Ottawa
2 min

Dykes unite!

Inaugural Women's Day promises festive fun

Credit: Capital Xtra files

Ottawa’s Pride Festival will celebrate its first Women’s Day with a day-long schedule of family-friendly, women-only and all-inclusive events.



“I think that the whole Pride Committee and all of the coordinators are really, really pumped up about this event,” says co-coordinator Caela McAteer, who says she is particularly happy about the variety of activities scheduled.



McAteer is co-coordinator along with her partner Stacey Dombroskie. She jokes that she’s been involved with Pride in the past as a “site slave” but this is her first time in the driver’s seat. Planning brought her face to face with the excitement surrounding the new day for women.



“Every single person that has been involved has been incredibly supportive and I think we’re really proud to see that our Pride festivities are growing enough to dedicate time specifically to the women’s community,” says McAteer. “I think that that is really important. It’s an incredibly inclusive women’s event, it’s for women-identified women, it’s for people who support women and I like the fact that all members of all communities are welcomed and encouraged to participate.”



McAteer points to the hard work of Pride’s acting executive director, Robin Duetta, as an indication of how thoroughly inclusive planning has been.



“Being that Robin is the person who really got things started,” she says, “I think our inclusivity has really been there since the get-go.”



Although, this will be the first time Ottawa Pride will set aside a whole day for recognizing women, McAteer says there has never been a problem with Pride making space for women.



“The women in Ottawa are strong, outgoing, evolved and have always found a way to make their own space,” she explains. “I think that it’s just a matter of recognizing the space that women have made for themselves already. And really being public about it.”



The day begins at 10am with a family-friendly BBQ at the McNabb Community Centre (180 Percy St) until 1:30pm, where children’s activities will also be available at Kid’s Camp.



Kid’s activities will be provided in a shaded area at McNabb Community Centre. There will be a magician, face painting, prizes and games as well as a kids’ parade through the park.



The picnic will be followed by a women-only boat cruise departing from the Gatineau dock (2:30-6pm), featuring DJ Jungle Jen and surprise entertainers. Tickets are $25, available at the Pride Offices (310-396 Cooper St), Wilde’s (376 Bank St), The Lookout (41 York St), mother tongue books (1067 Bank St) and Venus Envy (110 Parent St).



After the cruise there’s a BBQ and party at The Lookout from 6:30pm to 1am, featuring live performances and a DJ, where all are welcome.



It is the variety of events on offer that McAteer is most looking forward to.



“Our planning has been amazing,” says McAteer. “There is something for everyone at every level of the planning of this day. I’m looking forward to seeing that variety and also getting a better grasp of who makes up our women’s community and how they want to be celebrated and adding that into the planning for next year.”



WOMEN’S DAY • SAT, JUL 10.

MORE THAN JUST A WALK IN THE PARK & KIDS CAMP.

10:30am–1:30pm.

McNabb Community Centre, 180 Percy St.



NOT YOUR MOTHER’S BOAT CRUISE.

2:30–6pm. Gatineau Docks. Tickets $25.



WOMEN’S NIGHT OUT PARTY.

6:30pm–1am. BBQ until 8pm.

The Lookout, 41 York St.



WOMEN’S DAY INFO.

See Capital Xtra’s Ultimate Pride Guide, e-mail caela@prideottawa.com or call the Pride office at 238-2424, or visit www.prideottawa.com.