After eight years, the Edmonton Pride Festival returns to Churchill Square on June 25.
A new team is organizing the event this year.
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It will be a free, public, family-friendly event with entertainment, “Rainbow Road” (an LGBTQ2S+ marketplace and organizations providing advocacy and support services to the LGBTQ2S+ community), and a licensed beer garden.
“We are thrilled to bring Edmonton PrideFest back to Churchill Square this June,” said Josh Arsenault, event manager for edmonton pride party. “Our team is excited to take on this project and we know it has been greatly missed by the community.
“It has been a full four years since the last Pride event in our city.
“We are excited to bring this safe and inclusive space back to Edmonton, and the event will be an opportunity to advocate, educate and celebrate our LGBTQ2S+ friends and allies,” Arsenault said in a press release Monday.
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In 2019, the Edmonton Pride Festival Society canceled the event, citing a lack of funding and volunteers, as well as a belief that the organization “was not fulfilling our mission this year, which is to unite our community.”
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Why did the Edmonton Pride Festival Society cancel the 2019 event?
The year before, the parade was halted for more than half an hour by protesters demanding organizers not invite Edmonton police officers, the RCMP and military personnel to the event, amid a nationwide debate about police presence at Pride parades.
Protesters also called for the Edmonton Pride Festival Society to have more BIPOC and trans people on its board and staff, more recognition of Pride’s history as a stand against police oppression, and more inclusion and spaces for people of color and trans people in the festival.
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Performers at the 2022 event will include international recording artist Virginia to Vegas, Edmonton’s Neha Batra, and several locally and internationally recognized Drag Queens.
Doors will open at 11 a.m. and will be open until 10:30 p.m.
The Edmonton PrideFest Association describes itself as “a local non-profit organization with a mission to establish one of Canada’s largest and most exciting Gay Pride festivals in the heart of Alberta.”
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