What started as a courageous and peaceful protest in 1978 has become one of the most grandiose, spirited and outspoken celebrations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride ever. Here's a guide to Vancouver's 2016 Pride celebrations.
Wednesday, July 13: Whitecaps FC Pride Night – Kick off Pride with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC versus Real Salt Lake at BC Place. The stadium will be adorned with rainbow lights and the theme of the night is “You have the Right to Play.” Tickets are $25 and include rainbow shoelaces.
Friday, July 15: LOUD Legacy Luncheon – Join LOUD Business and Vancouver Pride in honouring the 2016 TD Pride Legacy Award Recipients. Mix, mingle and enjoy delicious food from the team at Forage Restaurant. Tickets are $30 and include food and one glass of wine.
Sunday, July 24: Pride Run/Walk & Picnic – Lace up and support the LGBTQA community at the annual 5km Pride Run & Walk along the seawall, starting and ending at Sunset Beach. Stick around for post-race family games and a picnic at the beach. Prizes will be awarded for the best themed outfits!
Friday, July 29: Davie Street Party presented by FIDO – Take back the streets for Pride Weekend in the heart of the Davie Street Village between Burrard and Jervis. Pound the pavement to some of the city's hottest talent at the Community Stage at Davie Street's historic Rainbow Crosswalk at Bute Street.
Saturday, July 30: Terry Wallace Memorial Breakfast – Recover from the Davie Street Block Party and celebrate one of the founders of the Vancouver Pride Society. Enjoy a by-donation community pancake breakfast in the heart of the Davie Village, courtesy of Independent Grocer.
Saturday, July 30: Vancouver Dyke March - The March will leave McSpadden Park at 12:00 p.m., make its way down Commercial Drive and end at Grandview Park for the Festival. The Festival will take place from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. and includes performances from various artists, features queer-friendly vendors and is an inclusive space to gather with friends, family, and the community.
Sunday, July 31: The Main Event: The Parade & Festival – Vancouver Pride events exude a sense of excitement and expectation leading up to the main event, the Pride Parade. Attracting major crowds every year, the Pride Parade is renowned on the international stage as one of the largest and most successful LGBTQA events in the world. The parade route has recently been extended to central downtown, beginning on Robson Street at Thurlow Street, continuing through the West End (on Denman Street) to finish at the Sunset Beach Festival site.
Where to get tickets: Many of the Vancouver Pride events are free (including the parade and Sunset Beach Festival). Little Sister's Book & Art Emporium, a famous bookseller in Davie Village specializing in LGBT literature, provides sales for ticketed Pride events.
Where to stay: Vancouver has plenty of gay-friendly lodging. Click here for TAG-approved (Travel Alternatives Group) hotels that meet gay-friendly standards and criteria.