‘Joy and laughter’: Pride Month off to a strong start in Brockville

Photo via the Brockville Pride Facebook page

Brockville’s Pride Week took place from June 3 to 9, and this year’s wide range of festivities started Pride Month off on a successful note, organizers say.

The official Brockville Pride Parade kicked off from Reynolds Park on Saturday, June 8, 2024 where crowds were gathered to celebrate. Taking place concurrently was the “Rainbow Village” Vendor Fair in Centennial Park to showcase local foods, goods, crafts and more. 

Musical entertainment for all ages was provided for the crowds in Hardy Park, featuring drag performers Anje Coxx, Riley Railher and Madison Fear as well as musicians James King and Sinklaira. 

As previously reported by Brockvilleist, the Brockville Public Library hosted its annual Pride Prom for LGBTQ+ youth on June 7. Julia Fansworth, communications coordinator for the library, shared that this year’s event had a great turnout.

“The prom was a fantastic evening filled with dancing, karaoke, joy and laughter, and, most importantly, queer and trans youth being free to be unapologetically themselves in a safe environment. I would also like to give a special shoutout to Brockville Pride for once again donating pizzas this year to keep the hungry youths fed!”

The prom event welcomed a total of 36 young people to the “Enchanted Garden” themed party, and featured special guest performances from local drag artists Ophelia Upp and Freida B.

Ophelia Upp spoke with Brockvilleist and shared that “​the Pride Week shows went fantastic. The drag competition was a sold-out show and the local drag talent came out in full force. We are so thankful that the Barley Mow Brockville is an inclusive, safe space to host our events monthly and annually for Pride Week.

The local performer continued, “It’s amazing to see the youth community members who sat and watched the Pride Day entertainment after the parade from start to finish and cheered loudly for every act that came on stage. They’re the main reason we perform and do what we love.”

The Brockville Public Library also collaborated with Brockville Pride to host their second annual Pride Potluck on Wednesday, June 5. This evening entailed good food and even better company as smiles and laughter were shared among friends and allies. 

Fansworth detailed, “The idea arose from the need in our community to have more dedicated 2SLGBTQ+ events and spaces for adults that are not necessarily centred around alcohol like many 19+ drag shows are. Not everybody drinks or enjoys going to settings like bars, but everyone loves food! The potluck provides a relaxed and communal atmosphere for folks to connect, break bread together and build relationships within their community.”

Fansworth shared that the Brockville Public Library is actually launching a new program this week for LGBTQ+ adults 18 and older.

“This need for adult 2SLGBTQ+ spaces is also why we are a program similar to our Youth Drop-In but for adults. The program is called “Out and About” and will be launching this Wednesday from 5 – 7 p.m. and will continue weekly. It’s a laid back social drop-in event for queer and trans adults to converse, connect, play board games and other activities together in a deliberately inclusive space.`

Photo via the Brockville Pride Facebook page

ACCESS TO LOCAL NEWS IS AT RISK.

Over the last decade, Ontarians living in rural areas, towns and small cities have witnessed legacy media outlets slashing budgets for local newsrooms, if not closing them completely, and a resulting decline of journalistic oversight in these communities. The problem of disappearing journalism was exacerbated in the summer of 2023, when Meta chose to block all trusted Canadian news from its platforms, most notably Facebook, to which many Canadians turned with the advent of instantly available internet news. With Google threatening to do the same with the impending passing of Bill C-18, it may seen on the surface that access to local news is facing unprecedented roadblocks.

At the Hometownist, we believe that the future of local journalism lies with independently owned media delivering news that matters directly to the community. Amid the bullying tactics of big tech giants and greedy, top-heavy legacy media companies, Hometownist (which encompasses Brockvilleist, Lanarkist and Quinteist) aims to be an oasis of truth in an otherwise encroaching news desert.

But we need your help to keep this news coming.

When you subscribe to Brockvilleist, Lanarkist, or Quinteist, not only will you unlock ad-free priority access to every single article, but you will also receive a daily e-newsletter delivered to your inbox highlighting stories that are important to you, without depending on any third-party social media site or search engine that has decided what you should or shouldn’t be able to read.

Not only that, you’ll also be supporting our local journalists and publishing team who work hard every day of the year to bring you trusted news and information.

We believe that access to accurate, relevant, locally-informed news is integral to a healthy community and democracy. If you believe the same, click here to subscribe to Brockvilleist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You cannot copy content of this page