Cupcakes at Yellowknife Pride in 2019 are seen in a photo uploaded to Facebook by organizers.
Pride is returning to Yellowknife in August with a variety of festivities such as Queereoke, a Rainbow Run and Drag Bingo.
The Pride Paddle begins the 2022 festival at 5:30pm on Wednesday, August 3 at the Fred Henne boat launch. Jackpine Paddle will provide instructions and canoes for those who don’t have their own, and folks are invited to dry off by a fire near the kitchen shelter while roasting snacks.
Eight other events will follow. Here are some of the details:
Thursday, August 4
12pm, Cupcakes for Commemoration offered by YK Sweets at the Post Office
8pm, Trivia and Queereoke at Top Knight
Friday, August 5
5:30pm, Drag Queen Story Time featuring Indigihauz at Yellowknife Racquet Club
6:30pm, Fundamentals Amateur Drag Night featuring Ilona Verley and Indigihauz at Yellowknife Racquet Club (ages 14-30)
Saturday, August 6
10am-12pm, Rainbow Run at Somba K‘e Park
12pm-4pm, Pride in the Park at Somba K‘e Park
6:30pm-9pm, Drag Bingo Night featuring Ilona Verley and Indigihauz at Top Knight (ages 19+)
9:30pm-2am, Over the Rainbow Pride Party featuring talent from Canada’s Drag Race and DJ Bella at The Raven Pub (ages 19+)
“It’s really important for the Pride festival to have a variety [of events] where Yellowknifers can see themselves in all areas of pride,” said Chelsea Thacker, executive director of the Northern Mosaic Network.
Thacker says this year, NMN wants to focus on the drag aspect of Pride. “In years previous, we didn’t have as much drag inclusion. We did more artists and musicians, so this year, the focus is drag,” they told Cabin Radio.
“It’s really exciting because we don’t get a huge drag scene up here, so the exposure to drag is going to be really important.”
The Pride Party on Saturday night will feature some of Canada’s top drag queens, including Canada’s Drag Race season two runner-up Kendall Gender, season one contestant Juice Boxx, and season two contestant Synthia Kiss.
Thacker says a Pride festival is crucial to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community of Yellowknife. Sometimes, they said, “it’s easy to forget that 2SLGBTQIA+ people exist in our community and deserve and need our support all year round.”
“Pride is a good reminder for people in the community in general to just come together,” said Thacker. “To be able to have that exposure to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and culture, and have that celebration of northerners and their identity, and see the acceptance is really important.”
Tickets for the Drag Bingo and Pride Party can be purchased at the Old Town Ramble and Ride this weekend, or at Juniper Health Clinic next week.