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Manitouwadge gearing up for the second annual Pride event

Community members in Manitouwadge celebrate inclusion and equality with the second annual Pride event.
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Second annual pride event (Photo submitted by Tara Balog)

MANITOUWADGE — With Pride month approaching quickly, people in Manitouwadge are celebrating the importance of increasing visibility and equality for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

On June 1, Manitouwadge community members will have their second annual Pride event at the Manitouwadge Golf Dome.

Pride organizer Tara Balog said last year, a group of community members saw a need for more inclusivity in their town.

“Last year we started small. We engaged in providing our community with a small Pride celebration. We invited local vendors. We made it a family event up at one of our township recreation sites.

"We use the golf hut. We had music and a barbecue. We had a few speeches about the history of Pride and the importance of it within our community,” Balog said.

This year, organizers have taken the event one step further by adding a Pride parade in the downtown core.

“We're trying hard to keep this a community-based event. We thought what a great way to show support. The addition to our Pride event is a walking and biking parade. It's a shorter parade to ensure accessibility for everybody who would like to participate,” said Balog.

She explained the 2SLGBTQIA+ community might feel silenced as a result of discrimination and are not provided with the opportunity to celebrate.

By holding a Pride event in the community, the citizens can honour the history of Pride as a political stance against social discrimination. It’s a gathering where 2SLGBTQIA+ and allies stand together to express their right to exist without persecution.

“It's the social systems and the political systems that silence many groups of people and deny them the ability to engage and share who they are and celebrate,” Balog said.

Although Balog does acknowledge that this is a locally based event, the Pride organizers do not want to limit those from outside the township from joining. The event signifies an open space where neighbouring communities can come together to create connections.

What she means by locally based is to stress the importance of supporting “grassroots local business and family type businesses or individual businesses that need recognition because of their beautiful work in the community.”

The Pride event on June 1 is family-friendly and runs from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.



Clint Fleury

About the Author: Clint Fleury

Clint Fleury is a web reporter covering Northwestern Ontario and the Superior North regions.
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