The capital of British Columbia is not a large city, nor is it the province's easiest place to get to - Victoria (population 80,000) is at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, about 60 miles southwest of the region's largest city, Vancouver, which is on the mainland. That all being said, Victoria is one of the most scenic city's in the country, set on the rippling Juan de Fuca Strait, and with clear views across the water to Washington State's majestic Olympic Mountains. This popular vacation destination with an exceptional restaurant scene, diverse arts venues, and a number of charming boutique hotels and inns is also home to a quite visible gay and lesbian community - there are even a couple of very fun gay bars. And each summer, the GLBT celebrates Victoria Gay Pride in early July - the dates this year of the Victoria Pride Festival and Parade are July 7, 2013, but related events take place for a full week prior. Victoria Pride takes place a few week's before Vancouver Gay Pride.
More about Victoria Pride 2013 will be added here as information becomes available. Here's a look at last year's event:
The events leading up to the Victoria Pride Festival and Parade include a Pride Business Fair, a "Pink Whale Watching cruise", a Youth Pride Dance Party, a church service, an Inner Harbour Boat Cruise, and a variety of parties and dances. You can view a complete calendar of events at the Official Victoria Pride online calendar.
Sunday is the biggest day of Victoria Pride, with the Pride Parade commencing at noon at the intersection of Government and Pandora streets, followed by the Pride Festival, held from 1 pm throughout the afternoon at MacDonald Park (at Simcoe Street between Oswego and Montreal Sts.), a short walk southwest of the Inner Harbour. The festival includes a beer garden, a Kids Camp, crafts and food vendors, and entertainment.
Additionally, gay-popular bars, restaurants, hotels, and shops in the area have more going on than usual during Pride week. Check online resources about the Victoria BC gay scene, such as the GayVan.com's Victoria Gay Guide and the Victoria Gay Guide in OutCity.com. Also take a look at the excellent GLBT site produced by the city's official tourism organization, Tourism Victoria.