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Capital Pride Announces the recipients of the 2023 Community Projects Fund!

Capital Pride’s 2023 Community Project Fund provides funding to groups to support an event or programming during the Capital Pride Festival, August 19-27. Events and programming typically further one (or more) of Capital Pride’s objectives: education, advocacy, celebration and connection. Successful applicants may receive up to $1,000!

Without further ado, here are the recipients of the 2023 Community Projects Fund!

The Big Gay Books Swap and Picnic

Presented by: Wheelie productions

Date: August 20, 2023

Description: The Community Book Swap & Picnic is a novel and inclusive event designed to elevate the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Capital Pride’s Community Project Fund supports new or ongoing programs/projects that contribute to the community’s growth. The Big Gay Book Swap brings together community members for a day of book swapping, activities, and connections. The event focuses on diverse stories in various formats, including children’s books, zines, graphic novels/comics, and cookbooks. Attendees can enjoy snacks, beverages, and a picnic area, creating an atmosphere of celebration and inclusivity for the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

All leftover books from the event will be donated to local nonprofits, namely Secondhand Stories and Ottawa Trans Library, extending the impact beyond the immediate gathering.

Soft Serve Presents: Free Waacking Workshops Pride 2023

Presented by: Soft Serve / Moov Bouge Danza

Date: August 22, 2023

Location: Routhier Community Centre

Description: Waacking is an art form and a queer dance that was created during the 1970’s in the gay clubs of Los Angeles by primarily Black and Latino men. Alea, Ottawa’s pillar in Waacking has been the city’s main dancer, leader, advocate, educator, teacher and performer within the dance and culture since 2011. Alea founded “Soft Serve” a community hub for the dance style and culture in 2022. She has run PWYC classes and practices that are safe spaces for new dancers, the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ community to experience the dance and be amongst their own. Alea has also run the city’s only Waacking dance events and battles in Ottawa where practitioners from Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa come to celebrate the dance and each other.

Similarly, I have started a Non for Profit called “Moov Bouge Danza”, Ottawa’s only NFP that uses Street Dance and Hip Hop to empower marginalized youth and underserved communities.

This project “Soft Serve Presents: Free Waacking Workshops Pride 2023” is to continue providing a safe speak for the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC folks to learn about the inspiring queer dance and the culture that surrounds it. This will be a 1 day event run for 3 hours at 6-9PM on August 22nd, 2023 at the Routhier Community Centre. There will be two workshops from 6PM-730PM and 730PM to 9PM. The first workshop will be for youth ages 13-17 and the second workshop will be for adults 18+. We will welcome everyone, regardless of their background, but will highly encourage those from the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities to attend.

During these free workshops, the students will be able to learn about the history and queer roots of Waacking, fundamentals of the dance and experience how to use it as an outlet to feel empowered, liberated and be around others who also have similar life experiences.

ORC’s Drag Race

Presented by: Ottawa Rowing Club

Date: August 24, 2023

Location: 10 Lady Grey Drive

Description: On an indoor rowing machine there is something called the Drag Factor, which is the measure of the load on the indoor rowing machine-approximating the resistance one feels rowing through the water.

Working with Deca Thlon, and 3-4 drag queens and kings, ORC’s Drag Race will have several of those kings and queens join athletes from ORC programs on one of three teams for relay race on the indoor rowing machine. The kings and queens will have a short race on the indoor rowers against each other as well. Each relay team must work together to come up with a drag name for their team before the relay race and each team must cheer on their teammate in drag in their race. The winner and their team will be crowned and after a break we’ll proceed with a more traditional drag show.

This is an incredible opportunity to bring together drag and sport, demonstrating our club’s commitment to inclusion for all and demonstrating that LGBTQ2+ athletes can pull, row, and compete just as hard as everyone else. It will be a really great opportunity to bring drag and sport together at a fun and novel event to raise money for a worthy cause and hopefully to build connections across communities that will last for a long time. It will be inspiring for LGBTQ2+ rowers, like myself and those not ready to come out yet, to see this happen and be reassured, if they were doubting it, that yes we do belong in this and every sport.

This is the first time ORC, Canada’s Oldest continuously operating rowing club, will be hosting an event for Capital Pride and hosting it at our historic boathouse on the Ottawa River. We will also be participating in Capital Pride in the street festival.

Newcomer Pride Kick-Off!

Presented by: Capital Rainbow Refuge

Date: August 24, 2023

Location: Studio 20/20

Description: Capital Rainbow Refuge supports and sponsors LGBTQI+ refugees and newcomers. LGBTQI+ newcomers face unique intersectional barriers and it can be hard to find community. Over the past few years, with COVID, connecting with other queer and trans newcomers in social settings was extremely limited, which further isolated people who are already marginalized. Knowing how important physical space and celebration are to our community, we want to hold a LGBTQI+ newcomer Pride Kick-Off party in order to bring our community together. This will be a distinct venue and space for a social gathering and celebration for the LGBTQI+ newcomer community in Ottawa. We will have some music, a bar and tapas. Studio 20/20 is a cool and funky space downtown that will be perfect for an intimate party for our community.

Spectacle de drag

Presented by: Jeunesse Idem

Date: August 25, 2023

Location: Place Laval, Gatineau

Description: We have a full line-up for Pride Week 2023 in Outaouais. We’re hoping to organize the best Drag Show we’ve seen in recent years. We’re continuing to move forward and organize events for the LGBTQIA2+ community to raise awareness of education in the greater Outaouais region. We also want to create connections and celebrate our beautiful community on a daily basis.


Presented by: Mubaadarat

Date: August 27, 2023

Location: Capital Pride Street Festival

Description: Are you an LGBT+ person from an Arabic speaking region? Have you always wondered where you can celebrate who you are with people like you? This summer, Jalasat Ottawa and Mubaadarat families are collaborating to bring our community together during pride to celebrate our identities ! With a decoration that feels like home, our booth “Majlisna” will be a place to enjoy our beautiful selves! Dress up! Bring your flags, make ups or whatever you desire and be ready to dance!!!!

March for Trans Rights

Presented by: Momentum

Date: August 27, 2023

Location: Starting at Bank St. & Laurier St.

Description: A March for Trans Rights – an opportunity to come together to resist hate, take up space and celebrate trans joy. Celebrating all we have achieved and all we have left to accomplish, highlighting need for urgent action to accelerate trans equity.