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Things to Do: Pride Events

You can get your queer on at a plenty of events in Hamilton and Halton this month!

Uncloseted At The Staircase
In celebration of queer visibility and the power of bonding through laughter, The Staircase presents a weekend-long festival in recognition of Pride 2023. The Uncloseted Comedy Pride Festival is an all-ages event featuring sketch comedy, burlesque performances, open mics, and stand-up shows for queer and ally-minded audiences. Free and ticketed events will run throughout the festival – consider a weekend-long pass for easy access to a guaranteed good time. Come ready to laugh and come rested – the celebration continues at an after-party at The Well. June 16-18, The Staircase Theatre

Putting the “fun” in fundraising
Celebrate Pride at The Well Hamilton with an AIDS Network fundraiser. The event will support those living with, affected by, and vulnerable to HIV in our community and will help the AIDS Network cope with a remarkable increase in the need for its services and programs over the past couple of years due to the impact of COVID-19 and the current cost of living. The fundraiser will feature bingo, trivia, 50/50 draws, silent auctions, retro t-dance, guest speakers, drag performances, and more, beginning at 12 p.m. June 17, The Well Hamilton, 161 Wellington St. N.

Ladies First 
Local organization Fruit Salad’s goal is to create more spaces dedicated to 2SLGBTQ+ women, and this time, there will be beer. In honour of Pride, the group will be hosting a night out at Collective Arts. Live entertainment from Jesse James and DJ Fly Lady Di ensures a night where the featured guests and their pals can dance the night away in a safe and supportive environment. 19+ June 17, 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m., Collective Arts

Pride Goes Outside
Conservation Halton is celebrating Pride in Nature with a variety of outdoorsy events. Next up is Whatever Floats Your Boat. Get flam-buoyant at Kelso Lake! Home to many varieties of fish, Kelso Lake offers great spots to sink your bait. Canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, and stand-up paddleboards are available. Gate fee is $10 per person. June 17, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Kelso Lake

And the next Pride event at Conservation Halton is will allow you to transcend your way to new heights with an evening on the challenge course with Kelso Conservation Area’s Escarpment Walk Aerial Ropes Course Vultures View Climbing Tower. June 21 at 6 p.m., Kelso Conservation Area

Talking Summer
To mark Pride month, the Burlington Public Library presents novelist, activist and feminist Jen Ferguson, who will speak live via Zoom about her award-winning novel The Summer of Bitter and Sweet, a Stonewall Honor Book of 2023. In her breakout novel, she lends keen insight into the emotional journey of self-discovery as told through Lou, a young adult seeking to understand her past, her family, and her sexual identity. A resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ferguson will talk about her experience as an emerging novelist and her passion to add her unique voice as a storyteller and force for positive change. The Summer of Bitter and Sweet wasthe winner of the 2022 Governor General's Literary Award for Young People's Literature and a Cybils' Award for Young Adult. It was also named an Ontario Library Association Best Bet Book of 2022. Registration closes 60 minutes before the program begins. Register hereJune 20, 7 p.m.virtual

Queer histories
In honour of Pride month, the Hamilton Community Foundation is hosting a Vital Signs conversation about Hamilton’s 2SLGBTQ+ Community Archives. HCF’s president & CEO Terry Cooke will host Amber Dean, professor, English & Cultural Studies at McMaster University, Cole Gately, community steward of the 2SLGBTQ+ Archives, and Chase Thomson, graduate student at McMaster University. They will talk about the history of 2SLGBTQ+ activism in Hamilton and how that history is being preserved and presented to engage new generations of Hamiltonians. The panel discussion will be followed by a short Q&A period. Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided. This event is free but space is limited, so please register hereJune 23 at 8 a.m., Townhall Social Eatery, 581 Concession St.

Pride Among the Pines
Perched above the Niagara Escarpment, a stone’s throw from the city, is Cedars Campground, one of the oldest operating campgrounds in North America serving the LGBTQ+ community. With a restaurant, a variety of campsites to choose from – from non-serviced to deluxe cabins – and its very own nightclub, Cedars may have been the first to put the glam in glamping. Parties are the norm at Cedars, but the celebration of Pride kicks the festivities up a few notches, and gets a weekend-long treatment with three days worth of activities on the docket. This is definitely not your childhood summer camp, but you’ll still need sunscreen. June 23-25

Family Boogie
Ottawa Street North BIA and Wick’d Wax the Candle Shoppe are joining forces to host an all-ages family Pride dance party at the Ottawa Market. Organizers want attendees to: “Just be yourself and boogie the night away.” Bright colours are encouraged and free bubbles will be provided for the kids. June 24, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Ottawa Market, 204 Ottawa St N.

Halton shows its Pride
Halton Pride Fest promises a day of outdoor fun and celebration for all ages. Presented by Pflag Halton, Milton Prism, and Queer @ Rock, the day will feature live entertainment from the House of Adam and Steve and the Bourbon Brown Trio, vendors, button making, face-painting, DIY zines, temporary tattoos, colouring stations, karaoke, an interactive Pride mural with JR Marr, lawn games and a bouncy castle. Tickets are $10 and available here. June 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Country Heritage Park

Pride to Come
Pride Hamilton is Sunday, Aug. 27 at Pier 4 Park, 64 Leander Dr., from 12 to 8 p.m. Lots more information to come.

Arts for All