It’s time for the Fourth Annual Pride Week in Central Alberta, with organizers and supporters all coming together for a week of celebration.
Pride Week, organized by Central Alberta Pride, will officially kick off the events with a City proclamation in City Hall Park on Sunday at noon. The proclamation will include various members of City council, MLAs, Central Alberta Pride members, supportive friends and community members coming together for a free, family event.
Central Alberta Pride has been working for the last year to solidify the plans, and director of events Joel Graham said this year will be the biggest and best Central Alberta has seen yet.
A full list of events is available on the Central Alberta Pride facebook page.
“What I’m most excited about isn’t a specific event – it’s seeing the collaboration of people come together and show their support. It’s not just the LGBTQ community, it’s also a lot about our supporters and allies. I am beyond excited to experience the love from the community,” Graham said.
He said the Pride society has found many community partners and sponsorships to bring the events to life, including the Golden Circle, the local Royal Canadian Legion branch, TD Bank, the City of Red Deer and several arts, culture and entertainment venues.
Recently, the City of Red Deer painted two rainbows at the intersection of Ross St. and Little Gaetz Ave. to show support for the LGBTQ community ahead of this year’s Pride events. City Manager Craig Curtis was praised by the Central Alberta Pride group for his support and encouragement of the project.
“Our rainbows have been painted on Ross St. at Little Gaetz and those are probably our City’s biggest rainbows this year. It’s been a little bit of a challenge, but it’s a great achievement to have this in our City. After coming downtown and seeing the rainbows, it’s a spectacular, welcoming feeling and means big things for Central Alberta’s LGBT community,” Graham said.
Serge Gingras, co-chair of the Central Alberta Pride Society, has said that he has seen a huge development in relationships within and outside of the local LGBTQ community.
“Pride Week is really for everyone. It’s not all rainbows and parties, but also about celebrating our journey to inclusiveness and embracing people for who they are,” Gingras said.
“The rainbows downtown are not only a big thing for the LGBT community in Red Deer, but for Red Deer as a whole. It’s significant in showing how far we’ve come as a community over several decades, but particularly in the last five years. We’ve come a long way – a really long way.
“The work is never done and Pride Week is just one avenue to celebrate who we are. That celebration is not only in our own LGBTQ community, but in the community as a whole. To me, it’s also a recognition of our history.”
A full list of locations, dates and times for the various Pride Week activities can also be found online at the Central Alberta Pride web site.