On Monday, the city of Victoria raised 5 flags in anticipation of Pride (including the transgender, two-spirit, genderqueer, and non-binary flags, alongside rainbow). With just a few days left until Victoria’s 2018 Pride Week kick-off, there’s a LOT to look forward to in the next couple of weeks! Here are some events to consider!
1. Drag Ball (July 1st)
The annual Canada Day kick-off to Pride Week and can’t-miss event: Kings vs Queens in a softball game where, in the wise words of WLIIA, “the rules are made up and the points don’t matter!” An awesome day to get dressed up in rainbow and day drink… or join in the game! More info about Drag Ball.
2. Queer Music Bingo (July 6th)
Have you ever played music bingo? It’s a huge thing in Victoria year round – it’s pretty straightforward, basically Bingo where you have to ID songs instead of numbers – and this is the queeeeer version! Buy tickets ahead of time to avoid disappointment. More info about Queer Music Bingo.
3. Big Gay Dog Walk (July 6th)
Sadly you have to choose between this and Music Bingo, and it’s a TOUGH choice. Because SO MANY dogs in rainbow outfits, walking down beautiful Dallas Road!!! More info about the Big Gay Dog Walk.
4. Pride in the Word (July 7th)
This literary event showcases brilliant adult and youth writers from Victoria, BC, and elsewhere in Canada, as they read out their poetry and stories. More info about Pride in the Word.
5. Roller Derby (July 7th)
The most badass sport to watch at the most badass time of year? Yeah, you don’t want to miss this (unless you’re going to Pride in the Word… ugh, decisions)! More info about Roller Derby here.
6. Alt Pride (July 7th)
“An accessible, affordable, political, and all-ages alternative to mainstream pride on the stolen territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples.” This event is taking place during the day on July 7th, and it looks like the best place to get information about it is to keep watching their Facebook page. More information about Alt Pride here.
7. Parade and Festival (July 8th)
Of course, the parade is loads of fun, and the route winds past the gorgeous Inner Harbour and ends with a glittery dance party leading into a park in the James Bay neighbourhood! There are the usual stalls with lots of swag, a beer garden with a stage, a kids stage, and an area for youth. More info about the parade and festival here. Parade route:
8. Queer Nights at the Museum
The Royal BC Museum runs regular after hours “happy hours” in different exhibits, and they’re hosting two queer-oriented events in the coming month: Museum Happy Hour – Pride (July 12), as well as a free discussion put on by AIDS Vancouver Island: It’s Complicated – Dating Can Be Queer Plus, they’ll be lighting up in rainbow from July 2nd – 8th!
9. Wicked Wench Volleyball
Wicked Wench used to organise regular dance nights and events for queer women/folks of all trans identities, and although they’ve put that on hold for the last year, they’ll be back hosting their annual Strathcona rooftop beach volleyball day!!! This event won’t fall during Pride Week, but will be September 1st, so if you’re away in July, you’re in luck! They’re also organizing the Queer Music Bingo Night. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for event details.
10. Victoria Public Library Pride Events
Aww, GVPL is the BEST! They have a handful of queer events happening during and around Pride Week, including Storytime is a Drag (July 10 – storytime, games and singalongs with Drag Kings, Queens and Things, for kiddos 5-8 years old), Beyond Binary – Gender Diversity in Our Communities (July 4), and an evening with author Peter Gajdics (July 5), who wrote a memoir about the six years he spent in gay conversion therapy.
11. Dance the night away at Paparazzi
Of course, good old Paparazzi – Victoria’s sole queer nightclub – will be hosting events EVERY night of Pride week, including Drag Bingo, Royal Pride Night, Ellen: A Party for Women and Their Friends, and Pride weekend parties and after parties. More info about events at Paparazzi here.
Event and info pages to watch:
Queer Meetup Groups: Lesbian/Bi/Queer Women and Island Lesbian Social; Facebook groups: the fabulously-run and extremely informative Queer News – Victoria and Vancouver Island, possible hikes with LGBTQ Outdoors – Vancouver Island; Tourism Victoria’s Guide to Pride. Additionally, Tourism Victoria has created a map of all gender washrooms throughout Victoria.
Mark your calendars, and see you around Victoria! Anything missing? I’d love to add to the list, so please comment with your favourites!