Medicine Hat Pride Week threatens cancellation

By Jessie Weisner
June 6, 2019 - 12:10pm Updated: June 6, 2019 - 7:49pm

 

MEDICINE HAT, AB -- Medicine Hat’s pride festival is in jeopardy, and the host organization is asking the public for help.

Project Rainbow Medicine Hat has put up a gofundme page, asking Hatters for financial or merchandise contributions, and volunteers.

“We’re asking people from the community to come out and volunteer, we’re asking any performers and artists to lend their time and efforts if they can,” says Caelan Hart, Project Rainbow organizer.

Multiple organizations that have supported pride in the past have recently lost funding or have been shut down, leaving pride in a tough spot.

“The Medicine Hat Pride festival is kind of in danger this year,” says Hart. “With a lot of the organizations that provide support to the LGBTQS2 community like Colour Me Free shutting down, we really felt that it was especially poignant this year that Medicine Hat have at least some form of pride festivities.”

Hart says project rainbow needs the funding to book venues, obtain permits, and hopefully pay some artists.

“While we’re asking artists and performers to come down kind of out of the goodness of their own hearts, we would like to provide, if possible, some sort of travel stipend for the people from out of town,” says Hart.

The typical large pride festival held at Riverside Veterans Memorial Park will not be happening in 2019 because of issues with funding and deadlines. Instead, Project Rainbow is partnering with Sun City Pride to host a pride week.

“We don’t have the ability, nor the time right now to put on the usual big festival in the park but we are definitely aiming to bring a pride week of smaller events,” says Hart.

Some events they aim to put on include a solidarity walk, after dark social, a movie night showing LGBTQ2S+ films and various educational speakers.

Hart adds Project Rainbow representitives will be knocking on the doors of local businesses with sponsorship forms.

He says hosting these pride events is essential to the community.

“We feel its really important to our community as a whole,” says Hart. “That we have these events in Medicine Hat, that we can come together a community and celebrate our history and culture.”

The current dates for Medicine Hat’s 2019 pride week are September 8 – 14.

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