Pride festival launches with Tuesday program

Art and sign making; theatre performance and more

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Salt Spring’s Pride Festival features a diverse range of activities and events this year, with a special evening to kick things off taking place at ArtSpring this Tuesday, Sept. 3.

The family-friendly event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. with entrance by donation and refreshments available for purchase. Participants will hear inspiring words to open the 2019 festival, more about what’s to come during the week, and a special announcement about what’s in the works for Pride 2020.

Miranda Caterer, the 2019 Pride coordinator for Diverse and Inclusive Salt Spring Island, said many new and inclusive events are being incorporated into the week’s activities.

“We’re hoping that many families will come out Tuesday,” Caterer said. “I think there will be lots for inspiration.”

A queer artists’ exhibit will be on view in the ArtSpring lobby, with art made by members of Salt Spring’s LGBTQ2SIA+ community. Members of the public can follow the example and get creative in several ways Tuesday night. A sign-making station will provide the opportunity to create signs for Saturday’s parade. Materials are provided, so ideas are all that’s needed. Everyone can also contribute to a large community banner that will be marched at the front of the parade this year.

The Art Jam allows creative types to bring their artwork into a space that is invigorating and inspiring, or to draw upon the evening’s discussions for inspiration. Participants are encouraged to bring anything they’d like to work with. Basic materials will be provided.

The evening will be capped with a Pride-themed theatrical performance and talk-back on the ArtSpring stage featuring a staged reading of An Interrogation Story in One-Act. The mock trial by island playwright Wendy Judith Cutler explores family dynamics, hetero-normativity, sexism, feminism and the complexities of living radically different from one’s biological family. The play will be preceded by Bedroom Confrontation, a short scene in which parents confront a daughter about her lesbianism. Lisa Dahling, Kevin Wilkie, Barbara Slater and Corrie Hope Furst perform. Audience discussion will follow, facilitated by Robert Birch.

A pull-out Pride guide with the full schedule of events will be published in next week’s Driftwood. The program offers everything from the spiritual to the frivolous and fun.

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