Coquitlam is expanding on its commitment to host community-organized Pride events.
The city is inviting youth aged 13 to 18 from across the Tri-Cities to celebrate the occasion with a free barbecue dinner this month.
"Celebrate Pride" will take place at Getaway Youth Centre in the Centennial Pavilion (620 Poirier St.) on June 23.
Jim Lacroix, Coquitlam's community recreation manager, explained the evening is also set to include games, activities and music as the city hopes to engage with younger members of the LGBTQ2S+ community.
This is the latest of many Pride-themed celebrations Coquitlam is hosting or co-hosting.
On June 1, the city raised the multi-coloured flag for the first time in its history — a promise fulfilled for Dr. Charles Best Secondary's Gay/Straight Alliance, who kickstarted the campaign for local events.
@tricitynews A historic moment. 🏳️🌈 #tricitynews #coquitlam #pride #prideflag #pridemonth ♬ original sound - TriCityNews
More than 110 banners were placed on streetlights across the city, as well as messages of encouragements and inclusivity.
The light posts along Pinetree Way will also shine rainbow colours for the rest of June.
The city's council-in-committee granted $6,000 to help host "Coquitlam Pride" at the Evergreen Cultural Centre on July 15, earmarked for honorariums, marketing, security and administration.
The facility's lobby will be open to the public 12 to 5 p.m. that day with a series of activities, family storytime and displays from Coquitlam Heritage, Coquitlam Public Library and Place des Arts.
Afterwards, a performance by Cirque de Coquitlam – a Drag Circus! will begin at 7:30 p.m. with a ticketed after-party to follow.
Queer as Funk, popular Metro Vancouver LGBTQ2S+ soul, pop and dance band, is set to perform on July 14 during Coquitlam's free 2023 Summer Concert Series.
The "Celebrate Pride" youth gathering is scheduled for June 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.