Post by GayCities Ottawa editor Glenn Crawford
2010 marks the 25th anniversary of Ottawa Pride. Canada’s capital becomes the location for nine days of parties, events, celebrations and rallies August 20-29 that bring more than 30,000 folks together. Unlike other mega-Pride’s like nearby Montreal and Toronto, which have become worldwide party bashes, the Ottawa festival remains rooted in local community. While less flashy, it’s a little more low key, the pride of idllic smaller town gay life.
Highlights of the festival remain the Saturday night Rainbow Party and then the parade and fair on the Sunday morning of the closing weekend. But lot’s of smaller events are worth taking in as well.
Those who have not visited Ottawa recently will find a burgeoning gay scene. There are more rainbow flags and stickers, certainly, but also new businesses and organizations popping up everywhere, including a gym, men’s accessory and grooming store and a sexual health centre for men who have sex with men.
This mini version of Montreal’s Le Village takes place around Bank Street, where the majority of businesses and organizations are located. In fact, the city’s LGBT center, the Village, is a volunteer-run organization that nurtures, supports and helps foster growth. The center’s volunteers are known as the “Village People.” Of course.
Happy Ottawa Pride!