Where to celebrate Pride in Canada this summer — and beyond

It’s Pride Month in Toronto, with the annual festival’s big weekend bash set for June 24 to 26. But Pride-related celebrations will also roll out well past this month — giving a tourism boost to cities of all sizes across Canada. Here are just a few planned this year.

vancouver pride festival

The West Coast city’s Pride programming just kicked off on June 6, but will run for almost two months, with the signature downtown parade and Sunset Beach Festival both slated for July 31. Last year’s edition was a scaled-down format due to the pandemic, which makes this Vancouver’s first major in-person Pride in three years. Brand new is a Granville Island event, called Rainbow Lounge (July 22 to 24 and 28 to 31), where you can take in live music and drag performances while sipping summery drinks.

Ottawa’s Capital Pride

The lineup for this year’s Capital Pride Festival (Aug. 21 to 28) will encompass free outdoor concerts, a street festival and the annual parade. Also in the works is a summer art exhibition — curated with help from the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) — which will showcase the talents of the city’s young queer artists in OAG’s public areas.

Calgary Pride

While a detailed event schedule hasn’t been announced quite yet, Calgary Pride is set to bring back the in-person revelry, with a week of programming starting Aug. 26. The big parade (Sept. 4) will be followed by a festival with entertainment, food trucks, a marketplace and beer gardens.

Rainbow-flag-bearing skiiers going down Whistler Blackcomb at the Whistler Pride and Ski Festival.

Whistler Pride and Ski Festival

It’s Whistler, so you know you can expect an entirely different sort of Pride parade — picture the colorful swooshing of rainbow-flag-bearing skiers and snowboarders down winter slopes. The event also encompasses guided ski and snowboard groups for all skill levels, and après-sport socializing. Mark your calendar and check back on the official site for details on the 2023 edition (Jan. 22 to 29), which will mark the festival’s 30th anniversary.

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