Sudbury Pride introduces speed-friending as an alternative to speed-dating

It's like Speed Dating, but without the romance. Sudbury Pride is hosting Speed Friending to celebrate friendship on the traditionally romantic holiday.

It's like Speed Dating but without the romance

Sudbury Pride Communications Chair, Hez Bird, created Speed Friending to help people focus on platonic relationships. (Submitted by Lee Czechowski)

If you prefer to celebrate friendship rather than romance to mark Valentine's Day, Sudbury Pride has something for you.

The organization is hosting an evening of Speed Friending in place of speed dating.

Instead of romantic match-making, Sudbury Pride is hoping to help people make new friends. 

"I think that there is a lot of emphasis on romantic relationships both within and without the LGBT community, I think that having a Speed Friending event just kind of redirects the significance of platonic, non-romantic relationships," said Lee Czechowski, the vice-chair of Sudbury Pride and an organizer of the event.

Speed Friending was created by Hez Bird, the organization's Communications Chair, as a way for people in the LGBT community and people outside the LGBT community to come together, have fun and make some friends.

It's based on the experience that making friends as adults can be difficult, and finding the time to put yourself out there to find people with similar interests can sometimes be a challenge. 

"We get older and we get busy, it's really tough to get out there and make friends in different scenarios that aren't just centred around bars or drinking," said Czechowski.

Lee Czechowski is Vice-Chair of Sudbury Pride and helped organize the event. (Submitted by Lee Czechowski)

At Speed Friending, there will be 12 different stations with various activities to help everyone get to know each other, whether it's playing Jenga or working on a puzzle, everyone will be meeting new people and hopefully making new friends.

The event is Friday, February 15, at Little Montreal Bar and Deli and open to everyone, within or outside of the LGBT community.

"I think the idea that we're getting together, we're going to play games and we're going to do fun things to get to know one another, I think that emphasis that it doesn't have to be a romantic thing is really important for our community," said Czechowski.

Another event that is celebratory without invoking romance, the Winter Formal, also hosted by Sudbury Pride, happens right after Speed Friending at Little Montreal.

These types of events are important to help people in the community meet and build friendships, they said.

Sudbury is a lot smaller than Toronto and Montreal, which can make meeting others in the LGBT community a challenge, said Czechowski.

"Sudbury doesn't have a gay village, for example, you know like Toronto or like Montreal does, so I think that having these kinds of events that bring us all out into one space to find one another is really important," they said.


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