June is Pride Month around the globe, including in many communities across Canada such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Every June since 1973 Canadians have been gathering for Pride Month to celebrate the progress towards equality and to fight for progress not yet made.
We have gathered some resources so that you can learn more about, celebrate and better support 2SLGBTQAI+ people in your community.
History of Pride in Canada
Canada has a rich history and turning points in the struggle for and eventual celebration of 2SLGBTQAI+ rights. Vancouver is hosting their 44th annual Pride Parade in July and Toronto is hosting its 41st. Montreal’s Pride Parade is one of the largest in Canada including more than 12,000 marchers with a crowd estimated at 325,000 people.
Throughout history Pride parades in Canada weren’t always a big celebration as they are today. There were a lot of riots and protests to get where we are today. Here is a short timeline of some of the Pride events that shaped today.
Canada’s first Gay Liberation Protest and March was on August 28, 1971. There were about 100 people from Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto all gathered in the rain at Parliament Hill. They presented a petition to the government with a list of 10 demands for equal rights and protections. Simultaneously, a smaller group of 20 activists demonstrated at Robson Square in Vancouver.
Pride Week 1973 was a national 2SLGBTQAI+ rights event held in August in several Canadian cities including Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and more. This event represented the shift from the homophile movement into the gay liberation movement, showing the emergence of the concept of gay pride.
It wasn’t until August 1, 1981, when Vancouver had its first official Pride parade after years of being turned down by the city.
Counting Past 2 was a Trans Arts Festival that ran between 1997 and 2002 in Toronto and was the first festival of its kind in North America and thought to be the first in the world.
Thousands of people lined the streets of Quebec’s capital city on September 1, 2002, for the community’s first gay pride parade. The march was held to mark the 25th anniversary of the province’s bill of rights, which outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Celebrating Pride around Canada
Vancouver Pride Society will be having its 44th anniversary of The Vancouver Pride Parade. Along with the Parade, there will be Vancouver Pride Wellness Hubs running from June 6-10th. There will also be a wide variety of musical performances and events leading up to the Vancouver Pride Parade which takes place on July 31st, 12 – 3 pm on Robson St.
For more information on programming for all events in Vancouver please visit: Vancouver Pride Festival Launches Programming for 2022 – Vancouver Pride Society
Pride Toronto will be having its annual Pride Month with a full month of programming, concluding with the annual Festival Weekend on June 24-25-26, 2022.
The pride programming includes the annual Trans March, Dyke March, Bi+ Pride Programming, Blockorama by Blackness Yes, Pride Parade and multiple stage performances featuring more than 300 2SLGBTQAI+ artists.
For more information on programming for all events in Toronto please visit: Pride 2022 Pride Guide – Pride Toronto
Montreal Pride will host the 13th edition of the Montreal Pride Festival. The annual Montreal Pride Festival features seven days of cultural and community activities, including the Pride Parade and Community Day.
Montreal’s Pride Festival is the largest Francophone gathering for Pride in the world with 3.4 million visitors annually. Montreal Pride Festival runs from August 3to the 7.
For more information on programming for all events in Montreal please visit: Program – Fierté Montréal (fiertemtl.com)
Resources to support the 2SLGBTQAI+ community
Here are some 2SLGBTQAI+ resources for support in your community.
- QMUNITY: BC’s Queer Resource Centre (www.qmunity.ca) provides information, education, support groups, advocacy and referrals for 2SLGBTQAI+ youth, adults and older adults and allies.
- Prideline BC (1-800-566-1170) provides peer support, information and referrals for anyone in BC.
- PFLAG Canada (www.pflagcanada.ca) provides information and support for parents, families, friends, co-workers and others.
- Rainbow Health Ontario (www.rainbowhealthontario.ca) has developed a fact sheet about 2SLGBTQAI+ Mental Health.
- It Gets Better Campaign (www.itgetsbetter.org) in response to publicized suicides by 2SLGBTQAI+ youth, author Dan Savage initiated the It Gets Better campaign through which supportive 2SLGBTQAI+ people and allies share supportive messages through online videos.
- PFLAG Montreal (https://pflagcanada.ca/helpful-resources) is a national charitable organization, founded by parents who wished to help themselves and their family members understand and accept their 2SLGBTQAI+ children.