By Greg Price
History will be made come Monday, June 12, when Taber hosts its first ever Taber Pride: Small Town, Big Hearts, at Confederation Park.
“It’s coming along pretty well. We have a couple of corporate sponsors now, so that has taken a lot of the pressure off and provided more people to help out with activities,” said Jillian Demontigny, a co-organizer of the Taber Pride Fest, and Taber Equality Alliance member. “We are going to have a few organizations that will have exhibitor tables like Safe Haven, Alberta Addictions and Mental Health and Children’s Mental Health. We’ve had quite a few people who have volunteered to help with things, so it’s all coming together.”
The Taber Equality Alliance Society formed from a need to increase safety and support the LGBTQ community, with a goal to create a safe space in the community for sexual and gender minorities and their allies.
The Alliance is focused on fostering a more welcoming and inclusive community through engagement, partnerships, social groups and advocacy. The Alliance is incorporated as a not-for-profit society, and is a member of the Taber and District Chamber of Commerce. The Taber Equality Alliance focuses on a more welcoming and inclusive community through community engagement, partnerships, social groups and advocacy. The group strives to increase awareness of LGBTQ rights issues, but is also a place that is safe and welcoming for people to bond in friendship, no matter what your sexual identity is. The Taber Equality Alliance officially became incorporated as a not-for-profit society in August 2016.
“It will be hard to say until the day comes (on June 12) to know what level of awareness we have in knowing how many people are interested and want to attend,” said Demontigny. “This is our first big public event that is open for all ages. After June 12, we will know what the level of awareness is like in Taber.”
Dubbed a family-friendly event, entertainment will run from 4-8 p.m. on June 12 to go along with free hot dogs and beverages. There will be a Pride Flag Raising from 6-7 p.m.
“It will be mostly local musicians with some dance performers. It will be a celebratory atmosphere we hope families enjoy,” said Demontigny.
The Taber Equality Alliance has put out an invite to numerous dignitaries for the event including town council members to attend and partner with the flag raising in a one hour ceremony which would feature speeches and a moment of silence.
The Pride Flag raising met with some controversy, passing by a slim 4-3 vote to have the flag raised on the flagpole located on the southeast corner of Confederation park. A motion to have the flag raised at the front flagpole in front of the administration building was defeated 5-2.
“We have been looking forward to doing this for over a year now and we want to see how everything goes. We hope people who come have a good time and maybe learn some things or share some things about themselves and meet new people,” said Demontigny.