Take part in Ottawa's vibrant and welcoming Pride Week
- Ottawa Travel Guide
- Sunday, 24 June 2012 19:22
Since 1986, Canada's capital has celebrated its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community with an annual event. This year, what is known as "Capital Pride," will take place August 17-26 and plans to draw in thousands of participants, spectators and any travellers taking tours of Ottawa who wish to be a part of the festivities.
A history of Ottawa's Pride
The original organization that planned the first LGBT event was Gay Ottawa, or GO. Since then Pride Week has evolved into a separate entity and draws inspiration from all types of groups, companies and establishments from around the capital. For more than 25 years the parades, galas, theatre productions have grown exponentially and bring together people from all different backgrounds over a theme of acceptance and camaraderie.
According to Xtra, one of Ottawa's leading LGBT publications, throughout the years the week has retained its grassroots spirit and focused on its connection with all attendees. While some other cities in the country and across the globe have larger gatherings, Capital Pride is slowly growing and has become accepted alongside some of the city's other big gatherings.
Events to see and experience during Capital Pride
There are events for everyone during Pride Week in Ottawa. For the adult crowd, many nightclubs and bars will be hosting special events, including a drag show fundraiser at The Lookout Bar. The parade that starts downtown and ends at City Hall welcomes all locals and visitors to watch or march with their favourite organization. Those planning on attending may wish to head to the route before it begins at 1 p.m., as tens of thousands have come out to see the show in the past.
In 2009, the Capital Pride Youth group was first established to ensure that young people under the age of 21 felt included and celebrated as well during the events, whether they come from LGBT homes or self-identify within the community. Young adults, teens, pre-teens and little ones can check out the special Youth Oasis tent, featuring fun board games and lounge pillows to hang out and mingle with other kids. There will also be LGBT-friendly dances for older children to participate in and free activities such as facepainting, storytelling, art projects and other hand-on crafts throughout the week for little ones.