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Capital Pride 2021 summer festival to feature virtual and outdoor programming

The theme for this year's festival is "We Still Demand!" as Pride celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first large-scale queer rights demonstration in Canada.
Pride flag
Pride flag.

Sam Laprade and Jason White speak with a number of guests from the 2SLGBGTQ+ community during the second annual award-winning CityNews Ottawa Pride Week Special on Sunday, August 22, 2021. 

Capital Pride organizers are taking more of a "hybrid" approach to this year's festival.

The 2020 edition was fully online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but with restrictions eased and the majority of residents vaccinated against the virus, Capital Pride will be hosting both virtual and outdoor events, starting on August 22 and running through August 29, 2021. 

This year’s celebrations, themed "We Still Demand!" will honour the first large-scale queer rights demonstration in Canada, which took place in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of the iconic protest, festival goers will be reminded of the voices that helped the 2SLGBGTQ+ community achieve and enjoy the rights and freedoms they cherish today.

"We are working hard to bring an energetic and educational Capital Pride Festival that celebrates what we have overcome as a community while educating and advocating for the work that lies ahead," said Osmel B. Guerra Maynes, executive director of Capital Pride.

This year's festival includes panel discussions on a variety of issues facing the 2SLGBGTQ+ community. Maynes is also excited to welcome Dominique Jackson, Star of FX TV’s Pose and Starz TV's American Gods; Rodney Diverlus, a movement artist, performance-maker, artivist, and co-founder of Black Lives Matter — Canada; Danny Ramadan, a Syrian Canadian award-winning novelist; and jaye Simpson a two -Spirit Oji-Cree of the Buffalo Clan with roots in Sapotaweyak and Skownan Cree nation who often writes about being queer in the welfare system, as well as being queer and indigenous.

The 2021 Pride Parade will be presented virtually. The event will be broadcast on Rogers TV, and will be hosted by Scarlett Bobo (Canada Drag Race finalist) and KiSS 105.3 morning show personality Sandra Plagakis.

Capital Pride has also curated a list of local and regional 2SLGBTQ+ artisans and community vendors that will be participating in a Virtual Queer Market. Delivered in an innovative 3D format, the market can be visited on any computer, smart phone or tablet.

Drag performers from across the country and around the world are expected on Capital Pride's virtual stage in 2021. This year's Pride Pageant features 11 competitors from the National Capital Region competing to be 2021 Capital Pride Royalty. The festival also includes a drag cooking show, drag bingo with Kandy Muse (finalist on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13), panel discussion about mental health hosted by 2020 Mr. Capital Pride Cyril Cinder.

The in-person portion of the festival includes Capital Pride's inaugural drag brunch, which will be hosted by La La Ri (Miss Congeniality & Contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13). 

The 2SLGBTQ+ Human Rights Vigil will also return in person this year, and centres 2-Spirit and Indigiqueer voices. 

Festival organizers say further opportunities for in-person programming continue to be explored.

For a full schedule of this year's Capital Pride festival events, visit capitalpride.ca

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