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Members of Thunder Pride and The Rainbow Collective announce a list of events taking place ins 2023 for Pride Month in June (Adam Riley/Acadia Broadcasting)

Pride groups prepare for Pride Month amid social unease

By Adam Riley Apr 27, 2023 | 8:05 PM

Pride is once again getting set to take to the streets of Thunder Bay this June, but while there are many fun and exciting events planned, there is also something of a dark cloud floating around.

It comes as the result of regressive policies from organizations and governments including our American neighbours who have passed 400 pieces of anti-LGBT legislation in the last year, so that regressive nature has Pride going back to basics according to Thunder Pride Chair Scotia Kauppi.

“As the slogan is and has been for over 40 years ‘Pride is Protest’ and we would just like to honour that to the effect that we are under attack.”

Kauppi says many years ago after the initial legalization of same-sex marriage there was cause for celebration, but the attacks on the community are now coming back and some in society wish to shift to a previous era.

As a result of recent attacks on the community a protest march will be held instead of a parade, as well Kauppi adds they are working with the Thunder Bay Police Service to keep the events safe.

“Just with the way the attacks happened, and actually happening in other cities and in the US, that we would  prefer to be safe and not have any cars involved at all so we can stay on the sidewalk and be loud.”

Despite that events are being held all month long by both Thunder Pride and Rainbow Collective in various locations across the city.


List of Pride events taking place across Thunder Bay this summer.

A new ambassadorship element of Pride is being added this year with the inclusion of Northern Ontario curling legends Team McCarville

“Its really about ally ship, we need our allies more than ever now, they are the key some of the work and the fight we have ahead of us to say no, and to say hate and bigotry does not exist.”
–Jason Veltri, President, Rainbow Collective

One of the reasons the team team was selected was the fact they were one of the first teams to use Pride brooms on national television on the national scene.

“It was just a no brainer for us to consider such a great community team that has given a lot to Thunder Bay,” says Rainbow Collective President Jason Veltri. “Who are role models for girls in sport, to step up even further and show their leadership prowess to helping our organizations to get the message out.”

Members of Team McCarville will be attending events throughout June, possibly even participating in some of the town halls scheduled according to Veltri.

Some of those events will be taking place in the downtown Port Arthur area for the last time before it moves to other areas, the result of a $13 million makeover approved by the city earlier this year.

Veltri says there is a potential for next year heading to areas of the city that haven’t really been involved in major events in the past.

“We’ve has some early conversations about moving somewhere in Fort William, to share the love across our great city. You know I think we want to get through this year and this festival first, we’re thankful to some degree that the construction has been delayed by a year.

He notes the ability in the future to have a rotation of events across the city has been made easier in recent years.

“Between the two organizations now we have a real opportunity to divvy up that work and highlight the best of our community across, form Westfort to Current River.”

(Adam Riley/Acadia Broadcasting)


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