We’re here, we’re queer, and we make treats disappear
On July 5, the Victoria Pride Society hosted its annual Big Gay Dog Walk at the off-leash dog park on Dallas Road in Victoria. Hundreds of people gathered with their furry companions to kick off the city’s Pride weekend with a woof.
“No dog? No problem,” the walk’s Facebook event page read. “Everyone is welcome, even if you don’t have a furry friend of your own!”
The event started with a gathering around the Victoria Pride Society booth. Medics, the Zone FM radio station, and a few pup-friendly obstacle courses and games were onsite to make sure everyone was safe and well entertained. Chaz Avery, best known locally for his work in drag, was the host of this year’s walk.
After the bustling group of parade-goers finished touching every dog in sight, a member from the Victoria Pride Society hoisted a rainbow flag and the group began their roundtrip march to Clover Point.
There was a certain musical quality of the crowd as they walked, as laughter mixed with excited canine barks. The phrase “Look at that one!” cycled through the air as the group admired one another’s best friends. Some dogs with physical impairments enjoyed the walk along Dallas Road’s iconic oceanfront path from carts pulled along by their owners. The group walked together in a massive line, turning heads of unknowing joggers and evening strollers alike.
Upon arriving back at the starting point, it was time for the dogs to prepare for the trick and best costume contests. Many of the assembled pups sported colourful hairstyles, rainbow tutus, and ties, and that made everyone a winner. The love at this event extended beyond human connection, which created a unique atmosphere that stood out from other pride events.
The work done by the Victoria Pride Society to pull off the Pride Paradeis tremendous. It’s a mammoth task to organize thousands of people, vendors, sponsors, and hash out the logistics of street closures — which might be hard to recognize if you’re not directly involved.
Events like the Big Gay Dog Walk boost morale for the Victoria Pride Society and are a lighter way to kick-off some of the more organizationally daunting events. Smaller, more inclusive events can reach others who do not feel comfortable or recognized at larger Pride events, which is essential for the community as a whole.
Although not as widely attended as the larger Victoria Pride Parade on July 7, the Big Gay Dog Walk doesn’t fail to showcase the city’s pride with unique and adorable charm. Hopefully, the event will continue to grow next year with even more pride-adorned puppies — because there can never be too many cute dogs.