Sioux Lookout celebrates LGBTQ+ community during Pride Day
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
It was a rainy Sunday in Sioux Lookout, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of Pride Day supporters.
Close to 80 supporters gathered at the Municipal Office as Mayor Doug Lawrance raised the Pride flag and officially proclaimed the day as Pride Day in Sioux Lookout, an acknowledgement of the community’s diversity and support of the LGBTQ+ community prior to the parade. Pride Day participants then marched down Front Street to St. Andrew’s United Church carrying signs and rainbow flags celebrating LGBTQ+ pride.
“The rain didn’t seem to stop the spirit of the parade,” said Mary-Ann Flatt, who is a Pride Committee member.
At St. Andrew’s Church, the participants gathered for a free lunch and sharing circle.
The Nishnawbe-Gamik Friendship Centre then hosted a music festival.
The Friendship Centre had door prizes, silent auctions, a barbecue, and live local musicians throughout the afternoon.
Among the supporters were members from Rainbow Alliance in Dryden. Stephanie Diebolt, who is a Pride Committee member in Sioux Lookout, said it was nice to see the support from Dryden.
“It was nice to see Dryden representation this year. This is the first time Rainbow Alliance Dryden has come to support us. Their first pride was last year,” explained Diebolt.
Mari Thibault, who is the chair of Rainbow Alliance in Dryden, said Rainbow Alliance where astounded by the support, especially because of the bad weather.
“The participation has blown us away. It’s really nice to see so many people on board here. Despite the weather, the community really came together and it was nice to see,” said Thibault.
Rainbow Alliance Dryden raised the Pride flag at Dryden’s City Hall on June 1 and they will be hosting more Pride celebrations on June 29 and 30. The Pride Committee in Sioux Lookout said they’re probably going to head down to show their support in Dryden.
“We’ll probably get a group together to go down to Dryden on June 30 for their pride celebrations,” said Diebolt.
When asked about more upcoming Pride events, the committee said they have exciting news about a grant that they’re receiving, which should take shape in the fall.
“We actually have a grant coming from The 519, which is an organization in Southern Ontario. That grant is going to enable us, with the help of the Nishnawbe-Gamik Friendship Centre, to put on a conference all about inclusivity and diversity. It’ll help educate our community, and we’re hoping to do that in the fall. We want to bring all of the surrounding communities together to help support each other,” Diebolt concluded.