West Nipissing Pride launches first Pride Parade this June

·2 min read

On Saturday, June 10, West Nipissing Pride is rolling out Sturgeon Falls’ first Pride Parade, and organizers invite all to come take part in the celebration. The parade begins at 1 p.m. and will run around half an hour. Floats are wanted, and people are asked to participate to make this day one to remember.

If you want to walk with the parade, meet at the Collège Boréal Parking Lot, on 90 Main Street at noon. The parade will run down King Street before turning up Main Street.

“We’re collaborating with the municipality of West Nipissing this year, which is awesome,” explained West Nipissing Pride president, Michel Gervais. “They’ve been really great with helping us put this event together.”

Michel Gervais, along with Ryan Morin, addressed Municipal Council in February asking for permission to have the parade. Council enthusiastically agreed, and Mayor Kathleen Thorne-Rochon plans to proclaim June as Pride Month in West Nipissing.

This will occur at Pride’s June 1 ceremony at Minnehaha Bay. On this day, the proclamation shall be made, and the Pride flag will fly proudly.

See: West Nipissing Pride prepares for summer celebrations

All are welcome to the flag raising ceremony, same with the parade. Gervais also encourages residents to wear bright, Pride-inspired colours each Friday during June to celebrate Pride.

As for the floats, Gervais said they are still looking for local businesses and organizations to submit a float for the big day. So far, there are ten floats lined up. To take part, check out the West Nipissing Pride Facebook page or drop the group a line at westnipissingpride@gmail.com.

Reach out before May 30, the float deadline.

West Nipissing Pride is a relatively new group, having formed in 2020. Gervais has served as president for almost two years. “We’re doing really well,” he said. “The past few years have been mainly focused on fundraising and getting our committee going, but we’re on our way.”

Producing a parade has been a goal since day one, and Gervais and company are thrilled it will come to life this June. Gervais also emphasized the importance of Pride in not only West Nipissing, but all communities.

“There are a lot of queer youth in the area who need support and a voice because they don’t necessarily have that at home.” Gervais mentioned that events like the parade bring visibility to the LGBTQ2S+ community and offers “positive representation.”

“I’m very grateful for what our committee has been able to put together,” Gervais said. “We’re a small group and we’ve been working really hard, and we’re all very happy that we have the support of the community.”

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca