Edmonton Pride 2015!

Edmonton has gone gay! We're in the midst of the Edmonton Pride Festival's 35th anniversary, and there's plenty of gay going on!

BY EMIL TIEDEMANN

THE 35th annual Edmonton Pride Festival is almost here, and that means something different to every person attending this June. 

To some, Pride means beers, boobs, bare chests and boisterous boys in briefs, and to others it means watching LGBTQ+ leaders march along their allies in the annual Parade, which has moved to Whyte Avenue this year. 
 
The Pride Parade is moving from downtown to Whyte Avenue this year!


And then there are those folks who look at Pride through a whole other lens. To them, Pride means celebrating our unity and diversity at the same time, and appreciating the struggles & triumphs that has lead to where we are today.

It means remembering that there are thousands upon thousands of friends and allies who will support and respect the local queer community, and not forgetting what it took to obtain equality. And to realize that we still need to fight for complete equality. 

Whatever it means to you, or someone close to you, Pride is almost here and it's about to take over the Capitol Region! I Heart Edmonton has put together a list of the official and non-official Pride events happening during Pride: 

Old Strathcona welcomes 3 rainbow crosswalks! (Photo by Eric Petersen)

We Are Here: Edmonton Queer History Project
Friday, June 5 - Sunday, June 21
Art Gallery of Alberta (2 Sir Winston Churchill Square)

The Queer History Project is an assembly of stories, lived experiences, artifacts and memorabilia, celebrating the people, places and events that have nurtured and built our diverse queer communities. In conjunction with the 35th anniversary of the Edmonton Pride Festival, this exhibition is a reflection of stories about what it meant to be queer in Edmonton over the last half-century.

#EVOpride2015: Benjamin's Privates Military Ball
Friday, June 5 (9PM)
Evolution Wonderlounge (10220 - 103 Street)

DJ Del Stamp is in town and will be spinning at Evolution for this all night dance party. In the tradition of Prides around the world, it's time for a good old-fashioned military ball, EVO-style! Porn star David Benjamin will be the guest of honour for the night! Cover is $10. 

Maison Tropique - Pride POP Edition!
Friday, June 5 (9PM - 3AM)
El Cortez Tequila Bar & Kitchen (9230 Gateway Blvd.)

It's a tropical beach party with a pop music twist! Join El Cortez in Old Strathcona to kick off the 2015 Edmonton Pride festivities with delicious food, $5 Ciroc cocktails, and music provided by GirlsClub DJs, Awesum Friendz, Daphutur, and more! 
 
El Cortez is hosting its own pride party, Maison Tropique - Pride POP Edition!

Pride of Alberta Breakfast
Saturday, June 6 (8AM - 1PM)
Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Park 

Hosted by St. John's Institute, the Pride of Alberta Breakfast menu will include fried perogy/ sausage skewer, fruit, and coffee & tea. There will also be a waffle cone decorating station for the kids that will include mini marshmallows, cream cheese or fruit filling, and various dessert sauces. The breakfast is just $2 per person.

Edmonton Pride Parade
Saturday, June 6 (11AM)
Whyte Avenue & 108 Street (start)

The annual Pride Parade has a brand new route! It is now in Old Strathcona, starting at 108th Street & headed down Whyte Avenue before turning north (left) onto 104th Street to 86th Avenue. This year's Parade Grand Marshal is Michael Phair, and you can also look out for Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and national Liberal leader Justin Trudeau! The Parade begins at 11AM on Saturday.
 
Edmonton Pride Parade route 2015 (Old Strathcona)




Pride in the Park
Saturday, June 6 (11AM - 8PM)
End of Steel Park (8720 - 104 Street)

Commencing right after the Pride Parade will be Pride in the Park, a celebration of good friends, friends-to-be, live entertainment, food, drinks and lots of FUN!! This FREE family event will also include the Bounce Stage (hosted by Mike Chalut & Bridget Ryan), which will be headlined by Canadian R&B star Jully Black! The Beverage Garden is FREE, but a $5 donation is suggested. You can avoid lines and wait times by purchasing a Pride Pass ($50) HERE!

Paris Is O'Byrne-ing!
Saturday, June 6 (11AM)
O'Byrne's Irish Pub (10616 Whyte Avenue)

The Edmonton Pride Parade is coming back to Whyte Avenue, and so O'Byrne's Irish Pub wants to celebrate right alongside the Parade goers! They will be showing their pride for the local community by hosting this all-day event that will include Pride-themed food specials, $4.50 feature cocktails, a live DJ, giveaways, and the "Vogue Off" at 3PM. Hosted by Holly Tamale.
 
