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.



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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

Just Posted

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

COLUMN: Zero Waste Holidays, is it possible?

Kristen O’Keefe and Diane Rudge co-own The Den Ucluelet, a zero waste soap dispensary and refillery.

Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns says Scheer’s resignation not surprising

Pressure is on NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, as the lone major party leader remaining in the opposition

Ucluelet Aquarium celebrates “best” season to date

“We had some wonderful, really engaged visitors,” said curator Laura Griffith Cochrane.

Algae bloom kills over 200k farmed fish near Tofino

“We’re trying to rebuild fish stocks in Clayoquot Sound and it is disheartening to hear of this news.”

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Trudeau sets 2025 deadline to remove B.C. fish farms

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Sentencing for B.C. father who murdered two young daughters starts Monday

The bodies of Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6, were found in Oak Bay father’s apartment Dec. 25, 2017

B.C. vet talks tips for winter travel with pets

Going to see the vet the day before a trip is never a good idea

Most Read