Fernie & Elk Valley Culture Guide Issue 4 - Spring 2017 - Page 30

Pride in Fernie Recognizing a lack of support, services, and social events within the local LGBTQ+ community in the Elk Valley, a group of individuals joined forces in 2016 to form Fernie Pride, a non-profit social initiative aimed at providing peer support, social events, and community education and awareness initiatives. In 2016 local business Freyja partnered with members of Fernie Pride to host Fernie’s first drag show, featuring the sultry Miss Ellen Q, Visa deCline, Chi Chi, and Jizzica Rabbit from Banff and Calgary. A sell-out success, the event was enthusiastically received by the community who danced long into the night. This event provided seed money to get the Society started. Continuing the momentum, Fernie Pride has partnered with The Valley Social to host a monthly ‘Beers & Queers’ social evening. Welcoming the local and visiting LGBTQ+ community and their support network, the evening offers a welcoming environment for friendship, networking, and discussion on a wide range of issues. 30 To put a professional face on the society, a shiny new website is up and running, complete with a beautiful logo designed by local artist Nichole Yanota. Like a multi-faceted jewel, the smiling face of Fernie Pride’s bear logo is both welcoming and inclusive. Each colour offers a new dimension to the organization’s endeavours and is the perfect symbol for the LGBTQ+ community in our Rocky Mountain town. Hoping to mirror efforts in other communities around the Kootenays, a Pride weekend is being planned for October. The society hopes to host Miss Ellen Q and her ladies once again so it’s sure to be an event you won’t want to miss! The Fernie Pride Society operates in Fernie to provide social support and community initiatives for the LGBTQ+ community in the Elk Valley. They are not a crisis service. Beers & Queers is at The Valley Social on the 2nd Thursday of every month, 7:30–10:30pm. Everyone welcome, free coffee and snacks, cash bar. info@ferniepride.ca | 250-412-379 www.ferniepride.ca ferniepride