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Pride Winnipeg is ‘lighting up the legislature’

To mark the 25th anniversary of Pride celebrations in Winnipeg, Pride Winnipeg will be ‘lighting up the legislature’ tomorrow evening. On Friday, June 1 at 9 p.m. members of the queer community and their supporters will gather at Memorial Park to watch as the front columns of the Manitoba Legislative Building are lit up in rainbow colours, with the Pride 25 logo appearing on the dome of the building, just beneath the Golden Boy.

“This is one of the most significant things we are doing to celebrate the occasion of our 25th anniversary,” said Barb Burkowski, Chair, Pride Winnipeg. “What really started the Pride movement in Winnipeg was the passing of a piece of legislation that included protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation in Manitoba’s Human Rights Code – so what better way to symbolically mark the occasion than by lighting up the building where these protections were drafted and became law.”

The legislature will remain lit Friday night and be re-lit Saturday evening, leading into Pride Day activities on Sunday, June 3.

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Media contact:
Scott Carman
Director of Media & Communications Pride Winnipeg
Phone: (204) 805-3553
Email: media@pridewinnipeg.dev Website: www.pridewinnipeg.com

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Chris Vogel and Richard North lead this year’s Pride Parade

Winnipeg, MB – Pride Winnipeg is pleased to announce that community leaders and human rights activists Chris Vogel and Richard North will lead this year’s Pride Parade on June 3, 2012. Chris and Richard will also speak at the rally at 11:30 a.m. on the grounds of the Manitoba legislature, to kick off the parade through downtown.

Here are some of the highlights of their contributions to the queer community and the advancement of human rights:
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  • Chris and Richard became involved in the Campus Gay Club at the University of Manitoba 1973 just as the organization was evolving into Manitoba’s first gay liberation organization, Gays for Equality, which introduced queer rights issues to Manitoba politics in the provincial election of 1973.
  • The movement for human rights protection continued with little success for 12 years. Chris and Richard’s involvement culminated in a 59-day hunger strike in 1985 to protest the failure of the government to include sexual orientation as a prohibited ground for discrimination in the Manitoba Human Rights Act.
  • In 1974, they were married in the Unitarian Church of Winnipeg. They took the provincial government to court when the Registrar of Vital Statistics refused to register their union. This was the first case in Canadian law to challenge the exclusion of same-sex couples from civil marriage in Canada. They were subsequently involved in the legal campaign for spousal benefits, which began with a human rights complaints in 1982.
  • Chris and Richard were involved in organizing gay pride celebrations, with speakers, films, and discussion panels at the universities of Manitoba and Winnipeg in 1974 and 1975. They also helped organize the 2nd National Gay Conference, which was held in Winnipeg in 1974 and included the first gay march in Winnipeg.
  • In 1978, they helped establish the Council on Homosexuality and Religion and the weekly radio program “Gay Christian Forum,” later “Gaysweek,” on CJUM-FM. This radio program ran from 1978 until 1980. Chris then hosted a weekly cable television program “Coming Out,” from 1980 until 1994.
  • In 1980, they helped found the Oscar Wilde Memorial Society, which operates Gio’s (originally called Giovanni’s Room after James Baldwin’s classic gay novel). Gio’s was originally part of the Winnipeg Gay Community Centre, which opened in 1982 on Sherbrook Street across from Happenings.

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Interviews with Chris and Richard can be arranged by request. For all the latest information about this year’s Pride activities, keep an eye on www.pridewinnipeg.com

Scott Carman
Director of Media & Communications
Pride Winnipeg
Phone: (204) 805-3553
Email: media@pridewinnipeg.dev

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2012 Festival Headliners Confirmed

Winnipeg, MB – The Pride Winnipeg committee is excited to announce the headliners for this year’s Pride Festival, which takes place Sunday, June 3, 2012 at The Forks in downtown Winnipeg.

The main stage at The Forks will be headlined by Canadian singer/songwriter Anjulie (www.anjuliemusic.com), who is signed to the Universal Republic record label, and Toronto-based Warner Music recording artists The Cliks (www.thecliks.com).

“We’ve got an amazing line-up of talented musicians, dancers, and DJs, including local artists, to help us celebrate our 25th anniversary this year,” said Barb Burkowski, Chair of the Pride Winnipeg committee.

Anjulie is responsible for the singles “Brand New Chick (Bitch)”, “Stand Behind The Music”, “Boom”, “Love Songs”, and “Rain”. She also wrote the single “Don’t Call Me Baby” which was recorded by Canadian recording artist Kreesha Turner. It reached number eight on Billboard’s Canadian Hot 100 in 2008 and number one on the US Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play Chart. Anjulie has been signed hot on the heels of her 2012 Juno award nomination for Dance Recording of the Year and a performance at this year’s televised awards show.

The Cliks have been compared to the likes of David Bowie and the White Stripes with the release of their first album,
“Snakehouse”. They are the first band with a transgender leader to be signed with a major record label. Lead singer Silveira works his experiences with identity as a trans man into his music. The emotional and guitar-driven album features the single “Oh Yeah” and a cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River”.

The main stage is rounded out by fan favourites Womyn Of Pride, who rocked it out at the 2011 Pride Festival, and country recording artist Jerry Sereda, from Dauphin.

The Pride Festival is a free, all-ages event. The festivities get underway at approximately 1:30 p.m. on June 3 with a Pride Mart business fair, beer tent, children’s area, and food vendors following the Pride Parade through downtown Winnipeg. Stage performances are presented by Energy 106, Winnipeg’s NEW #1 Hit Music Station.

For all the latest information about this year’s Pride activities, please keep an eye on www.pridewinnipeg.com.

Media contact:

Scott Carman
Director of Media & Communications Pride Winnipeg
Phone: (204) 805-3553
Email: media@pridewinnipeg.dev
Website: www.pridewinnipeg.com

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Pride Winnipeg and Half Pints Brewing Company raise a glass to Queer Beer

Pride Winnipeg will have its own unique flavour this year, thanks to a partnership with Half Pints Brewing Company. Queer Beer, an original, locally-made brew from Half Pints, is a patented drink conceived by the Pride Winnipeg committee.

Queer Beer is now available at Gio’s, Fame, and Club 200 as well MLCC stores at Osborne Village and Portage and Burnell. Proceeds from sales of the beer will be an ongoing source of revenue for Pride Winnipeg. Read more