Pride Parade addresses themes such as self-care and community care


Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald The Pride Parade wound its way from the Court of Kings' Bench to Kinsmen Park on Saturday.

Pride Week and Pride Month began in Prince Albert on Saturday with the Pride Parade and Pride in the Park.

Chelsea Bleau, chair of the Prince Albert Pride Party, said they were thrilled to see all the hundreds of supporters and allies of the LGBTQ community.

“We got here and it was a really nice morning. Everything went super smoothly,” said Bleau.

Bleau was looking forward to the Pride After Dark event later Saturday.

“I know that in previous years there have been significantly more people at the parade here in the park, but today our dates also overlap with those in Moose Jaw and Meadow Lake,” said Bleau.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald A drum group in a truck was part of the Pride Parade as it made its way from the Court of Kings' Bench to Kinsmen Park on Saturday.

Saskatoon Pride was present because the two Pride events occasionally overlap.

“Today was just great. The weather was great, everything went smoothly this morning,” they said.

According to Pride, well over 200 people took part in the parade.

Bleau is likely to be on the road until the early hours of the morning.

This year’s Pride Week had important themes for the LBT community.

“We chose self-care and community care as our theme this year. We had a lot of different ideas and as a board we decided this was the absolute best idea because it's what we really need right now,” Bleau said.

“Self-care means taking care of ourselves, taking care of our mental health, making sure we're all OK. But community care is especially important because we really need strong allies right now,” Bleau said.

Bleau said all this support is a strong sign of solidarity.

The parade started as usual at the Court of King's Bench and ended at Kinsmen Park for Pride in the Park.

Pride in the Park opened with prayers from Elder Liz Settee and Nora Vedress of Calvary United Church, featured speakers, some speeches read by other Prince Albert Pride members and UR Pride representative Ariana Giroux, and there were speeches by former MP for Prince Albert Northcote Nicole Rancourt and Vice President of the Saskatchewan Teacher's Federation Nathan Bromm.

Having a happy day after a tough year for the LBTQ community is a positive thing, according to Bleau.

“I think after such a tough year, it's really great to see the whole crowd show up and everyone smiles. It just shows that we're going to get through it no matter what happens,” they said.

“There's a divide across the country right now. But today everyone has a smile on their face and the community care is really, really evident.”

In late 2023, PA Pride formed an Advocacy Committee and launched its own Year of Advocacy, led by event moderators Troy Parenteau and Alex Zahara.

“They've done a fantastic job. Alex has done a great job going over some of the facts and they've just done such a great job with the advocacy committee this year. We've done a lot of presentations for organizations in this city, like YWCA. I did one for the mental health and addictions program at Sask Polytech which was great,” Bleau said.

The event had a long list of sponsors and supporters and this was thanks to the work of the Pride organizers.

“The sponsors were crazy this year. It was a very long list. We worked really hard to reach out and do personal connections, especially with local businesses, and it was like there was so much support in Prince Albert,” Bleau said.

“It was so reassuring and encouraging. And every year people come and know that the community has to step up to organize such major events. They have done a fantastic job and we are so grateful to our sponsors,” they added.

The event was also supported by the Prince Albert Police Service, who provided an escort for the parade.

Another Pride Week event was the Calvary United Church Diversity Service on Sunday. Events will continue throughout the week and month in Prince Albert. Another event is a Pride At the Rock Trout All Ages Show on Thursday, June 6th with Cupid's Heart, Burning Pallets and LJ (Tyson).