The Jasper Pride Festival Society is embracing its septennial with a nod to Hollywood’s favourite martini-drinking sex symbol, James Bond.
The 007th annual Jasper Pride Festival includes 25 events taking place Thursday, March 17–Sunday, March 20, making this year’s festival the biggest edition yet. Whether you’re searching for bears in the wilderness or on the dance floor, the range of events should include something for everyone. Here are a few favourites you won’t want to miss:
Sawridge Inn & Conference Centre, 76 Connaught Dr, Jasper, AB
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Start the celebrations with an acoustic performance by Lucas Silveira, lead vocalist of The Cliks. Silveira has toured extensively with acts such as Cyndi Lauper, The Cult and The New York Dolls, and made a long list of national television appearances. With four major record releases in the last decade under his belt, and being outspoken member of the transgender community, Silveira’s show is set to kick off the weekend right.
Maligne Canyon, Jasper National Park
Friday, March 18, 2016, 2:00pm
Saturday, March 19, 2016, 12:30pm
While the rest the country complains about the cold, Jasper is one place that prides itself on it. Guided tours exclusively for Pride guests to the bottom of the frozen Maligne Canyon will take adventurers through ice caves, to frozen waterfalls, beautifully unique ice formations and other selfie-ops to buff up your Tinder profile.
Cleats are provided for the mostly downhill 3.5km trek to what sounds like Jasper’s hardest-to-reach cruising spot. The tour even ends with a toast and glass of prosecco. At $65 a ticket that makes for a pricey glass of white, but think of your Instagram!
Bond-Age Boylesque Show
Champs, Sawridge Inn & Conference Centre, 82 Connaught Dr, Jasper, AB
Friday, March 18, 2016, 8:00pm
Right off the bat this event scores points for a great name. Upon closer inspection it’s clear that this event could easily spawn the greatest gay Bond porn parody of our time. Five scantily clad male entertainers in a dazzling tribute to 007 means you’re in for a night of booties shaking harder than a Bond drink order.
Whistle Stop Pub, 105 Miette Ave, Jasper, AB
Friday, March 18, 2016, 10:00pm
If you’ve been looking to hop on the glitter beard train, now’s your chance. Whistle Stop Pub is teaming up with the Fellowship of Alberta Bears to host its first ever Jasper Pride event. Lumbersexuals can revel in true Alberta fashion as they compete for Jasper’s best beard. This is one event in Jasper where spotting a bear doesn’t warrant playing dead.
Pride Ski on the Hill
Marmot Basin, 1 Marmot Rd, Jasper, AB
Saturday March 19, 2016, 11:30am
As beautiful as the Rockies are, everything can be improved upon with a splash of colour. Grab your boas and flags and meet in the lower chalet to paint the hills rainbow on a guided tour of some of the best skiing in the Canadian Rockies. Marmot Basin offers 900 vertical metres of skiing and snowboarding on 677 hectares of varied terrain for Jasper Pride to take on. Or you can take the alternate (but equally respectable) approach to this one and sit in the chalet looking cute all day with an Irish coffee.
Alberta Night presented by ATB Financial
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, 1 Old Lodge Rd, Jasper, AB
Saturday, March 19, 2016, 5:00pm
Everyone needs to eat, so why not do some good while you’re at it? Last year’s sold-out event is back by popular demand presented by ATB Financial. A three-course dinner is accompanied by some of the best short-films curated by Calgary’s Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival. The event supports fYrefly in Schools, an educational initiative developed to help reduce discrimination against sexual and gender minority youth.
From Jasper with Love 007 Gala
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Saturday, March 19, 2016, 7:30pm
Hailing oneself as Jasper’s party of the year is a lot to live up to, but the inclusion of a designated martini bar certainly means the event is off to a solid start. Dress code is secret agent eleganza and guests are encouraged to check their gender roles at the door.
The night will be full of 007-themed performances, which is quite apt considering drag queens and Bond characters pick their names out of the same handbook (Here’s looking at you Gia Gunn and Pussy Galore). The 007th annual Pride Gala will be hosted by Ian and Chelsea from Edmonton’s 104.9 Virgin Radio, and is an evening not to be missed.