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After several pandemic-related postponements, Pride festivities are finally returning to Kelowna.
Today marks the official start of Pride Week, and the Kelowna Pride Society (KPS) has lots planned.
The theme of Pride Week 2021 is “25 Years of the Pride Movement - The Work is Not Done,” which is a nod to Kelowna Pride’s beginnings.
There will be a Downtown Bike Derby and Beers for Queens at Jacknife Brewing this coming Tuesday.
On Thursday, a trans and non-binary storytelling evening will take place at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.
Then, the long-awaited Pride Festival will kick off on Saturday, October 30 on the Rotary Commons. The festival will include a mask making workshop.
The festival will be followed by a Pride Cabaret event the same day.
All events during Kelowna Pride Week 2021, aside from the Pride Cabaret and mask-making workshop, are free to attend.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there's no Pride March on the schedule this year. Still, the KPS hopes community members will enjoy the creative solution they've come up with—the Downtown Bike Derby.
The bike derby is open to anyone who can ride a bike, and KPS encourages community members to come decked out in their best Pride threads. It is requested that attendees RSVP in advance, so they have an idea of numbers.
"We've lost count of the number of times we've had to pivot due to COVID-19, but we know we're not alone in that,” said Dustyn Baulkham, General Manager of the Kelowna Pride Society.
“So much work has gone in behind the scenes, and we're all thrilled that Pride Week is finally here. We hope the community will join us in celebrating Kelowna Pride Week 2021!"
Colleen Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of the Rotary Centre for the Arts, says they are looking forward to hosting Kelowna Pride 2021.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Kelowna Pride to the RCA. This is a perfect way to celebrate connection and community after such a difficult and challenging summer,” Fitzpatrick said.
As with 2020's festivities, a number of 2021's events will be streamed on the Unicorns.LIVE platform for those who would prefer to participate from home.
The 2021 Kelowna Pride Festival marks twenty-five years of Pride in the Okanagan.
Earlier this year, the Kelowna Pride Festival won gold in Best of Kelowna 2021, being voted as ‘best festival.’
Find out more about the Kelowna Pride Week 2021, including event information, online here.