Ottawa

Everything you need to know for Capital Pride 2019

Here's everything you need to know to get the most out of this year's celebration, including Sunday's grand finale.

Annual celebration runs from Aug. 18 to 25

Thousands attended last year's Pride parade along Bank Street. (Roxane Léouzon/Radio-Canada)

The Capital Pride Festival has officially kicked off, and organizers say they've added more accessible, affordable and family-friendly events.

This year's events include a block party, a pageant, a prom, a street fair, a family afternoon and, of course, the famous annual Pride parade. There are over 60 community events taking place during Pride week, many of them free.

The grand marshal for this year's parade is Dillon Black, a PhD student who's looking into surveillance and resistance of queer and trans communities in Canada through the intersections of privacy, technology and gendered violence.

Rainbow flags will be raised at six city buildings in Ottawa, including the Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service and OC Transpo headquarters. 

The Ottawa Police Service is also organizing a free barbecue after the flag-raising ceremony at Marion Dewar Plaza. Capital Pride has requested that off-duty officers not march in uniform. 

Tara Paterson, the vice-chair of the festival's board of directors,  said it remains a contentious issue. 

"Views on uniformed police participation in the Pride parade [are] as diverse as the community itself," she told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning.

"We took all of those [views] to account in making our decision."

This Pride festival runs from Aug.18 to 25, with the parade held on the final day.

Here's more on the festivities. 

Day one

  • The Drag Brunch will take place at the Canadian Museum of Nature between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • The Family Picnic will take place in Hintonburg Park between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Weekday events 

  • The Pride flag-raising ceremony will take place at Ottawa City Hall on Monday at noon, and at Gatineau City Hall at 10 a.m. 
  • The National Arts Centre will host a speaker series at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. A human rights vigil, also at the NAC, will follow at 8 p.m.
  • The TD Block Party kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Aberdeen Square in Lansdowne Park.
  • The Capital Pride Pageant takes place Thursday at the Delta City Centre Hotel, with doors opening at 6:45 p.m. 
  • Nature Nocturne's "Pride edition" gets underway at the Museum of Nature on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Pride Prom at Sandy Hill Community Centre starts around the same time. 
This map shows the route for the Aug. 25 Capital Pride parade, as well as the location of the final weekend's street fair. (Capital Pride)

The final weekend

  • The street fair on Bank Street starts at noon on both Saturday and Sunday. 
  • Festivities for families will take place Sunday at 2 p.m. 
  • Performances on the TD Main Stage at Bank and Somerset streets begin at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Capital Pride Parade sets off at 1:30 p.m. Sunday from Bank and Gladstone streets, heading up Kent Street and Laurier Avenue W. before ending at Bank and Somerset streets.

Traffic 

Next weekend's street fair and parade will force the following road closures from 7 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24, to 11 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25:

  • Somerset Street between Bank and O'Connor streets.
  • Bank Street between Somerset Street and Gladstone Avenue.
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