Muskoka Pride runs from July 14th through 24th is the 2022 Muskoka Pride Week. The annual week of activities celebrates the Muskoka lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community.
This year’s Pride celebration is a return to pre-pandemic events, including the first Festival and Parade since 2019, explains Merv Taylor-Morin, President of Muskoka Pride. “For the past two years we have continued to celebrate Pride Week in smaller ways, following the covid restrictions in place at the time. We are beyond thrilled to once again host the annual Festival and Parade in downtown Bracebridge this year.”
Muskoka Pride board member Shawn Forth explains, “It is so important for members of the LGBTQ+ community to see themselves represented in the greater community. When you identify as LGBTQ+ and grow up in a small community, you can feel isolated and as if you are the only one. It is important for there to be LGBTQ+ visibility in our communities.”
Forth explains that just last month, Muskoka Pride donated rainbow benches to all municipalities in Muskoka to help to ensure a year-round visible symbol of the commitment to diverse and inclusive communities. The funding was provided through the District of Muskoka’s Community Enhancement grant.
Muskoka Pride Week will feature in-person events throughout Muskoka over eleven days.
Pride Week started off with the theatrical production “Twelfth Night” by Timberbeast Productions, on Thursday July 14th at the Gravenhurst Wharf gazebo. The party started on Friday July 15th with Disco Muskoka. In partnership with the Huntsville Theatre Company, Muskoka Pride hosted a disco party at Canvas Brewery in Huntsville.
Pride Church Services were held on July 17th at Trinity United Church in Gravenhurst and will also be held on July 24th at Bracebridge United Church.
On Thursday, July 21st, Bracebridge Hall will host MQFF After Dark, a film screening for 19+ which features films from this year’s Muskoka Queer Film Festival that could not be broadcast due to content. Tickets are available on the Muskoka Pride Website or pay at the door.
All municipalities in Muskoka will be raising the Progress Pride flag on Monday, July 19. Members of the public are encouraged to join us for ceremonies at their local municipality office to celebrate the annual flag raising. In Huntsville, in conjunction with the Progress Pride flag raising, the Town of Huntsville and Muskoka Pride will
be unveiling the final Rainbow Bench in Huntsville’s downtown Kent Park on July 18. The bench unveiling will be happening at Kent Park (downtown Huntsville by the lights) at 10:30AM, followed by the Progress Pride flag raising at 10:45AM at Huntsville Town Hall.
Muskoka Drag Royalty is holding 4 events this year – including Drag Trivia at Bracebridge Barrelhouse on July 18, a 19+ show at Sawdust City Brewery on July 22nd, and two all-ages shows on July 20th and July 24th.
Muskoka Pride has taken great care to ensure that many events are geared to the entire family. Many families participate to show their allyship with the community, to support their LGBTQ+ family members, and as an opportunity for their families to experience their first Pride Festival.
The annual Six Mile Lake boat parade will take place on Saturday, July 16th on 6 Mile Lake in Georgian Bay Township starting at 1PM.
The annual Rainbow Road Tour on Sunday July 17th, which was first introduced during the pandemic, will take place again. It is a great opportunity for the entire family to tour around Lake Muskoka. This year’s route will incorporate some of the newly installed rainbow benches and will end with a BBQ and musical performance at Muskoka Brewery.
Tuesday, July 19th is Pride Night at the Muskoka Drive-In. Featuring 3 short films from the Muskoka Queer Film Festival (MQFF) and the feature film “Dawn, Her Dad, and the Tractor” tickets are available on the Muskoka Pride website or pay cash at the gate.
On Thursday, July 21st the 10th annual Muskoka Pride Mini-Golf Tournament will be held at Northern Escapades Mini Putt. Families and individuals can golf for a special rate between 11AM – 6PM, and try for their chance at the trophy.
Two Drag Shows are planned which are aimed at all-ages – Wednesday July 20th a Driveway Drag Show is planned at a private residence in Bracebridge, and the Memorial Park Drag Show is planned as part of the annual Pride Festival on Sunday July 24th. Both shows feature many local performers from Muskoka Drag Royalty.
Muskoka Bay Resort is hosting a Pride Pool Party on Saturday July 23rd from 12PM – 6PM. It will feature live music, games, prizes, and food. Admission is free. Please contact the resort to add your name to the guest list.
FESTIVAL AND PARADE
For the first time since 2019, Muskoka Pride will host the annual Pride Festival in Memorial Park on Sunday July 24th form 11AM – 4PM. Featuring vendors, live music, and activities for the family. The band Dirty Little Swing Thing will be performing under the bandshell, and local singer Briar Summers will be performing on a second stage. Muskoka Drag Royalty will be hosting a drag show starting at 2:30.
The annual Pride Parade will take place at 12:30PM on Manitoba Street. This year the parade will be starting at Memorial Park and going through downtown Bracebridge.
Everyone, no matter how you identify, is welcome to attend Muskoka Pride events.
Muskoka Pride receives funding from the Government of Canada through the Local Festivals – Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage grant.
We would like to thank our Silver Sponsors: The Town of Bracebridge, YWCA Muskoka, TD Ready Commitment, Muskoka Bay Resort, and Deerhurst Resort. We would also like to acknowledge our Bronze Sponsors: McMaster’s Muskoka, Lakeland Networks, and our Media Sponsor: Star Metroland Media.
To see a full schedule of events go to www.muskokapride.com or click “Events” on the Muskoka Pride Facebook Page.
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