Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

At rainbow's end, a Golden Boy

  • Print

The Manitoba Legislative Building is getting its gay on.

For three nights leading up to this year's 25th-anniversary Pride Day parade and celebration on June 3, a symbolic display will light up the stately edifice.

After dark on May 31 and June 1 and 2, the six columns across the grand entry will glow in the six colours of the rainbow flag. And the Pride Winnipeg logo will be projected on the building's dome, right below the iconic Golden Boy.

"It means so much," says Barb Burkowski, who is in her fourth and final year as chair of the all-volunteer Pride committee.

Burkowski, 38, says the fact that the province is letting the GLBTTQ community put its celebratory stamp on the building is a milestone that shows how much acceptance the community has attained.

It wasn't that long ago -- 25 years ago this July -- that activists anxiously waited at the Legislative Building to hear the result of a vote to include sexual orientation in the Manitoba Human Rights Code.

The bill passed by a narrow margin: 29 votes in favour, 23 opposed. Had it been defeated, there was a plan for a protest march in early August. Instead, the Aug. 2, 1987 march became the inaugural Pride celebration.

This year's 10-day festival of GLBTTQ culture and community gets underway this Friday at 12:15 p.m. with the rainbow flag-raising at city hall and ends June 3.

The lineup of events ranges from dance parties and sports tournaments to wine-tasting, a pancake breakfast and a couples-yoga class. New this year are a family fishing festival and an all-ages dance party where babies and toddlers can boogie.

Another new event is Lesbian Lube Wrestling at Club 200. An organizer was inspired by seeing gals rasslin' in "a bunch of slippery goo" at a bar in California.

The Peg version, a benefit for Pride Winnipeg, will see eight competitors -- they're supposed to wear bikinis -- in slick matchups in an inflatable pool. A local sex shop is contributing buckets of lube.

"The response has been great," says Burkowski. "I think some of the roller-derby girls are interested."

The Pride parade has grown from fewer than 300 participants to about 10,000. Technically, 2012 marks the 26th annual march. For a variety of reasons, including the now-dashed hope that the Canadian Museum for Human Rights would open in 2012, Pride organizers postponed the silver celebration until this year.

Pride Day starts with a rally at 11 a.m. at the Legislative Grounds. The colourful parade starts at noon. Then everybody moves to the free outdoor festival at The Forks (1 to 6:30 p.m.) that includes a mainstage, bigger-than-ever children's zone, business fair/market and beer tent.

The musical acts include Anjulie, The Cliks, Jeffery Straker, Jerry Sereda and Womyn of Pride.

The Forks site will also include an archival display tracing the history of the local GLBTTQ community.

The parade route no longer proceeds to The Forks, but instead heads north from the Legislative Grounds along Memorial Boulevard, east on York Avenue, south on Garry Street and west on Broadway, ending up where it started.

One of the objectives this year is a longer, highly visible route. The parade has had some floats drop out in the past because their creators felt the route was too short to justify all the effort.

Queer Beer, the "fruity and fabulous" Half Pints Brewing Co. beverage created for Pride, is on sale now in six-packs at four Liquor Marts: Grant Park; River and Osborne; Portage and Burnell; and Hargrave and Ellice. Last year, the bottles sold out partway through the launch day.

"It's the fastest-selling beer ever in Manitoba," says Burkowski. "We're making twice as much this year."

For more info on Pride celebrations, go to www.pridewinnipeg.com or pick up a printed Pride Guide.

alison.mayes@freepress.mb.ca

Did you participate in the 1987 Pride march? A 25-year reunion of the original marchers is being held on Tuesday. For information, see www.twospiritedmanitoba.ca or call 783-6424.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 24, 2012 E10

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Dustin Byfuglien reflects on season

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A water lily in full bloom is reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)
  • Horses enjoy a beautiful September morning east of Neepawa, Manitoba  - Standup Photo– Sept 04, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you agree with the province’s crackdown on flavoured tobacco products?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google