I have supported the LGBTQ2+ community forever. Why? Because one of my favorite uncles is gay. I was young and didn’t know that he was “different”, just that he was my uncle and I loved him. Then, one of my cousins came out as gay and is a friggin’ awesome drag queen to boot! Support for the LGBTQ community went from an ally to Mama Bear level when one of my daughters came out.
In 2019 our small town was rallying to put on its first Pride event. With my event planning expertise, I thought I could certainly lend a hand in managing the logistics of the parade. I had never been a part of a Pride event and had never managed a parade but there was nothing that was going to stop me from figuring it out.
I am always a little emotional when an event we’ve been a part of goes live but I can’t put into the words the feeling I felt as I directed the parade through the college grounds on their way to our main street. I remember my heart feeling so huge it felt like it was going to explode. I remember tears running down my face. It was an emotional and exhausting day, worth every minute spent working on it.
Another incredible moment that day was driving into the park, where the parade ended, and seeing the park FULL of people dressed in bright beautiful colours, laughing, hugging each other and many happy tears as everyone there was free to be truly themselves.
Fast forward 12 months and we find ourselves in the middle of a pandemic. Pride events, along with every other event, has come to a screeching halt. There was a callout for people looking to help bring a world-wide Pride event to life. I jumped at the chance to be a part of something so incredible. Being a part of Global Pride will forever be a wonderful memory. Not only because of being part of an event that was broadcast around the world but for everything I learned in that very short planning period.
Kemptville Pride did not disappoint in 2020. Again, I had never planned a drag show before but there was no better time to learn. I was honoured to be a part of helping Kemptville Pride execute it’s first “So You Think You Can Drag” – virtual edition. It was such a fun project to work on. We created tutorials to teach people how to find their inner Drag Queen or King, how to dress and how to do their makeup and hair. We had only 2 participants but it didn’t matter because it allowed those 2 people to step outside their comfort zones and do something exceptional.
If you follow what we do, you’ll know that there isn’t a lot we do that doesn’t have personal meaning to us. And anything we participate in – especially when we volunteer – is always done from the heart and with the most care and consideration. Volunteering with Pride is important to me on a personal level but also important to us as a company. We believe that everyone has a right to be themselves and should never pretend to be someone their not because of how others might think or feel.
Happy Pride Month Everyone! With so much love from the ITM Events Team xo
Event planning professional with a big heart. [...] Julia dedicated her time to our grassroots project. In addition to volunteering many, many hours, Julia brought a level of experience and skill to our planning that enabled our team to take our event to the next level. I really do believe that without her help we would not have accomplished half as much. Julia has years of planning experience; her skill and professionalism with event planning was indispensable for carrying out what became a full scale event under a very short timeline and a restricted budget. She shared planning tools with our group that helped immensely with efficiency and accuracy. Julia carried out her tasks with confidence and a steady coolness that reassured our team. [...] someone who can execute their vision with both calm and candour. Julia is an exceptional person and I would work with her again in a heartbeat.
– Holly Brown, Communications Professional and Community Advocate