How to Celebrate Pride in 2021

Amber Turnau · Hello BC

Although we can share our pride year-round, Pride Month in June brings us all together to celebrate, advocate for, and support the LGBTQAI2S+ community. Though festivals and celebrations in British Columbia are adapting for the second year in a row, there are still plenty of virtual and in-person events planned across the province to build connections, be seen, and wave the flag of support and love. Communities large and small plan to celebrate Pride in meaningful and innovative ways throughout the year.

SUNSHINE COAST

Rally for Pride: June 26, 2021

Take your Pride on the open road with a socially distanced car rally from Halfmoon Bay to Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast. Dress up, decorate your car, and create a fabulous “To Wong Foo” movie moment. Those not participating in the car rally can line up along the parade route to cheer from the sidelines (at a safe distance, of course).

VICTORIA

Virtual Victoria Pride Week Festival: June 28-July 4, 2021

This year’s theme is about finding power through community connection. The Victoria Pride Society is hosting a series of virtual events that provide a safe space for the LGBTQAI2S+ community to celebrate resilience and togetherness. Programming includes a virtual dog walk, a special meet-up for youth, and a literary event. On July 4, the community of Victoria is encouraged to “Pride Up” their homes, businesses, and neighbourhoods in celebration.

VPS/ECAH Queer Art Show: July 14-30, 2021

The Victoria Pride Society is also teaming up with the Esquimalt Community Arts Hub to showcase “For the Love of Us ALL,” a queer art exhibit that explores community, love, Pride and diversity.

PRINCE GEORGE

Prince George Pride: July 5-9, 2021

Prince George is joining in the Pride fun this July. Their roster of events includes a virtual drag show and a car rally with stations and photo opportunities along the way. The iconic town mascot, Mr. PG, will also be holding the pride flag all week long. Stay updated on the Prince George Pride Facebook page.

COMOX VALLEY

Queer Culture Summer Series: June 25-July 30, 2021

Parnell Productions is teaming up with 40 Knots Winery to host a series of drive-in movie nights. Watch your favourite classics like Mamma Mia!  and Grease under the starry summer skies. Tickets are available online and all proceeds go to the Langley Parnell Bursary, which helps fund a University of Victoria education for individuals in the local LGBTQAI2S+ community.

VANCOUVER

Vancouver Pride Festival: July 19-August 3, 2021

This year’s Vancouver Pride Festival programming is full of amazing virtual and in-person events. Dance the night away when you tune into the Pride Summer Series online concerts, attend the pride history and human rights panels, watch drag story time, or participate in one of the pop-up style COVID-friendly Pride Lounges dotted around town. The Vancouver Mural Fest is also curating an Art Walk featuring queer public art. The marquee event is the Decentralized Pride Parade on August 1. Get your bubble together, dress up in Pride flare and share on social media using #VanPride for a chance to win prizes and be part of the live broadcast. 

Vancouver Queer Arts Festival: Jul 24-Aug 13, 2021

The Vancouver Queer Arts Festival amplifies unique perspectives and lived experiences from the LGBTQAI2S+ community through art, film, and literature. The event will be in hybrid format, with events taking place virtually and in-person throughout Metro Vancouver. The schedule includes a diverse line-up of outdoor screenings,  exhibits, intimate gatherings, and workshops.

KAMLOOPS

Virtual Kamloops Pride Week: August 26-29, 2021 

The Kamloops Pride team has pulled together a host of entertaining online events for the 2021 season, including stand-up comedy, drag shows, movie nights, and B-I-N-G-O. The week culminates with a virtual Pride parade shared on August 29. Parade participants can submit a video of their own personal display of Pride by August 15 for a chance to be featured in the final edit.

NELSON

Touchstones Pride History Exhibit: Aug 14-October 30, 2021

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the first ever Pride parade in Nelson. Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History plans to run a Pride History exhibition to celebrate the diverse LGBTQAI2S+ community and mark this momentous milestone.

Kootenay Pride Week: August 30-September 6, 2021

Kootenay Pride is one of the town’s most anticipated weeks of the year. While the event program has not yet been finalized, you can expect online and in-person events (if health restrictions allow). Follow Kootenay Pride on Facebook and Instagram for details.

KELOWNA

Kelowna Pride and Out in the Valley: September 2021 (dates TBD)

Kelowna Pride, the largest Pride festival in BC’s Interior, returns with virtual and in-person celebrations for the 2021 season. The festival date and program details will be announced this summer, but mark your calendars now.

Visit wineries, distilleries, breweries and cideries for a series of mini music fests, on the weekends after Labour Day. You can also participate in a bike, vehicle, or water parade (if mother nature cooperates). The Pride Market is returning to the House of Rose Winery, with a focus on LGBTQAI2S+ owned businesses, merchants and allies.

The highly anticipated signature event, Kelowna’s Next Drag Superstar, is celebrating a 10-year anniversary and will feature an All Stars edition with previous winners.

FERNIE

Elk Valley Pride Festival: September 23-26, 2021

The fifth annual Elk Valley Pride Festival is set to hit Fernie this September, featuring in-person and online events for the whole family. The event program is packed with fun activities, including drag story time, craft night, a community bike ride, cooking classes, and live performances. Follow the Fernie Pride Society on Instagram for the most up-to-date info on Pride 2021.

WHISTLER

Whistler Pride and Ski Festival: January 23-30, 2022

For the snow-minded, it’s never too early to start thinking about winter. The annual Whistler Pride and Ski Festival is slated for January 2022. Pending provincial health guidelines, the festival—which is set to celebrate its 29th year in 2022—will feature skiing and snowboarding events, arts and culture experiences, and gatherings.