New West Pride Festival heading online in August

New West Pride isn’t going to let a pandemic put an end to its popular festival.

But instead of an annual street festival on Columbia Street that’s attended by thousands of people, New West Pride – Digital Edition will take place by livestream on Saturday, Aug. 15 from 7 to 9 p.m.

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“Last year we celebrated and we created community. This year, in response to COVID-19, the world has paused and become more and more uncertain. Yet one thing that has become certain is how important community can be, and the resilience of the human spirit,” stated New West Pride in a notice about this year’s event. “Pride cannot be cancelled. We are excited to bring you the same energy from our festival but this time via livestream.”

The one-night celebration, which will be hosted by Kendall Gender and feature an intro by the Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society, will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube.

New West Pride is promising to make headliner announcements soon, but it’s unveiled some of the other performances that will be featured during the event. Performers include:  Mx. Bukuru, Grace Mari, Dong Ganisa, Roger Blenman, Skim, King Fisher, Jason Qiu, Maiden China, Jaylene Tyme and Celestial Seasons.

New West Pride, which usually hosts a week of LGBTQ+ events, was one of a number of local groups that sought the city’s approval to repurpose its civic grant in a new way for 2020, given the restrictions on large gatherings imposed by COVID-19. The society told the city it plans on leveraging international efforts to celebrate Pride and addressing social isolation in the community by developing an online lounge for gathering.

For more information, visit www.newwestpride.c.

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