Tri-County Vanguard

Southwest Nova Pride Festival returns to Yarmouth


Like a rainbow after the storm, the Southwest Nova Pride Festival returns to Yarmouth Sept. 18 to 24.

The week-long festival features 10 events celebratin­g inclusion, social equity, community and pride.

"We're incredibly excited to welcome two incredible Nova Scotia activists to join us this year," says Alden Mathieu, chair of the Southwest Nova Pride Associatio­n.

"Eric Smith is joining us at our fair to be honoured as the

Pride Grand Marshall in recognitio­n of his many years of activism on behalf of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and of people living with HIV/ AIDS, says Mathieu. "It's important for our many young members to learn about the history of our community, and Eric Smith's story is one that we should absolutely not forget, not with incidents of backlash against pride groups

on the rise.”

Mathieu said they are also thrilled to welcome Veronica Merryfield, the founder of the Cape Breton Transgende­r Network back to Yarmouth.

"We met with her earlier in the year when she escorted our guest speaker from Day of Pink, Stonewall activist Martin Boyce, and supported his presentati­on. Veronica's another powerhouse activist who has been instrument­al in the advances Nova Scotia has made in Gender Affirming Care. We're very proud she's joining us as our keynote speaker to give two lectures."

Merryfield's lectures are 'A History of Transgende­r', presented on the evening of Sept. 21 for the public, and 'Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for Businesses', a lunchtime lecture for Yarmouth's business community, presented on the afternoon of Sept. 22. Both presentati­ons will be at the NSGEU Office on Main Street in Yarmouth.

Other events taking place include the Pride Fair in

Coronation Park on the afternoon of Sept. 23; the '50 Shades of Gay' Drag Show on the evening of Sept. 23 at the Red Knight, featuring Dia Monde and the Haus of TooDeep, and guest-starring several drag performers originally from the Tri-Counties, including Izzy Limpwrist, Karmanda and Queera Bang.

There's also Pride Trivia, Pride Karaoke, Board Game Night, a Pride Service at Beacon United, and, in a first for Yarmouth, a Drag Storytime with local Acadian drag queen, Ruby Foxglove, at the Yarmouth Museum and Archives.

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