LGBT in B.C.: Vancouver, UBC, and winter Pride 2021 updates

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      With so many unpredictable factors involved in the current state of the pandemic—from vaccines to variants—the question of whether Pride celebrations will be held in some physical form or virtually this year remains up in the air.

      In Toronto, all events up to March 31 have been cancelled but it remains to be seen how Toronto Pride will be held in June. (In 2020, the parade was held online.)

      Winter Pride festivals

      At B.C. COVID-19 briefings, Dr. Bonnie Henry has explained that outdoor winter sport activities are safe but what is of concern is when people gather afterwards indoors. For those heading out to the ski hills, Henry has said that day trips are less risky than staying overnight or for several days.

      The community cluster at Big White Mountain and the surge in cases at Whistler have both been linked to young adults who live, work, and socialize together.

      Some winter Pride festivities have already been cancelled.

      Whistler Pride, normally held in January, was not held this year. But it will return for its 29th year from January 23 to 30, 2022.

      Nonetheless, Pride couldn’t be stopped altogether—the Resort Municipality of Whistler issued a proclamation celebrating Whistler Pride Week and has lit up Fitzimmons Bridge with rainbow colours on January 26.

      Peak Pride at Big White Mountain was cancelled in April last year but we’ll have to wait to see if this year’s event will be held.

      Meanwhile, Jasper Pride is scheduled for April 22 to 25.

      UBC Pride

      UBC Pride is being celebrated differently for its fourth edition this year.

      Rather than events being held in a specific time frame, it’s being held all throughout the second term of the 2020-2021 school year.

      A vogueing lesson was already held this past weekend, and there are more events to come.

      Photography and multimedia works by queer artists will also be showcased in the Overexposed art exhibit—photography will appear in a decentralized gallery for one month while different multimedia work will be showcased each week at the UTown@UBC website and Instagram account.

      Participating artists with a talkback wrapup event on April 17. Any LGBTQ artists interested in submitting their work will have to do so by today (February 3).

      Information about upcoming events will be posted at the UBC Pride Online webpage.

      Vancouver Pride Society

      How Vancouver Pride 2021 will be held still remains to be determined.

      In the meantime, the Vancouver Pride Society announced that it has three new elected members of its board of directors.

      Orene Askew, a.k.a. DJ O Show (she/her), is a DJ, inspirational speaker, an Afro-Indigenous member of the Squamish Nation, and an elected member of the Squamish Nation Council, who received 2015 Indigenous Business Award and Vancouver Pride’s 2018 Stand Out Award.

      Claire Ens (she/they) has worked in the non-profit sector for various organizations including the WISH Drop-In Center Society, Fraser Valley Youth Society, and as president of the Vancouver Dyke March.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook. You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at @StraightLGBT or on Facebook.

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