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Happy PRIDE Week Saskatoon!

Welcome to the 20th anniversary of Pride week in Saskatoon!  Yep.  20 years of Pride.  It’s a pretty amazing thing.

I’ve only been attending for five or six years now…  maybe seven.  But even in that short a time, the leaps and bounds taken have been amazing.  I remember it only being a handful of people out, but we are now seeing thousands of people every year – and the number is growing exponentially every year.  It really is an amazing thing!

So, here’s a brief run down on a few of my favourite Pride events:

Picnic in the Park (formerly known as Family Day) – Sunday June 10th, 11:00 till 4:00 @ Kinsmen Park.  Burgers and hotdogs available for $2, pop for $1.  There are always lots of fun games for the kids, as well as face painting.  And this year there will also be a softball game for the “grownups”.  Bring a blanket, or just hang out on the grass.  🙂

Welcome to the Gaybourhood – Wednesday June 13th, 12:00 till 3:00 on 21st Street West between Ave C and D.  Free Burgers and hotdogs.  Free live music and performance art.  This one is always a lot of fun – and I’ve been there every year since it’s first.  Is this three or four now?  LOL  I can’t remember.

Mosaic Art & Fashion Show – Wednesday June 13th, 7:00 until midnight @ the Albert Community Center, 610 Clarence Ave S.  Tickets are $15 at the door.  This will actually be the first year I’ve attended this show.  I’ve always wanted to, but the timing just never worked out for me before.  And even better?  I’ll actually be debuting several pieces from my Power of SHe project at the show.  So you’ll definitely want to come out for this one.  Lots of great art will be available for purchase (including mine).

Pride Parade and Community Fair – Saturday June 16th, 12:00 till 7:00 @ Victoria Park.  The parade starts at 1:00 and the entertainment on the free stage will be starting up at about 2:15.  Beer gardens, lots of vendors (both food and awesome wares), some fabulous community and non-profit groups will be there with info…  It’s always an amazing time.  So come on out!  As this years Pride theme says, “OUT is IN!”

There are lots more events as well – these are just my personal “must attends”.  You can get all the details at http://www.saskatoonpride.ca/.  And remember:  You don’t have to identify as a member of the acronym community to attend.  Allies are HUGELY important, and everyone is welcome!

 

OUT is IN - Saskatoon's 2012 Pride Week

 

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PRIDE WEEK – Saskatoon’s Pride Parade!

Well, here we are.  The end of Pride week here in Saskatoon.  It really is my favourite week of the year.  A chance to make some new friends, and connect with those I rarely see the other 11 and 3/4 months of the year.  Pride week fills me with hope, and I truly KNOW that things are getting better.  Each year our numbers are stronger and our colours brighter.  I look forward to the time when we can live PRIDE every day – and I know that it is coming.

Want to see my post post-parade last year?  Here it is:  Leave the Politics at the Door.

Being at the parade and fair in an official capacity was a new experience for me this year.  As coordinator for Camp fYrefly I was there to set up our booth, organize volunteers, and get our group all set up to march in the parade.  It was a lot of fun, but it meant we were there a lot earlier than we’re used to.  And it also meant that I didn’t get to do my usual tour of tables.  I kinda missed out on hunting down all the coolest stuff, and checking out all the latest from the fair vendors…  which I confess, I do regret.  And after the parade, the girlie had just had enough, so we weren’t able to stay till the end as I’d originally planned.  Thankfully Derrick was there, and so graciously offered to man the table for the last couple of hours without me.  I am sooo grateful for his help today.  He was awesome!

The girlie was tired before we even arrived.  She has her “sleepover night” with my parents every Friday…  which meant she was up SUPER early today (they wake up WAY too freakin’ early at that house).  So by 10:00 when we swung by to grab her, she was already several hours into her day (at home she wakes up about 8:30 or 9:00).  So yeah…  tired girl before we even got started – which made for a much harder day than I’d have liked.

