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Rainbow Colours Fly over Blue Mountain

Ian Watson's picture

Celebrating PRIDE at Ontario's only mid-winter Pride Festival gets people OUT to PLAY.

BLUE MOUNTAIN - The scene was picturesc with snow falling as the rainbow flag was hoisted for the second annual celebration of Pride at Blue Mountain resort.

It was a smaller more intimate crowd that gathered outside the Blue Mountain Village Conference Center as Ontario's only mid-winter Pride festival; Avalanche Ontario Gay Ski Weekend, kicked off its second annual celebration with a ceremony to officially raise the the rainbow colours over the resort.  

Two flags in fact flew over the weekend, one on the resort's official poles at the conference center, and another on the village's flag poles at the main walk.

Drag star Devine Darlin, in perhaps her snowiest performance to date, delighted dignataries in attendance who included representatives from the resort, the village association, the local community, and local government. 

"Pride is important, it unites members of LGBTQ community together, to celebrate our community, and also how far we've come" explained Ian Watson, executive producer of the weekend festival.  

There are many Pride celebrations, of varrying size, held throughout the provience, but this one is unique.  "One of the key factors in selecting Blue Mountain to host this festival was that it was somewhat central.  Being a resort, it's a destination rather than a region.  Blue Mountain allows us to be a provincial celebration, bringing together people from all parts of Ontario to celebrate as one united LGBTQ community, not simply a localized region."

With participants from as far away as Vancouver, Saskatoon, and New York, the bulk of attendees at this year's Avalanche Ontario Gay Ski Weekend came from the home province, traveling from Sudbury, Toronto, Ottawa, London, Niagara, Hamilton, and those more local from Simcoe County to join together in celebration of Pride.

While not able to be present for the ceremony, Premier Kathleen Wynne sent a greeting to participants in which she said "This is a celebration of Ontario's vibrant LGBTQ community and of the season that has shaped so much of our character as Canadians."

The ceremony kicked off a full weekend of events an activities that encouraged people to get out and enjoy what winter has to offer, while highlighting both what makes the LGBTQ community special and unique, as well as demonstrating that members of the LGBTQ community are no different from anyone else.

The OGSW15 Team and dignitaries 
Back Row L-R: Vickey Garson, Shawn Henry, Michael Ain, Sophon Chou
Middle L-R: Jamie Crouch, Unknown, Heather Harding, Glen Courtney, Devine Darlin, Andrew Schofiled, Rob Manton, Graeme Parry, Gail Ardiel, Paul Pinchbeck, Patti Kendall, Sean Young, Scott Morrison
Front: Ian Watson

Photos by Stéphane Grégoire Photography

View all the photos from the flag raising ceremony on the Avalanche Events Facebook Page.