Okanagan Pride unveils theme and how to be part of the festival, Aug 12-19

Okanagan Pride has announced its theme for the 2017 Pride-week festival—”Shine Bright”—a play upon one of the world’s most precious gems.

“Although there has been Pride celebrations in Kelowna for more than two decades, 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of celebrations under the banner of Okanagan Pride—our diamond anniversary,” says Dustyn Baulkham, President of the Okanagan Pride Society. “When we thought about diamonds, we realized they really reflect members of the LGBT2Q+ community. They’re strong, unbreakable and totally unique. It’s only natural we landed on the ‘Shine Bright’ theme. Plus there’s no other week in the year that our community shines more than Okanagan Pride.”

Along with the theme, the tentative schedule for Okanagan Pride, running Aug 12-19, was released. Activities include a kick-off launch party, a mid-week golf tournament, and a march and social event for the trans community and its supporters. The final weekend of Pride closes with the ever-popular Kings & Queens of the Okanagan Annual Drag Competition, now in its sixth year, the family-friendly Pride march along Kelowna’s waterfront and Festival in the Park, plus a wrap-up party.

The Okanagan Pride Society hopes to fill the rest of the week with grassroots queer events from the community. “We’re looking for community groups, organizations and businesses to come forward and host affiliate events,” says Baulkham. “We’d love to make new connections in the community and develop new partnerships that will advance the Pride movement within the Valley.”

Even if hosting an affiliate event isn’t the right fit, Baulkham says there’s plenty other ways to get involved with Pride.

Sponsorship: Opportunities are still available, including direct financial contributions or in-kind donations. Okanagan Pride has already solidified some high-profile sponsors. TD has been named presenting sponsor for the next three years and Bell Media stations 99.9 Sun FM, ez Rock 101.5 and AM 1150 will be exclusive radio sponsors for three years. KelownaNow has also made a three-year sponsorship commitment as the exclusive digital media sponsor. Okanagan Pride is also welcoming a brand new sponsor, MC College. “We’re thrilled to see so much support already,” says Baulkham.

Vendors: The Festival in the Park also includes a vendor fair where businesses and crafters can sell their goods, food trucks can feed the crowds and non-profit groups can promote their organizations.

Pride Guide: For the first-time ever, Okanagan Pride is producing an official Pride Guide, which has affordable advertising opportunities for local businesses, say Baulkham.

“We wanted to introduce a few initiatives this year to commemorate the anniversary,” says Baulkham. “We can’t wait to finalize our events, line-up some great talent and get the city out for a week of education and celebration. It’s going to be an amazing opportunity for the LGBT2Q+ community, our allies and our entire city to shine!”

For event, sponsorship, advertising and vendor details, visit http://www.okanaganpride.com/events-and-pride/