On this adventure of Being Mr. Gay Canada I packed up my winter clothes and went over to Penticton, BC to meet with the President of their Pride society! It’s a small city located in the Okanagan region of British Columbia about a 5 hour drive (or 45min flight) from Vancouver. Having a population of only about 35K people, it’s quite small, and yet there’s still obviously an LGBTQ population there. Gay people are typically known for living in larger metropolitan areas where there are large events, festivals, and parades each year. So I wanted to find out what it’s like to be a part of the queer community in such a smaller place – and also experience what it’s like there in the winter in general!
Before meeting with Karen Davey, the President of the South Okanagan Similkameen Pride Society, I took part in a variety of activities including fat biking, snowshoeing, skiing, and ice skating. It really is a fun place for an outdoor enthusiast who doesn’t mind the cold weather! Check out some of the photos I shared on Instagram from the trip:
When it comes to their LGBTQ community, I learned that Penticton really is making efforts to bring more awareness and inclusiveness with pride flags displayed high over the city streets, outside city hall, and even at a school. The SOS Pride Society holds monthly gatherings, inviting LGBTQ locals to come socialise and participate in different events and activities and although Karen confirmed that Penticton does not have a Pride festival, I was very excited to hear about plans for an upcoming Fruit Float! It’s an event that they will be holding for the first time later this year – a floating parade I guess you could say as participants will be going down Penticton’s famous water channels that flow throughout the city.
Of course, besides all the great outdoor activities there were also some great things to experience indoors, like eating delicious food and drinking amazing wines! You can see more of that along with other shots of my little adventures in the stories from my Instagram account that I shared during my trip – put together into a video here so you can still see them now:
If you haven’t already though be sure to check out the main video/episode at the top of this post, which was shared on YouTube, my Facebook page and IGTV. Places featured in it include:
A new episode bringing you along with me on my journey as Mr. Gay Canada will be uploaded every week or two, but I’ll have plenty of other videos in between those as well, so be sure to head over to my YouTube channel and subscribe with post notifications (just click on the bell icon after clicking on the Subscribe button) to be alerted as soon as my new videos go live!