Nanaimo and Surrey make LGBT history with first Pride parades

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      The shocking news of the mass shooting at a gay Orlando, Florida, nightclub on June 12 garnered widespread media coverage and prompted vigils to be held around the world, including those in Vancouver and New Westminster.

      Meanwhile, there was some other unrelated local LGBT news this past weekend on a positive note.

      Nanaimo made history by holding its first Pride parade on June 12, which brought out thousands of people to watch. Nanaimo mayor Bill McKay participated in the parade as well.

      The city also honoured the victims of the Orlando shooting, as the Pride flag flew at half-mast at Nanaimo City Hall.

      Surrey Pride
      Surrey Pride

      In other local news, Surrey will be holding its inaugural Pride parade as well, according to Daily Xtra. The parade was approved by the city on June 10.

      Although Surrey has held Pride festivities for the past 17 years, this year will be the first time a parade will be held.

      The parade will start at 11:30 a.m. on June 26 at city hall and proceed to Holland Park where the festival will take place.

      Although Surrey has permitted an LGBT exhibit to be displayed at City Hall in conjunction with Pride celebrations in previous years, the city has yet to fly the Pride flag.

      Elsewhere in the province this past weekend, Quesnel held its second Pride parade on June 11. School teacher and LGBT ally Angela Heenan initiated the first parade in the city in 2015.