LGBTQ2S+ Pride is alive and well and growing in Smithers.
The Interior News estimated between 400 and 500 people showed up with families, parents, friends, dogs and plenty of kids to celebrate Pride Day in Smithers, Saturday, June 4.
There were many booths around the Main Street area, with everything from books to artwork, activities for the kids and lots of food. At one point there was a demonstration by the ladies from the BV Bruisers roller derby team.
Musical acts included the Smithers Community Band, Simbiyez Wilson, Elijah Quinn, Town Council (not the municipal government), and the Squash Blossoms. The bands offered a mosaic of indy rock and pop music, deeply emotional songs written about personal experiences, folk music with raw acoustics and glassy vocal harmonies and up-beat, get up and dance music.
The mistress of ceremonies was introduced as “our own resident professional perverted prude.” An artist from the Kispiox Valley, “Samantha River Wilde, is a gender-fluid queer, international burlesque performer, who is an author, emcee, singer, musician, Lego enthusiast and registered social worker,” Perry Rath, Pride organizer said.
As emcee, River kept the program moving and people laughing all day.
MLA Nathan Cullen was at the event enjoying the music, goodies and chatting with members of the community.
“I am delighted to see all these people coming out to support Pride in Smithers, it’s wonderful,” Cullen said.
Rath said it is not only an indication of growing comfort of people expressing their gender and sexual identities, but a testament to an increasing overall inclusiveness in the town.
The party continued at the Smithers Brewing Company, once the Bovill Square events concluded.
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