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Capital Pride launches Pride 2011

'Pride: The Courage to Be ...'

Zelda Marshall Credit: Noreen Fagan

Drag icon Zelda Marshall is going to kick back her heels, climb aboard a convertible and, as grand marshall for 2011, lead the Pride parade past Parliament Hill and down Wellington St on Aug 28.

Doug Saunders-Riggins, chair of the Capital Pride Committee, announced that it was a unanimous decision by the committee to have Marshall lead the parade. He said that she is a dedicated member of the community, a passionate volunteer and an avid supporter of the arts.

This year’s theme is Pride: The Courage to Be… Saunders-Riggins says, “It is a theme that reflects the diversity of strength for the Pride movement, both here in our nation’s capital and around the world.”

Saunders-Riggins announced that the festival would be kept at Festival Plaza, and this year the parade will march past the Human Rights Memorial, ending on Lisgar St.

Mayor Jim Watson, MPP Yasir Naqvi and Councillor Diane Holmes attended the launch.

Watson, still jet-lagged from a trip to China, congratulated Capital Pride for its commitment to setting the stage for the best parade of the year.

Naqvi acknowledged the work that goes into making Pride happen.

“It has grown from a very small event to something incredible, very much part of the culture of our city,” he said. “I must admit that the parade is one of my favourite things to take part in. There is nothing more inspiring than to walk in front of the Supreme Court of Canada, in front of Parliament Hill, the Prime Minister’s Office. All these national institutions that have ensured, through all the work the LGBTQ community has done across the country, that we have equality in our country.”