O'Byrne's Irish Pub on Whyte is hosting their own Pride party on June 6


Pride Patio Party
Saturday, June 6 (Noon)
The Black Dog Freehouse (10425 Whyte Avenue)

The Black Dog Freehouse, located right along the Whyte Avenue Parade route, will open its doors at Noon on Saturday. You can watch the festivities from atop the comfort of The Wooftop Patio & Lounge while enjoying some adult beverages! The DJ will start at 3PM, and there is no cover charge (18+ only). 

Community Yoga Meet Up
Sunday, June 6 (1PM - 2PM)
Lole Whyte Avenue (10544 Whyte Avenue)

Lole Women Clothing is building a community dedicated to living out loud everyday! Join them for a yoga meet up after the Pride Parade to celebrate the diversity in our community. There will be workout demos and children's dance also available at this FREE family event. 

Barber Ha Pride Parade After Party!
Saturday, June 6 (2PM - 9PM)
Barber Ha (#202, 10011 Whyte Avenue)

Barber Ha is turning four years old and this year the Pride Parade is in their neck of the woods! Join them after the Parade for a birthday BBQ after party bash hosted in partnership with Fruit Loop! There will be great food, drinks, karaoke, dancing, and more!
 
Barber Ha is hosting their Pride & B-day party on June 6

Pride on Whyte!
Saturday, June 6 (3PM)
The Buckingham (10439 Whyte Avenue)

The Buck is beyond excited to partner up with Team Edmonton and DJ's Thomas Culture and Joses Martin to welcome the Edmonton Pride Festival & Parade to Whyte Avenue! Having such a long history in Edmonton's alternative communities, Old Strathcona will be alive and electric for its first Pride Parade since 1980! 

Pure Pride Edmonton 2015
Saturday, June 6 (9PM - 2.30AM)
The Starlite Room (10030 - 102 Street)

Celebrating 10 years of pride events in Edmonton, Pure Pride is excited to announce their biggest line-up ever, including headliner Adore Delano! DJ Jeffrey Michael and DJ Dopamine will take to the main stage, and there will also be drag performances, live music, plenty of dancing & drinks, and appearances by Derrick Barry, Adam Killian, Teen Jesus Barbie, The Pure Pride Boys, and much more! 

Pure Pride will be at The Starlite Room on June 6, starting at 9PM


#EVOpride2015: Into the Woods
Saturday, June 6 (9PM)
Evolution Wonderlounge (10220 - 103 Street)

Vancouver's Del Stamp is back to DJ this special night during Pride 2015! Miss Evolution 2015 Rosell Kristina will be performing, and there will also be appearances by Andrew Christian underwear models Sean Zevran, Kevin Benoit, and Murray Swanby, all dancing up a storm before a meet & greet and photo op. Cover is $15.

Pride Wedding Event at Naked!
Sunday, June 7 (10AM)
Naked Cyber Cafe (10303 - 108 Street)

Robert Ligertwood is a Provincial Marriage Commissioner and has offered this as a fundraiser to benefit the Pride Center of Edmonton. He wants to marry as many couples as want to get hitched right after the Pride Parade! Each ceremony is approximately 40 minutes long and will cost about $200, with all proceeds going to benefit the Pride Centre!
 
Naked Cyber Cafe is marrying LGBTQ+ couples on Sunday, June 7


Pride Church Service
Sunday, June 7 (10.30AM - 11.45AM)
McDougall United Church (10025 - 101 Street)

This is a Pride-themed church service, celebrating LGBTQ+ people of Edmonton. All people are welcome to attend the Service at the downtown McDougall United Church.

FAB Bears in the Park Pride BBQ Buffet
Sunday, June 7 (11AM - 3PM)
Victoria Park 

Join the bears and cubs from the Fellowship of Alberta Bears as they feast in the park to celebrate Edmonton Pride! As always they will be cooking up all-you-can-eat burgers, hot dogs, salads and drinks for just $15. There will also be outdoor games and activities at Victoria Park.

YEG Women & Trans Mini Festival
Sunday, June 7 (Noon - 6PM)
End of Steel Park (8720 - 104 Street)

The Pride Centre of Edmonton and the Edmonton Pride Festival Society proudly present the first-ever YEG Women & Trans Mini Fest! March with the LGBTQ+ community from the Alberta Legislature to the Festival grounds in Old Strathcona, and then enjoy women & trans focused entertainment, vendors, workshops, speakers and more. This is a FREE family event. 
 
