Ucluelet locals flew their Pride flags proudly during a karaoke event at the ANAF last week. The town’s third annual Pride Party and second annual Pride Walk will be held on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Mike Cootes)

Ucluelet set to celebrate Pride on Saturday

Pride Walk begins at Ucluelet’s Army, Navy and Air Force Veteran’s Club at 6 p.m.

The West Coast will be basking in positive vibrations and celebrating its inclusivity this weekend as Ucluelet hosts its third annual Pride Party and second annual Pride Walk on July 20.

Both events were launched by Ukee local Mike Cootes, who had enjoyed Pride celebrations in other communities and wanted to bring the experience to his hometown to both encourage and highlight the West Coast’s support for the LGBTQ+ community.

READ MORE: Ucluelet to host first Pride event

He said showcasing that support is paramount to help anyone who may be struggling with their identity know that their community will love and accept them for who they are.

“It’s not to push them out of the closet, but to show them that they have a safe, accepting place,” he said. “People can be suffering or struggling with their own identity for a long time…The parade is an extra representation for the town, especially for visitors and longtime locals, to see that it is happening and it can happen and that there is no bias towards anybody.”

He said that while Ucluelet “is a very positive-outlook community,” support should never be silent and added that it’s important for visitors to see the town’s vibrant inclusiveness as well.

“I don’t think Ukee has ever shown a sour spot for the LGBTQ+ community but, at the same time, it’s nice to have representation of it and show that even small towns have a good look towards acceptance,” he said. “People have ideas about how small towns can go, especially a small fishing and logging village, but I’ve felt none of that pre-bias assumption from anybody.”

The Pride Walk will begin at Ucluelet’s Army, Navy and Air Force Veteran’s Club —1708 Peninsula Rd. — at 6 p.m. on Saturday, marching down Main Street and posing for the annual photo at Whiskey Dock before retracing its steps back to the ANAF where the party will run from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

READ MORE: Ukee set for second annual Gay Pride event

This year’s Pride Party will include music from DJ Cletus and a lip-sync competition at 10 p.m. where all are welcome to sign up and compete for a $100 grand prize by impressing a panel of three judges.

“We’re going to have tons of fun,” Cootes said adding that costumes are heavily encouraged and that the party will boast a strong disco theme to celebrate the wave of Pride events that occurred in the 1970s.

Cootes said he has been thrilled with the reception his local Pride events have received and that he’s enjoyed fielding excited questions from interested residents about when the next one will be.

“People have given me a lot of support…It feels really good because it shows that people are interested and they want it to keep going,” he said. “I want to give a big thanks to the community of Ucluelet and Tofino for the most outward support and I’m happy I’m able to give something back to the community that chose a positive outlook and is a place where people can be proud of who they are.”

He added he is grateful to the ANAF for hosting the event each year.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: PHOTOS: 50 years of LGBTQ pride showcased in protests, parades

READ MORE: B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Community comes out in support of Nanaimo Pride

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail ventures online to inspire self-isolators

“Because of COVID-19, we could not do in-person naturalist programs.”

UPDATE: Highway 4 reopens after police incident near Port Alberni

Highway between Port Alberni and the West Coast was briefly closed in both directions

Tofino restaurateur pays landlord’s generosity forward to Hospital Foundation

Coronavirus pandemic cancels foundation’s largest annual fundraiser

Surfrider Pacific Rim: Celebrating SonBird’s dedication to the Coast

West Coast recycling centre continues to serve thanks to an open-air depot and new regulations.

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Most Read