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Pride has arrived and it is time to celebrate Toronto’s 1st annual pride month, beginning on June 1 and continuing until July 3. Events will be happening all across the city to celebrate the beginning of a amazing tradition! The problem? There are so many events it’s difficult to decide which ones to attend! Don’t worry though, Women’s Post has you covered.  Here are the best of the best for the first two weeks of Pride.

Pride Flag Raising Ceremony

The Pride Flag Raising Ceremony marks the official start of Pride Month. It will take place on Wednesday, June 1 from 9 to 11 a.m at Queen’s Park. Premier, Kathleen Wynne and Mayor John Tory will be present with other honourable guests to help hoist the pride flag. The event is free and not one to miss!

Pride Month Launch Party: At the AGO

The AGO is hosting a launch party for Pride on June 2 from 7 to 11:30 p.m to celebrate the beginning of Pride. Toronto artist Bruce LaBruce, known for his acting, and film-making of underground gay pornography, has invited four of his favourite queer performers that includes performance artist Ron Athey, artist Narcissister, musician No Bra and queer musician and artist Gio Black Peter. The party also includes art-making activities, pop-up exhibitions, and thematic food from Night Market. Advance tickets are $13 and jump to $16 at the door. Get your tickets quickly, they are set to sell out before the event.

1st Annual Family Pride Day at Centreville

Centreville Theme Park is hosting its 1st annual Family Pride Day at Toronto’s Centre Island on June 5 from 10:30 a.m to 8 p.m. The venue is a popular destination for families and is set to be a fun-filled day for families looking to celebrate Pride. The amusement park and farm admission will be free, but ride tickets are an extra cost. Buy ahead of time using the promo code “Pride2016” and receive a discount on ride tickets as well.  This all ages event is a way to celebrate pride in a family friendly way and teaches kids how fun Pride month is.

Human Rights Panel: Bathhouse Raids

Join Margaret Atwood and other panelists on June 7 at 519 (519 Church St. ) from 7 to 9 p.m to discuss the Bathhouse Raids that occurred on Feb. 5 1981 in Toronto. Atwood was very vocal against the raids at the time and will speak about the community impact surrounding the event. Other panelists include Metropolitan Community Church Pastor, Brent Hawkes who went on a hunger strike in order to obtain an official enquiry into the raids and Susan Cole, a journalist and member of BroadsideFeminist Collective.  

Second City Show Tunes Karaoke

Second City has paired up with Acting Up Stage Company and Theatre 20 to provide Show Tunes Karaoke for Pride Month in Toronto on June 15 from 10:30 p.m until midnight at The Second City Mainstage (51 Mercer Street). The event includes drinks, singing your favourite show tunes ranging from broadway tunes to classical songs.

Party your heart out and learn about the history and triumphs of the LGTBQ at the same time at these events in the city. Stay tuned for part two in Pride Month, there is more spectacular celebrations to attend in the second half of June too!

 Which pride event are you looking forward to? Share in the comments below!

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Author

Kaeleigh Phillips is Women's Post sustainability coordinator. She specializes in writing about issues relating to the environment, including renewable energy, cycling, and vegan recipes!

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