All the new things at Vancouver Pride 2019 that are giving us life
Pride is a chance for everyone—whether part of the queer community or a friend of—to take part in a colourful annual summer festival over the August long weekend.
Follow this hot list of what’s new, notable, and worth watching for at Pride 2019—including a rainbow-coloured selection of sleek slim cans of 80-calorie SoCIAL LITE craft cocktails that will be available throughout the festival. The Canadian company is the official vodka soda sponsor of Vancouver Pride, so we’re celebrating by sharing its philosophy of “Nothing to Confess.” Made with natural flavours and no sugar or artificial sweeteners, SoCIAL LITE’s gluten- and carb-free beverages are a guilt-free indulgence that pairs well with the spirit of Pride—openly celebrating who you are.
Here’s where to find dance parties, drag shows, food trucks, and more this Pride weekend.
Cheer and fight for rights
Vancouver Pride Society’s communications manager Kaschelle Thiessen shared that Pride’s theme this year is ‘50 and Still Fighting,’ marking Canada’s decriminalization of some same-sex practices, but also “50 years of resilience from our community,” promoting other causes and advancements.
“We know that Pride means many things to different people. It’s a party. It’s also a protest. It’s a celebration and a chance to take a break from fighting for those rights. But it’s also a chance to be very visible and take up space,” she said.
Celebrate with: SoCIAL LITE is celebrating this golden anniversary with an appropriately gold can. Look for a gold-and-black can of SoCIAL LITE Pineapple Mango vodka soda, or a gold-and-white can of the new Peach flavour of SoCIAL LITE Spiked Iced Tea, at licensed Pride events.
Look fierce and fabulous
New this year is the three-day Davie Village Promenade, which will make Davie Village, from Jervis Street to Thurlow Street, a pedestrian-only zone from August 2 to 4.
“It enables folks to kind of take over a public space,” said Thiessen, describing a music stage, queer art, large-scale interactive works, and more. A Pop-up Pride Patio on Bute Street (across from Jim Deva Plaza), picnic tables, and lounge areas provide plenty of spots to take up some space of your own.
Celebrate with: On the licensed Pride Patio, look for the rainbow-coloured cans of SoCIAL LITE. The Promenade calls for a pink can of Grapefruit Pomelo flavour.
Nibble and drink it all in
During the three-day Promenade, there will be plenty of patio extensions for outdoor dining in Davie Village, but that’s just the start.
On August 4 starting at 11 a.m., food trucks and a licensed 19-plus area are just a few of the places to check out at the Sunset Beach Festival. The North Shore Pride at the Pier (July 30, 5 p.m.) has food trucks like Tacofino, Chickpea, and the 7-Eleven Slurpee truck.
Head over to the Davie Village on the morning of August 3 for the Terry Wallace Memorial Breakfast at Jim Deva Plaza. Running from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m, there will be a by-donation buffet-style pancake breakfast in honour of the late former manager of the Castle Pub, who tirelessly fundraised to support the Pride Parade in years of financial uncertainty.
Celebrate with: At licensed Pride venues look for SoCIAL LITE cans of Lime Ginger flavour. We like the green-labelled can as a reminder to reduce and recycle your food waste and packaging.
Dance Until You Deathdrop
Pride at the Pier also has an all-ages dance party hosted by Conni Smudge, with music spun by DJ Krista and a Drag 101 workshop and show by Tuck Entertainment. There’s more drag-and-dance fun at the Sunset Beach Festival. Hosts Eureka O’Hara and Shuga Cain of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame will share the TD Main Stage with DJs and performers.
A highlight of the Pride Premiere party (July 26, 5 to 10 p.m.) in the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza in Robson Square will be the Bubly Silent Disco, with DJs like Orographic from Portland and R-Pal from Seattle spinning to two crowds in headphones, all silently dancing together!
“It's really funny because folks watching can't hear the music,” said Thiessen, describing the spectator-sport aspect of Public Disco’s popular silent events. On the mainstage, DJs regularfantasy, Adam 2, and Nancy Dru plus drag stars like Maiden China and Continental Breakfast will perform. Look for prime seats in the licensed area, right beside the stage.
Celebrate with: Choose a refreshing SoCIAL LITE over heavier choices to keep you on your feet and partying all weekend long. In the licensed lounge area at Sunset Beach, grab a vibrant red can of the new Field Strawberry flavour (or if you’re lucky, discover the newest flavour: a bright orange can of Blood Orange, available only in 12-can mixed packs).
Thiessen also noted that Pride attendees should plan ahead for a safe and sound experience. With road closures, she encourages people to cycle or take transit.