Victoria Pride Week runs June 29 to July 9, 2023. (Courtesy KZ Photography/Victoria Pride Society)

Victoria Pride Week runs June 29 to July 9, 2023. (Courtesy KZ Photography/Victoria Pride Society)

‘There’s no wrong way to love’: Victoria Pride Festival returns June 29

Popular parade, taking place July 9, has a new route this year

The Victoria Pride Festival returns June 29 to July 9, celebrating 2SLGBTQIA+ communities with dancing, music, art and a new parade route this year.

“We listened to our communities and we found that the Johnson Street bridge was too difficult for mobility devices, roller skates, etc.,” said Ace Mann, vice-president and committees lead of Victoria Pride Society.

“The City of Victoria also saw how big our parade got and wanted to move us to a more expanded route.”

The parade will start at Douglas and Fisgard, head south to Humboldt, then go down west on Humboldt and south on Government to end off the same way as last year: Belleview to Menzies and ending at Parking Lot Q.

Taking place July 9 at 11 a.m., the parade will be a colourful march to be witnessed by an estimated 40,000+ spectators and with as many as 140 entries.

Mann adds they are keeping the parade to a manageable number, prioritizing “small, local businesses that celebrate Pride and diversity 365.”

The Victoria Pride Society is also encouraging all floats to be as eco-conscious as possible: think “biodegradable glitter and balloons” and “paper decor instead of cheap plastic.”

The parade, while a celebration, is also coming at a time when 2SLGBTQIA+ communities are feeling tensions in the current political climate, adds Mann.

In the United States, a record-breaking number of anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures – at least 417 since the start of the year — according to American Civil Liberties Union data as of April 3.

In May, the Ugandan Parliament passed an amended version of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023. Under the new proposed bill, homosexual conduct is illegal and the death penality will be given for “aggravated homosexuality,” which includes having sex wile HIV positive or sex with a minor.

“The political climate feels like it’s creeping backwards and our queer communities are feeling it. It can be exhausting to fight for the acceptance of our own existence so allies who are able to shoulder some of the emotional labour are so appreciated,” Mann said.

“There’s no wrong way to live or love and any allies who remind others of that fact are doing the best ally work.”

Mann adds ways to be an ally include having honest and patient conversations with people who “might not accept the Pride communities,” putting pronouns in bios, putting rainbow stickers on office doors, or wearing a progress flag pin.

“Representation matters.”

Opening ceremonies for the parade this year will include Songhees Nation and other Indigenous and Two-Spirit Guests of Honour.

Spectators will see a new parade group this year called “My First Pride,” sponsored by Victoria Pride Society. Anyone attending their first Pride is welcome to walk in the parade under the VPS group, Mann said.

Pride Festival in the Park is set to take place after the parade on July 9 at MacDonald Park. The free festival will have over 150 vendors, 20+ food options, cold beverages, a kids zone and a main stage.

For all information on this year’s Victoria Pride Festival, including information on Youth Pride Kick-Off, visit