“(The COVID-19 pandemic) has been wake up call for people who have had privilege and didn’t realize it,” Joey Shulman says, who has a hand in the organization of the event.

This Sunday he says they will be hosting the event in downtown Maynooth. He says it will serve as a “sneak peek” as to what the revitalized downtown core will look like ahead of its official re-opening. “At the same time, we will look to achieve our goal which is to raise money to support the struggle to achieve equality and social injustice in our society,” he says.

All the money raised will go to support Anti-Racism North Hastings and Black Lives Matter initiatives.

Since we are in the midst of a pandemic, Public Health guidelines will be followed and Shulman says North Hastings Family Pharmacy will provide hand sanitizer and masks for all those who attend. Shulman says wearing a mask will be mandatory as will staying at least six feet apart from one another. He says there will also try to cap the event at 100 people to follow the guideline set by the provincial government.

“I think minorities have learned that when we all work together we do in fact share common goals,” he says. In years past, the pride promenade that’s held in Maynooth has been a celebration, but in recent years – this year included – it has taken a more sombre and serious tone as attendees look to the future where the LGBTQ+ community and other minority groups are looked at as equals. Shulman says the goal is to bring all those different voices to the table and allow them to be heard. “It’s a goal worth working towards,” he says.

“I know some people find this troubling and unsettling and they’d like to return what they refer to as ‘normal,” he adds. Shulman says this pandemic has shown us that what we thought was “normal” is actually “abnormal.” He says it has been made clear that White people have never feared for their lives because of the colour of their skin.

The event will be happening from 4 until 8 PM this Sunday in downtown Maynooth. Shulman says The Arlington will be open from 11 AM until 11 PM during the event. He says there is no specific meeting point. He says to just show up in downtown Maynooth at 4 PM.