Vancouver Art and Leisure celebrates Pride with LGBT fun-raising fundraiser Canada-Wide Pride

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      If you’re all dressed up with nowhere to go this weekend, you can stay put, party at home, and celebrate Pride and LGBT people while raising funds for artists and organizations addressing essential issues in Canada.

      Toronto and Vancouver teams, who have staged Alternative Pride and Backdoor events in Canada and the U.S., are uniting queer Canadian artists for a livestream celebration: Canada-Wide Pride.

      Beats from across the nation will come from DJs such as Vancouver’s regularfantasy, Toronto’s Fawn Big Canoe, Montreal’s B’UGO Axel Sundelin in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

      Performers include Vancouver’s Xana Del Rey, Austra, and Mstress_latex_vampire, and Toronto’s Mars Alexander, Rusty boylesque, and House of Magnifique’s Matthew Chiu.

      “A lot of us in the queer entertainment industry have been hit really hard by the new normal that’s seen our industry crumble,” Alternative Pride organizer and DJ Aeryn Pfaff from Toronto stated in a news release. “With everything Pride related moving online and hugely reduced in scope, we wanted to prioritize queer artists who had lost Pride work, which is one of the most important work weeks of our whole year, and we wanted to raise money and draw attention to important causes in the process.”

      The event, held on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, will raise funds for Black Lives Matter Toronto, established in 2014, and Canadian non-government organization Water First, which is seeking to end boil-water advisories on Indigenous reservations in Canada.

      LGBT–based artist-run organization Vancouver Art and Leisure (VAL) head Matt Troy explained in a news release that since they’re holding a cross-Canada event, they wanted to incorporate an initiative for the first people of these lands.

      “At any given time, one in five Indigenous reservations is under a boil water advisory. That means they have to boil the water that comes out of their own taps in their own homes before they can use it, in Canada, in 2020. That’s not okay,”Troy stated.

      Canada-Wide Pride will be broadcast on Zoom and Twitch on at 7 p.m. PST (10 p.m. EST) on Saturday (June 27). 

      Tickets are pay-what-you-can (suggested $10) and are available online

      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.