theBUZZ had the opportunity to connect with Capital Pride Festival Director, Christian Garceau, to find out what’s being planned for the organization’s first-ever WinterPride, taking place in Ottawa, Feb 6 to 10, 2019.

1. How did the initial concept of WinterPride come about?

Capital Pride adopted a mandate in 2018 to create more programming for the LGBTQ2+ community, not just throughout the summer but throughout the year. We were approached by Canadian Heritage to partner in producing a WinterPride during Winterlude, and it was a great opportunity to fulfill the four pillars of our work: celebrate, advocate, educate, and connect people. There are events throughout WinterPride that do just that.

2. Can you tell me more about your Awards Gala, where it looks like you will be making the announcement for your Marshals and Community Champion? Will these be the same individuals who are represented in your annual summer Pride festival, and will their roles be any different by being chosen now instead of later in the year?

It’s the first time we do this, and we’re so excited to introduce a new format for recognizing the people who contribute so much to our community. It’s also great to see so many worthy nominations come in from the community. These will be the same Marshals leading our parade in the summer. By appointing them earlier in the year, we’ll have the honour of their attendance at more events from now until August. We’ll also be closing the night with a stunning drag show spectacular featuring the best local performers, as well as RuPaul’s Superstars Derrick Barry and Trinity the Tuck.

3. Can you tell me a bit more about your Trans Speaker Series?

We’re excited to welcome international, national, and local speakers at the Trans Voices Speakers Series, which kicks of five days of WinterPride programming. We’ll have TED-talk style speeches from Alicia Kazobinka, a trans black immigrant woman from Burundi, and Thane Robyn, a trans powerhouse and community worker originally from South Africa. Chaz Bono — actor, LGBTQ rights advocate, author, speaker, and the only child of famed entertainers Sonny and Cher — will share details of his experience transitioning in the spotlight, with moderator Jude Ashburn.

4. Are you able to share names of performers for the Saturday Night Divas?

Of course. Madonna, Adele, and Beyonce! Well, their best impersonators! We’re embracing classics old and new to to keep us warm, so we’re bringing out the best divas, and couldn’t be happier about it. We’re also going to highlight the best drag performers from the region to produce a show that keeps spirits high and the blood moving on a chilly winter night!

5. Can you tell me more about the Village Legacy Project and the Sunday March?

The Village Legacy project is a fascinating walking tour through Ottawa that brings to light the greater narrative of the region’s queer history. I encourage anyone to take the time to absorb this educational experience. I wouldn’t suggest pulling off a full parade, with its hours of setup and staging, in February, but we wanted to give the community an opportunity to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada, while also recognizing the work that lies ahead for true equality, like banning conversion therapy and ending the blood ban. The Sunday March will help bring these challenges into focus. And of course, we’re ending the week with a tea-party, because what better way to warm up than dancing in the streets?

Click here for more on all the programming that’s planned for this exciting new event.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.