PEI

Traditional Pride parade on P.E.I. cancelled for 2020

There will be no Pride parade on P.E.I. this year, at least not as in past years with thousands of people marching through the streets of Charlottetown.

Organizers encouraging people to connect via airwaves and create their own celebration

There will be no organized march through the streets of Charlottetown for the 2020 Pride festival. (John Robertson/CBC)

There will be no Pride parade on P.E.I. this year, at least not as in past years with thousands of people marching through the streets of Charlottetown.

John Kimmel, chair of Pride PEI, said it would be "troublesome or irresponsible" to hold a traditional parade under the current climate of COVID-19.

He said Pride PEI also did not want to take away from other social movements happening on P.E.I. and around the world.

"While the current Pride movement started as a protest and a march 51 years ago, we've come a long way," he said in an email to CBC.

'Stand in solidarity'

"Movements like Black Lives Matter and Indigenous Lives Matter should march and take up all the space they need to protest for urgent and much-needed change, and we stand in solidarity with both Black Lives Matter and Indigenous Lives Matter…. Our community agreed that this year was not the year for Pride to march in defiance of social distancing and public health norms."

Instead of a traditional parade, Pride PEI has teamed up with HOT 105 and Stingray Radio for what they are calling a Parade on the Waves event.

Our community agreed that this year was not the year for Pride to march in defiance of social distancing and public health norms.​​​​— John Kimmel

Pride PEI is encouraging people on the Island and elsewhere to tune into the radio station Aug. 1 at 1 p.m. and create their own parade or dance party wherever they may be at the time.

During the broadcast,  Kimmel said they will ask people who are tuning in to film, photograph, and share their "hottest dance moves and coolest Pride looks" on social media — hashtag pridepei and tagging @pridepei — so they can cut a video from contributed content

"This year, Pride is all about the big picture — being seen, seeing others, and sharing across the Island and around the world," he said.

The Pride festival runs from July 26 to Aug. 2. For a list of events, check the Pride PEI website.

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