For the Georgia Straight’s 20th annual Best of Vancouver issue, our editorial team provides some insight into the irreverent details that make our city great. Here’s our contributors’ picks for Best of Vancouver 2015.
Best visual display of the city’s support for LGBT people
This year, Vancouver City Hall flew the trans pride flag (which features baby blue, pink, and white stripes) for the first time on a ceremonial pole during Pride Week. The rainbow flag (as a symbol of the LGBT communities) was flown on an even more prominent pole alongside the B.C. flag. Both were raised on July 27. Not only did they add a splash of colour to Vancouver skies, they sent a message to all citizens about inclusivity for all sexual orientations and gender identities.
Best move for the Davie Street Party
This year, the annual Davie Street Party during Pride Week removed all fences and allowed people to roam about freely without having to buy passes. Instead of making attendees feel like caged animals being watched by onlookers (see the item on Davie Village’s wildlife), the event saw a huge surge in attendance and turned into a true street party attended by LGBT people and allies. As a sign of its widespread appeal, numerous boyfriends were seen white-knuckling their girlfriends’ hands as they made their way through dancing crowds and food-stall lineups, full of people who were happy and gay.
Best comeback of a queer nightlife institution
Ever since the Odyssey closed its West End location in 2010, it has been on an odyssey to find new premises. That quest was finally completed when it reopened in late July of this year at 686 West Hastings. The new incarnation preserves beloved elements of the old version, once a cornerstone of the West End nightlife scene, including a Shower Power stall and a sense of intimacy. The new location outside the traditional gaybourhood reflects how times have changed and how greater acceptance of LGBT people means more geographic diversity among queer communities.
Best leggy new fundraiser for LGBT refugees
Both gals and guys got into heels to strut their stuff on the seawall to raise funds for LGBT refugees on June 6. A vibrant new event, Strut, helped to raise awareness, and $43,300, for the Foundation of Hope, which assists charities that support queer refugees. As their slogan stated: “A mile in heels is easier than a lifetime in the closet.”
Best location for a zoo
Why? With all the nightlife turning into wildlife—including bears, pandas, otters, cougars, chicken hawks, and unicorns—it’s a jungle out there.
Best LGBT flag-flapping on the North Shore
North Van City Hall and the North Van school district flew rainbow flags for Pride Week. Which prompts the question: when are you going to join the party, Richmond and Surrey?