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Fierté Simcoe Pride calls for unity in action

Fierté Simcoe Pride has the support of all 22 communities in Simcoe County this year

For the past seven years, Fierté Simcoe Pride has organized a festival in Simcoe County that celebrates gender and sexual diversity, supporting the LGBTQ community.

This year’s Fierté Simcoe Pride festival has been expanded to a full 14 days, July 30 to Aug. 12.

“It takes the first week just to cover the flag raisings,” said Brandon Amyot, president of Fierté Simcoe Pride. For the first time, the celebration has the support of all 22 communities in Simcoe County – including all 16 municipalities, the separated cities of Orillia and Barrie, Rama First Nations, CFB Borden, and the county itself.

There will be 21 proclamations of Fierté Simcoe Pride 2018 and 20 flag raisings – including Bradford West Gwillimbury’s event on Aug. 2.

“The whole county is united in Pride,” Amyot said, but “there is still work to do. Our theme this year is United in Action. Now the municipalities are involved, we can leverage that support into action, making our communities a better place to live, work and grow.”

BWG Mayor Rob Keffer and Coun. Ron Orr welcomed Fierté Simcoe Pride to Bradford, with a proclamation and flag raising at the courthouse.

“We are pleased to raise the Pride flag in BWG again,” said Keffer. “Our library and cultural centre really stepped it up this year,” with inclusive and family-friendly events to mark Pride month.

The BWG Diversity Action Group has also worked toward supporting diversity and inclusivity in the community, he said.

Amyot noted that Bradford West Gwillimbury has raised the rainbow flag since 2007. “We are not the first Pride group to exist in this county,” he said. “The work they did really laid the groundwork” for a safer and more diverse Simcoe County.

The community was invited to attend upcoming Fierté Simcoe Pride events, including a Niizh Manidook (two-spirit) powwow at Springwater Park on Aug. 4, two-spirit outdoor music show in Tiny Township on Aug. 4, the third annual Trans Pride March in Orillia on Aug. 9, and the fourth annual Simcoe County Pride Awards Gala at the Oakwood Community Centre in Victoria Harbour Aug. 11. The Town of BWG has been nominated for the Community of the Year award. 

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Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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