Winnipeg’s annual Pride Festival at the Forks takes place this weekend. Along with Sunday’s rally at the Manitoba Legislature and Parade, the festivities at the Forks are the culmination of Pride Winnipeg’s 10-day festival, which began on June 5.
In addition to two full days of musical performances at the Scotiabank stage, the festival at the Forks will also include a KidZone for children and families featuring representatives from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, not one but two food vendor villages, as well as the Manitoba LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s PrideMart. And of course, as always, the beer tent will be pouring Half Pints’ specially-brewed Queer Beer.
The theme of this year’s Pride Winnipeg Parade and Festival is “evolution,” and is meant to explore the evolution of human rights through education, with a particular emphasis on LGBTTQ* rights and freedoms. An exhibit currently on the display in the foyer of Manitoba Hydro Place, which has been curated by Winnipeg Pride, explores this year’s parade and festival theme and provides a more in-depth examination of the Pride movement since its inception in 1969.
“The Pride movement is approaching its 50th birthday in 2019 and it’s important that people know the history of the Pride Movement as it’s a part of our human rights culture,” Pride Winnipeg President Jonathan Niemczak said in a statement. “Unfortunately the LGBTTQ* rights movement is not taught in schools. Until it is we must take it upon ourselves to education our community and the general public on the movement and the key milestones that have resulted in the liberty we enjoy today as LGBTTQ* Canadians.”
Inspired by this year’s theme, Pride Winnipeg hopes to establish a scholarship for a student wishing to pursue post-secondary studies who has made a contribution to the LGBTTQ* community. Through the exhibit at Manitoba Hyrdro Place, the organization also hopes to raise money to sponsor an LGBTTQ* refugee.
Sunday’s rally begins at 11 a.m. on the grounds of the Legislature, the parade commences at noon, and the weekend’s festivities at the Forks run until 6 p.m. A ticketed closing ceremony party is also being held on Sunday night at CanadInns’ Metropolitan event centre.
Pride Winnipeg is one of the country’s largest pride celebrations, and has been held annually since 1987.