Thankfully (because he was there to help with the girlie) this was Damon’s first year at the Pride Parade and Street Fair.  He has always had to work the Saturday it was held, but this year, the start of his holidays coincided with the event.  So it was a real treat to have him there.  He’s not much for crowds, so I know he felt totally out of his element, but I appreciated that he came.  I think he’d have loved Pride back in the day when there were only a couple hundred folk out.  LOL

So…  here are a few pictures.  I’d hoped to grab a family photo with the three of us all in our Camp fYrefly gear:  Lily-Ann in the dress I made, me in my altered t-shirt, and Damon in his…  but, like I said:  cranky girlie.  LMAO  And without being free to wander at will, pretty much all my photos were of the fYrefly crew.  But I snapped away, just the same.  🙂

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PRIDE WEEK – Welcome to the Gaybourhood!

Today was the third annual Welcome to the Gaybourhood – and I’m proud to say I’ve been at all three.  LOL  It’s one of my absolute favourite Pride Week events.  While the numbers were a little disappointing this year, nothing else was!  Absolutely wonderful people, great entertainment, yummy food, and gorgeous weather too.  No way could one be let down when all those ducks line up neatly in a row.  🙂

A couple of new things for us this year:  Saskatoon’s juggling club, The Secret Circus, was there and we finally got to see my sister’s group, The Seahags, perform – so yay!

I honestly couldn’t possibly say enough good things about the gentlemen who were at Welcome to the Gaybourhood representing The Secret Circus.  Robin, Paul, and Breton were all fantastic performers…  and Robin and Paul were absolutely amazing with Lily-Ann.  Seriously.  We hung out with them for a good hour before they went up on stage to do their bit – and they taught her all sorts of cool things.  They were so generous with their time and knowledge, it was a real treat.  And I think I may have to hunt down a Diabollo (did I spell that right) for the girlie, she ADORED theirs.  LMAO

The Seahags were “dismembered”, as there were only three of the five of them performing today – but Lily was more than happy to help out, and boosted their numbers up one.  She danced on stage with them until the sun just got to be too much, came down to cuddle with me for a half a song then asked (ever so politely) to leave.  So while I was enjoying getting to hear my sister play for the first time in forever, we packed it up.

As always…  an absolutely wonderful day at Welcome to the Gaybourhood!

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Paper Mache Fireflies

Long day.  Seriously long day.

Run the girlie to my mom.

Run home to get some stuff taken care of.

Run to the U of S for a photo shoot.

Run back to my parent’s place to grab the girlie.

Run back home again.

Run off to get a tour of the place where Camp fYrefly will be held (Thanks for driving Herb!).

Run back home again.

Run to pick up Damon from work.

Run back home again to grab our library books.

Run to the library.

Run home – yet again – to let the dogs out for a potty break.

Run back to my parent’s place again (because we always go for a visit on “library day” aka Tuesday).

Run out to do some grocery and craft supply shopping while the girlie hangs with my parents.

Run back to their place.

Run amok in the yard with loads of balloons, flour, water, newspaper, and sticks for a couple hours.

Run back home (for the last time).

Run the dogs back out into the yard.

Run the girlie straight into bed for a chapter and sleep.

I’m pooped!

But we got a good start on our paper mache fireflies.  They should look great!  *knock on wood*  Still a couple more days of work to go on them – AND I still need to sew the girlie’s outfit for the parade.  But we’ll get it all done and be ready for Satuday.  LOVE LOVE LOVE being a part of the PRIDE parade every year.  😀  I may be going a little batty just now, but it’s going to be soooo worth it if these fireflies work out.  How totally cute will they be!  Seriously.  😀

PRIDE WEEK – Gay Latte, a Success!

Just a real quick post.  I’m soooo ready for bed.  LOL

Gay Latte was a complete success.  A fabulous evening, amazing talent, all for a great cause:  Camp fYrefly.

Tonight, we raised $314.75!  Thanks to all our readers, and everyone who donated.  We made enough to send a youth to camp tonight.  Well done!

