By Julia Magsombol

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Columbia Valley Pride is gearing up for its annual summer festival that everyone can take part in on June 17. 

The festival celebrating diversity has always been noted for its music, food and vendors that create a friendly atmosphere where every individual feels welcome.

“[This year] I would love to see support for this part of our community grow,” said Heather McLeod, 2SLGBTQIA+ supporter. “I would like to see more people attend and be part of the positive experience.” 

Kendra Day, a member of Columbia Valley Pride, said she and her team have been preparing a lot for the event and are excited to share this experience with the community. 

“It’s going to be a fun day. And it’s all about building community. So, we’d love to have everybody out,” said Day. 

She explained they are still in the beginning stage of planning, adding that more activities will be included. 

New bands will showcase their music at the festival. Day said they have also been talking to different local authors to organize a poetry reading about pride. In addition, there will be various activities for children, such as face painting and games.

Day noted that an outreach nurse may also be available, giving individuals an opportunity to enquire about community resources. 

Stay tuned as the organizers plan to have drag performances in the evening as well. 

“Everybody is welcome and encouraged to come. We would love everybody that’s interested,” Days said. 

McLeod has been regularly attending these festivals and is excited to see what’s coming this summer. “We are all excited to be involved and want to support this in any way we can,” McLeod said. 

The festival itself is not just an event but a support mechanism for individuals who just want to be accepted for who they are with sense of belonging.

“Cheer on people… it’s important to show support for people who aren’t comfortable quite yet being public [about] who they are,” McLeod explained. 

Day also encourages people to “show your support ……. and your pride if you’re part of that community. Make sure that everybody feels included in our community.” 

The Columbia Valley Pride Festival takes place in Pothole Park at 639-7th Avenue in Invermere on June 17. For more information, visit: