Kelowna's first Pride March takes place. Canada's first openly gay Member of Parliament Svend Robinson serves as Grand Marshall.
Kelowna’s then-Mayor Walter Gray refuses to sign a proclamation in support of Gay and Lesbian Pride Day, arguing the word “pride” should not be included. The Okanagan Rainbow Coalition files a formal complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
Gray is found guilty of violating the B.C. Human Rights Code. The tribunal says he “unlawfully discriminated against gays and lesbians because of their sexual orientation.” Gray stops issuing city proclamations altogether until he’s defeated in Kelowna’s 2005 election.
Okanagan Rainbow Coalition is established.
2006 – Kelowna’s new mayor Sharon Shepherd breaks the mould and proclaims Gay Pride Day. "Gays and lesbians are part of the community and I don't hold any biases toward them."
Kelowna starts celebrating ‘Okanagan Pride’, a full week of events.
Kelowna’s first-ever Trans March attracts about 200 people.
Mayor ‘Sugarplum’ Colin Basran takes part in the inaugural Sugarplum Ball, garnering national and international media coverage.
After a successful victory in 2000 with the BC's Human Rights Tribunal finding Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray violated the BC Human Rights Code under unlawful discrimination against gays and lesbians because of their sexual orientation, a movement began in the Okanagan Valley to fight for equity, inclusion, and acceptance.
In 2004, the Okanagan Rainbow Coalition was founded to organization events and offer programs to connect the LGBT2Q+ community and advocate on their behalf. The Kelowna Pride Society continues their legacy within the community and throughout the BC Interior.
The Kelowna Pride Society is a registered not-for-profit in the province of British Columbia, and is a member of Fierte Canada Pride - the National Association of Canadian Pride organizations and InterPride - the International Association of Pride Organization.
The Kelowna Pride's activities take place on the traditional, unceded territory of the Syilx-Okanagan people. We are thankful to be able to organize and facilitate upon this land, and work alongside to create spaces inclusive of all gender expressions and sexual identities.
2019 Nominee for Business Excellence:
Arts and Entertainment Achievement Award - Finalist
Not-for-Profit Excellence Award - Semi-Finalist
Kelowna Pride is a catalyst for building and celebrating the strength, equality, dignity and self-determination of the LBGT2Q+ community in Kelowna and throughout the Okanagan.
We are committed to excellence in execution and the continuing improvement of all programs and events. We value and support individuals, families and allies, and we build partnerships across communities.
CELEBRATE OUR DIVERSITY
We provide opportunities for the LGBT2Q+ community in Kelowna and beyond to meet, provide support for each other, socialization, celebrate and create community in safe spaces.
We promote and foster the Pride movement as a vehicle to celebrate equality and diversity, engender community support and make the Okanagan a safe and accepting place for the LGBT2Q+ community.
We facilitate a peer support group for LGBT2Q+ youth to provide a safe, confidential and accepting, empowering them to discover who they are, celebrate their diversity and realize their immense worth.
We foster partnerships and build alliances across communities that advance equality and acceptance of the LGBT2Q+ community.
JOINING GLOBAL VOICES
We bring our voice to the global community in support of equality and diversity regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Kelowna Pride Society is managed and operated by a volunteer Board, which is assisted by a team of volunteers from the community.
Volunteer with Pride, join our Board, get involved. We are always looking for fresh new voices and faces to work with.