North Perth to celebrate Pride with laughter, drag shows and family fun

NORTH PERTH – Listowel can expect the Kin Station to pulse with Pride in June.

One of the founding members of North Perth Pride may have moved on to life in Toronto, but Gebidiah Haverkamp has still been heavily committed to planning this year’s events.

“I feel like I talk to him once a day, bothering him for things,” said Hollie Chavarria. “He has some great connections. For example, he has a contact in Toronto for the comedy show, so that’s how we were able to secure that.”

The comedy night kicks off the Pride events on June 8, promising “an incredible night of hilariously unabashed stand-up comedy featuring Rob Watson.”

On June 17, Chavarria said the entertainment would continue with Drag Bingo. Admission covers five rounds of bingo with drag performances in between each one.

“I went to one in Kitchener a couple of weeks ago,” she said. “It was so much fun.”

On June 18, there will be Family Pride activities during the day.

“One of the highlights, and we’ve wanted to do this because we have a child, is Drag Story Time,” said Chavarria. “It’s a really big thing, and I’m excited to bring that to North Perth. We have that queen lined up, and we’ve also asked if she would be able to stay to do a couple of song numbers.”

That was important to North Perth Pride because the high school demographic can’t attend the 19+ events, and some of the Family Pride events are geared towards younger children.

“I had an opportunity to meet with them at the high school and find out what they would like to see,” said Chavarria. “Anything that we did, they were all for, so that was reassuring. It was cool that Listowel District Secondary School has a Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA). So that was neat to connect with those students.”

On the evening of June 18, it’s A Night Out.

“A bit of a pun on the words with a whole bunch of things,” she said. “We will have dinner, a DJ, a drag show, and there will also be a silent auction.”

Chavarria said North Perth Pride is grateful to Stratford Perth Pride for requesting that the Municipality of North Perth fly the Pride flag during June.

“I actually didn’t know they had gone ahead and done that, but I was so grateful,” she said. “So we’ve collaborated, and we are coordinating on how we will work together … We were so grateful to find out that we get to have that flag which is really cool.”

During a recent visit to the North Perth Public Library with her daughter, Chavarria was happy to see a storybook displayed about Harvey Milk and the Pride flag.

“We took the book out to read at home, and then I plan on returning it so other families can read it too,” she said. “It was cool. I get goosebumps talking about it.”

Since it began last year, North Perth Pride has had many people come forward to support it and volunteer.

“We feel really well supported,” she said. “I don’t even have to go out to solicit because they are just coming to me.”

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