Yellowknife Pride, the annual festival celebrating the city’s LGBTQ2S+ community, will – like many other festivals – move online when it begins next week.
Chelsea Thacker, executive director of the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife, said building community through online events may be a challenge, but hopes people still feel they are a part of the celebration and contributing to the festival.
“Part of pride is that sense of community. But it’s also about feeling like you are a part of something bigger,” Thacker said.
The festival will use social media to live-stream events throughout the week. A scavenger hunt will see clues released on Yellowknife Pride accounts.
Surprise events will pop up throughout the week via social media, said Thacker.
The week begins with a virtual flag-raising at City Hall on Tuesday, August 4. Wednesday has a “Pride Panel” on Zoom, while Saturday brings a “Rainbow Run” starting at 10am, where participants will run their own route as a way to ensure social distancing.
There will be a spot downtown where music will be playing. Participants can pass by on their jog to pick up a paper Pride flag and get their photo taken.
Thacker says it is important to have a Pride week with a variety of activities that allow families and youth to participate.
Last year was the first time the Rainbow Coalition organized the festival. Thacker says they felt a lot of pressure to ensure the festival met expectations since there had not been one for a few years.
“We really wanted to rise up and meet the need in the community and also help the community remember how much they love celebrating pride,” they said.
The theme this year is “community” because of the overwhelming and supportive response received last year, according to Thacker.
“We wanted to take the opportunity this year to reinvest back into our community and make sure that we are still connected to Yellowknife and the people who support the festival.”
Events will take place every day from August 4 until August 8. For more information, visit the Yellowknife Pride Facebook page.