Stratford has been called “Canada’s gayest small city”. Not at all surprising considering its flourishing arts and culture scene.
While June still counts as Pride Month in most towns and cities, including this one, Stratford celebrates Winter Pride in February, too. Watch for details about SPCC’s major annual fundraiser each February, with a catalogue of events for all ages, budgets and self-identities.
Around the city you’ll find businesses taking part in their own ways, through Winter Pride specials.
STRATFORD WINTER PRIDE GREET & FEAST RAINBOW POTLUCK
Bring your favorite dish to share Let’s start the weekend with a rainbow feast! Plates & utensils provided! Family-friendly event, so bring everyone for an evening of good food & company. February 15 6:00pm
STRATFORD WINTER PRIDE COMEDY NIGHT
Brace yourselves for an uproarious evening featuring the fabulous and hilarious Adrienne Fish. Secure your spot for an evening of non-stop laughter! Adult themes: recommended 14+. February 16 8:00-9:30pm
STRATFORD WINTER PRIDE BIRDS OF A FEATHER GALA
Embrace “Birds of a Feather” in unity & diversity, & celebrate the unique feathers that make each of us extraordinary. Theme style-think opulent plumage, vibrant hues & refined attire. February 17 6:00-8:30pm
STRATFORD WINTER PRIDE BABY I WAS BORN THIS WAY DANCE
DJ Trish spins a mix of tunes to keep the dance floor alive. Quench your thirst at our cash bar, offering an array of beverages to keep you energized throughout the night. February 17 9:00pm
STRATFORD WINTER PRIDE “UNITED IN LOVE” AFFIRMING SERVICES
Experience a morning of unity, love & acceptance. This event is free to attend & all are welcome to join in this celebration of love & affirmation. Let’s stand united in love! February 18 10:00-11:30am
STRATFORD WINTER PRIDE DRAG BRUNCH
Prepare for a dazzling showcase featuring three fabulous queens: Messy Margaret, Galaxy Rose, and Brattery Acid. Secure your spot for a brunch experience like no other. February 18 Noon
STRATFORD WINTER PRIDE FABULOUS FABLES DRAG STORYTIME
Step into enchanting worlds with the dazzling duo, Brattery Acid & Galaxy Rose! Get ready for a captivating hour filled with stories that sparkle & a whole lot of fun! February 19 10:30-11:30am
STRATFORD WINTER PRIDE QUEER ART DROP-IN
This free-to-attend gathering welcomes all, offering a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in a vibrant showcase of queer & ally-inspired art. February 19 1:00-4:00pm
Members of the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer – and more) community beat a path to Stratford’s door and make up a substantial portion of the permanent and visiting populations. In 2016, the national census figures showed Stratford was 7th when male same-sex couples were ranked as a percentage of all couples. More than Toronto, at 8th.
You would be hard pressed to find another Canadian city its size with as many rainbow pride flags flying from business frontages or window stickers adorning front entrances as part of the city’s own LGBTQ+ directory.
It’s not surprising, then, that Stratford is home to one of only two permanent LGBTQ+ community centres (the other being in Kitchener-Waterloo) anywhere in Canada outside Toronto and Montreal. home to the largest queer population in the nation. The Stratford Pride Community Centre (SPCC) boasts 1,000 sq ft of downtown space for entertainment, social activities, drags story times, discussion and support groups, readings by visiting authors, art exhibits and more, including a “swag shop” where you can buy souvenirs of your visit to queer Stratford.