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Burnaby Pride Festival will be bigger, better and at a new venue this year

Support local 2SLGBTQIA+ communities on July 20, with a focus on visibility, connection and diversity
Burnaby Pride kicks off its seventh festival with vibrant performances and inclusive spaces at Bonsor Field, following a record-breaking 2023 event. Photo via Burnaby Pride Festival 2023

On the heels of their wildly successful event last year, Burnaby Pride is eager to launch the seventh Burnaby Pride Festival and celebrations amid a rainbow palette, unity, and high spirits.

With the 2023 festival attendance surpassing 4,500, they have outgrown their previous event location at Civic Square and are excited to create accessible and respectful spaces for all individuals at their new venue, Bonsor Field, next to Burnaby's Bonsor Recreation Complex.

"We are dedicated to building and celebrating the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities in Burnaby by creating safer spaces where individuals, youth, seniors and families can foster meaningful connections and strengthen the sense of community," says Athena Affan, chair of Burnaby Pride, and Afro Caribbean 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

"By doing so, we promote inclusivity, support mental and emotional well-being, and contribute to a more vibrant and accepting society."

Pride festivities and event schedule

The Burnaby Pride festival team ensures attendee security and readiness to manage any disruptions, prioritizing inclusivity and education for all. Photo via Burnaby Pride Festival 2023

Burnaby Pride Celebrations 2024 combines engagement opportunities, local talent, artists,  live music, vendors and activities for a day of fun and celebration in the name of inclusion, diversity and equality.

  • Pride Community Picnic, July 6, 1 p.m. – 4p.m., Maywood Park
  • Pride Plunge (all-bodies Pride swim), July 12; Contact Burnaby Pride for pool location, time, and registration
  • Pride Flag Raising: July 15, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m., Burnaby City Hall
  • Burnaby Pride Festival, July 20, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Bonsor Field

Spread your blankets/lawn chairs and enjoy a community picnic in the park with lots of family fun and live music for a chill vibe. Look for life-size lawn games like Jenga, checkers, and chess, and enjoy low-cost picnic fare: BBQ hot dogs (vegan & kosher).

The Pride Festival is full of a variety of entertainment and education for everyone. There will be a First Nations welcome and plans for a two-spirit greeting to specifically acknowledge the two spirit and Indigenous 2SLGBTQIA+ festival, attendees and guests.

"Keep your eye out for some roaming performers," says Affan. "Plus, we hope to have a comedy set with some familiar faces from last year, too."

The always colourful and fabulous queens in all their glitter and gowns will delight the crowd for the last hour in a not-to-be-missed drag show.

Community, sponsors, volunteers

Volunteers at Burnaby Pride ensure a vibrant community experience, featuring booths from diverse 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations offering resources and support. Photo via Burnaby Pride Festival 2023

Striving to enhance the experience for festival attendees, and authentically represent the spirit of the city, Burnaby Pride will feature a variety of community partner booths throughout the festival grounds. Expect to see 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations and agencies that specifically provide related resources, services and supports.

"We're deeply rooted in the community and community organizations, and it's always been a core part of who we are and what we do," explains Affan. "Our booths let the 2SLGBTQAI+ community know what organizations are out there and what they're offering, but also for the broader public to learn a bit more about our community.”

If you’re a 2SLGBTQIA+ community member or organization who wants to volunteer or be a Burnaby Pride partner in the 2024 festival, check out how to get involved. For other initiatives, Affan says, "We want to work together to share the load and create opportunities in the community. If you want to host an event, drag show, trivia night, or anything else, we'll promote it on our socials."

Burnaby Pride wants to ensure your security during your festival experience and are fully prepared for any disruptive incidents should they arise.

"We had a great safety strategy last year and will apply the same safety plans for organizers and festival attendees this year," reveals Affan. "It allows us to keep folks safe and make sure that everyone has a good time."

Affan reflects on the state of some local and global issues and acknowledges it's been a difficult year. "From the anti-SOGI protests, and ongoing acts of genocide, to the disturbing anti-trans legislation taking root in Canada, now more than ever, it's important to come out and celebrate who you are and support 2SLGBTQIA+ communities."

“Burnaby Pride Celebrations 2024 is a time to come together for compassion-building, and greater understanding and awareness of ourselves and others, to show there’s community, love and care."

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