Tuesday, June 12, 2018 – Today Borderland Pride announced the full roster of events for Pride Week 2018, which will be held in Fort Frances, Ontario and International Falls, Minnesota from July 9 to 15.
“Today is a big day for Borderland’s LGBTQ2A community and LGBTQ2A people who call this place their home,” stated Douglas Judson, co-chair of Borderland Pride. “It’s a turning point for local LGBTQ2 acceptance.”
Borderland Pride’s inaugural Pride Week marks the first time the community as a whole is being asked to sport its ‘true colo(u)rs’ and showcase its support for LGBTQ2 diversity and inclusion.
“The goal this year is visibility. We want to show that there is widespread community support here for LGBTQ2 young people and queer families, and to give area residents and organizations an opportunity to demonstrate that they stand with us as allies,” stated Judson.
Locals will have many opportunities to do so. The highlights of Pride Week 2018 include:
Wednesday, July 11
• A screening and discussion of the award-winning film Fire Song, which tells the story of a gay Anishinaabe youth in Northern Ontario.
Friday, July 13
• 'Fort Fabulous Friday' – a reception on Friday, July 13, featuring appearances by drag stars Prairie Sky, Pharaoh Moans, and Cake (Prairie Sky has ties to Couchiching First Nation).
Saturday, July 14
• The ‘Passport to Pride’ March and flag ceremony – one of the first Pride marches to cross an international border.
• The ‘Community BBQueer’ – a free community lunch with performances by local talent at the Rainy Lake Square.
Sunday, July 15
• A community church service on the themes of LGBTQ2 Pride, inclusion, and diversity.
• Drag Queen Story Hour, featuring one of our visiting queens at a local library.
• A family movie night, showing Love, Simon – a touching story for the GSA-era.
The full listing of events is available on Borderland Pride’s website (www.borderlandpride.org) and Facebook page (facebook.com/BorderlandPride).
“Many people see footage on TV of very ostentatious Pride parades and celebrations in larger cities, but they should know that the Pride event you'll see in a smaller community looks like any other family-oriented festival, fair, or picnic,” stated Judson. “Our Pride Week events are all free to attend and open to all ages. There are numerous ways for local organizations to get in on the spirit.”
Borderland Pride’s ‘Pride Mart’ will open this week at Curvy Chick in Fort Frances, where area residents can purchase official Borderland Pride T-shirts and other swag items in advance of Pride Week. Borderland Pride’s ‘Metal Petals’ will be for sale during Mall Days on June 28 for those looking to support local Pride initiatives. All downtown businesses in the Fort and Falls were also given a rainbow Pride flag in May and asked to display it or decorate their storefronts during Pride Week.
“In small towns, we support the businesses and organizations who support the things we care about. We applaud those who fly our flag, and we would like to give a huge thank you to the organizations which have offered other support and assistance with this project,” stated Judson. “Their enthusiasm has helped drive and inspire the planning process.”
Borderland Pride’s current sponsors and in-kind contributors include TD Bank, the Northwestern Health Unit, the United Native Friendship Centre, ETFO Rainy River OT Local, Canada Safeway, Cornell Farms, the Thread Shed, InkSpotz Apparel, and Betty’s.
Individuals or organizations interested in sponsoring or helping out during Pride Week can contact Borderland Pride at firstname.lastname@example.org or (807) 861-3684.
• ‘LGBTQ2A’ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and two-spirit community and their ‘straight’ and allies.
• Borderland Pride was formed after a series of community consultations and roundtables spearheaded by local organizers last summer.
• Pride Week was officially proclaimed by the Town of Fort Frances and the City of International Falls earlier this year, and civic leaders on both sides of the border have been invited to deliver remarks as part of the flag ceremony and Pride March on July 14.
• Pride flags were distributed to the surrounding municipalities, First Nations, and downtown businesses in the Fort and Falls last month.
Phone: (807) 861-3684