Pride will be alive in the city next week.
After a successful inaugural event last June, Thunder Pride is back this year with many of the same events, but hopefully a little bigger, said community relations chairman Tom Boland.
The Thunder Pride flag and along with the iconic rainbow flag were raised at city hall Tuesday morning to kick off pride celebrations in Thunder Bay. Boland said the weeklong celebrations, which run from June 10-17, are about promoting Thunder Bay as a safe and welcoming place for people of all sexual orientations.
“There is a lot of celebration and a lot of fun stuff going on because we want to deliver this message in a fun way. We want to attract everybody – the LGBT community, their friends, family, allies,” he said.
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Events planned for the week include Pride in the Park, film night, literacy night and an anti-homophobia breakfast on June 11.
Last year’s event was an overwhelming success, said Boland, adding the Thunder Pride committee received tremendously positive feedback.
“We couldn’t have been blown away more by the extreme positive feedback and reaction to Thunder Pride last year,” he said. “We’re hoping for more of the same.”
Many cities across Canada have been celebrating pride week for years and Boland said it was just a matter of time before it came to Thunder Bay.
“I think we’ve always had the heart,” he said. “We’re a little bit smaller. We’re a little bit more remote. It maybe took a little bit longer, but it’s here now and we’re very proud of it.”
Westfort Coun. Joe Virdiramo said celebrating Thunder Pride is vital because of the diversity in the city.
“We have to accept everyone … no matter what their sexual orientation, what their religion is, what their race is, what their ethnicity is,” he said.
“It’s important that we show respect for all our constituents, all our citizens and support these kinds of activities and spread the word, so people do not live in fear and live in a society that’s accepting,” he added.
For more details on Thunder Pride events visit www.thunderpride.ca.
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