally a Soviet brand, the internationally distributed vodka is bottled in Latvia.

The brand has been at the centre of trademark disputes in Russia, which is on everyone's shit list for its treatment of gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender residents.

Below, you can see other snapshots I took while I was at the parade.

I deliberately kept all the politicians off this post.

In 2011, it looked like cycling activist Rob Wynen was going to square off against former student politician Trevor Loke for a Vision Vancouver park-board nomination.

But in a surprise move, Wynen decided instead to run for school board.

Both were elected and at today's Pride parade, it was clear there are no lingering resentments.

Wynen and other trustees shepherded through the Vancouver school district's pioneering policy to advance the rights of students experiencing gender dysphoria.

When the NPA announced its slate of new candidates, they weren't exactly household names in Vancouver.

Even the party's mayoral nominee, Kirk LaPointe, has relatively low name recognition, especially for someone at the top of the ticket.

At today's Pride parade, the NPA devised a clever idea to address this shortcoming.

The party plastered the name of each candidate on the front of his or her NPA Pride shirt.

Rob McDowell (on the far left in the photo) is running for council. He's a former diplomat and member of several arts boards.

Before the Pride parade, I was walking up Thurlow Street toward Nelson when I spotted a bunch of photographers clicking images.

What could all this commotion be about?

It turned out to be Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

He was meandering around unescorted, mingling with the crowd and having his photo taken with anyone who asked.

Somehow, I doubt we will ever see Prime Minister Stephen Harper doing anything like that, particularly at a Pride festival.

For those who feel that the annual Pride parade is a bit too corporate, the Vancouver Dyke March provides a refreshing alternative.

Today, lesbians are celebrating their Pride in Grandview Park after their walk down Commercial Drive.

The family-friendly festivities will continue all day.

When I dropped by, I ran into a group from the Coalition of Progressive Electors.

Imtiaz Popat, a well-known member of the LGBT community, is seeking a park-board nomination. John Yano hopes to get the party's nod for council, and former teacher Ralph Fraatz is seeking COPE's backing for the board of education.

It was great to see the Trans, Two-Spirit, and Genderqueer Liberation and Celebration March in East Vancouver on Friday evening (August 1).

Hundreds of people marched up Commercial Drive, chanting slogans and wielding protest signs.

One sign read "Fuck gender roles" while another said "Be who you are!"

Earlier this week, Shoshannah Izsak, one of the organizers of the march, told the Georgia Straight the event was "both a protest for trans rights and a celebration of trans people".

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