Victoria’s 30th consecutive Pride Parade kicks off Sunday

Victoria's 30th consecutive Pride Parade kicks off Sunday

Pride has a long history in Victoria. The first Pride Parade was hosted in the capital city in 1994. Thirty years later, it’s one of the biggest events in Victoria, with upwards of 40,000 people coming together to celebrate diversity, love and equality.

“This is just all about support for everybody, spreading the love. Love is love,” said CHEK’s Tess van Straaten, who will again hosting the livestream of the Parade with Gouda Gabour.

It’s not just all celebrations, though. The undercurrent of the wave of Pride celebrations is something more serious.

“As a young person, I could have gotten fired from my job just for being gay, I could have been denied renting an apartment, right?” said Gabour in 2023’s Pride Parade broadcast.

The celebration for LGBTWQ+ communities is to be together and connect, but also to recognize how far human rights and equality have come and the work still ahead.

“Pride is a protest, even though we celebrate it from the rooftop and mountains, it is still a protest,” Ace Mann, president of the Victoria Pride Society, said Friday.

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From rainbow crosswalk vandalism to the controversy surrounding pride nights in the NHL – pride month, week, and Victoria’s landmark parade are meaningful expressions of dignity and equality that stand in opposition to the shame and social stigma that’s still current.

“Make sure to show up and show out,” said Mann.

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The parade starts at 11 a.m. Sunday, running from Chinatown to the legislature, ending at MacDonald Park for the festival portion.

Victoria Pride Society says 2024’s parade will have an exciting new entry, a float called My First Pride. The float will be open to those new to the communities, celebrating a new identity, or if it’s just your first time at Pride.

“Kind of like when you go to a party and don’t know anyone, it’s nice to have a little connection,” said Mann.

The city’s mayor sees it as a chance to show Victoria is a welcoming city to everyone. To see her, look out for the fire trucks, and look up way up.

“I was in the fire truck bucket last year…we’re trying to do that again this year,” said Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto. “So look for me in the sky!”

CHEK will stream the parade live on TV, the CHEK+ app, and CHEK’s YouTube channel. The broadcast will also re-air on CHEK Sunday night at 8 p.m.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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