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'Local Pride, Global Love'

"Local Pride, Global Love" is the theme for this year's Okanagan Pride Festival, slated to run Aug 9 to 16 in Kelowna.

Festival organizers say many events will be back again along with some 'fun new twists.'

The "Local Pride, Global Love" theme has been chosen to celebrate diversity at home and send a message of solidarity to LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) persons in countries such as Russia, Uganda, and Nigeria where governments have passed laws to criminalize homosexuality and same-sex relations. 

The society’s recent festival planning meeting drew record attendance from the LGBTI community, allies and partners.

The week of celebration will start with the third annual Drag Competition, followed by a Queer Art Exhibit featuring local artists, the second annual Viva Las Pride wine tasting event, and will culminate with a one day, family friendly Festival in the Park where attendees will be entertained by musicians, artists, and the popular Pooches on Parade.

The festival will also feature a beer garden, a children's play area, and an assortment of vendor kiosks.

“We’re excited to incorporate more community driven features into the festival this year,” says Okanagan Pride President, Wilbur Turner.

“The Pride March will feature mini floats of children’s wagons, tricycles and bicycles. Teams will be encouraged to participate in the flash mob component of the march and we’re introducing a Spirit of Pride trophy for the best decorated storefront or patio among local businesses.”

The Queer Art Exhibit project is being facilitated by Alternator Gallery and the focus will be on creating art that illustrates love and solidarity for the LGBTI people living in hostile environments.

There are many sponsorship opportunities available for both cash and in-kind support of the festival. Interested parties are invited to email [email protected]

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