For Immediate Release
MUSKOKA PRIDE WEEK A SUCCESS – THANK YOU MUSKOKA!
The Muskoka Pride Festival came to a close with a roaring success, at the 8th annual Picnic at Annie Williams Park. It was another wonderful afternoon of Picnic fun.
Sadly, many people who identify as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) still live closeted lives for fear of community-backlash if they come out. Pride celebrations play an important role in creating inclusive and accepting communities.
Muskoka Pride would like to offer our congratulations to Carys Camani and Jay Sutman of Guelph, and Mike Melidoni and John MacKinnor of Etobicoke, two couples who were married during the Picnic on Sunday. East-coast singer Irish Mythen, and the Mitch Beube Jazz Combo, entertained almost 400 picnic-goers this year.
During our Huntsville Kickoff Party, Briar Summers and her band mates (James Crawford, Alex Pelling, and Alex Lupton) did an amazing job playing for the crowd of 200. What a talented group of 13-14 year olds! Thank you to Explosive Device Records for providing all of their sound equipment and setup.
Once again this year all 6 municipalities in Muskoka raised the Rainbow Pride flag during the Muskoka Pride Festival. Wahta First Nation raised the flag for the first time this year as well. We would like to thank the mayors, councillors, and staff at all municipalities.
All of our events this week were well attended, with over 900 people “coming out” to the different events across Muskoka. During the Muskoka Pride Festival, 10,000 unique visitors to the Muskoka Pride Facebook Page and 5000 visitors to our website (www.muskokapride.com) also saw Muskoka as a queer-positive tourism destination.
We would like to thank our title sponsors: The Town of Bracebridge, RBC branches of Muskoka, and the Bala Cranberry Festival. Please visit www.muskokapride.com/2016-sponsors to see all of the businesses who sponsored Pride Festival activities this year.
Finally, we would like to say a special thank you to our team of dedicated volunteers, who put in countless hours ensuring the Pride events were successful.
Next year’s Muskoka Pride Picnic will be on Sunday, July 30th.
BRACEBRIDGE, ONTARIO – July 22nd , 2015 – Muskoka Pride Festival will come to a close this Sunday, July 24th with the 8th annual Muskoka Pride Picnic. Muskoka Pride would like to invite everyone in Muskoka out to this LGBTA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and allies) event.
The Muskoka Pride Festival is sponsored by The Town of Bracebridge, the Bala Cranberry Festival, and RBC Branches of Muskoka. The picnic will be held at Annie Williams Park in Bracebridge again this year. The event will take place from 12 Noon to 4 PM. Participants are invited to bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket as they enjoy this relaxed afternoon event. Food and beverages will be provided at this free event.
This year, Muskoka Pride is pleased to have east-cost singer Irish Mythen as our featured entertainer. Mythen is a globetrotting troubadour – an Irish-born, contemporary Canadian folk artist who’s been amassing accolades and achievements across several continents over the years. Her presence and charisma simply command attention. She delivers a sonic and emotional experience that reaches the very core of what connects us.
At 2pm Muskoka Pride is pleased to be host to 2 same-sex weddings, officiated by Jane Craig. John and Mike from Etobicoke, as well as Carys and Jay from Guelph, will be celebrating their weddings amongst friends, family, and picnic goers. Also performing will be the Mitch Beube jazz quartet.
Throughout the afternoon there will be displays by community groups and vendors, children’s activities provided by RBC, and other picnic activities (frisbee, badminton, bocce ball). Draws will be held for door prizes and other competitions.
For further information about all events, go to www.muskokapride.com or go to the Muskoka Pride Facebook page.
Everyone, gay and straight alike, is welcome to attend all Muskoka Pride events.
All Muskoka Municipalities to Show Support for Diversity
MUSKOKA, ONTARIO – July 17th, 2016 – Once again, all municipalities in Muskoka are raising the Rainbow Pride flag on Monday July 18th to recognize the Muskoka Pride Festival which runs July 15 – 24.
The first Rainbow flags will be raised in Port Severn and Dwight at 9:30. Georgian Bay Township Mayor Larry Braid and Lake of Bays Mayor Bob Taylor will be joined by their respective Councillors, staff, Muskoka Pride board members and the public for the ceremonies.
“Muskoka is a large geography, stretching from Georgian Bay all the way to Algonquin Park,” says Shawn Forth, Muskoka Pride board member. “It is fitting that we are starting our day of flag raisings in both the east and west before making our way toward the centre.”