The inaugural YEG Women & Trans Mini Fest is June 7 at End of Steel Park


Pride Interfaith Service
Sunday, June 7 (Noon - 2PM)
Strathcona Community Hall (10139 - 87 Avenue)

Celebrate both pride and faith in a prayer service for people of all faiths. Attendees will pray as people from many perspectives including Jews, Buddhists, Christians, Indigenous and others. The FREE event will begin with sharing food, and then the service starts at 12.30PM. 

Edmonton Pride Mixer
Tuesday, June 9 (5.30PM - 7.30PM)
The Empress Ale House (9912 Whyte Avenue)

The second annual Edmonton Pride Mixer invites local LGBTQ+ business owners and professionals and their allies. More about mixing and less about presenting, this event is hosted by the Alberta LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

Read & Write with Pride!
Tuesday, June 9 
Audreys Books (10702 Jasper Avenue)

Join Audreys Books and seven local LGBTQ+ writers for an evening of storytelling, memoirs and poetry. Authors Rob Browatzke, Alex Powell, Heidi Belleau, and Sheldon L'Henaff will read aloud excerpts from their fiction featuring LGBTQ+ characters. Other writers featured at this FREE event include Marc Colbourne, Marina Reid Hale, and Laurie Macfayden. Author signings and light refreshmeents will follow. 


Audreys Books downtown hosts Read & Write with Pride on June 9

Rainbow Art Gallery & Pride Awards
Wednesday, June 10 (7PM - 9PM)
ATB Financial Arts Barns (10330 - 84 Avenue)

Starting at 7PM, grab a glass if wine and spend the evening enjoying art in its various forms. Exhibits, musicians and artists from the Edmonton & area LGBTQ+ community will showcase their talents. At 8PM, the Pride Awards will recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to the LGBTQ+ community. 

Pride Shop Hop
Thursday, June 11 (10AM - 9PM)
Old Strathcona (various locations)

Experience the annual Pride Shop Hop, an event for all five senses as participating Old Strathcona businesses offer a day of promotions, discounts, events and more. For more information on the participating shops, please visit the Old Strathcona website.  

Over the Rainbow Annual Strawberry Tea
Thursday, June 11 (1PM)
SAGE (15 Sir Winston Churchill Square)

The Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE) in the downtown is hosting this event, which will include performances by Northern Heart throughout, as well as drag and comedic performances and MC Jeff Bovee. There is a $5 suggested donation. 

SAGE's Over the Rainbow Annual Strawberry Tea is Thursday, June 11

Rebel For a Cause: Strathcona County Pride Social
Thursday, June 11 (5PM - 8PM)
Strathcona County Community Hall (401 Festival Lane)

Join the community of Strathcona County for Pride! Come enjoy free food, an opportunity to meet & mingle with new people, take home something great from the silent auction, learn something new from our speakers, and maybe win the Wine Survivor Draw! This FREE event is hosted by the altView Foundation.

Pride Picnic at the Devonian Botanic Garden
Thursday, June 11 (6PM - 10PM)
Devonian Botanic Garden (Highway 60)

Pride blooms at the Devonian Botanic Garden, located just 5km north of Devon on Highway 60. All the fixings will be there, including a herb-inspired mixology tour with Greenland Garden Centre/630 CHED host Morgan Webb, classic lawn games, and enchanted twilight strolls. Admission is $13.50 per person. 

Undercovered (play)
Thursday, June 11 (7PM)
Stanley A. Milner Library (7 Sir Winston Churchill Square)

A fast-paced, thought-provoking one-act play, Undercovered is based on the actual police files of the infamous 1981 Pisces bathhouse raid in Edmonton, which some have called the epicenter of Alberta's "Stonewall." The play is directed by Michelle Kennedy, written by Nick Green, and stars Mathew Hulshof, Trevor Schmidt, Chris W. Cook, Neil Kuefler, and Kristen Padayas. 

