It’s Pride week in Vancouver and we’re looking back on how it all got started.
Vancouver has one of the biggest Pride parades in the world and puts on a whole week of festivities to celebrate the LGBTQ community. The earliest celebration took place in 1973 when the Gay Alliance Toward Equality group organized a picnic event in Ceperley Park. The first Pride parade happened shortly after, in 1978.
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Davie Village is commonly referred to as the “gaybourhood,” and it is home to the infamous rainbow crosswalk. The neighbourhood was first coined Davie Village in 1999. They commissioned banners from Joe Average, a local artist whose rainbow flag and sun designs were strung across lampposts along the streets.
Residents of the area and in the West End would wave rainbow flags in support of gay pride. The neighbourhood then began growing as a popular LGBTQ community. It’s now home to the Vancouver Pride Society, which puts on the annual parade and festival.
Check out some video footage captured of the 1988 parade.
Today, the Vancouver Pride Parade is the largest of its kind in Western Canada.
Last year the event attracted over 650,000 people. Even Justin Trudeau walked in the parade last year and will again this year, his first appearance at the parade since becoming Prime Minister.
Featured photo: GoToVan / Flickr