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Pride Month kicks off in Winnipeg with festival at The Forks


Thousands of Manitoba’s LGBTQ2S+ community members kicked off Pride Month this year at The Forks, with a grand festival celebrating queer culture, unity and perseverance.

Pride Winnipeg president Barry Karlenzig said this year’s event was organized with accessibility top of mind, to promote inclusivity for everyone.

“We have a larger Substance Free Zone, we have accessible individuals sitting in our food truck area to help if anybody has accessibility concerns ordering food,” Karlenzig said, adding that the festival offers live ASL and a quiet sensory room for those who need it.

Karlenzig said he expects this year to be Pride Winnipeg’s biggest yet, with around 100,000 in attendance over the two-day celebration.

“It's been absolutely growing year over year,” he said. “We try to just do something a little bit better to try and grow so that everyone in the community and everybody in Winnipeg has a place to celebrate themselves this weekend.”

The festivities kicked off with a march from the Manitoba Legislative Building, in recognition of trans and two-spirit people. It comes just days after the legislature passed a bill to designate March 31 as Trans and Two-Spirit Day of Visibility.

“It was the largest trans march we've seen,” said Karlenzig. “And just seeing social acceptance and everything is just amazing.”

Among the support, Karlenzig also pointed out there are still some provinces and communities within Canada that hold anti-LGBTQ2S+ ideologies, putting queer people, especially youth, at risk.

“We really need to show that hate is not welcomed in Manitoba,” he said. “To be here today is a way to show people they can be their authentic self. They have a chance to be able to celebrate who they truly are.”

The festival features a number of vendors, performers, games and treats. The full schedule can be found on Pride Winnipeg’s website.

Pride Winnipeg Pride Parade

The 2024 Pride Parade route. (Pride Winnipeg/Facebook)

CTV News Winnipeg will live-stream the 2024 Pride Rally and Parade with a broadcast cohosted by senior anchor Maralee Caruso and weather specialist Colleen Bready, while Katherine Dow and 103.1 Virgin Radio’s Ace Burpee and Chrissy Troy chat with special guests along the parade route.

The special coverage will begin at 10 a.m. CST. Top Stories

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