2 min

What does Pride mean?

Local talent to be featured at festival

To me, Pride means just that-to be proud of who, what and where I am. It also signifies the pride we are entitled to feel in our achievements and goals as a community. As we come into Vancouver’s 25th annual Pride Festival, we all have a huge right to be Proud. We are a big part of Vancouver’s fun city.

The Pride Parade is the largest in the city, and the festival at the terminus of the parade is attended by a wide cross-section of Vancouver’s population. So let’s take our rightfully deserved place at Vancouver’s vast multicultural table. Seeing that this year marks our 25th Anniversary, it is the intent of the Vancouver Pride Society Board to give Pride an overhaul by rebuilding it brick by brick. Indeed, Building Pride is this year’s theme. You’ll be seeing a lot of that phrase: Building Pride is the “tag line” we’ll be using throughout the lead-up to Pride Weekend and the weekend itself.

The festival stage at Sunset Beach will reflect the importance of this year’s 25-year milestone. This year, the VPS has decided not to bring in big-name talent, but instead to showcase the immense talent we have in our own community.

We all come from different walks of life; we all have something to offer. As I see it, we are like the United Nations: one house, many nations. I saw the huge amount of talent in Edmonton’s gay community when I was manager of The Roost nightclub for 10 years. And I know that Vancouver has a large pool of very talented men and women here in our own community, talent that sometimes gets overlooked. Well, not this year; it’s our time to shine and be proud, and we are going to celebrate who, what and where we are by presenting you the face of gay talent here in our own backyard.

It is the hope of the VPS that in showcasing the vast talent that is under our own nose here in Vancouver, we will build strong links to our past, present and future. So here’s your chance, Gay Vancouver: show off your talent! Dance or sing, act, recite, write, perform with your band, do magic, lip sync, DJ: You name it, we want to see what you can do.

Pride this year is about each and every one of you, not just a small segment of the community but every part of it. And whatever it is you can do, it is important to the VPS that we put on the best show we can and, with everyone’s help, this year’s Pride is going to be amazing!

And we will go into the next 25 years even stronger then the last 25. We will announce soon the date and times for auditions for the Pride stage and the Picnic in the Park stage. We hope that you will want to be a part of this very special celebration as it is all about every one of us.

* Carl Austin chairs the special events committee of the Vancouver Pride Society.