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Campbell River’s Pride Festival will be ‘just more of everything’, organizers say

Multiple days of celebration planned for 2023 Pride Festival
Afton Frost will be an MC for the Pride at the Tide event, and is one of the directors of North Island Pride. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River’s Pride week will be something to be proud of this year, organizers believe.

By partnering with Destination Campbell River, the North Island Pride Society will be able to put on a few events over the course of a few days this year, all celebrating Pride.

“We’re hoping to make this year ‘more,’” said Afton Frost, one of the directors of the North Island Pride Society. “Just more of everything!”

On the docket are comedy shows, country music concerts, a drag story hour, the all-important North Island Pride celebration in Spirit Square, Paws for Pride, the Pride at the Tide event, as well as a drag event later in the summer.

“We’re hoping to link it in more with the the tourism season too,” Frost said. “With their support we’re able to just have a lot more events and there’s going to be events over a few days.”

Frost will be a big part of the celebrations this year. She will be taking on the role of MC for the Pride at the Tide event alongside a local youth.

She has never taken on a role like that, but laughed and added, “I’m stupid, and very brave.”

The North Island Pride Society has been around since 2017, but Pride in Campbell River is a bit older than that. Frost said the first few celebrations were more like “gathering in Spirit Square with some signs.”

However, over the past six years that has grown into a days-long festival with vendors, musicians, performances, and much more.

While Frost loves all of the parties, performances and festival atmosphere that comes with Pride, to her it’s about more than that.

“I’m a late-in-lifer. I came out after having a bad time and having a few years of self-reflection. I realized that I was not living my own authentic self,” she said. “Pride is just about being able to be exactly who you are and not get put down for it.

“With the current political climate … it’s important for the our younger pals, because they need to know that they’re allowed to take up space.”

The confirmed events so far are:

- June 22 - Comedy at Rivercity Players (Patti Savard)

- June 23 - Country Music at the Art Gallery (Elise Leblanc and the Ridgeriders)

- June 24 - NI Pride celebration in Spirit Square, Queer as Funk/Pride At The Tide (evening event)

- August 11 - Discovery Islands drag night (19+)

More events are in the works, Frost said.

North Island Pride is still looking for vendors. For a vendor application either reach out on Facebook or email

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Marc Kitteringham

About the Author: Marc Kitteringham

I joined Black press in early 2020, writing about the environment, housing, local government and more.
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