Poet Erin Cotton gets animated during a previous Pride in the Word literary showcase event at the Vic Theatre. Photo by Peter B. Jakab/victoriapridesociety.org

PRIDE WEEK: Pride in the Word a celebration of literature

Award-winning lineup of authors, poets to read at Ambrosia Conference Centre

For many decades, poets and writers were among the lone voices speaking out about what it was like to live as an LGBTQ person in a predominately straight society.

In Victoria and elsewhere, times have changed and there is far more acceptance and understanding of LGBTQ communities as part of the greater makeup of society. And the writers and poets continue to voice their thoughts on the topic, perhaps more eloquently and openly than ever.

During Victoria Pride Week, that work is in the spotlight at the annual Pride in the Word event, held this year on July 7 at the Ambrosia Conference Centre. This showcase of some of the proudest and most talented writers from Victoria and across the country is billed as one of Canada’s largest Pride festival literary events.

The evening’s host, author and poet Billeh Nickerson, remembers doing a Pride coffee house more than 20 years ago in the city. Along with Pride in the Word co-founder David Tillson, he has overseen its evolution into a more high-profile celebration of literature.

“It’s my favourite event of the year,” says Nickerson, who will also do a reading. “There’s such a wonderful energy in the crowd and it’s such a supportive space.”

The list of accomplished writers and poets who will read also includes Governor General’s Literary Award poetry winner Arleen Pare and GG nominee Anne Fleming; past winners of the Writer’s Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Prize for emerging LGBTQ writers, Kai Cheng Thom (2017) and Amber Dawn (2012), and Monique Gray Smith, winner of the 2014 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature.

The all-ages event routinely draws upwards of 200 people, Nickerson says.

“You don’t have to be queer or trans to enjoy this event; anywhere you are on the sexuality spectrum.”

Tickets are $13, doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the event starting at 7. The Centre is at 638 Fisgard St.

Just Posted

THE FIERY FLAMENCO: Annual festival set to heat up Victoria

Performances free and ticketed, plus workshops, highlight celebration of the dance

Emily Carr String Quartet set for summer concert in Sooke

Sooke Harbour House concert on July 29

31st annual TD Art Gallery Paint-In promises something for every taste in art, food

Moss Street from Fort to Dallas will be covered, with artists, vendors, and attendees this July 21

ARTISTS TOUR: Follow the fish to Metchosin and East Sooke

Stinking Fish group presents its annual summer studio tour July 27-31

MusicFest weekend in the Comox Valley ‘fantastic’

Walk Off the Earth, other acts liven up annual music festival in Comox Valley

Big-time racing on tap in Langford this month

Western Speedway the place to be for a roaring good time in summer

Black Press videographer to direct full-length feature, wins Telefilm grant worth $125,000

Arnold Lim to expand story of All-In Madonna with writer Susie Winters, producer Ana de Lara

Five fun things to do this weekend

From a paint in to festivals, there are lots of fun events taking place this weekend

Saanich Fair: An idea is born

The attaining of a 150th year anniversary is a notable event in… Continue reading

Reviews are in for B.C.-shot ‘Skyscraper’ action movie

City’s film liaison recalls four days of filming at city hall last fall, with Dwayne Johnson on set

B.C. singer up against Shania Twain for Canadian country music award

Madeline Merlo and Shania Twain are two of five nominees for female artist of the year.

Nicolas Cage films in B.C. town

Hollywood actor filming A Score to Settle in North Okanagan

Canadian actress Sandra Oh makes Emmys history with ‘Killing Eve’ nomination

Oh made history as the first Asian woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award for lead actress in a drama series.

Most Read