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COVID-19 takes down another Kootenay tradition after Pride Parade is cancelled

Unfortunately, there will be no Pride Parade during the Labour Day weekend in 2020. — Photo courtesy SRIGS photography

There's been another casualty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers of the Pride weekend have been forced to cancel the always-popular Pride Parade as Kootenay Pride announced there will be no application for a parade permit this summer.

"It’s a huge disappointment, yet I sense we will find ways to have a ‘virtual parade’, which does not need a permit," Kootenay Pride volunteer Michael Wick said.

"Perhaps, each family or living together group could post live videos of a ‘parade entry’ and they could be coordinated and live-streamed.”

The parade has been a hard-won battle and they look forward to it capping off the Pride weekend every summer. The parade is always joyous, rebellious, and filled with love, but this spring and summer they will have to celebrate in new ways.

However, on Saturday, April 18th Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said: “Realistically, we will not be having those big events where people gather together this summer."

"That is a much riskier prospect than ever before,” Dr. Henry said. “We'll see in B.C. and globally, those types of events, large parades, large mass gatherings where we all come together, those will not be happening this summer.”

Kootenay Pride knew this was coming but they were hoping for the best, especially because the celebrations here in the Kootenays aren’t until the Labour Day long weekend at the end of the summer, with the annual Pride parade initially scheduled for Sunday, September 7th, 2020.

“Above all, we want folks to stay safe and if they miss a parade to ensure that that happens, then that is sad but necessary,” said Wick.

The Kootenay Pride team is resilient and adept at pulling rainbow rabbits out of hats, and this will be no different. They will be working hard to fill the needs of their community, as well as the community at large, during these wacky times. We all need to spread a bit more love right now.

Stay tuned to the Kootenay Pride Facebook and Instagram accounts for upcoming virtual events, workshops, Zoom meetings, speakers, bingo, and connecting online in new ways. Share your ideas to make Pride 2020 one to remember.

Be kind to one another and be kind to yourselves. Love Wins… Kootenay Pride.