Vancouver Pride COVID-19 Statement
May 26, 2020
Like so many of you, we are worried about the impacts of Covid-19 on our families and communities. As an events organization, we are particularly concerned with the impacts of events on the health of our communities. As such, we are monitoring and following all federal and provincial recommendations in order to keep our staff safe, and to do our part to flatten the curve in order to protect our communities.
As of last week, our staff has moved to working remotely. You can still reach us through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and through social media.
On Monday, March 16, British Columbia health officials banned gatherings over 50 people to help slow the spread of the virus. As of today, we are postponing all of our scheduled Pop-Up Pride events including Quests&Queers with The GM Tim, Cartoons ‘n’ Cereal, and My Name Was January Film Screening with Sher Vancouver. We are currently planning on rescheduling these events in late summer/early fall depending on the situation at that time. Our Pride Game with the Canucks has also been cancelled – we are unsure at this time if it will be rescheduled.
Last week, we were heartbroken to announce that we would be cancelling the 2020 Unicorn Ball after Adrian Dix, BC’s Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s Provincial Health Officer, directed event organizers to cancel any gathering larger than 250 people. This event is our largest annual fundraiser which supports LGBTQAI2S+ community groups and organizations. We are currently looking at alternative ways to raise these funds and welcome any donations to our bursary program.
It has been hard for us to watch the cancellation or postponement of Pride events across the globe. Pride represents so many different things to our communities: resistance, celebration, liberation, community, politics, and unabashed and unapologetic queer joy. We understand how devastating it must have been to make these calls to cancel. Our heart goes out to Pride organizers the world round who are grappling with these difficult decisions.
We remain hopeful that we will be able to proceed as usual with our line-up of summer events as we celebrate Pride later in the season. At this time we are continuing to plan our summer events. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and will make whatever decisions are necessary to protect the health of our communities. Updates will be provided through our newsletter, website, and social media. You can sign up to get updates through our newsletter here.
LGBTQAI2S+ communities face health disparities, social isolation, and, according to the National LGBT Cancer Network, are disproportionately impacted by Covid-19. Currently, our gathering places and gatherings, support groups and social spaces are being closed and cancelled. Over the coming days, we will be compiling a list of resources for our communities and ways in which you can support others. We welcome any suggestions you may have for how folks can obtain services or support LGBTQAI2S+ communities and organizations in the following weeks.
The following weeks and months will bring many challenges: financial hardship, social isolation, fear and anxiety, barriers to accessing services, uncertainty and loss. Our communities are resilient, creative, and have a long history of working together to care for each other. We have a social responsibility to care for each other in times of crisis. Check on your friends, stay home if you are able to, and find ways to support each other.