The vast geography often makes people who identify as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer) feel very isolated and alone, Forth explains. “The Rainbow Pride flag is a symbol of inclusion and flying it proudly in rural Ontario communities fosters a sense of belonging and celebration.”
The flag raisings continue at 11:00 with Huntsville and Wahta. This is the first year that Wahta First Nation will be raising the Rainbow flag. At 1:30 Muskoka Lakes Township will raise the flag in Port Carling, followed by Bracebridge at 2:30. The day of ceremonies concludes at 3:15 in Gravenhurst. Members of the public are invited to attend any of the flag raisings.
The Rainbow Flag symbolizes the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community with the different colours representing the diverse groups.
The Muskoka Pride Festival continues with events all week throughout Muskoka. The week concludes on Sunday July 24th with the 8th annual Muskoka Pride Picnic at Annie Williams Park in Bracebridge. At this year’s Picnic east coast celtic-folk singer Irish Mythen will be performing, and the Picnic will also feature a double wedding of same-sex couples from Toronto and Guelph.
For further information about all events, go to www.muskokapride.com or visit the Muskoka Pride Facebook Page. All events are open for anyone to attend, regardless of how they identify.
EXCITING PLANS FOR THE 2016 MUSKOKA PRIDE FESTIVAL
BRACEBRIDGE, ONTARIO – June 27th, 2016 – Muskoka Pride has announced that July 15th through 24th is the 2016 Muskoka Pride Festival. The annual week of activities celebrates the Muskoka lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community.
According to Muskoka Pride board member, Shawn Forth, there are big things planned for this year’s Festival. “Probably the most exciting announcement is that we will be celebrating the wedding of two same-sex couples at this year’s Picnic in Bracebridge.”
The Pride Festival week begins on Friday July 15th with the annual Pride Kickoff BBQ in Huntsville at River Mill Park. This year it will feature many more activities that last year. Local singer, Briar Summers, will be performing under the new band-shell. There will be community displays, free yoga classes, and participatory art for people to take part in. From 4:00 to 6:30, come and enjoy music, play some games and activities in the park, and enjoy a free BBQ
On Monday July 18th join us at flag-raising ceremonies at all Muskoka municipalities. For the first time, Wahta First Nation will also be raising the Rainbow Pride flag. The times of flag raising ceremonies are still being finalized.
Muskoka Pride is also launching two contests during the Pride Festival. Members of the community are invited to submit a photo showing Muskoka’s support for the LGBTQ community. Photos can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Businesses across Muskoka are also invited to create window/shelf displays of rainbows to celebrate the LGBTQ tourists. In surveys done at the annual Picnic, participants commented about the support shown from local businesses to welcome them to Muskoka through displays of rainbow colours.
Muskoka Pride will come to a close on Sunday, July 24th with the eighth annual Muskoka Pride Picnic. The annual Picnic takes place once again at Annie Williams Park in Bracebridge from noon – 4pm.
This year features a performance by East Coast folk singer Irish Mythen. From her website: “Mythen is a globetrotting troubadour – an Irish-born, contemporary Canadian folk artist who’s been amassing accolades and achievements across several continents over the years. Her presence and charisma simply command attention...she delivers a sonic and emotional experience that transcends language and location... It’s an experience that, in recent years, has earned her spots performing alongside Rod Stewart, Gordon Lightfoot, and Lucinda Williams and billings on major festival stages the world over.”
Also part of this year’s Picnic will be a double wedding, featuring two same-sex couples. Local cottager Jane Craig completed her journey to be a Lay Pastoral Chaplain this winter, and she brought the suggestion of a wedding to Muskoka Pride and everyone loved the idea. Two couples will be exchanging their vows during the Picnic in a ceremony conducted by Craig.
The public is invited to bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket as they enjoy this relaxed afternoon event. Food and beverages will be provided at this free family event.
Everyone, gay and straight alike, is welcome to attend all Muskoka Pride events. For a full list of events, please go to www.muskokapride.com or go to our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
The Muskoka Pride Festival has many sponsors, including the Bala Cranberry Festival and the RBC branches of Muskoka. Muskoka Pride received an Event Tourism grant from the Town of Bracebridge.
The Muskoka Pride Committee posts events, news, updates, resources and other items through the News page. These posts link to our facebook page and twitter.