You may think you’re done with Pride for the year. We’re well into July. June’s Pride Month is over. Seattle, Portland and Tacoma Pride are in the books. What’s a Northwesterner to do to find another weekend of celebrations and LGBTQ parties to live up to June’s Pride mayhem?
Vancouver Pride is your answer, with a huge array of parties and events to rival any other major city. Since Vancouver Pride falls later in the year than most other Pride festivals, they have less competition for performers and acts and can pull out the stops with major talent, promoters, and all kinds of attractions, from circuit parties to bear events to fetish nights. And if you’re an American traveling to Canada, the exchange rate remains extremely favorable for an inexpensive weekend vacation.
We always recommend you check out all official Vancouver Pride events, which are handily summarized here. But there are a ton of unofficial parties and events that we’d like to inform you of. This list compiles the best of the best (in my humble opinion) and is not intended to be comprehensive. So if we miss your favorite events, feel free to list it in the comments.
Read on for our top picks!
I’ve highlighted a number of individual events, but I wanted to point out this is a brand new grass-roots festival that showcases spaces and events outside the traditional, as well as aiming at including all forms of queer culture. Definitely worth checking out!
If you love circuit parties, you’re going to be attending one of these events – or maybe all of them! There are some incredible DJs featured here including Israeli DJ Yinon Yahel, New York favorite Alyson Calagna and Mexican DJ Isaac Escalante. These events will sell out, so I highly recommend you buy tickets in advance if you’re interested in any of these events, particularly Glitter on Saturday night.
1775 Haro Street
If you’re looking for a bit of dirty fun beyond dancing and drinking, check out Vancouver’s combination play/dance space, with events happening all weekend. Thursday features 1 Love, with 1 World happening on Friday (no alcohol for Friday’s event), and Love Wins is Saturday’s event (ages 19+).
1138 Davie Street
The Junction is always a reliable place for a good time right in the middle of Davie Village, and they’ll be hosting events all weekend. DJ Nick Bertossi, Del Stamp, Carlotta Gurl and Isolde N. Barron are just a few of the guests they’ll be hosting. Make sure to drop by!
686 W Hastings St
This popular bar hosts events all weekend – highlights include Thursday night’s Shower Power Pride Edition featuring go-go boys who aren’t afraid to get wet. Also LA DJ Hector Fonseca will be on deck Friday night and DJ Grind on Saturday.
Vancouver Pride Cruises
CruiseyT (#501 Denman Street)
Okay, this isn’t actually ALL weekend – just Sunday and Monday. But these will sell out and it’s a perfect opportunity to be stuck on a boat, where all you can do is drink multiple beverages, dance and ogle hot men. It’s a rough life.
8PM: Trans Pride Artist Showcase
Gallery 1965 (1965 Main St)
The very first Alternative Pride Festival brings you an artist showcase as part of Trans Pride. With amazing art, live performances and DJs on hand, this is a great way to start off your Pride.
8PM: Big Gay Sing (Vancouver Men’s Chorus)
Revue Stage- Arts Club (1601 Johnson Street)
This is not an event to sit back and watch. You’ll be singing and dancing with the chorus on all the gay anthems. Check out this popular annual event!
8PM: DJ Pornstar and Underwear Fashion Show #ThisisPride
Celebrities Nightclub (1022 Davie St)
San Francisco tribal house DJ Pornstar (hard to go wrong with a name like that) headlines a night of dancing and a showcase of Andrew Christian and Vancouver designer Dirt Squirrel brand underwear.
8PM: XY Pride Thursday – Krystle Dos Santos & the Lovemakers
XYYVR (1216 Bute Street)
Krystle Dos Santos and the Lovemakers perform a live show for Pride Week!
2PM: Elastic Pride
Fortune Project Space (147 E Pender)
Queer teens have their own showcase here for workshop and performances of all sorts! This is a pay-what-you-can event, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Elastic elasticcollective.ca is an artist collective for LGBTQ+ and female youths in Vancouver.
7PM: Chicks Ahoy! Boat Cruise
Magic Yacht Charters (1601 Bayshore Drive)
A fully inclusive party for queer folks (one of a few events targeted at female-identified folk amidst a sea of gay male-targeted events), Flygirl’s event sounds like a lovely way to enjoy some great weather, music and company.
8PM: Queer as Funk
The Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville Street)
Queer as Funk gathers amazing musicians for an LGBTQ dance band playing everything from Motown, funk, and soul to more contemporary music.
8PM: XY Pride Friday: Fourplay and Playboy
XYYVR (1216 Bute St)
Two events in one – warm up for Pride with the Fourplay drag show and the Playboy hip-hop and R&B dance party.
9PM: Pride Wild Fruit – LGBTQ Dance
Playhouse Vancouver (1240 Thurlow Street)
Come to Flygirl’s event to dance your face off! Flygirl’s been presenting great events since 2001 and this new event promises to be memorable.
