Unite! That is the theme for this year’s pride in Fort McMurray. It’s an important theme, especially this year, 50 years after the Stonewall riots and the start of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.
It was June 28th, 1969 when the LGBTQ+ community, lead by trans women of colour, united to fight back against police brutality. In our current political climate where LGBTQ+ rights continue to be debated and restricted it is essential that our community remains united. What does it mean to be a united community? It means supporting all of our members, especially the most vulnerable. Being united means speaking up when we witness injustices. It means coming together to celebrate our differences and our similarities. Most of all it means being your authentic self and taking pride in it.
So, what does pride look like in Fort McMurray? Pride YMM has been working hard to create an entire week of inclusive events to ensure there is something for everyone.
Each year Pride YMM has grown and we are extremely excited for the direction we’re headed.
Pride week will be starting on Sunday, August 18, with opening ceremonies and flag raising at Jubilee Plaza from 1-1:30 pm.
Following the opening ceremony there will be a well-being and yoga workshop: Unapologetically You: Accepting and Expressing Your Authentic Self. Join Brooke and Pattie for an unforgettable gathering where you will dive deep into self-reflection, self-acceptance and community. They will guide you through a yoga practice, meditation on self-acceptance and discussion. No experience necessary. Bring a yoga mat. Everyone is welcome.
Monday evening, August 19th the WBRL is hosting a 16+ craft night. From 6 pm until 8 pm we invite community members to spend some time making a rainbow dreamcatcher. For people 18 and over there will be a pride-themed Trivia Night at The Tavern on Main starting at 7:30 pm.
On Tuesday, August 20th Kathy’s Fiber Arts & Crafts hosts a fun-filled craft night for the community. There will also be Pride was a Riot (Literally): A Community Conversation. The first Pride was a riot, a protest against hate and prejudice. While improvements in equity have been made, there remains widespread discrimination against the LGBTQ2S+ community. We invite you to take part in a community conversation exploring our experiences and our path forward in healing and fostering a more inclusive community for all.
Wednesday, August 21st will have a double feature movie presented by the WBRL, free popcorn included:
Kung Fu Panda 3
Family Movie – Rated PG
Enjoy a story filled with empowering messages for kids to be themselves, find strength in their own skin, and that you can be great simply doing the things we do best. Oh, and that it’s ok to have two dads.
The Adventure of Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Adult Movie – Rated R
Two drag performers and a transgender woman travel across the desert to perform their unique style of cabaret.
Thursday, August 22nd Mr. E’s hosts a board game jam! Grab a group and enjoy some snacks while playing board games. Bring your own or borrow one of the many games provided. Free, fun for all ages. For those over the age of 18, Bailey’s Pub will be hosting their monthly Beers for Queers. Join us for a drink, great company, and a couple songs!
Friday, August 23rd Orange Lily will be hosting QT Pie Salon Night. A night of fun-filled hair styling, makeup application and consultations. Have questions on making your look become reality? This group of professionals are here to help. Later in the evening the Oil Royals will be hosting a lip sync battle followed by karaoke at Bailey’s Pub.
Saturday, August 24th is our main pride event. Start the day with Yoga in the Park, led by Oxygen Yoga & Fitness! Next, come to Jubilee Plaza for live music, performances, activities, drag story time, kids crafts, games, and delicious food to bring together people of all ages, gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations to celebrate Pride in our community.
New this year, Pride Awards will be presented throughout the day. Saturday night ends with the Oil Royals Pride After Party at Bailey’s Pub. Enjoy a drag show then dance the night away.
Sunday, August 25th Pride week ends with a Community Picnic. Finish Pride Week with a relaxing picnic with family and friends, games, volleyball, or a float on the river. Grab your picnic basket packed with snacks and join us for a relaxing end to the week.
Pride is all about coming together, showing your true colours and uniting in a safe and fun experience for everyone.