Minden Pride Week is set for take-off. On Aug. 22, a full week of activities focused on supporting Haliburton’s 2SLGBTQ+ community begins. There will be a flag-raising at Minden town hall, story time with a drag queen at Haliburton and Minden libraries, a queer comedy night at the Haliburton Legion, a toolbelts and tiaras tea dance and the famous Pride river parade Aug. 28 on the Gull River.
“After a number of years of having lowkey Minden Pride, we are really wanting to celebrate this year,” said Minden Pride chairperson Allan Guinan.
The week’s theme is “Loud and Proud.” The Pride Week’s goal, Guinan said, is to “increase respect for all, inclusiveness and equality.” He said it’s especially important this year, as organizations such as the Canadian AntiHate Network report a rise in opposition to 2SLGBTQ+ rights, fueled by political rhetoric.
“We are really trying to underline the need for Minden’s pride in Haliburton County,” Guinan said. Minden Pride was founded in response to an anti-2SLGBTQ+ incident in 2016.
Guinan said one of his favourite moments of the week is the flag raising at the Minden Hills township offices. “It’s a very physical demonstration of the support of all levels of governments who come out to that,” he said.
Grooving at Viva Burlesque
Hosted by drag queen Carlotta Carlisle, Viva Burlesque is taking over the Pinestone Resort and Conference Centre Aug. 26.
Organizer Collin Burke said he’s excited to see how Toronto-based performers Katrinka Kature, Perla and Vitality Black will add glamour and excitement to the evening. Minden Pride’s ball in the past has always been a night to remember, Burke said.
“It’s been just exuberance and joy, everywhere, everybody was having such a great time,” he said. Along with show-tune sing-alongs and dancing, the drag queens are set to perform a more choreographed show. “Collin wants to take a deeper approach to the whole show.
The last show was a straight-up drag extravaganza, it was amazing,” said media coordinator Victoria Ward.
“There’s a bit more of a rehearsed factor to this show.”
For Burke, Pride in the Haliburton Highlands has a special atmosphere.
Friends who had participated at Toronto Pride events came up for 2019’s festivities and “they just loved every minute of it. They said it was so relaxing, so fun, and they loved the overall gentler pace of it compared to [Pride events] in Toronto,” Burke said.
“I think the overall event is a magical time for people to get out and experience something different.”
For a full schedule of events visit mindenpride.ca.