The Fernie and Elk Valley Pride Festival is just around the corner, and aims to be bigger and better than ever before with many new events and special guests.
The six-day festival starts with a flag raising at Fernie’s City Hall on Tuesday, October 8 at 5:30 p.m., and continues through to Sunday, October 13.
On October 9, the festival will feature special guest and acclaimed author Nancy Jo Cullen in a discussion with Gordon Sombrowski at Fernie Distillers at 7 p.m.
Author of The Western Alienation Merit Badge, Cullen will speak to her childhood as she grew up gay in a 70s western Canadian redneck city. Admission to this event is free, but seats are limited.
On the morning on October 10, a safe space will be created in the yard at Fernie Secondary School. The Rainbow Society Students will raise the Pride flag and plant multi-coloured flowering bushes to represent inclusivity and safety within their school grounds.
The following night, the Park Place Lodge will host Pride-themed trivia, and the Northern Bar and Grill will host a Pride party featuring The Pits Planet Earth. Admission to this show is $10 at the door, and proceeds will go towards the Fernie Pride Society.
Friday brings with it events for all ages. First on the list is Drag Storytime at the Fernie Heritage Library at 11 a.m., featuring guest Kings and Queens who will read stories to toddlers (under six-years-old) and their parents. That night, starting at 4 p.m., Drag Queen Bingo at the Fernie Heritage Library will allow youth ages 10 to 16 a chance to win prizes and talk to the special guests. For this event there is no parental supervision.
At 6:00 p.m. that night, teens will get a chance to ‘cook with queens’ at the Fernie Senior Centre. This event, which is new to the Pride festival this year, has been created as an intentional space for LGBTQ teens to get to know the visiting kings and queens.
Friday night marks the start of the Body Beautiful Body Painting Competition, hosted by The Royal Pub. From 7-9 p.m., check out the finishing touches as local artists compete for best design. This viewing time is open to all ages, however the festival has issued a discretionary notice that models may have various body parts exposed as part of the creative process.
Starting at 10 p.m., the body painting competition will begin. This catwalk show is open to anyone ages 19 and over.
Saturday is filled with exciting new events starting at 10 a.m. and doesn’t stop until after midnight.
Catch Yoga with Pride in the morning, special presentation Tea with Royalty at 11 a.m., Kumihimo Braiding at 1 p.m., and more, all happening at the Fernie Senior Centre.
Later in day at 7 p.m. the Royal Treatment kicks off; the main attraction of the festival weekend. This drag show will feature Duke Carson, Jenna Telz and Fernie’s own Carrie Du’way. Tickets to this extravagant event are $50 in advance.
Saturday concludes with a Late Night Glitter Pride Party at The Royal, starting at 11 p.m.
Sunday is a wind-down day, starting with an Interfaith Church Service at Knox United Church, followed by the Big Gay Brunch at the Park Place Lodge, a hike to Fairy Creek Falls and an Indie Film Night at the Vogue Theatre.
For a full list of events, visit https://elkvalleypridefestival.com//#schedule