PRIDE WEEK – Family Day at the Park

Well, it’s one of my favourite times of the year again.  😀  Pride Week!  And today we headed down to Victoria park (beside the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon).  It really was a fabulous event – even better than last years.  Lots of great folks, great food, and great fun.  There was tons of the kids to do too, which was really awesome.  Here are a few pics:

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It really is fun to just sit back and let the girlie go at an event like this.  Where no one is a stranger, and we’re all there for the same reasons – to celebrate who we are.  Fast friends, everyone.  A fabulous, safe, and completely supportive environment.  It really was an absolutely fabulous time.  🙂

Tomorrow it will be Gay Latte, and guess what?!?!?  McNally Robinson is actually creating a special “gay latte” that will be served at the event.  How fun is that?  Prior to the event, yours truly (as a member of the Camp fYrefly team) will be hosting a press conference to discuss Camp fYrefly and how vital programming like ours is to youth today.  Gay Latte will be in the cafe, and the media event will be in the alcove.  Hope to see you there!

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=218938528123810

 

GETTING on the road again…

Busy day today.

Got a whole whack of disks out ready to be picked up from the photo shoots I’d done the last couple of weeks.  Did them up differently than what I’d done in the past, and I’m very happy with them.  Laser inscribed, coloured disks in matching coloured sleeves.  I figure beautiful pictures should be delivered in a beautiful package…  and now they are.  It took a little work to get all the kinks out of the new system, but I am very happy with the end result.

Created an ad for TD Photography.  It’s a little half page black and white one that will run in this years PRIDE Guide.  We always attend as many events as possible during PRIDE Week every year, so I’m super excited to have TD Photography in the guide AND to be helping to organize the Gay Latte poetry night this year.

Did almost all the grocery shopping for the dog show.  All I have left to buy is bait at the deli.  Sliced chicken loaf.  The dogs always go gaga for it…  and the only time they ever get any is at a dog show.

Sewed up a new x-pen surround.  I’d bought the material last year, but never got around to actually putting it together.  So I’m glad it’s finished.  It will be much prettier than just draping baby blankets over the crate and pen.

Laundry all finished up and folded too.  So come tomorrow, I’ll be ready to pack, and both DH and the girl will have plenty of clothes so I don’t have to worry about what they’ll wear whilst I’m away.

I’m always completely exhausted by the time I actually leave for a show.  It takes a ton of work to get everything ready.  Once upon a time (before child, before jobs) it was a relatively simple thing…  and everything could easily be accomplished the day I left.  Not any more.  LOL  Heck, I’ll even be taking work WITH  me to do at the show during my very limited down time.  Just because I’m away, doesn’t mean the world stops.  Still lots to do on both my Camp fYrefly and TD Photography plates.

Well…  I’m one tired chick.  Time to rest.

Night all!

Sweet dreams.

Leave the politics at the door.

Pride Week is one of my favourite weeks of the year.  In Saskatoon the organizers and volunteers put on event after event, and they just keep getting bigger and better.  So many hours, so many dedicated people, all working together with a common vision.

We make a point of getting out to at least a few Pride events every year.  We always have an amazing time, and love being surrounded by such incredible people – all devoted to diversity.  This years PRIDE week was no exception.  We had a lovely time at the family day in the park, at the second annual Welcome to the Gaybourhood block party, and today marching in the parade and then celebrating with everyone at the community stage.

This year, a couple different politicians were invited to speak before the stage was opened up for the incredible musical line up.  And honestly?  There is a reason folks hate politicians.  This event is not about politics, and it’s not about scoring brownie points that can be redeemed at election time.  I was so disappointed with the MLA who was invited to represent our provincial government…  actually, I was beyond disappointed.

The NDP MLA made a point of recognizing the very few NDP representatives who were present (including mentioning one MLA who had ALREADY LEFT despite the fact that the event had only just begun).  He encouraged people to vote NDP.  And then went on to blast the current Sask Party government.  Personally, I found this appalling.  It was not the time OR the place for this kind of political maneuvering.

There are times when politics should be left at home, or checked at the door, and this was one of those times.  Yes!  Come as an elected official who represents the current government and who is proud to see how large the PRIDE movement has become.  But don’t treat it as a chance to earn votes.  Be there in the spirit of the day.  Celebrate with us!  But don’t pretend to be a part of a movement you choose to ignore the other 364 days a year just to earn a vote.  It insults our intelligence.  We see your party’s record, we can read all about your stance, see what you’ve done to promote equality, and we know that you aren’t there the rest of the year…  And judging by the rumblings in the crowd I’m not the only one who found him offensive.

