You Are Here: Home » Arts & Culture » Jasper Pride & Ski Festival to feature diversity of events

Jasper Pride & Ski Festival to feature diversity of events

Skiers take part in the Pride Flag ski run at Marmot Basin during the Jasper Pride Festival on April 24, 2021. | Marmot Basin photo

Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter | reporter@fitzhugh.ca

Drag shows, helicopter tours and the only gay ski week in the Canadian Rockies: those are just a few of the events planned for this year’s Jasper Pride & Ski Festival.

Running April 1-10, the festival is put together by the Jasper Pride Festival Society.

“Like the last few years, Pride 2022 has been very unconventional in the planning,” said Maggie Sammon, co-chair for the society, in an email. 

“We’ve been brainstorming and fundraising since December 2021, but we weren’t really able to pull the trigger on our events schedule until we had an idea of what April’s COVID restrictions would look like. 

“This means a huge portion of Pride has only really come together in the last month. It’s been a whirlwind.”

The struggle for LGBTQ+ rights has been a long time coming, reads the Queer Events website, starting with the decriminalization of homosexuality. 

“Even though the world is becoming a more inclusive and accepting place as time passes, there’s still a lot of work to be done,” Sammon said. 

“Pride Week is a chance to raise awareness and visibility of the LGBTQ2S+ community in our region. And equally as important, it’s a chance to boldly show the world that Jasper is a place where everyone can feel safe and welcome just as they are. It’s a chance to show our locals and visitors that Jasper has their backs.”

The Jasper Pride Festival first occurred in 2010 and was originally a weekend festival.

In 2015, it expanded to a four-day festival in March and later moved to April.

“This will be the first year doing a ten-day, Gay Ski Week festival,” Sammon said.

As well, the Jasper Pride Festival Society will host its first-ever awards brunch on April 3.

Awards will include Person of the Year, Youth of the Year, Proud Business of the Year, and LGBTQ2S+ Community Organization of the Year.

The festival is being organized this year with an unofficial theme of “Pride for Everyone,” recognizing that the LGBTQ+ community was not monolithic in nature.

“Some folks are coming with families, some want a slower pace, some want more meaningful programming,” Sammon said.

“We know there’s huge love for our parties and ski days, but we wanted to offer some more diverse programming so everyone attending feels like there’s something for them.”

Organizers also wanted to showcase more diversity among the community with events such as Sâkihitowin: Indigi-Hauz Takeover, a drag evening by an Indigenous drag house out of Beaver Hills. 

“We hope we’ve really hit a balance with programming this year,” Sammon said.

“We encourage everyone to keep an eye on our website and social media as new events are being added even now.”

OUT Jasper is a peer and advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer/questioning people in Jasper, including visitors.

Mychol Ormandy, executive director of OUT Jasper, said the group has been part of Jasper Pride events for about 13 years.

“Jasper Pride Week gives the gay community and its allies a way to express themselves for who they are, in the loving nature we have fought for every day since before the Stonewall movement,” Ormandy said.

“It’s to be able to express how we were born to be. The diversity and inclusiveness of Jasper is not just during Pride Week; it is all year round, an amazing feeling.”

OUT Jasper will be at the kick-off party at the Whistle Stop from 5-7 p.m. on April 1, and it will host the Loud & Proud Drag Show at 10 p.m. at the Whistle Stop.

There will also be a pop-up meet-and-greet at the Wicked Cup on April 3 from 2-3 p.m.

A full list of events can be found at jasperpride.ca

Editor’s note: The first year of the festival was 2010, rather than 2009 as initially reported.

It’s time. Support your local media.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Fitzhugh is now soliciting donations from readers. This program is designed to support our local journalism in a time where our advertisers are unable to due to their own economic constraints. Fitzhugh has always been a free product and will continue to be free. This is a means for those who can afford to support local media to help ensure those who can’t afford to can get access to trusted local information. You can make a one-time or a monthly donation of any amount and cancel at any time.

Click on https://support.fitzhugh.ca for more information or to make your donation.

Thank you in advance for your support.

© Jasper's Independent Newspaper - Powered by Aberdeen Publishing                                                                                           Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

Scroll to top