A gay cabaret. A drag extravaganza. And a Pride Parade.
These are just a few of the events being held this week as part of Sackville’s Pride Week, a celebration of diversity and acceptance.
The series of events, which will take place from Sept. 11-17, are being hosted by a number of partners – including the town of Sackville, the Mount Allison Students’ Union, PFLAG Sackville, Catalyst Mount Allison, and the Sackville United Church – and will take place both on and off campus.
One of the highlights will be the fifth annual Pride Parade, which is set for Thursday, Sept. 12. The event will get under way with speeches at a flag-raising outside the Mount Allison chapel at 5 p.m. The parade will then set out via York Street and Main Street to town hall around 5:30 for a second pride flag-raising.
Then, everyone is invited to join event organizers at the Bill Johnstone Memorial Park for live music by Mediocre @ Best, a fundraising barbecue with Shinerama and cake.
Matt Pryde, Sackville’s manager of recreation programs and special events, says the town is always honoured to partner in this important event.
“We have a very diverse community here in Sackville, especially for a small town, and we believe that’s something worth celebrating,” he says. “I’d encourage everyone to come out and walk in the parade, check out the various other events and celebrate the fact we live in a different kind of small town.”
To prepare for the parade, the student union has organized a poster-making event for this evening (Sept. 11) at Gracie’s Café from 6:30-8:30 p.m. There will also be Pride trivia at the Pond starting at 9 p.m.
On Friday, Sept. 13, PFLAG will host a Drag Extravaganza, a family-friendly, all-ages drag show at the Vogue Cinema that will also serve as a fundraiser for the organization. Tickets are available at Hounds of Vintage, Tidewater Books and the Vogue for the show, which will get under way at 5:30 p.m.
A Very Gay Cabaret will be the featured event on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Painted Pony Bar and Grill. Termed as “a night of pride and love,” the all-ages cabaret event is being hosted by 15-year-old local drag queen Cacophobia and will include entertainment from 10 performers from Sackville, Amherst and Moncton.
Getting under way at 8:30, the Very Gay Cabaret was organized by Sackville student Bliss Behar, also 15, who is one of the founders of The Queer Room, a non-profit safe space for local queer teens in a cozy room in the Sackville United Church. Behar, who received a grant from Rising Youth for the initiative, said he wanted to organize an event that people hadn’t seen before in Sackville.
Following the cabaret, people are invited to come on out to MtGay at the Pond (in the Mount Allison student centre) at 10 p.m.
On Sunday, the Sackville United Church will be celebrating its first anniversary of becoming an affirming ministry and invites everyone to come join in the celebration starting at 11 a.m.
The events continue on Monday, with a coffee house at Gracie’s Café from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, there will be a Catalyst meeting and discussion panel and everyone is welcome to join in for an open and safe discussion at the Mount Allison Dunn Building, room 106 at 6 p.m.