Notable Pride Guide 2014

Bubbles, glitter, booze, beats and a rainbow-filled, over-the-top celebration.

Pride Week is finally here.

And it’s more than just the parade.

The Parties

If nothing else, World Pride offers an excuse to ring in the official start of summer with a shameless party. Our top choices?

Soho House Pride Kick-Off Party
Mix cocktails with connections before the week gets too crazy. You’ll find the elite creative class at Soho House on Sunday night. The exclusive kick-off party offers a welcome cocktail from Grey Goose and DJ sets by Phil V (Fit, Big Primpin’), Kris Steeves (Fit, Her) and Aural (Pop Machine). Rumour has it that there will also be a surprise guest appearance. Remember, you must be a member or accompany a member. Sunday, June 22, 5pm-11pm.

Prism World dance parties
From June 26-30th, Prism World Events will host a series of all-night dance parties throughout the city at venues like Fly Nightclub, Maison Mercer, Sound Academy and Guvernment. Though most are now sold out, the inside scoop is that tickets will be available at the door based on capacity (we suggest arriving later in the evening as capacity will likely go down after 3am… which is a perfect time to arrive at a party that goes until 8am.)

Check out the full lineup here.

Karaoke at The Beaver
Both Sundays during Pride (assuming you have anything left in you on the second), you can sing your heart out at The Beaver for their queer karaoke night. You’ll find something for everyone as their 30,000- rack songbook offers more options than there are hot singles ready to mingle (and that’s a lot). Sunday, June 22, and Sunday, June 29.

Steers & Queers at the Gladstone Hotel
If you’re looking for the wildest of the west, hit the Gladstone Hotel for the Night of 1000 Dollys. 1000 Dollys? Yup, the event pays tribute to the country’s favourite drag queen, Dolly Parton, with all things Dolly. This means a full gay western party with drag, burlesque, live music (featuring a Dolly choir), and a Dolly look-alike contest. Friday, June 20, 9pm-2am.

Find all of the Pride events at Gladstone here.

Disco and Divas Starring The Village People
PROUD FM hosts Disco and Divas with The Village People (yes, they are still alive) at the Phoenix Concert Theatre. The disco-themed bash also features a performance by Addictiv that’s sure to draw a who’s who guest list (PROUD FM radio personality Mike Chalut knows the entire city, after all). Wednesday, June 25, doors open at 9pm.

The Official Dyke Day After Party
After a day of celebrating all things female, the official Dyke Day after party takes place at Mod Club. Saturday, June 28, 10pm-3am.

The Concerts

Lady Gaga may have performed at Rome World Pride, and Kylie Minogue graced the stage at Tel Aviv World Pride, but the acts to hit Toronto aren’t too shabby either (and they’re free). Here are a few concerts you are going to want to see and be seen seeing (did we mention see?)

WorldPride 2014 Opening Ceremony
Tonight you can take in musical performances from Melissa Etheridge and Deborah Cox along with other acts. Oh, and there will be fireworks (both in the sky and likely between guests). How’s that for a free show? Friday, June 20, 7pm in Nathan Phillips Square.

Mia Martina LIVE @ Pride of Bloor-Yorkville
Walk a few blocks north for an official World Pride 2014 Toronto concert with Mia Martina in the heart of Yorkville. The inevitably high-energy concert will also feature special guest Miss Conception and DJ/musician Division 4. Saturday, June 21, 7:30pm-10:30 pm.

MTV Presents: “Pop Goes Pride” with Carly Rae Jepsen.
Hosted by MTV’s Lauren Toyota and Phoebe Dykstra, “Pop Goes Pride” will transform the TD Wellesley Stage next Friday. Carly Rae Jepsen will be joined by an assortment of other pop artists including Dragonette and Fefe Dobson. Friday, June 27.

WorldPride 2014 Closing Ceremony @ Yonge-Dundas Square
After the parade ends, hit Yonge-Dundas Square for an anticipated lineup of queer musical acts, headlined by the beloved Tegan and Sara. They’ll be joined by Rich Aucoin, Hunter Valentine, Robin S, Cece Peniston, God Des & She, and more. Judging from Tegan and Sara’s performance at last month’s CHUM FanFest, this is one not to miss. Sunday, June 29, 5pm.

The Parade and March

World Pride Parade
Of course, gay or straight, a major draw of Pride is the ever-growing Pride Parade. Like every year, glitter will be thrown from floats, water guns will soak the crowd, and those on the prude side may have to cover their eyes. There will also be four different outdoor dance areas on Church Street playing dance and house music, which will surely be filled with scantily-clad, high-energy party people. The best part? You can drink beer anywhere on Church Street, so there’s no need to confine yourself to over-crowded beer gardens. Oh, and if you wish to run rampant in your bikini or underwear, feel free. Sunday, June 29th, 1pm.

The Annual Dyke March
Don’t confuse the Annual Dyke March for a parade. The grassroots event allows women and trans people to take over the streets of Toronto in a political demonstration of critical mass. Joining the march is free and you just need to show up to be a part of it.

Saturday, June 28, Sign-making in Allan Gardens 12:30PM – Rally in Allan Gardens 1PM – March at 2pm.

The shopping

Break up the partying with a little retail therapy on your down time…

The Drake General Store Popup
Hudson’s Bay Company (Yonge and Bloor) will celebrate Pride with a World Pride pop-up along with hipster favourite Toronto retailer Drake General Store. Here, you will find the Drake’s eclectic, curated collection of well-crafted products including an exclusive Pride collection. It makes a great spot for out-of-towners looking for a Pride keepsake.

“Shop With Pride” for Fife House in Bloor-Yorkville
Shopping can be guilt-free when it’s for a good cause. The Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area offers their “Shop With Pride” initiative all Pride long. Some of Yorkville’s most favourite shops (including Over the Rainbow, Whole Foods Market and Jeanne Lottie’s Fashion Inc, among many others) will unite to support Fife House, a provider of affordable housing and services to local people living with HIV/AIDS. June 20th til the 29th.

The Love

At the core, Pride is about a celebration of expression, love and equal rights…

Grand Pride Wedding at Casa Loma
Liberty Entertainment Group will host a Grand Pride Wedding at Casa Loma during World Pride festival, marrying over 115 couples from around the world including countries where same-sex marriage is illegal. That’s a lot of ‘I dos’. Thursday, June 26th, ceremony begins at 3pm.

Other highlights include drag artists, burlesque and dance acts in abundance at Village Stage in the heart of the Church-Wellesley Village, bustling bars anywhere in the surrounding area, and 4am last calls. Oh, and an excuse to don your most outrageous getup.

‘Cause at Pride, anything goes…

Check out the full list of WorldPride 2014 Toronto celebrations here.

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)

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