Pride goes on parade at UAlberta

(Edmonton) Neither an unusually heavy mid-March snowfall nor -11 C temperatures put a damper on the jubilant mood during the University of Alberta’s Pride Parade today, the kickoff to the U of A’s first campus-wide Pride Week.

It took half an hour for the hundred or so marchers to cover the route from the Students’ Union Building, north along the quad then south to and through the Education building and back to the parade’s starting point.

The U of A Pride Parade is in keeping with Pride events across North America celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities—and the parade is only the beginning. All this week, the U of A hosts Pride Week events including guest speakers, information sessions, an alumni event and film screenings.

Parade organizer Alexis Hillyard thanked everyone involved, from U of A administrators for expanding Pride Week to a campus-wide event, to all the parade participants who walked in support.

Hillyard says the Pride Week banners hanging across campus symbolize the support needed to stage the event, as well as the university’s commitment to accepting and including sexual and gender minorities.

“The University of Alberta community—all the faculties, other campuses, many student groups and individuals including President Indira Samarasekera—pulled together and made the dream a reality,” she said. “Never in the history of the university has an initiative like the Pride Week banners happened so quickly and with so much care.”