The Green Party did not have a float in the parade, we weren’t attending with an agenda like the Liberal and NDP representatives.  But we were there.  Because we are always there.  Because PRIDE is something that is deeply important to us…  and that has NOTHING to do with earning votes or ensuring we are noticed as representatives of a political party.

Pride is about believing in yourself, being true to who you are, and being PROUD.  It is about the discrimination we have overcome and still face by being open, by sharing the truth.  It is about fighting for a world where PRIDE is NORMAL.  Where gender has nothing to do with a persons sex.  Where love is love regardless if it’s shared between women, between men, or between a man and a woman.  It’s about truth.

How many of those politicians there today have truly been there?  How many know what it means?  How many have seen the dark side of humanity where

… … Sorry.  This is difficult.  Sometimes I get emotional. … …

I have had friends, bloodied and in the hospital, beaten for being who they are.  How many of those politicians have been there?  How many have experienced that side of PRIDE?  Pride is about coming back from that, and knowing it’s worth it to keep fighting.  Pride is about the idea that my daughter will grow up not knowing that ugliness.  Pride is about how far we’ve come.

So I’m glad the politicians came…  but sometimes?  It would be nice to see them leave the politics at home.

Want to know what PRIDE is really about?

two preschoolers holding hands, very cute together.

Gabriella & Lily-Ann

It’s about Gabriella and Lily-Ann…  two little girls who met only two minutes previously, holding hands.  Two little girls who will never know a world where diversity isn’t totally, completely, natural and normal.

Happy Pride Day!

Family Day in the Park

Yesterday was the official kick off to PRIDE week here in Saskatoon.  It began at 6:30 with a flag raising at city hall, followed by the opening of an art show at Lydia’s.  Today was family day at Kinsmen Park.  Lots of stuff going on all week (will include a schedule of events below the picture for today).  If you see me out and about, don’t hesitate to yell “Hey!  Tobi-Dawne!”.  😀

It was nice to see Trae and Jaden out today, even though we didn’t get to visit for long.  Boy oh boy has that boy grown.  LOL  I can’t believe how big he has gotten over the last few months.  They were the only folks we recognized, however Lily-Ann was recognized by someone…  and they figured if she was Lily-Ann, then I MUST be Tobi-Dawne.

So, here is the wee girlie – with her freshly painted up face.

Lily-Ann with her "princess spider man" face paint.  LOL

Painted faces.

PRIDE EVENTS still to come:

Gay Latte, a celebration of the written word – 6:30 on June 7th @ Prairie Ink Restaurant in McNally Robinson.  No charge.

The Gayest Bingo Ever – 7:00 on June 8th @ Cosmo Civic Center.  $20 for a 12 up book of cards.

Welcome to the Gaybourhood, block party & BBQ – 11:00 on June 9th @ Avenue Community Center on 21st Street West.  No charge.

Movie Night at the Roxy – 7:00 on June 9th @ the Roxy Theatre on 20th.  No charge.

Karaoke with Rock Bottom (80’s theme) – 9:30 on June 9th @ Diva’s.  No charge.

Positive Passions Pint Crawl – 7:00 on June 10th starting @ Lydia’s.  $20.

Amateur Comedy Night, hosted by Crystal Clear – 9:00 on June 10th @ Diva’s.  No charge.

Positive Passions Martini Crawl – 7:00 on June 11th starting @ The Barking Fish.  $25.

High Energy Drag Show – 10:00 on June 11th @ Diva’s.  $5.  The martini crawl will end here, so you can do both.

PRIDE Parade, Community Fair, Community Stage – 11:00 on June 12th @ Saskatoon City Hall.  Free to attend (there will be drinks for sale).

Illuminate, the 2010 PRIDE Dance – 9:00 on June 12th @ the Odeon.  $15.

Diva’s Annual PRIDE Wrap Up Dance – 8:00 on June 12th @ Diva’s.  $5 for non-members, members are free.

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