Following the region’s largest Pride festival yet in summer 2018, Capital Pride teams up with Canadian Heritage and Winterlude to co-produce 5 days of winter programming, including a march commemorating the 50-year anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexual acts in Canada. Capital Pride is producing its first-ever winter edition of Capital Pride, entitled “Capital Pride Presents: WinterPride.” The festival will take place during Winterlude from February 6 to 10 2019, in partnership with Canadian Heritage.

The programming includes:

  • Two evenings of performances on the Main Stage on Sparks Street (corner of Sparks and Bank)
  • Family-friendly activities on Saturday afternoon focused on sports and outdoor activities
  • The inaugural edition of the Capital Pride Awards Gala at the Museum of History in Gatineau
  • A Sunday march recognizing the 50-year anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexual acts in Canada and a push for greater equality
  • A speakers’ series event on the topic of advocacy
  • The second series of contribution from the Capital Pride Community Fund to support community events.

“We’re excited to provide important LGBTQ2+ programming, not just throughout our summer festival, but all year round,”  said Davy Sabourin, Capital Pride Chairperson, “Loneliness and isolation can particularly affect members of our community, even more so during the colder months. Ottawa is very much a winter city and we’re stepping out to provide opportunities to celebrate, advocate, educate, and connect people throughout the year.  Capital Pride will again have the opportunity to recognize those who make a difference in the everyday lives of our community members by presenting the 2018 Community Champion of the Year Award, as well as the 2019 Summer Festival Grand and Youth Marshals following an open nomination process,” added Sabourin. “We will also encourage community members to host their own events with the second iteration of the Capital Pride Community Fund.”

“Anyone who’s been to a summer Pride Festival would recognize planning an outdoor Pride Festival in February presents some challenges, but also some great opportunities to bring the community and its allies together for unique events on an outdoor stage, for a street party, and for a couple indoor events where we can warm up,” added Festival Director Christian Garceau. “The local drag and burlesque communities are excited for the challenge of modifying their acts for an outdoor stage.”

Signature Events

Capital Pride Speakers Series: Trans Voices – Feb 6, 7pm to 9pm

Capital Pride will welcome leaders from regional, national, and international trans communities to share their realities, the challenges they continue to face and the changes we collectively need to bring about.

Capital Pride Awards Gala – Feb 7, 8pm to 1030pm

The region’s LGBTQ2+ community will have an opportunity to recognize the leaders who make a difference by nominating them for the first Capital Pride Awards, to be handed out at the inaugural Capital Pride Awards Gala at the Canadian Museum of History’s theatre. The evening begins with a pre-show reception in the theatre’s lobby, followed by the announcement of award recipients. Following the intermission, a Drag Show Extravaganza will feature local and international talent, The evening ends with a post-show reception in the lobby. More on Awards nominations can be found here.

Ice Cabaret, Featuring Mado – Feb 9, 6pm to 10pm 

Montréal’s most famous drag queen ventures to town to kick-off Capital Pride’s inaugural weekend of outdoor programming on Ottawa’s famed Sparks Street as part of Capital Pride’s Winter Edition! Even in the February chill, Capital Tease Burlesque and DJs will sizzle alongside Mado as the Capital Pride stage shines brightly in the winter night! Forget staying at home and warm up with some licensed indoor and outdoor drink and food specials from our friends along Sparks Street to kick off the weekend with the Ice Cabaret featuring Mado! More on Mado can be found here.

Come OUT and Play – Feb 9, 11am to 5pm – Sparks @Bank Winter Stage

Local DJs spinning uplifting beats will give you the pep you need to discover that winter is as great a time as any for an outdoor workout, a game of basketball or a little dancing in the streets! Start your day with a queer brunch at one of the great dining spots along Sparks Street, then indulge your sweet tooth with the sticky—and all-natural—Quebec treat of taffy on snow! Grab a warm drink and learn about the 50-year anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada as well as Ottawa’s fascinating queer history through the Village Legacy Project and fireside chats, featuring leaders from the Canadian LGBTQ2+ community.

Saturday Night Divas – Feb 9, 6pm to 10pm

Toronto and National Capital Region drag performers will warm up the crowd with their best performances, while indoor and outdoor licensed drink and food specials from our friends along Sparks Street will give you all the fuel you need to keep the energy burning all night long.

Let’s MARCH & make noise: Standing Proud, Standing OUT! – Feb 10, 12pm to 5pm

Join and take a stand to address the important advances in LGBTQ2+ rights, the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada, and all the work that still lies ahead. The Capital Pride Winter March will move briskly through downtown Ottawa and finish on Sparks Street for additional programming as the LGBTQ2+ community and its allies stand proud and stand out!

“Canadian Heritage is proud to present Winterlude, and we acknowledge the support of Capital Pride as one of our new programming partners for this year’s festival. From February 1 to 18, 2019, enjoy an urban winter experience, with all the traditional staples and many new features. Celebrate our artistic and culinary talent, Indigenous culture, as well as LGBTQ2+ culture, history, and pride. Discover the festival’s new destinations and more dynamic, diverse programming. Whatever your age or interests, whether you’re from Canada’s Capital Region or elsewhere in the country or the world, I invite you to come and take part, because THIS is Winterlude!” said The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism.

Capital Pride hosts its first Capital Pride Presents: WinterPride Festival from February 6 to 10, 2019. More info here.

Official WinterPride Guide and Schedule of Events

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.