Pride Film Fest: The Case Against 8
Thursday, June 11 (7PM)
Metro Cinema at the Garneau (8712 - 109 Street)

The Case Against 8 is a behind-the-scenes look inside the historic case to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage. This documentary also follows the plaintiffs, two gay couples who find their families at the center of the same-sex marriage controversy. It will be followed by The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet at 9.30PM. Metro is also screening other LGBTQ+ films during Pride:
     -Tru Love (Friday, June 5 @ 7PM)

     -Tru Love (Monday, June 8 @ 9PM)
     -Tru Love (Wednesday, June 10 @ 9PM)
     -Cupcakes (Sunday, June 14 @ 3.30PM)
     -Bound (Tuesday, June 16 @ 7PM)
     -Raspberry Reich (Wednesday, June 17 @ 9.30PM)

 
Laugh Out Proud 
Thursday, June 11 (7.30PM)
Yuk Yuks (Century Casino) (13103 Fort Road)

Spend an evening laughing and celebrating with friends, all while supporting the Edmonton Pride Festival! The night will be MC'd by Calgary's Brandon Craig, and will feature headliner Michael Harrison of Toronto, as well as opener Nadine Hunt of Edmonton. Tickets are limited and are $20 each, available at the Pride Centre of Edmonton. 

The Yards Issue 3 Launch Party & Salon
Friday, June 12 (6PM)
Latitude 53 (10242 - 106 Street)

This unofficial Pride Week party promises great food and music, plus thought-provoking discussions on the past, present and future of downtown's LGBTQ+ community. Proceeds from the tickets help to pay for start-up costs and fund future issues of The Yards magazine. Professor Heather Zwicker and human rights advocate Murray Billett will be speaking at the event, which will include music by NVS.

The Yards Magazine (Issue 3) includes stories on Edmonton's LGBTQ+ peeps

Fruit Loop Pride
Friday, June 12 (8PM)
The Alberta Hotel (9804 Jasper Avenue)

Come out and celebrate the last weekend of the Edmonton Pride Festival Fruit Loop-style! This evening of mixing and mingling with Edmonton's "funnest fruits" will be hosted by Teen Jesus Barbie and will include live DJ's Queerbait, Semi Ohtomatic, and Will the Hugonaut. There will also be giveaways, lots of drinks, drag & comedy performances, burlesque dances, pop-up shops, and a midnight dance off! There's a suggested donation of $5. 

Homo-Cidal Presents The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Friday, June 12 (9PM)
Evolution Wonderlounge (10220 - 103 Street)

Homo-Cidal is hosting a special screening of that 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture show, starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Meat Loaf. Doors open at 8PM, the movie starts at 9PM, and then a live performance follows. And just like any Rocky event, audience participation and costumes are encouraged! Admission is only $5.

Edmonton Pride Run & Walk
Saturday, June 13 (10AM - 3PM)
Emily Murphy Park (11904 Emily Murphy Park Road)

The first annual Edmonton Pride Run & Walk was established to promote and highlight the diversity of the local LGBTQ+ community and its allies. This non-profit, 100% volunteer-run 5K event will also promote and increase access to fitness within the LGBTQ+ community, and will raise funds to support educational opportunities for LGBTQ+ individuals. Team Edmonton is sponsoring the FREE BBQ at the race's conclusion. Registration is $20.


The first-ever Edmonton Pride Run & Walk is June 13 at Emily Murphy Park

Pride Family Picnic
Saturday, June 13 (Noon - 3PM)
Oliver Community League Hall (10326 - 118 Street)

Bring your friends and family, because this is your opportunity to enjoy an afternoon filled with a wide range of activities for all ages. Most activities are outdoors and will run rain or shine! Don't forget to bring your lawn chair and picnic blanket. Come enjoy the summertime food & fun, and meet some new people too! This is a FREE event. 

Same-Sex Fostering & Adoption
Saturday, June 13 (1PM - 2PM)
Oliver Community League Hall (10326 - 118 Street)

Once again, A Child's Hope is looking to answer any questions and put interested couples in touch with other same-sex families. Information about LGBTQ+ fostering and adoption for families will be availavle at this FREE event. This is a great opportunity for potential LGBTQ+ families to find a safe and supportive community and be informed about available programs. 

Same-Sex Fostering & Adoption is hosted by A Child's Hope on June 13

Colour Yourself Proud Dance
Saturday, June 13 (7PM)
Hellenic Hall (10450 - 116 Street)

This is an 18+ dance and music event that will help close out the 35th annual Edmonton Pride Festival. Tickets are $25 each and are available for purchase at Womonspace and the Pride Centre of Edmonton. 

#EVOpride2015: Pride Finale Party
Saturday, June 13 (9PM)
Evolution Wonderlounge (10220 - 103 Street)

Join Evolution as they present model-socialite-singer-artist Amanda Lepore, "the most expensive body on Earth!" One of the most notable transgender figures, Lepore is going to close #EVOpride2015 with a bang! Meet and greet tickets are just $25, and general admission is $10. 