9PM: RUFF Pride Vancouver
The Pint Vancouver (455 Abbott St)
My personal favorite Vancouver Pride party! This furry, friendly crowd will get your shirts off and moving till the early hours of the morning. Ruff features San Francisco DJ Brian Maier, Chicago DJ Karsten Sollors, two dance floors in three rooms, and your ticket gets you $5 off Steamworks if you’re looking for some after-Ruff fun.
10PM: Pride is For Everyone
Vancouver Art and Leisure (1965 Main St)
Now in its second year, this event as part of the Alternative Pride Festival is promoted as a safe space for all walks of life. Play spaces, dance spaces, fetish, body positivity, it’s hard to go wrong.
12PM: Rapture: Heatwave
The Westin Grand (433 Robson St)
With lovely weather slated all weekend, it’s hard to resist a pool party! Heatwave features DJ Nick Bertossi, one of Vancouver’s finest DJs, who has played all over including the victory party at International Mr. Leather.
8PM: XY Pride: Studio / 10PM: XY Pride: Onyx
XYYVR (1216 Bute St)
Shanda Leer hosts the Pride edition of a popular monthly party. Afterwards stick around, because DJ Kitty Glitter is here all the way from Australia to make you dance. There are tickets available that include both events, and some for just Studio, but there are VERY few tickets available in general (15 at last count for tickets that include both parties).
9PM: Bearracuda Vancouver Pride Saturday
Red Room Ultra Bar (398 Richards)
Advance ticket sales have ended, but tickets are available at the door for this first time Bearracuda Saturday event! DJ HiFi Sean from London is the headliner, sponsored by Growlr and at a brand new venue.
9PM: Tomboy Pride
Astoria Hastings (769 E Hastings St)
All the pride happens here, with a burlesque showcase, several amazing DJs, and to quote the event description, “best friends, beers, boobs.” Should be a great night!
10PM: Lick Club Presents – Queer Pride 2016
Hindenburg (23 West Cordova)
This events conjures up Vancouver’s revered and much-missed queer bar, the Lick Club, for a 2016 Pride edition! All sorts of queer talent are represented here with emphasis on diversity and inclusivity.
10PM: Prancehall II – Pride Friday
Fortune Sound Club (147 E. Pender St (at Main) in Chinatown
A night of reggae and dancehall music specifically “to counteract the current homophobic nature of the dancehall scene.” I love the name Prancehall!
10PM: Green Velvet #ThisIsPride
Celebrities Nightclub (1022 Davie St)
Chicago house DJ Green Velvet is featured at another opportunity to dance your ass off at Celebrities.
The only event I’ve listed here that’s not queer in any way, this fireworks competition is worth looking into for a quieter early evening. I’ve viewed this from a hotel room with good friends as part of my Pride festivities one year and found it well worth watching.
10PM: The Downlow: Mask for Mask Masquerade Ball
Celebrities Basement (1022 Davie St)
Put on a mask and see what happens in an artistic, kinky space. Just make sure you are mask enough for the room.
1PM: Ice-T Pride Patio Party
XYVR (1216 Bute Street)
If you want a taste of Seattle and Portland in Vancouver, try this party featuring DJs Almond Brown (Seattle) Charles Guilterre (Portland) and G-Luve (Vancouver). More dancing, more fun!
3PM: HIStory Sunday: 13 Hour Marathon #ThisIsPride
Celebrities Nightclub (1022 Davie St)
Right after the Pride Parade, drop by and dance all day and all night! Their traditional T-dance goes until 9pm, and then more DJs, go-go dancers and more till the wee hours.
4PM: Chicas in the Afternoon
Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel (1088 Burrard Street)
Taryn Manning from Orange is the New Black is the headlining DJ! What more do you need to know? Dance to the beats of Pennsatucky! Also four other awesome DJs and I’m sure plenty more to offer at this Flygirl Productions event.
4PM: Blowpony Vancity Pride
The Waldorf Hotel (1489 East Hastings Street)
The Boulet Brothers are here from LA to celebrate Pride at Blowpony, Portland’s premiere party transplanted to Vancouver! This is definitely one of my top personal picks.
Bute Street at Davie
Pride definitely tends to be an event that’s about drinking, so it’s refreshing to see an event hosted by Clean, Sober and Proud. And with headliners like RuPaul queens Courtney Act and Morgan McMichaels, it’ll definitely be worth a visit. (This one’s an official event but worth a mention regardless!)
9PM: Bearracuda VS Pitbull
Fivesixty (560 Seymour St)
Another perennial likely-to-be-sold out event will feature hot furry and bearded men and admirers in a battle to the finish, featuring DJs Gordon John from London and Nick Bertossi.
10PM: Backdoor Pride Edition
The Villa (494 Railway)
Taking of a ship-building warehouse, this party famous for taking over found spaces is open to all sexes and gender expressions and emphasizes, um, the backdoor. Some great DJs here including Nark from Seattle, Karsten Sollors from Chicago and Jeremy Khamakeo from Toronto.
10PM: Rapture: Victory
The Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville St)
DJ Paolo is a fantastic, international superstar DJ and this looks to be one of the biggest dance nights of the weekend. Local favorite Del Stamp is also featured as well as a performance by circuit diva Shokra. Tickets are selling out for this quickly!