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Capital Pride: Dykes Shaping the Arts at Ottawa Dyke March—08.25.18

By Mathew Adams on August 21, 2018

This is a march for equality. This is a march for visibility. This is the Ottawa Dyke March, and it is a space to meet with other like-minded lesbians, WLW and dyke-identified people in the LBTQ2+ community.

The Dyke March is a trans-inclusive, accessible event for Lesbians, Dyke Identified, Dyke History and Queer Women taking place on Saturday, August 25. It is a protest, not a parade, starting at 1pm at the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights (220 Elgin Street) that will journey on an undisclosed route, eventually reaching Minto Park (on Elgin St, between Gilmour and Lewis) around 2:30pm, where there will be a picnic. In the event of rain, the march will end at the Jack Purcell Community Center (320 Jack Purcell Lane).

Dyke March Guest of Honour, speaker and the Grand Marshall, Elaina Martin. Photo: Cara Tierney.

The theme for 2018 is Dykes Shaping the Arts and, for the first time, is putting a highlight on dyke artists. Elaina Martin, a Canadian Producer, Impresario, Stage Director and Consultant who founded Westfest, will be the Guest of Honour, speaker and the Grand Marshall this year. She will be speaking alongside other artists on how art impacts their identities, lives and sexuality, as well as the erasure of queer women and queer women of colour from the art world.

“Art and political protests have always been linked,” says Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah, Dyke March Ottawa Organizing Committee Member, “so we really wanted to use our protest to highlight dyke and queer artists and give them recognition that they might not otherwise get.”

At the picnic, there will also be live painting and available art by Munea Wadud and music performances by DJ Reign, DJ Del Pilar, Kimberley Sunstrum, and Blue Hunter-Moffat. Local artists will also be there selling their art including Sunset Lover Pride, Lucky Little Queer, Asia, Lisa Flanmade It, Feminist Twins, Bia Makes Art, Sunday Grasslands, Koston Kreme, Tender Tita, Kole Peplinskie, Adrienne Vincente and Nashifa Dharshi.

For the families coming to the march, there will be a kids corner, with face painting, toys and colouring pages designed by Lucky Little Queer, an Ottawa-based queer artist. The picnic is accessible for those with disabilities, a space reserved close to the stage for those with hearing impairment and ASL/LSQ translators for those who need it.

For those a little keener to participate, the Ottawa Dyke March is always on the lookout for volunteers and positions are open to anyone interested, no matter gender, sexuality, age, etc. All support for the event is provided by fundraising and donations, like Little Jo Berry’s who is donating vegan food and Shelley Taylor who provided much of the food at last year’s event. If you are interested in helping out, please email for more information.

Looking for even more events? There is a Dykes of Colour/Black/Indigenous waffle brunch taking place at Kind Space (222 Somerset St West, #404) between 9am and 12pm. This is a free event but is solely intended for women of colour, black and indigenous women.

There is also an unofficial after party present by Queer Mafia called Oh My Jam and will take place Saturday, August 25th, 2018 at Babylon (317 Bank Street). This is a 19+ event starting at 10pm and features Dj De Pilar, D-luxx Brown, DJ Craig Dominic and Beatrix. Tickets are $12 before 10:30pm and $15 afterwards with proceeds going to the Ottawa Wolves RFC and the Ottawa Dyke March.

Still not enough? Follow the Ottawa Dyke March on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @ottawadykemarch