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Full sked out for Queerantine, the virtual Sudbury Pride festival

Pride has gone virtual due to COVID-19

Fierté Sudbury Pride (FSP) has announced the programming for its July 13-19 virtual festival, dubbed Queerantine 2020.

“A departure from the full week of events which has become the norm in recent years, FSP has moved the festivities online in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said the press release.

This year’s calendar contains a blend of virtual educational events and entertainment, as well a whole slate of Community Projects.

Some staples in the events calendar making a return from previous years are the Opening Ceremonies, a virtual sign-making workshop presented by Myths & Mirrors, and a Pride worship service from St. Andrew’s United Church.

In addition to those events, FSP has prepared a series of Lunch Time Talks, panels and discussions starting at noon from Tuesday to Thursday. 

This series is made up of Queeranteen, a panel focused on the issues faced by queer youth, Data + Queeries, a presentation by Suzanne Mills about the results of a 2SLGBTQ+ workplace study, and a discussion with author Amanda Jetté Knox, presented by TG Innerselves. 

There is also a French-language panel discussion on intersectionality, organized and presented jointly by FSP, OCASI, and the Centre de santé communautaire du Grand Sudbury.

Evenings are reserved for entertainment. There is a concert series starring local musician Jennifer Holub, the soulful sound of Tafari Anthony, and the Juno Award winning voice of G.R. Gritt. 

Community members can also expect live Queer Trivia, some improvisation from Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, readings of pieces from Open Minds Quarterly’s upcoming Queer Stories issue, guest edited by FSP, and a virtual final bash from Zig’s Bar. 

Some of these events will also air on Eastlink Community TV.

In response to growing and longstanding calls from the Black Lives Matter movement and other community leaders around the globe to change the way our society thinks about policing, we’re inviting folks from marginalized and racialized communities to share their thoughts on and their experiences with police in a Community Forum on Policing. 

It’s a safe space for all to come together and speak from the heart. Organizers hope this event can lead to a productive and meaningful conversation around the role of police in Greater Sudbury and give rise to ideas on how to best tackle the systemic issues at play.

Pride Care Packages are available to any youth 18 and under residing in Greater Sudbury, these packages will include all kinds of gear, goodies, and swag so they can still celebrate their first Pride. Interested youth must register using this form by end of day July 3. 

This initiative is supported by the GSPS Chief’s Youth Initiative Fund and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association – Sudbury. 

Organizers also invite queer elders and adults, or really anyone who’d love to do so, to take part in the Pride Care Packages, by sending youth thoughtful letters and messages of support. Folks who email their messages before July 3 will have their message printed and included in the Packages.

Folks in the Greater Sudbury area are invited to decorate and queerify their apartments, windows, homes, and yards with messages of support, as if they were a Pride float. Folks will be able to walk through their community and feel the love. Folks are encouraged to show off their pride by sharing photos of their work on social media, using the hashtag #SudburyHasPride.

Organizers also want to hear from community members however they best express themselves for a project called Queeranzine. Mini-manifestos, short poems, and creative collages, all will be assembled into a digital zine that’ll be shared online at the beginning of Pride Week. 

Submissions close July 3. Presented in collaboration from Expozine Sudbury.

“While we’re disappointed with not being able to celebrate Pride with our community in person, we hope that this year’s events and community projects will still allow us to come together,” said Alex Tétreault, Chair of Fierté Sudbury Pride, in a press release.

“While parts of the programming are going to be pure celebrations of fun, we wanted to make sure to leave room for important discussions and reflection on the struggles that our community still faces. Between the pandemic, growing calls for social justice, and ever-present hate in our city, now more than ever is a time for us to support one another. Resistance is in our blood and we can overcome anything as a community and as a chosen family.”

For the complete Queerantine 2020 Events Calendar, visit Pride Sudbury’s website.