Pumped up with Pride

Tara
Tara Bradbury
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This year’s celebrations the biggest and busiest yet, organizers say

There’s a counter on St. John’s Pride Inc.’s rainbow-themed website, ticking away the days, hours, minutes and seconds until Pride week 2014 celebrations in the capital city begin.
It’s no wonder organizers are so excited — this year’s Pride week is the biggest and busiest they’ve ever put together.

“There are only eight of us on the board and we’re all volunteers, so there’s been a lot of work put into this,” explained Jamie Harnum, St. John’s Pride Inc.’s vice-president of operations. “Hopefully now we’ll get to sit back and see everyone enjoy it and have a great time.”

Events range from the traditional Middle Cove Beach bonfire and the long-awaited parade, to new celebrations debuting for the first time, including a drag and music night.

The week will start with four different flag-raising ceremonies: one each at Confederation Building,

St. John’s City Hall, Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove and Memorial University, and “Out in Faith,” an open discussion on spirituality and the LGBTQ community with Rev. Robert Cooke and author Trudy Morgan-Cole.

The free Pride bonfire at Middle Cove Beach will happen Tuesday evening, with free transportation to and from Bitters Graduate Pub at MUN, while the organization will hold an “unconference” — a participant-driven conference — at Eastern Edge Gallery all  day Wednesday.

Thursday’s events include free panel discussions on topics including LGBTQ aging and health and trans health, to be recorded and placed in MUN’s folklore and language archive. “Queer Monologues,” with stories of the LGBTQ community, will take place at the LSPU Hall in the evening.

The parade — featuring, floats and vehicles for the first time — will happen on Festival Day, Sunday, July 20, starting at St. John’s City Hall at

1 p.m. and heading down Duckworth Street before ending at Quidi Vidi Lake, where a picnic-style afternoon will take place, with performances by Brianna Gosse, Whiskey Fire, The Duds, City on the Coast and bellydancers, from 2-6 p.m.

Later that night, “OUTstanding Sounds,” a fundraising concert for Camp Eclipse by Spectrum choir, will take place at the D.F. Cook Recital Hall at MUN, with guest artist Rozalind MacPhail.

Other events during the week will include a comedy night at Uptown with Trevor Boris and Richard Ryder, a picnic for trans residents, a hike and a youth bowling night.

Pride Week is a big deal for members of the local LGBTQ community, Harnum explained, for reasons that go beyond fun.

“It’s always a great chance for the LGBTQ community to be more visible, and to have some really exciting discussions about what it means to be out or not out,” Harnum said. “It’s also a chance for them to see all the support they have from people in the community,; people who come out and cheer and have fun and say, ‘You know what? We’re here and this is not an issue for us and we support you.’”

For a detailed schedule of events visit www.stjohnspride.ca.

tbradbury@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

Organizations: Pride Inc., Confederation Building, Middle Cove-Outer Cove and Memorial University Eastern Edge Gallery

Geographic location: Logy Bay, Faith, Duckworth Street Quidi Vidi Lake

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