In light of the current political and social environment

No Pride Parade for you, Edmonton.

It is with heavy hearts that we inform you that the Board of Directors has voted to cancel the 2019 Edmonton Pride Festival. In light of the current political and social environment, it has been determined that any attempt to host a Festival will not be successful. Please keep in mind that we are a not-for-profit organization run almost solely by volunteers.

It has always been the goal of the Edmonton Pride Festival Society to host a safe and enjoyable event that is as reflective and encompassing of the entire community as possible, however given current events, we do not feel that this is attainable for this year.

Daily Hive has the details:

The cancellation announcement comes less than one week after a controversial meeting that saw police called after members of Shades of Colour, a community APIRG group that exists to advocate for queer and trans Black people, Indigenous people, and people of colour, arrived to make speeches during the meeting.

I had to look up “APIRG” – Alberta Public Interest Research Group.

According to a post published on Shades of Colour’s Facebook page, The Edmonton Pride Festival Society believed that Shades of Colour and RaricaNow, a non-profit organization that promotes the rights of LGBTIQ+ refugees and newcomers in Canada, had arrived to protest, which prompted the call to police.

Shades of Colour states that neither their members nor RaricaNow’s members were protesting.

Following EPFS’ decision to cancel this year’s Pride Parade, Shades of Colour issued a release stating their disappointment at the outcome.

“It is with profound disappointment that we express our appallment at the actions carried out by the Edmonton Pride Festival Society, which culminated in their decision to cancel the 2019 Pride Festival,” an April 10 Shades of Colour post read.

“We are calling this decision for what it is: namely, a disavowal of deep systematic problems in the framework of EPFS as well as an attempt to dismiss, target, and put out of play the efforts put on the part of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour in the LGBTQ2S+ to point towards alternatives on how this organization carries out its activities.”

The parade was stopped for half an hour last year when people protesting the presence of cops and the military brought it to a halt.

In the months leading up to the April 4 meeting, Shades of Colour had laid out a list of seven demands for the 2019 Pride Parade, which included that the event open with a “protest lead by QTIBPOC, trans folks and their allies” that would replace the Pride Parade, and that all participants of said protest be either approved or denied by Shades of Colour and RaricaNow following an application process.

The demands also included that both Shades of Colour and RaricaNow be supplied with $20,000 each of the annual funds, that the SOC Team and the RaricaNow team be provided with money to access ongoing training, that $1,500 be provided to fund a SOC organized QTIBPOC sober dance party on the evening of pride, that a public accountability statement outlining the harm the EPFS has caused the QTIBPOC community be written along with a public commitment to rectifying that harm, that Shades of Colour and RaricaNow be featured on the front four pages of the Pride Guide, and that EPFS work with RaricaNow to support QTIBPOC refugees and newcomers.

So, that’s not a “protest,” that’s a set of demands, and quite exorbitant demands at that.

H/t Screechy Monkey

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