Mayor's Pride Brunch
Sunday, June 14 (11AM)
The Westin Hotel (10135 - 100 Street)

Join Mayor Don Iveson for the 10th annual Pride Brunch celebration in support of Camp fYrefly, Canada's only national leadership retreat for LGBTQ+ and allied youth! Plated "Canadian" brunch will be served at your table for this all-ages event. Tickets are just $55 each and are available HERE

Mayor Don Iveson will be the guest of honour at the Pride Brunch on June 14

2 For Pride
Sunday, June 14 (4PM - 5.30PM)
Westbury Theatre (10330 - 84 Avenue)

Edmonton Vocal Minority and Calgary's One Voice Chorus will celebrate Pride with a concert that includes flashbacks to the golden age of disco and the music that has inspired the queer community to stand proud. Hosted by beloved drag queen Darrin Hagen, 2 For Pride tickets are $15 each and available HERE

Proud Mask Project with Chaka Zinyemba
Sunday, June 14 (4PM - 6.45PM)
Robertson-Wesley United Church (10209 - 123 Street)

The church's artist-in-residence Chaka Zinyemba wishes to cast a light on the queer community within the RWUC by making masks of congregation members who identify within the LGBTQ+ community. Masks will be exhibited along with autobiographical narratives of the people behind the masks. There will also be a discussion period and food served.

Dodgeball Pride
Sunday, June 14 (5.30PM - 7PM)
Royal Alexandra Hospital Gym (10240 Kingsway Avenue)

Team Edmonton is hosting a Pride-themed dodgeball game for all levels of players. This FREE and fabulous event is a great way to meet new people, stay active and even take out your aggressions while hurling a large round object at friends and strangers! The gymnasium is located in the Community Services Centre. There is parking, though much of it will cost you about $8.  

Get a ball or two to the face during Dodgeball Pride on June 14

Soul OUTing
Sunday, June 14 (7PM - 8.30PM)
Robertson-Wesley United Church (10209 - 123 Street)

Prayerfully celebrate 35 years of Edmonton Pride as attendees explore how far we've come as a community. Soul OUTing is a safe and sacred space where LGBTQ+ people connect with the Holy and each other. It's a time of prayer, song, food and fellowship. Allies are welcome to this FREE event as well. 

St. Albert Pride Picnic & BBQ
Saturday, June 20 (3PM - 5PM)
Lions Park (Sir Winston Churchill Drive, St. Albert)

Come out with the whole family and celebrate Pride in St. Albert with a BBQ picnic, sweet treats, and activities for all ages. Join attendees in a celebration of inclusiveness and support for the LGBTQ+ community in St. Albert. There will also be a resource table and live entertainment provided by Labelle Stage Productions. 

Haven, Queer Worship Service
Sunday, June 21 (7PM - 9PM)
McDougall United Church (10086 MacDonald Drive)

This is the official launch of Haven, a new community for LGBTQ+ Christians and friends. A safe and sacred place for people kicked out or abandoned by other faith communities. With Haven, your wig is never too high, nor your chaps too leathery...God made you beautiful! This is a FREE event.

Between the Lines/ LGBTQ Comic Book Club Launch
Wednesday, June 24 (7PM - 9PM)
Happy Harbor Comics (10729 - 104 Avenue)

Organized & curated by Happy Harbors' Rory Sample, this bi-monthly club will read, discuss and engage with LGBTQ+ issues in comics and explore their relevance for individuals and communities big and small, beyond the panels. Everyone is welcome to join in the FREE readings, discussions and activities planned.

Mayor Don Iveson Presents Milk
Thursday, June 25 (7.15PM)
Metro Cinema at the Garneau (8712 - 109 Street)

The Edmonton Pride Festival and Metro Cinema are proud to invite Mayor Don Iveson for the screening of Gus Van Sant's Milk, starring Sean Penn as pioneering gay activist Harvey Milk. Milk made history in 1977 by being elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, as the first openly gay man to hold public office in the United States.  

Sean Penn, James Franco & Emile Hirsch star in 'Milk' (2008)


And don't forget to pick up a copy of the beautiful commemorative magazine The Rainbow Effect during the Edmonton Pride Festival. It features stories, information, photographs, interviews and more on the history of Edmonton's LGBTQ+ community. 

I personally penned nine of the articles in the magazine, including my personal coming out story. The Rainbow Effect is just $15 each and all proceeds go back into the Pride Festival! It is available online, at the Pride Festival grounds (including information booth), The Briefing Room, The Traveling Tickle Trunk, Express Video, and the Pride Centre of Edmonton!

The Rainbow Effect magazine is available NOW!!

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