Bringing Our Communities Together for East Side Pride 2023

Person holding a rainbow-coloured hand fan at an outdoor Pride festival

Celebrating East Side Pride at Grandview Park

Welcome to the 2023 Vancouver Pride Season kickoff with East Side Pride! A vibrant celebration of diversity and unity, East Side Pride is more than just a parade and festival – it’s an affirmation of our shared commitment to fostering an inclusive society that respects and honours the identities of all individuals.

Dating back to its roots as the Stonewall Festival in the 1980s, East Side Pride is held on the weekend of the Stonewall Riots (June 28, 1969). Today, it stands as a beacon of hope and acceptance, symbolizing our strides while reminding us of the ongoing struggle for full equality.

The Theme of the 2023 Pride Season: Reconnect

This year, the Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) presents a theme that resonates with the times – “Reconnect.” This embodies VPS’s dedication to uplifting the voices of Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities. The idea behind “Reconnect” is to acknowledge the interconnectedness of our community and create opportunities to forge deeper bonds with our history, physical spaces, and, most importantly, with each other.

Through the “Reconnect” theme, the VPS aims to celebrate the crucial relationships between society and the city’s unsung queer communities. It’s an opportunity for us to reflect on our past, recognize our present and envision a more inclusive future.

Geographical Diversity of Our Community

As we embark on this pride season, it’s important to remember that the LGBTQIA+ communities extend far beyond a single neighbourhood or district, especially as it’s increasingly difficult to find affordable housing throughout the region. Where we gather is geographically diverse and spread across the Lower Mainland. East Side Pride is a vibrant reminder of this diversity, bringing together community members from across the region for a celebration.

The geographical diversity of the LGBTQIA+ communities in our city tells of a narrative that has consistently pushed us from our places of gathering. Still, it can also signal the strength of our collective voice and the richness of our shared experiences. This diversity is a testament to our unity in the face of adversity and our unwavering commitment to fostering a society where everyone is valued, respected, and loved.

East Side Pride: What Not to Miss This Year

East Side Pride will take place on June 24 at Grandview Park, offering a family-friendly, all-day celebration from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The parade, boasting around 150 diverse entries, will start at noon. The event is a vibrant neighbourhood-focused gathering that encapsulates the spirit of unity and joy inherent in the Pride celebration.

The fabulous Batty B Banks will host this year’s event, renowned for her infectious energy and commitment to inclusivity. The day will be brimming with performances from East Van’s finest drag artists, free concerts, and local talents, including Hoodie Browns, Emerald Osagie, Lola Lovegood, Nonsweet, Nostic, and the Rainbow Concert Band.

In addition to the performances, East Side Pride will feature a unique array of attractions. An artisan market will showcase local craftspeople’s creations, various food vendors will cater to all taste buds, and interactive showcases by Science World and Forbidden Walking Tours will offer engaging and informative experiences.

Local Market and Community Support

East Side Pride is more than just a celebration; it’s a testament to the strength of community organizations supporting the 2SLGBTQAI+ community. The festival will feature various organizations offering vital services like community support, gender-affirming healthcare, and HIV testing and counselling.

In the Pride Market, you can expect to find 30 local artisans, businesses, and organizations offering various goods and services. Attendees can sample ethnic cuisine, discover unique handicrafts, witness chocolate wrestling, explore a health and wellness area, and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere in a beer garden.

All About Vancouver Pride Festival 2023

Following the kick-off at East Side Pride, the annual Vancouver Pride Festival will continue from July 28 to August 6. The festival will feature a jam-packed lineup of events across the city, providing various platforms for local 2SLGBTQAI+ groups to express their creativity and celebrate their identities.

A few key events to look forward to including the Posh Ball, presented by Van Vogue Jam at Parq Vancouver, and a series of events at the Davie Lounge showcasing local talents like ENBY 6 and Virago Nation. In a historic first, the AfroQueer will present the first-ever all-Black Pride party, marking a significant milestone for the Black queer community in Vancouver.

The festivities will culminate in VanPrideFest, a two-day event at Concord Pacific Place, filled with concerts, DJs, drag performers, food trucks and much more. This will lead up to the grand finale – the annual Vancouver Pride Parade on August 6. Debuting a new route this year, the parade will guide attendees straight into VanPrideFest for a day of ultimate celebrations.

Join East Side Pride and Reconnect

The 2023 Vancouver Pride Season, launching with East Side Pride and culminating with the Vancouver Pride Parade and VanPrideFest, promises to be an unforgettable celebration of love, diversity, and unity. From the colourful performances to the empowering showcases, every event in the lineup offers an opportunity to reconnect with our vibrant 2SLGBTQAI+ community and honour our shared history.

Mark your calendars for these significant dates, and prepare to immerse yourself in the spirit of Pride. Whether you’re a part of the 2SLGBTQAI+ community or an ally, your presence will contribute to the strength and vitality of these celebrations.

Stay informed and connected by following the Vancouver Pride Society on their website and social channels. This will provide you with the most up-to-date information on the events, performers, participating community organizations, and any changes that may occur.

For more details, check out the Vancouver Pride Society website. Also, follow them on their social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, for timely updates and behind-the-scenes glimpses.

Remember, Pride is about more than just a parade or a festival—it’s a celebration of who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we’re going. So let’s gather our chosen families together, celebrate, and rise together in Pride this season.

Disclaimer: This blog shares general information only, not professional advice or recommendations. Consult healthcare providers for personal guidance. Decisions based on content are the reader's responsibility. Thank you.

Clayre runs a group practice of three queer and trans therapists, including youth therapist Audrey Wolfe, RCC, LGBT therapist Camber Giberson, RCC, CCC, and gender-affirming therapist Clayre Sessoms, RP, RCT, RCC, CCC, ATR-P. Work with us: book a session.

Related Posts