Every June, communities across Canada recognize Pride Month. It is a celebration of people coming together in love, diversity and inclusivity to show how far LGBTQ2IA+ rights have come while acknowledging their history and the hardships they have endured, and the impact that this important segment of our community has had on society at all levels.
More information about the different events happening around the city is below, and visit the official Surrey Pride website for more events happening around throughout the month such as bowling, youth dances, concerts, Drag Queen bingo and much more. And watch for the lights at Civic Plaza to display the colours of the pride flag from June 19 to 29, 2022.
June 25, 4pm – 9pm
Plaza at Central City Shopping Centre
The theme of this year’s Surrey Pride Festival is “Open Minds and Open Hearts”. Head to the plaza at Central City Shopping Centre on June 25 from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm for an evening celebrating love, diversity, and inclusivity. 2022 marks the 23rd anniversary of Surrey’s Pride Festival and the event, emcee’d by Myria Le Noir, Mz Adrien and Ra, will feature an all-local lineup of live musical entertainment, lip-sync performances and a fabulous lineup of drag performers, including Justin Abit, Jaylene Tyme, Carlotta Gurl, Alter, Jolene and Summer Clearance. Don’t miss musical performances by Jesse Schulte, Patrick Masse, Jason Qui, Reckless – The Ultimate Bryan Adams Tribute Band and Short Notice Band. And be sure to visit the vendor booths set up on 102 Avenue, which will be closed to traffic. This free and inclusive festival reminds us that Pride is for everyone.
June 11, 2pm – 3pm
Museum of Surrey
QUIRK-E, The Queer Imaging and Riting Kollective for Elder, will be at the Museum of Surrey on Saturday, June 11 from 2pm to 4pm, to share cartoons, videos, short films, songs, a scene from a play, stories and poems. QUIRK-E is a collective of twenty-two queer artists. Most of them have been political and cultural activists since the ‘60s and ‘70s and continue to advocate for justice and social change today. Drop-in. For ages 14+.
June 9, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Join a discussion led by a panel of LGBTQ2S+ community leaders as they discuss the history of Pride in Surrey. Hosted by the Surrey Archives with Sher Vancouver, Youth for a Change and Surrey Pride. The program is free but registration is required to receive a link to join the session. Register online or at 604-501-5100.
June 17, 7pm – 9pm
Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre
Join in for a fun, inclusive and welcoming dance for youth ages 13 to 18! Dance, play games, explore the history of LGBTQ2S+ in Surrey, enjoy snacks, and win prizes for creative outfits. LGBTQ2S+ and allies welcome. Doors open at 6:30pm. Presented in partnership with Surrey Schools and Youth for a Change
June 23, 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Simon Fraser University – Surrey Campus
Before Stonewall, before Harvey Milk, there was Jose Sarria! The film Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria tells the story of Jose Julia Sarria, a WW2 veteran, a cabaret performer, a political activist and the first out candidate for public office in 1961. From 1951 to 1963, Sarria stood in bright red heels on table tops at the Black Cat Café in San Francisco to sing torch songs accompanied by a honky-tonk piano. The diva performed one-man opera parodies, replacing the straight love story with a gay one. Police harassment was common at that time and whenever the vice squad entered the café to entrap patrons, Sarria exposed them. He would alert the piano player and then encourage his closeted patrons to stand up and sing “God, Save Us Nelly Queens,” a takeoff on Britain’s national anthem as the frustrated vice officers walked out of the café. Jose is important today as he was back in 1961 when he ran for office. Nelly Queen is not just an LGBT+ history lesson; it’s a triumphant story of the human spirit, a hero’s journey of a man fighting unjust laws and uniting a fractured community. Jose stands as a courageous role model to people still struggling with their sexual identity and self-esteem. Free, but registration is required.