Gay Pride Winnipeg On Manplay.com

Gay Pride Winnipeg is known as the "Pride of the Prairies"! It is one of the biggest gay pride events in Canada (between Gay Pride Vancouver and Gay Pride Toronto) and worldwide. It started out as a one-day event and has blossomed into a full-fledged 10-day festival celebrating Winnipeg’s diverse LGBTTQ* community, their achievements, and everything they are thankful for. Gay Pride Winnipeg has proud history, a lengthy schedule of events, a diverse team, and supports the Winnipeg LGBTTQ* community with everything they have.

We here at ManPlay.com will tell you about Gay Pride Winnipeg History and Statistics, Gay Pride Winnipeg Events, the Gay Pride Winnipeg Team, and more!

Gay Pride Winnipeg History & Statistics

It was August 2nd, 1987. A group of people were gathered outside the Manitoba Legislative Building. They were waiting to hear the results of the political government's decision to include sexual orientation in the Manitoba Human Rights Code. If the government voted in favor of including sexual orientation? The group would march in a celebration of achievement! If the government voted against including sexual orientation? The group would march in protest of the injustice they had been served. The Manitoba government decide in favor of making the addition to the Code and over 250 people marched in the very first Gay Pride Winnipeg Parade along the streets of downtown Winnipeg.

Since that one event, Gay Pride Winnipeg has ballooned into a week and a half long festival of gay pride, rainbow flags, parades, entertainment, rallies, confidence, fun, colour, music, laughter, optimism, and activism. Despite the annual advancements in LGBT rights and increases in growth and popularity of the fest, Gay Pride Winnipeg still often battles with the city mayors. Susan Ann Thompson, who served from 1992 to 1998, refused to recognize Gay Pride Winnipeg with civic proclamations.

In 2012, Gay Pride Winnipeg celebrated its 25th anniversary with overwhelming participation and support from both citizens and businesses of Winnipeg. As part of the celebrations, Gay Pride Winnipeg lit up the six columns of the Manitoba Legislative Building with the colours of the rainbow flag that represents gay pride (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple) and projected the Gay Pride Winnipeg logo on the dome of the building. Photos from the ceremony at dusk went viral all around the world.

Every year, Gay Pride Winnipeg chooses a unique and suitable theme for the festival. In 2010, it was "Proud To Be". In 2011, it was "Unity". In 2012, it was "Pride 25". In 2013, it was "equALL". In 2014, it was "withOUT borders". In 2015, it was "EVOlution". In 2016, it was "Be Authentic".

The 2013 Gay Pride Winnipeg parade was also the first time that the festival was joined by the I'm Sorry campaign, which is made up of Christian members whose goal is to mend the damage between Christian churches and the LGBTTQ* community.

In 2015, over over 40,000 people walked in the Gay Pride Winnipeg Parade.

Gay Pride Winnipeg Events

Winnipeg is a city that supports, celebrates, and thrives on a variety of LGBT events throughout the year. Most gay pride events in the city tend to be events organized by Gay Pride Winnipeg itself, but many are also community events held during the time of the Gay Pride Winnipeg Festival and are recognized as official events.

Gay Pride Winnipeg Rainbow Flag Raising

The Gay Pride Winnipeg Festival kicks off every year with the raising of the rainbow flag at City Hall. Generally, the flag will be hoisted by either the Winnipeg mayor or a city counsellor, the president of Gay Pride Winnipeg, and a special guest. Announcements about events and festival schedules are often made, and many in the community use the event as an opportunity to mingle with other Gay Pride Winnipeg supporters. This tradition began in June of 2002, during the 15th Gay Pride Winnipeg Festival.

Gay Pride Winnipeg Community Involvement Events

Many of the local Winnipeg businesses support Gay Pride Winnipeg and throw their own events in celebration of the festival. Although these event are not organized by Gay Pride Winnipeg themselves, they are given full recognition from the festival as official Gay Pride Winnipeg events. Past and current events include: the Pitch for Pride baseball tournament, Funky Monkey dodgeball, the Pride Coffee House, Lesbian Lube Wrestling, Club 200 Pancake Breakfast, Two Spirit Manitoba Indian Taco Dinner, Rainbow Resource Centre BBQ, LGBTTQ* art shows, youth dance parties, drag performances, and the Dyke March.

Gay Pride Winnipeg Festival at The Forks

The Forks, known as Winnipeg's "meeting place", is located in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, flanked by two rivers. It is covered by the adjacent lawns of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and is the location of Gay Pride Winnipeg's two-day mini festival within the festival: Gay Pride Winnipeg Festival at The Forks. During Gay Pride Winnipeg's last weekend of the festival, Festival at The Forks begins. There is live on-stage entertainment, two food vendor villages, a "KidZone" which features the crew from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Queer Beer Beverage Tent and Liquor Mart Patio, and a variety of local artisans, vendors, businesses, and community groups to meet and interact with. The Gay Pride Winnipeg Festival at The Forks draws the largest crowd of any other component of the festival.

The 2015 Gay Pride Winnipeg Festival at The Forks included entertainment acts such as: Tom Goss, Halfway To Hollywood, The Help Wanteds, Martha My Dear, Those Guys, Womyn Of Pride, We Won The War, Face To The Sky, DJ C8E, DJ Fleur, Cheron Sharelike, Adam Jennings, Drew G of Dirty Pop, and Cazwell.

Gay Pride Winnipeg Rally

Every year during the Gay Pride Winnipeg Festival, thousands of people gather on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building in a tradition that honours those 250 people that first rallied there in 1987. The rally generally starts at 11:00am on Gay Pride Winnipeg's official Pride Day (the last Sunday of the festival) and consists of live music, motivational speeches, and special guests and government representatives who present current LGBTTQ* awareness issues. The entire event lasts approximately one hour.

