June 10, 2023

The parade was one of many largest Ottawa has seen in years: It took greater than 90 minutes for its 185 floats and seven,500 celebrants to move one level on its route by way of packed downtown streets.

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After two years scrapped because of the pandemic, the Capital Satisfaction Parade returned Sunday to the streets of downtown Ottawa with a vibrant forged of 1000’s and a picture-perfect summer season’s day.

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The parade was one of many largest Ottawa has seen in years: It took greater than 90 minutes for its 185 floats and seven,500 celebrants to move one level on its route by way of packed downtown streets.

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Toby Whitfield, govt director of Capital Satisfaction, stated it was a record-breaking occasion for the group. “This complete week has been about coming collectively as a metropolis,” he stated Sunday.

Catherine McKenney, now the primary brazenly queer mayoral candidate in Ottawa’s historical past (present mayor Jim Watson got here out as homosexual throughout the present time period, in 2019, someday earlier than that 12 months’s delight festivities kicked off), led a big contingent of supporters alongside the parade route.

“So many individuals come out and have a good time Satisfaction as a result of they actually need that neighborhood, they actually need that sense of being included. For that to be gone from folks for 2 years was very troublesome,” stated McKenney, who makes use of the pronouns they/them.

Ottawa mayoral candidate and Somerset Ward Coun. Catherine McKenney engages with participants of the 2022 Capital Pride Parade in Ottawa on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022.
Ottawa mayoral candidate and Somerset Ward Coun. Catherine McKenney engages with contributors of the 2022 Capital Satisfaction Parade in Ottawa on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022. Picture by Spencer Colby /Postmedia

The scale of this 12 months’s parade can be an excellent reminder “of the place we’ve come from and the place we’re,” McKenney stated, including: “The primary time I marched we had been fortunate to have 150 folks.”

McKenney was amongst those that felt Sunday’s parade was additionally an exorcism of kinds, a method to reclaim Ottawa’s downtown as a spot for folks and celebration somewhat than vehicles and confrontation.

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The parade route started on Kent Road, which was choked with parked vehicles throughout February’s “Freedom Convoy” occupation.

“It’s not misplaced on me that we’re on Kent Road and it’s only a approach of affirming the kind of metropolis Ottawa is: Ottawa is a caring, accepting metropolis. What we noticed right here in February didn’t symbolize our metropolis,” McKenney stated. “That left a scar for lots of people so that is coming again and taking our house.”

Andrew Larche, 42, said he felt “so much more alive” being able to celebrate Pride in person, on the streets of downtown Ottawa.
Andrew Larche, 42, stated he felt “a lot extra alive” having the ability to have a good time Satisfaction in particular person, on the streets of downtown Ottawa. Picture by Andrew Duffy /Postmedia

Andrew Larche, 42, stated he felt “a lot extra alive” having the ability to have a good time Satisfaction in particular person on the streets of downtown Ottawa. “It’s good to see everybody smiling out right here having fun with this glorious day,” stated Larche, who likes to bop across the metropolis, typically with wings, to elevate folks’s spirits.

“I don’t like to speak in regards to the truckers anymore,” he stated. “I feel, ‘Let’s simply transfer on and maintain going.’”

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Capital Ward Coun. Shawn Menard stated it felt symbolic Sunday to have Kent Road stuffed with folks. “Given all we’ve been by way of, after the occupation and what that represented, to have this prideful second right here is tremendous vital,” Menard stated.

Rob Simpson, 39, marched within the parade dressed as a Star Wars Empire Stormtrooper with a rainbow tutu. He took half, Simpson stated, to have a good time everybody’s sexuality: “It doesn’t matter when you’re homosexual, straight, bi, queer or trans, have a good time and have an excellent time.”

Rob Simpson, 39, of Ottawa, said he marched in the Capital Pride Parade to celebrate everyone’s sexuality.
Rob Simpson, 39, of Ottawa, stated he marched within the Capital Satisfaction Parade to have a good time everybody’s sexuality. Picture by Andrew Duffy /Postmedia

Mark Frankish, 35, a member of Homosexual Ottawa Volleyball, a non-profit league that caters primarily to lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, queer and LGBTQ-friendly folks in Ottawa, performed volleyball because the parade wound its approach by way of the streets. “It feels nice to be again on the streets and have a volleyball day within the solar,” he stated.

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Mayoral candidate Bob Chiarelli rode in a pickup truck and was a part of the parade’s finale. “It represents freedom and a contented life,” Chiarelli stated of the Capital Satisfaction Parade.

The primary official homosexual delight celebration in Ottawa was a picnic held in Strathcona Park in June 1986 and attended by about 50 folks. Three years later, the celebration stretched to a full week and featured dancing, sporting occasions and receptions.

This 12 months’s parade featured dozens of company entries: every thing from Comfortable Goat Espresso Co. to condom model Durex; from Big Tiger to the Ottawa Device Library; from The House Depot (Slogan: “Orange Satisfaction”) to IKEA (Slogan: “Construct Love”). TD Financial institution’s float featured a drag queen in company inexperienced, whereas the SkipTheDishes entry featured a drag queen in company orange.

Capital Satisfaction’s Whitfield welcomed the rising company curiosity within the parade, saying it exhibits that employers wish to reveal their help for LGBTQ staff and the neighborhood at giant.

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