We’re just days away from Campbell River’s 2020 Pride Festival.

In a partnership between the Tidemark Theatre, the North Island Pride Society and the Foundry, the event will be held virtually on Friday, July 31st through the Tidemark’s website and Facebook page.

Anne-Marie Long, LGBTQ2S+ consultant at the Foundry, is now inviting those in Campbell River, in surrounding North Island communities and on Quadra Island to show their pride.

This week, you’re encouraged to put up your pride flags, post signs in your windows, wear your finest pride gear, paint your face and chalk the pavement.

Then, snap a photo and send it to annemarie.long@jhsni.bc.ca by 12:00pm on Wednesday, June 29th.

Not only will organizers be putting a slideshow together of the submitted photos, which will play at Friday’s festival, those who submit a photo will also be entered to win a prize.

The photo contest winner will be contacted via email, and photos of youth under the age of 18 require parental consent.

Kicking off on Friday at 12:45pm, Long says there’s a “really amazing lineup of guests and artists who are taking part in the Virtual Pride Festival.”

CR Virtual Pride Festival 2020 schedule:

  • 1:00pm – Welcome, land acknowledgement and keynote from human rights activist and vice president of the BC NDP, Morgan Oger
  • 1:15pm – Drag Queen Story Hour
  • 2:00pm – Home is a Drag 
  • 4:00pm – North Island Pride CR Pride Festival
  • 7:00pm – Drag & Cocktails

This year’s event is hosted by Drag Queens Isolde N. Barron and Peach Cobblah.

Long says the new, fresh virtual approach still allows participants to connect with each other and the community.

“I think COVID has been really disproportionately hard on the LGBTQS2+ community, we’ve seen studies that have said that,” Long says. “Particularly for young people who may be social distancing at home where they don’t feel free to be themselves, that can be a challenge. It can be a challenge for anyone not to be connected to their community.”

Amid COVID-19, Long says organizers still wanted to put on an event-specific to Campbell River, Quadra Island and the entire North Island.

“I know there are a lot of virtual pride events all around the world going on right now, but there’s something special about being able to be a part of it yourself which is part of why we thought about doing the photo contest,” Long says. “People have the excitement of being able to see themselves on screen if they submit their photos.”

She adds that the festival also highlights local artists and local community members.

To learn more about the upcoming CR Virtual Pride Festival, click here.