Gay Pride Winnipeg Parade

Immediately after the Gay Pride Winnipeg Rally on Pride Gay, groups begin leaving from the Manitoba Legislative Building and making their way through downtown Winnipeg as part of the Gay Pride Winnipeg Parade. The parade features marshals nominated and chosen by the community, including a grand marshal, honourary youth marshal, and honourary community group marshal. Various registered floats and community groups march in the parade, and guests are encouraged to join the parade once the final float has passed by. The Gay Pride Winnipeg Parade ends at The Forks where guests can continue enjoying the festivities of the Gay Pride Winnipeg Festival at The Forks. Prizes are awarded for Best Float and other titles in the Gay Pride Winnipeg Parade Competition.

The 2015 Gay Pride Winnipeg Parade Grand Marshal was Shandi Strong, the Honourary Youth Marshal is maree Rodriguez, and the Honourary Community Group Marshal is the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties.

Rainbow Resource Centre Spring Fling

The Rainbow Resource Centre Spring Fling is an annual fundraising event that helps support the Rainbow Resource Centre, which serves thousands of LGBTTQ* adults, seniors, and youths in Winnipeg. Funds raised at the event go towards programs and services, including: social support groups such as BLiNK (for trans children and families), FTM Gender Alliance, Ladies’ CHat, New Pride of Winnipeg, Over the Rainbow (for LGBT over 55), Parents, Family, and Friends of Trans Individuals, Queer Men’s Group, Winnipeg Transgender Support Group, and The Society of OUT-Standing Artists; counselling in Winnipeg; community activities and event spaces for LGBTTQ* meetings and events; the Rainbow Resource Centre lending library; educational programs and workshops for schools, universities, hospitals, and social service agencies; and Peer Project for Youth, a safe and creative learning environment for youth.

The 2016 Rainbow Resource Centre Spring Fling’s theme was "Let’s Get Musical". Guests were treated to the experience of a fabulous night on "Broadway" with fine wines, great music, dancing, and a delicious gourmet meal prepared by the Head Chef of Delta Winnipeg.

Past Rainbow Resource Centre Spring Fling themes have included "Paris", "New York", "1940's Chicago", and "Fashionable Soiree".

Reel Pride Film Festival

The Gay Pride Winnipeg Reel Pride Film Festival is an event held separately from the Gay Pride Winnipeg Festival annually in mid-October over a six-day period. The festival is dedicated to gay pride and LGBT-themed films and exists as a way to celebrate the LGBTTQ* arts community in Winnipeg, Canada, and around the world. Each film is programmed with the goal of addressing important LGBTTQ* issues and promoting dialogue in a public, safe, and accessible environment. Reel Pride Film Festival is run by a volunteer board.

In 2015, some of the Reel Pride Film Festival programming selections were: Pride, Four Moons, While You Weren’t Looking, How To Win At Checkers (Every Time), All About E, Paternity Leave, Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story, Guidance, Portrait Of A Serial Monogamist, Drag Becomes Him, In The Turn, and S&M Sally.

Gay Pride Winnipeg Team

The heart of Gay Pride Winnipeg is the LGBTTQ* community, the locals and businesses that participate in the Gay Pride Winnipeg Festival, and the people that support the Gay Pride Winnipeg organization year round. When Gay Pride Winnipeg first started, the province and country were still very oppressive and homophobic places. Some even chose to march the first Gay Pride Winnipeg parade with paper bags over their heads to hide their identities from those that might recognize them—they feared discrimination, humiliation, and ridicule. Now, the Gay Pride Winnipeg Festival has tens of thousands of participants and supporters (as we said before, over 40,000 people marched in the last Gay Pride Winnipeg parade) and no one feels the need to wear a paper bag on their head.

Year round, Gay Pride Winnipeg (the non-profit, volunteer organization that runs the Gay Pride Winnipeg Festival) is run by a president, vice-presidents, directors, coordinators, and managers. As of 2016, the Gay Pride Winnipeg President is Jonathan Niemczak and the Vice-Presidents are Joseph Chen, Robert Biscontri, and Darrel Nadeau. The Gay Pride Winnipeg Directors are Jordan Hirsch, Evan Maydaniuk, Jenna McNeil, Jason Douglas, Amanda Pratt, Mona Mousa, Michelle McHale, and Jeff Myall. The Gay Pride Winnipeg Coordinators are Andy Pham, Ethaniel Ritchot, Michelle Smook, Sean Snowdon, Shandi Strong, Chris Paulus, Barry Karlenzig, Béla Gyarmati, Stephanie English, Mackenzie Plowman, and Sandra Shapiro. The Gay Pride Winnipeg Managers are Melinda Clark, Kayla Lawson, Taran Harvey, Torey Logan, Kaitlyn Kriss, Steve McConnell, and Kelsey Heide.

Gay Pride Winnipeg is also a proud member of InterPride and a founding member of Fierté Canada Pride. InterPride exists to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transexual pride internationally; increase connections between gay pride events and organizations; and to encourage new communities to start gay pride events.Fierté Canada Pride is a not-for-profit organization that brings together gay pride groups from all over the country so they can act together when it comes to government funding and initiatives regarding equality issues as well as arts and culture.

Gay Pride Winnipeg Resources:

If you are looking for more information on Gay Pride Winnipeg events, check out the following helpful resources:

1. Gay Pride Winnipeg Official Website
2. Rainbow Resource Centre Events Page
3. Rianbow Resource Centre Spring Fling Website
4. Winnipeg Reel Pride Film Festival Website
5. Tourism Winnipeg Events Page