By Sue Tiffin
Published Aug. 31 2017
Record numbers of visitors came out for Minden Pride the second annual celebration and first full-week of events and activities celebrating the LGBTQ (lesbian gay bisexual transgender and queer) community.
“I personally feel that it was more successful than I thought it would be” said Paul Roy Minden Pride committee co-chair. “The number of new faces was incredible and very encouraging.”
More than 80 people showed up at the Aug. 21 rainbow flag raising at the municipal building compared to six people the previous
year. The flag raising kicked off Pride week events and showed support from politicians including Reeve Brent Devolin MP Jamie Schmale MPP Laurie Scott and Minden Hills councillors. Sunny weather prevailed for a meet and greet and tea dance held on full patios at Boshkung Social and The Grill on the Gull while extra tables had to be brought in for attendees at a pride-infused trivia night at the Dominion Hotel.
The Minden Pride picnic was held on Aug. 27 on the lawn of the Wild Swan Bed and Breakfast as a culmination of the week’s events that also included support from Custom Blend who wore rainbow-themed hats when they played at Music by the Gull and a “Loud and Proud” church service at St. Paul’s Anglican Church. Approximately 150 people are estimated to have attended the afternoon picnic including 30 children who played games and ate cake while adult guests chatted and danced to music featuring Hellfire Hal and the Hottub Hussies Cassidy Glecoff and Sheri Hawkins and the Pride Players. The Toronto Amazons Motorcycle Club members Dykes on Bikes who often participate in gay pride events made an appearance at the picnic.
Representatives from the local LGBTQ community as well as allies were joined by members of Kawartha Pride Muskoka Pride the Toronto Out and Out group and Belleville Pride throughout the week. A 94-year-old mother attended events with her daughter and a guest signing the Minden Pride committee’s rainbow flag noted she was visiting from Florida.
Minden Pride Week was sponsored by the County of Haliburton’s tourism department the Haliburton County Community Cooperative TD Canada Trust as well as numerous businesses and individuals in the area. It was initiated as a response to hate crimes
in Orlando and Haliburton in 2016 that targeted members of the LGBTQ community.