Elliot Lake City Council has rolled out the welcome mat for the city’s 6th annual Pride Weekend later this month. At its meeting Monday night, Elliot Lake Pride President Chantal Vaillancourt and Vice-President Douglas Elliott brought Mayor Dan Marchisella and members of council up to date on their plans for this year’s celebration.
The Festival which runs from Friday May 25 through Sunday May 27 will be headquartered at the Elliot Lake Pearson Community Centre. Prior to the festivities on Friday, panelists will visit Elliot Lake Secondary School to present students with information on LGBTQ communities and the Two Spirit lifestyle and to answer their questions about that as well as to present information on this year’s Pride Weekend.
The City will fly Pride flags at the Civic Centre, City Hall and other locations though the weekend starting with a flag raising ceremony on Friday at City Hall. Douglas Elliott told council the Pride Festival kickoff activities are scheduled for the Hampton Inn on Friday Night, May 25 with a games event, then it’s off to the Fireside restaurant for the warm up dinner and party.
Main Day events on Saturday May 26 will feature a mid day parade and a barbecue, along with a number of other highlights, including an information table. There will also be a panel presentation on “Golden Gays” geared to LGBTQ senior’s issues. Mr. Elliott told council members many people are relocating in Elliot Lake, including members of the LBGTQ and Two Spirit Communities. He said, “They need to be sure they will find a comfortable home here in Elliot Lake just like other newcomers.”
Anyone is welcome to watch or take part in Saturday’s Pride Weekend parade, with a special emphasis on welcoming those who have cars with bright solid colours that compliment the rainbow colours found on the Pride flag and other weekend festival insignia. Marchers will carry rainbow-coloured balloons as they make their trek along city streets.. Those taking part are also being encouraged to wear their uniforms or workplace clothing when they march.
Saturday night, May 26, is the Miss Conception show, at 7 p.m. with the after party to follow at Jack Leggers restaurant. The Pride Festival Committee advises the popular show and many of the other venues were sell outs and last year, so arriving early and/or making reservations and getting tickets in advance is a good idea.
Sunday morning, Reverend Sherry Denovo of Toronto will preach at Holy Trinity Church at the Pride Weekend Church Service. Following the service there will be a brunch at Dunlop Lake Lodge along with the placement of the Two Spirit Pride Flag for First Nations Two Spirit People. Mr. Elliott says the Elliot Lake Pride Festival is evolving to include people along the North Shore from Spanish, Serpent River and other smaller communities which aren’t able to stage their own pride festival.
Several members of Elliot Lake City Council voiced their support for the city‘s Pride Weekend, including Councillors Luc Cyr, Chris Patrie and Tammi Vanroonen and Mayor Marchisella. Councillor Sandy Finamore says she’s, “Very proud that city is endorsing it’s sixth Pride Weekend.” Mr. Cyr told council it’s “important the city has a time to join together to celebrate our differences.”
More information on Elliot Lake’s Pride Weekend is available at the group’s website, or you can email with questions and get additional information on ticket availability, pricing and other Elliot Lake Pride Weekend details at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their offices are located on the 3rdfloor at 31 Nova Scotia Walk, Elliot Lake ON P5A 1Y9 or you can reach them by calling 705-848-0229.