By Emily Blatta
VANCOUVER – You’ll find this pride season jam-packed with parade favourites, new festivals and celebrations more inventive than Lady Gaga’s wardrobe itself. Here is our official list of must-sees and must-dos to get you inspired, connected and in the spirit of loving yourself.
Davie Street Party
On the eve of pride weekend, all LGBTQ+ community members, their families and allies are invited to a party spanning multiple blocks through the heart of The West End. Don’t miss the local art, good eats (like the $2 pancake fundraiser at Denny’s!) and DJ beats. Happening Friday, August 4 from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. between Burrard and Jervis. This event is free.
Celebrities and Pacific Rhythm are set to host the after party of after parties, featuring San Francisco’s very own Honey Soundsystem and special guests Body Party and Nancy Dru. Music until 4 a.m. provides a sweet escape, like you’re in Berlin or something. Happening Friday, August 4 at Celebrities Nightclub. Doors at 8 p.m., free entry before 10 p.m.
Kick off pride and get down and funky with high-energy dance and vocal ensemble performances by super troupe Queer as Funk! Also featuring special guests Dawn Pemberton — the New Queen of Canadian Soul — and East Van’s own acapella soul quartet What Is It. If you’re looking to start your pride weekend off with a glitter-twist and a shout, Queer as Funk! is something you won’t want to miss. Happening Friday August 4 at 8 p.m. at the Commodore Ballroom. Tickets are $41.50 in advance.
This classic East Van event demands your attention this year, whether you’re watching from the sidelines, marching with your loved one or walking to the beat of your own unique drum. The Vancouver Dyke March fits and fights for boots of all colours, identities and sizes. Happening Saturday, August 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in McSpadden Park. This event is free.
Gorg-O-Mish is hosting pride events all weekend, but if you love disco, we recommend checking out this disco set by UK-based DJ Little Boots. Also featuring performances by Sappho and David Sylvester, this event is all gold lamé, suede and corduroy. Happening Saturday, August 5 from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. at Gorg-O-Mish.
Come hangout where the sun meets the rainbow and celebrate who you are, who you love and where you live at the Pride Parade through Vancouver’s gay village. There’s no event hotter, sweatier, more colourful or exciting than a decked-out Pride Parade during the middle of summer, and nothing more rewarding than a post-parade beer at Sunset Beach. Happening Sunday August 6. This event is free.
Whether you’re walking in the Pride Parade or watching from the sidelines, you might as well have run a marathon through the desert. Celebrate at the finish line with a beer and experience the festival’s Vendor Village, Community Zone and live music on the main stage. Happening Sunday, August 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Sunset Beach.
Drag performer, comedienne and creator of Wigstock Lady Bunny is all fierce lashes and potty-mouthed humour. Renowned in New York City and around the globe, she’s here in Vancouver this month to electrify our hearts and turn things up a notch. See Lady Bunny perform Sunday August 6 at the Odyssey Bar & Nightclub. Show at 10 p.m. Advance tickets are $40.
Ice-T Pride Patio Party
Hosted by XYYVR, Ice-T Pride Patio Party features a sweet line-up of DJs including DJ Leanne, Almond Brown, Diana Boss and more. Kick back with a Long Island Iced Tea at the coolest patio party of the summer, you’ll need one after all that dancing. Happening Sunday, August 6 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m at XYYVR.
Bye Felicia The SheQuel (Pride Edition)
Once the patio gets too cool, head indoors for a SheQuel and continue partying through the night with Resident Queen Alma B Itches. This bearded Queen will have you saying bye-bye to all those things no longer meant for you. Happening Sunday, August 6 from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m at XYYVR.
Coconutz & Bananas
Hosted by Vancouver’s first-ever Trans Bar (finally!), Coconutz and Bananas is an inclusive dance party for trans and non-conforming bodies to feel safe and get crazy under one roof. Jam-packed with performances by some of the hottest trans DJs, go-go dancers, strippers and drag performers, Coconutz & Bananas provides a long overdue scene for those who feel unseen. Happening Friday, August 18 at the Odyssey Bar & Nightclub. Doors at 9 p.m. Entry is $5.