Saskatoon city hall raises rainbow flag for Saskatoon Pride

Politicians and community members attended the flag raising ceremony, one of the first of more than 10 Saskatoon Pride 2014 events the city will host this week.
Danny Papadatos and Carlie Letts helped organize Saskatoon Pride 2014 through the Sasktoon Diversity Network. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

A crowd gathered at Saskatoon's city hall Monday to hoist a rainbow flag in honour of Saskatoon Pride 2014.

The public event was one of the first of more than 10 that will be held in the city this week to celebrate the city's sexually diverse community.

Among the crowd were politicians like Rob Norris, Saskatoon Greystone MLA, Darren Hill, Ward 1 City Councillor, Charlie Clark, Ward 6 City Councillor and Ken Cheveldayoff, Saskatoon Silver Springs MLA.

Darren Hill spoke at the podium to kick off the event, telling the crowd that throughout the years he has come to realize Saskatoon Pride isn't just about "partying and parades" but rather, an important event for Saskatoon.

Standing on the sidelines doesn't help anybody- Danny Papadatos

Danny Papadatos, President and Chair of the Saskatoon Diversity Network, said he would like to see more new faces to the event this year.

"You may be scared, or you may just not want to get involved but I challenge you to try," Papadatos said. "The opportunities are endless when a community chooses to take that one moment and either show their support or come out and help and things like that."

Mayor Don Atchison did not attend the event. In fact, this was the first time in years that the Saskatoon Diversity Network did not formally invite its city's leader.

"Hopefully this sends the message that you know, we're tired of having the need to ask," Papadatos explained.

For the past six years, Mayor Atchison had been formally invited to the event, but was unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts, according to Papadatos.

"Hopefully it sends the little message that sometimes a voice gets tired of asking," Papadatos said.

This year organizers are particularly proud of the community festival, as it attracted the largest number of community sponsors ever.

It is the first year Tourism Saskatoon chose to sponsor Saskatoon Pride, launching a LGBTQ website, to showcase the community in Saskatoon. 

The Radisson hotel is also a new corporate sponsor the event has attracted. The downtown hotel plans to hoist its own rainbow flag too, and its staff will distribute information about the various Saskatoon Pride events.