Banff Pride Volunteer Jeffrey Carpenter reflected on Banff Pride 2020 saying it was a huge success thanks to the support from the community, which has continued to grow year over year.
“Despite the challenges and uncertainty this year presented, we were able to deliver an even more robust schedule of events and programming throughout the week,” he said.
Bow Valley locals and visitors alike showed up and were ready to celebrate. Sold out events ranged from a Roller Disco, paint night, Drag Brunches and a screening of Rocky Horror.
The expanded ‘Taste The Rainbow’ program involved 20 plus restaurants, bars and cafes in Banff featuring special cocktails and desserts in support of local LGBTQ2+ organizations giving everyone an opportunity to celebrate and support diversity throughout the week.
“Without the support of local businesses and Banff Lake Louise Tourism, Banff Pride simply wouldn’t have been the same. We were thrilled to see the community come together and celebrate diversity and inclusion,” said Carpenter.
While bigger towns and cities in Alberta held Pride festivals virtually this year, Banff still managed to carry off events safely proving how resilient and agile the community is.
“While bigger events were out of the picture this year, the week-long schedule of events was filled with a variety of smaller events, capturing the interest of an even larger and more diverse crowd.
“We’re grateful to be in a community that has made the health and safety of our visitors and locals a top priority. Local businesses are all well versed in health precautions ensuring our the events proceeded in the safest way possible. Contact tracing, social distancing, masks, temperature checks were of the few steps taken.”
A lot of the businesses in Banff got on board making cocktails and sweet treats making Pride a little bit extra special with creativity this year.
“It’s always such a thrill to see the creativity that local businesses put into making these delicious desserts and cocktails!
“Taste the Rainbow was the perfect way to celebrate Banff Pride, showing your support of local LGBTQ2+ organizations throughout the week. How could anyone resist a delicious slice of Rainbow cake from Wild Flour!?
“We saw a huge turnout this year! Events were smaller to allow for social distancing which led to many of the events selling out fast. It’s fantastic to see such a diverse group of all ages, and backgrounds attending these events.”
He believes 2020 has proven that people are stronger when they come together as a community.
“Simply being true to oneself and feeling safe to express yourself openly are not experiences the Queer community takes for granted.
“Banff Pride celebrates the inclusive and welcoming community we live in, spreading joy and reaffirming Banff is a beautiful place to live.”