It’s now July which means Pride Month 2022 is now over and the Stratford-Perth Pride now is reflecting back on everything that was accomplished in June.
In just the first two weeks of Pride Month we held multiple firsts:
- Pride Flag Raising in Sebringville
- Pride Flag Raising in Listowel
- Launch of the St. Marys Pride Banner Program
- Perth County Pride March
- Stratford Pride Showcase
- St. Marys Pride Day
Here are some reflections:
Pride Flag Raising in North Perth
The Pride Flag in North Perth (Listowel area) raising was a huge victory for queer visibility in rural Ontario. This Pride flag raising was a coordinated effort between Stratford-Perth Pride and our friends North Perth Pride. A special mention goes out to Matthew Rae, MPP for Perth-Wellington who made this flag raising his first event after winning the provincial election the evening before.
Perth County Pride March
The Perth County Pride March (formerly the Stratford Pride Parade) which took place along Lakeside Drive in Stratford was a huge success. Hundreds of people came out in attendance representing countless sexual and gender identities and communities. March participants included a two month old and a 91 year old – proving you’re never too young or old to show your Pride. A huge thanks to Daviorr Snipes of the Stratford Festival and Deputy Mayor Martin Ritsma for providing greetings at the beginning of the march.
Stratford Pride Showcase
Stratford is home to unbelievable artists and musicians and that was evident at the first annual Stratford Pride Showcase – presented by Home & Company, Real Estate Corp. Brokerage. The event took place at Gallery Stratford and featured a cabaret of queer and ally artists. Before the showcase there was an amazing performance of aerial arts by Cirquesmith – Stratford’s School of Aerial Arts.
St. Marys Pride Day
In collaboration with a group of St. Marys residents called the St. Marys Pride Committee, Stratford-Perth Pride was honoured to bring Pride to St. Marys for the first time. The event featured lawn games, vendors, music, food, and Drag Storytime. St. Marys Pride brought in an estimated 500 attendees – with over 150 at Drag Storytime alone. As one teen participant said to CTV Kitchener, “now I’m know I’m not alone”.
We also want to give a huge shoutout to North Perth Pride for their amazing events in the Listowel area and to the Stratford Pride Community Centre (SPCC) for officially opening their doors as a physical LGBTQ2S+ space for Stratford and southwestern Ontario.
Stratford-Perth Pride will be bringing the above events back to Perth County in 2023. And hopefully more events as well. We’re also committed to providing events, programming, educations and resources year-round to Stratford, St. Marys and Perth County.