By Emily Blatta
VANCOUVER – The Vancouver LGBTQ+ community has a lot to be proud of this year, but what’s cooler and more important than anything is its determination to create safer, more accessible spaces that are equally fun to play in, only more diverse and fresh-faced. Now in its second year, Vancouver Art and Leisure’s Alternative Pride is at the forefront of that movement, and flaunts a list of events that could draw even the homiest of home bodies out of their shell.
Despite offering alternatives, the festival isn’t about putting down any of the traditional pride events that other facets of community have worked to build, and Alternative Pride director Bradley Michael makes clear that what they’re creating is actually a complement to what already exists. They do however offer something a little bit different–artists are given complete creative autonomy to perform and involve all aspects of their identities, while audience members are made to feel totally welcome by staff that are like-minded and from the LGBTQ+ community itself.
To get things started is the much-anticipated Drag Carnival, where all drag queens, kings and wannabes can come perform, mingle, watch and be seen. After that, it’s a jam-packed few days of the queerest vintage, bike tours, techno, disco and hip-hop that Vancouver has to offer.
“I think finding accessible spaces for LGBTQ+ artists to present their work is something the community will always have to fight for. It has been amazing to see the creative side of our community flourish with drag and performance art the last few years and I feel a lot of credit goes to drag performers such as Alma Bitches, Jane Smoker, Jaylene Tyme, Carlotta Gurl and Dee Blew who have created wonderful shows,” says Michael.
If you’re on the hunt for something new to do this pride season, Vancouver Art and Leisure’s Alternative Pride programming is guaranteed to keep your wheels spinning all week long.
For tickets and more information visit www.artandleisure.caVancouver Arts and Leisure, Vancouver Pride