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Prince George to celebrate Pride Month with flag raising, parade

The PG Pride Parade will take place downtown on Saturday at 10 a.m.

The Prince George Pride Society and representative from the City of Prince George gathered Thursday on the steps of City Hall to kick off Pride month with the annual flag raising.

“It is particularly important now that we celebrate Pride more than ever,” said PG Pride president William Gottschall.

“I think for me, the theme this year is resilience, and the fact that we're stronger together and with all the attacks that are happening on the LGBTQ plus community, particularly around trans issues, I think it's more important to be visible all the time to show that we're making positive changes in the world.”

He said that Pride is not just about parades and parties, but it’s about social justice, diversity and inclusion.

During a speech before the flag was officially raised, Gottschall noted that June marks the beginning of Pride month for a lot of countries around the world and it’s a time to honour struggles, the achievements, and the continuing resiliency of the LGBTQ-plus community.

“Worrying signs and homophobia and transphobia are surging in Canada and around the world. Some critics claim that we should be invisible, that we shouldn't push our agendas, that we've already achieved equality, and that we don't need to fight anymore. Far from being a time to ride off into the sunset now's the time to dig deep in our resilience, to renew the fight to promote a positive climate for our community, for communities in general, where all sexual and gender identities are accepted, respected, embraced and celebrated.”

Acting Mayor Tim Bennett also gave a few words to the crowd before the flag was raised and read the official proclamation proclaiming May 29 to June 4 as Pride Week in the City of Prince George.

“I just want to say that, you know, on behalf of Mayor and Council and the City of Prince George, that we are here to celebrate you, we are with you and we will stand beside you and just want to wish everyone a very happy Pride Month.”

Prince George will also be celebrating the month with a number of events during the week and the return of the Pride Parade, which was partly cancelled during COVID-19.

The Pride Parade will take place on Saturday, June 3, and starts at 10 a.m. It will take place on Brunswick Street, 4th Avenue, and George Street with vendors and food trucks gathered at the Canada Games Plaza from 11 a.m. to 3 pm.

“It's very exciting. We put a lot of work into bringing it together, very kind of last minute, but we're very excited to have it back and to continue with moving forward. We're hoping that moving forward PG Pride can be visible all year long, rather than just at this time of year,” said Gottshcall.

To find out more about activities during Pride Month check out the PG Pride Society on Facebook.