The pride flag will have to be flown digitally for 2021 celebrations this August. (Langley Advance Times files)

The pride flag will have to be flown digitally for 2021 celebrations this August. (Langley Advance Times files)

Port Alberni celebrates Pride with week of virtual events

Pride flag to fly at various locations around town

UPDATED MAY 31, 2021: The Alberni Valley Pride Sociey has made the decision to postpone its Pride week celebrations to June 4, out of respect to the 215 children that were found buried on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops.

The Alberni Valley Pride Society will be celebrating the LGBTQ2+ community and its allies with a week of virtual contests and activities.

“It was difficult to figure out how to do a Pride event this year, due to the changes of restrictions with COVID,” explained Carrie Thorpe, the chair of the Alberni Valley Pride Society.

The society still wanted to celebrate the LGBTQ2+ community and its allies, and this is how a virtual Pride Week celebration was born.

“We talked to different organizations to see what they could do during that week,” said Thorpe. “There are a whole bunch of different things happening, which is just amazing.”

Pride week events were originally scheduled to begin June 1, but were postponed to June 4 to honour the discovery of 215 children found buried on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops.

The society is holding two different contests. The first is a baking contest. Send photos of your Pride-themed treats to albernipridecontest@gmail.com and visit the society’s Facebook page to vote for a winner. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, June 10 at noon.

A “Pride Up Your Place” decorating contest encourages Port Alberni businesses to celebrate Pride with a vibrant and visible display, by transforming their stores, desks, windows and doors. Pictures can be sent to albernivalleypride@gmail.com by Tuesday, June 8, along with an explanation about how you plan to be an LGBTQ2+ ally. Two submissions will be drawn for a $50 donation to a charity of their choice.

For those who are looking for decorations, Alberni Valley Pride Society has flags available for purchase at Walk the Coast on Elizabeth Street. Various Pride flags are available by donation, with all proceeds going towards the Pride Society.

Port Alberni City Hall, the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, North Island College and School District 70 will all be flying the Pride flag throughout the week.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Alberni Valley Pride Society has been limited to virtual events and socials for the past year.

“Mostly we’ve just been focusing on providing resources,” said Thorpe. “Hopefully, when COVID allows, we can connect in person again.”

Here’s a list of the other events that will be taking place throughout the week:

Friday, June 4 — Free Youth Zoom Music Bingo at 7 p.m. To register, email albernivalleypride@gmail.com.

Saturday, June 5 — Free Zoom Karaoke Night. Email avtranspride@gmail.com to register.

Sunday, June 6 — Outdoor yoga with the Power of Three by donation at Gyro Recreation Park (on Dunbar Street across from the ball field). 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Register at www.pwerofthree.ca.

Tuesday, June 8 —Alberni Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Service (ADAPS) will be holding a facilitated Lunch and Learn Zoom session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This session provides a safe, welcoming, non-judgmental space for community members to learn tools on how to be an effective LGBTQ2+ ally. To register, email carrie@adaps.org.

Wednesday, June 9—Stop by the rainbow bench at Trinity Church on Angus Street between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to receive a “Warm Fuzzy.”

Thursday, June 10 —Alberni Valley Pride Chalk Painting and Bubbles at Alberni Valley United Church from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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