HUMBOLDT — Humboldt Pride week has wrapped up, with video views on their virtual events outnumbering attendees in past years.
“I was actually quite impressed with the reach that we had with our events,” said Andrew Matheson, Humboldt and Area Pride’s chair, about the celebration, which took place Aug. 10 to 16.
“Our last in-person event flag-raising event we probably had about 30 people… The last time we looked at our video account for how many reactions we had or how many views we had, we were close to 100.”
Matheson said this is a theme that carried over to all the activities they had during the Pride Week.
“This has shown us that we obviously reached more people with the virtual events.”
Events this year’s virtual events included their flag raising, talent show, rainbow coffee, and a diversity service with Westminster United Church and St. Andrews Anglican Church.
Part of what Matheson attributes this to is with a video, the viewer can watch it at their own convenience, rather than a set time.
“People’s lives are busy and when they are super busy they may miss these events,” he said. “During the virtual events we made that more accessible to people that are busy or may not work for their lifestyles to come to city hall at a certain time or certain date to join us in those events.”
In addition, he attributes the numbers to the possibility that some community members may not feel safe or comfortable going to in-person events – whether that’s because of a past of having uniformed police officers present, or because it is public.
“Making them virtual and having access to them online in the safety of their own place may have made them more comfortable to go to events and feel a part of the community even without being there in person.”
Matheson felt highlights of the year’s Pride were community involvement, their virtual talent show night, as well as the “colour your pride” fundraising event, which invited local businesses to buy and display a pride flag in their shop window.
“We also had great pictures from businesses who were supporting and purchased flags,” he said.
“In the past we’ve always been focused on doing our events, and making our events really great, but I think we’ve always lacked on including businesses or other parts of Humboldt into our events, and I found this year during the fundraiser towards businesses and showing that allyship with other local businesses was going to be a positive— and it turned out that it was.”
Videos of the events can be found on Humboldt and Area Pride’s Facebook page.