Pride Week is returning to Moose Jaw. However, it will pack in 12 events over 10 days.
Pride 2023 events were in jeopardy after Moose Jaw Pride disbanded last summer. However, the community stepped up to the plate to make it happen.
“Really it was just word of mouth, putting out feelers and putting out the initial invite to people who they knew would be interested and supportive. It just started with a little group of I think it was six people and then we were meeting every Monday and whoever could show up would,” said Ell Bird, a member of the Community Pride Planning Group.
Bird added that Pride Week is bigger than just the LGBTQ+ community, but the greater community coming out to show their support.
“It involves parents. It involves youth and siblings, kids get involved and people who don't have kids who aren't queer who still want to help out,” they said.
Events kick off on Thursday with a Performers Café at The Hive at 7 p.m. It will be an open mic with Bird, an indigenous 2-Spirit person, as the headliner. The Performers Café is being hosted by the Saskatchewan Festival of Words.
Saturday there will be a GLAMJ potluck from 6 to 10 p.m. at 1232 Seventh Ave. NW. Hamburgers and buns will be supplied. Those interested in attending can RSVP here.
An affirming church service will be held on Sunday starting at 10 a.m. at St. Andrew’s Church followed by a flag raising ceremony at noon at the Western Development Museum.
Monday will be an HIV self-test and education seminar at the Moose Jaw Public Library’s south meeting room from 1 to 4 p.m. AIDS Programs Southern Saskatchewan will be available with HIV self-test kits and information on safer sex.
Sign making takes place on May 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the public library’s south meeting room. Supplies will be provided to make signs for the Pride Parade.
On May 21, there will be a SafeTALK on suicide prevention from 1 to 4 p.m. at St. Andrew’s United Church. You can pre-register here. Local queer artists’ work will be on display at the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery at 7 p.m.
The coming out campfire runs from 5 to 8 p.m. on June 2 at Kiwanis River Park. This is a safe space for LGBTQ+ people to share their stories with one another.
Finally, it’s a jampacked day on June 3. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Moose Jaw Public Library is holding a drop-in DYI Zine Workshop. The Pride Parade starts with everyone meeting at the Crescent Park Amphitheatre at 11 a..m., with the parade starting at noon.
Following the parade, there will be a picnic and drag and musical performances at the amphitheatre.
More information about the Pride 2023 events can be found at https://www.facebook.com/PrideinMJ.