Story by Ryan Massel
Vacay.ca LGBTQ Columnist
JASPER, ALBERTA — Earlier this year, Jasper welcomed visitors from all over the globe to its snowy mountainous wonderland as it celebrated its ninth annual Pride with the sentiment: “Proud and Free.”
With a population that rises and falls with the flow of tourism, Jasper is considerably metropolitan in its makeup. Much of its temporary residents hail from major city centres around the world, giving this jewel of a national park in Alberta an exciting human element — no matter what the New York Post might say.
Regardless of where they’re from the people of Jasper all share the same thing; Warm, welcoming hearts that support each other and look forward to celebrating together.
Throughout Pride week, the people and businesses were keen to toast the community by hosting a number of parties and events.
This year the event’s program included nearly 50 suggested offerings, such as: Glacier Adventures, a trek to see wildlife, a food tour, comedy show, line-dancing workshop, yoga and even a unique Pride motorcycle tour. Jasper Motorcycle Tours invited thrill-seekers to be fitted head-to-toe in leather before they jumped in a sidecar of a Harley-Davidson with professional riders for an adventure of the Canadian Rockies unlike any other.
The annual parade was dubbed Pride on the Hill as revellers joined together for a fun-filled day on the slopes of Marmont Basin. The day included a pride-coloured fun run and mid-chalet outdoor BBQ and dance party.
Of course it wouldn’t have been Pride without an epic party and the 2018 edition was the largest Pride Party the festival has seen. Honouring the “Under the Big Top” theme, attendees dressed in a plethora of colourful characters, including strongmen, clowns, dancing bears, and even famed Siegfried and Roy arrived in full force.
Throughout the night DJ Thomas Culture played the beats that kept the party bumpin’ and Portland, Oregon’s Caravan of Glam performed a number of unforgettable sets that blended drag, burlesque, acrobatics, singing, cirque, comedy and more. (And was complete with chocolate syrup!)
For Jasper, Pride isn’t just a date on the calendar, it’s a celebration that’s is whole-heartedly embraced by its entire population — making it an event to worthy of your travel plans.