North Bay Pride to hold virtual holiday event
NORTH BAY -- North Bay Pride is holding a virtual event two days before Christmas complete with messages of support and performances from members within the LGBTQ+ community as well as a few Canadian celebrities.
The event called 'Pride In Holidays' is meant to highlight the rise in mental health, especially around the Christmas season.
"This whole project has been inspired by this community," said North Bay Pride CEO Clifford Hummel.
"Out of everything that has happened with my life with North Bay, with Canada and with COVID-19, it's one of the most inspiring things I've ever been a part of."
The event is following in the footsteps of North Bay Pride's September virtual celebration.
"We're a community that's full of love and times will get better," said North Bay Pride's Communications Coordinator Jason Maclennan, acknowledging the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on people's well-being.
"Our LGBTQ+ community has a higher rate of suicide and suicide attempts. Usually around the holidays, suicide attempts go up."
The event will feature performances and songs from local artists as well as artists from across Canada.
There will also be messages of support included.
Big names who have signed on include Canadian singer Bif Naked, 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' comedian Colin Mochrie, and North Bay's own country music star Cory Marks.
"A lot of people from other prides have reached out and we might have some videos from other prides," teased Hummel.
"We also have up and coming artists from Toronto who will be on the show."
Other pride committees from across the country plan on sharing the online event on their respective social media accounts.
Maclennan says it's a chance to connect Canadians from coast to coast.
"It's not just about the LGBTQ+ community. It's about every community and making sure everyone knows they are part of something bigger," said Maclennan.
The event can be viewed on Dec. 23 on North Bay Pride's Facebook page starting at 7:30 p.m.