For Immediate Release:
K’jipuktuk (Halifax, N.S.) – Today, Thursday, July 18, marks the opening of the Halifax Pride Festival. The festival encompasses 11 days of events of celebration, commemoration, reflection, and community-building for Halifax’s 2SLGBTQ+ community that run until Sunday, July 28.
The Flag Raising, a gathering of Halifax Pride representatives, Indigenous and government leaders, and the general public, will mark the official start to the festival. At 5 p.m., delegates will raise the rainbow pride flag in Grand Parade. Morgan Manzer, chair of the board of directors, will bring greetings from Halifax Pride.
“After months of development, organization, and hard work, we’re excited to finally start the festival,” says Manzer. “Our theme this year centres on empowerment: how Pride can empower people through the act of gathering to take up space, and how our community can work to empower each other.”
The festival contains more than 30 events including a speaker series, panel discussions, community gatherings, and memorials. While the community enjoys new and returning events, the 2019 festival theme asks attendees to consider the way they hold power in these spaces, and the way power and privilege affect individuals in the 2SLGBTQ+ community and their experience with Pride differently.
Trans activist Chris Cochrane acts as this year’s Parade Ambassador. She will lead the Halifax Pride Parade on Saturday, July 20.
“As this is the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a pivotal moment in our history that was led by trans women of colour, it is my honour as a black trans woman to serve as the 2019 Halifax Pride Parade Ambassador,” says Cochrane.
The 2019 Festival features one important change from previous years on Monday, July 22. The annual Candlelight Vigil will move from outside the Central Library to a park at 1004 Barrington Street. There, community members will gather to remember those lost, and to officially dedicate the park to the memory of queer activist Raymond Taavel.
The Bump, The Grind, Garrison Grounds Mainstage Show, the Gottingen Street Block Party, and the Dykes versus Divas Softball Game, all return this year. A full lineup of events can be found at www.halifaxpride.com/schedule.
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Media Contact: Nick Voutour