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A photo from 2018 Pride. Photo: Hingman Leung/613TV.

Capital Pride returns this summer both virtually and in-person

By Erika Ibrahim on August 3, 2021




Ottawa’s Pride festival is back with a blend of virtual and in-person programming. This year’s Capital Pride takes place 50 years after Canada’s first large scale demonstration for gay rights in 1971. That protest, dubbed the “We Demand Rally,” acted as inspiration for the theme of the upcoming Capital Pride celebrations: “We Still Demand!”

Osmel B. Guerra Maynes, Executive Director of Capital Pride says, “Pride is not cancelled; Pride will never be cancelled!” according to a statement from the festival. “We are working hard to bring an energetic and educational Capital Pride Festival that celebrates what we have overcome as a community, while educating and advocating for the work that lies ahead.”

Held between Aug. 22 to 29, the festival will include a variety of events and offerings, from educational programming, panel talks, drag shows and the annual parade.

Among those being welcomed to take part is Dominique Jackson, who plays the inimitable Elektra on the hit series Pose and stars in American Gods. Rodney Diverlus, an artist, activist and co-founder of the Canadian chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement, is taking part. Festival goers can also look forward to Danny Ramadan, a Syrian Canadian award-winning novelist as well as jaye simpson, a two -Spirit Oji-Cree of the Buffalo Clan with roots in Sapotaweyak and Skownan Cree nation. simpson often writes about being queer in the welfare system, as well as being queer and Indigenous.

The festival’s annual Pride Parade will be presented virtually and will aim “to capture the energy that is expected of Pride,” according to the release. The Parade will broadcast on Rogers TV, hosted by Canada Drag Race finalist Scarlett Bobo and Ottawa KISS 103.5 FM radio personality Sandra Plagakis.

For those interested in in-person events, they can look forward to Capital Pride’s inaugural drag brunch, which will be hosted by LaLa Ri of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13. The 2SLGBTQ+ Human Rights Vigil will be held in person, and it will centre 2-Spirit and Indigenous queer voices.

More opportunities for in-person programming “continue to be explored,” the festival’s statement says.

To learn more about Capital Pride, check out the festival’s calendar.