Battlefords Area Pride hadn’t been sure whether it could even hold a Pride week in the Battlefords due to the challenges of COVID-19.
But Pride Week indeed has been able to go ahead, with scaled down activities in line with provincial public health orders.
According to organizer Kelly Waters, they are “able to offer a few low key events; with times of isolation it’s more important than ever to ensure potentially marginalized people see there is support in the community.”
Pride Week runs Aug. 19 to 26 in the Battlefords and their final event, scheduled for Aug. 26, is the drag show at she-NANIGANS, the new 19+ establishment and small performing arts space in North Battleford.
Waters stated that they have offered two drag shows in the past; one that was family friendly at last years’s Pride event, and one that was more PG13 at their fundraiser in February.
This one is aimed at an adult audience and is called Celine & Friends. Celine grew up in the Battlefords and had been part of their previous shows that Pride has put on in the community. Tickets went on sale Friday and were available online at https://www.she-nanigans.net or by calling Glennda at 306-481-5474.
Previous events for Pride including the painting of rainbow crosswalks in Battleford and North Battleford; this included for the first time a crosswalk representing the colours of the transgender flag. The North Battleford flag-raising was Aug. 19 and this was the first special flag raising since public ceremonies were shut down in March, flying the newly-redesigned Pride Progress flag.
Pride also sponsored two showings of Bohemian Rhapsody in August at the Capitol, with admission by donation. They are also selling new t-shirts with a new design created by Edmonton-based graphic artist Patrick Auchstaetter, who is from North Battleford.
There were some events in Central Park on Saturday Aug, 22 including music and a BBQ fundraiser with The Prairy Fairy mobile food truck. Events scheduled for that day included Vivian Blais from the Battlefords Salsa Social Club leading “social distant” salsa lessons. That was followed by the annual pride walk at 2 p.m. starting in front of the library.
About the drag show venue:
She-NANIGANS is described as “an intimate performing arts space with a funky club atmosphere. It is the co-creation of locals Glennda Ilett and Kelly Waters.” Waters stated that they had a dream for several years of creating such a venue but the right location just never surfaced until the Slava Ukrainian Social Hall at 792-108th Street became available.
According to Waters:
“Though the former Slava building is the perfect location for she-NANIGANS, the timing could not have been much worse. The first events featured on stage were Feb 13th and 14th. After the winter break, there were two more events before Covid shutdowns hit. She-NANIGANS is excited to slowly open the stage again abiding by the important health and safety guidelines. There was an excellent trial run for a sold out show featuring Jeffery Straker Aug 14th. The measures taken worked well. Capacity is based on two meters distancing between tables, therefore the number of maximum tickets sold depend on the number of people at a given table. Groups have a table assigned to them in advance to minimized interacting between parties. Hand sanitizer is on every table as well as inside the entrance along with a box of disposable masks. Every table is a good table since the room is an intimate space. More events will be added to the calendar come September and October.”