Hoping to do a COVID Pride justice

A behind-the-scenes diary series exploring how one of the city's biggest festivals comes together in the face of COVID-19.

click to enlarge "Last year, we pulled a festival together in about six weeks, and it was a bit disheartening to hear people say they didn’t know Pride had even happened," Pride's Fiona Kerr writes.
"Last year, we pulled a festival together in about six weeks, and it was a bit disheartening to hear people say they didn’t know Pride had even happened," Pride's Fiona Kerr writes.
Editor's note: Hosting an arts event these days is no joke. It's more like a dance with a million unknown, ever-changing steps, making event planners need back up plans for their back up plans. They pivot and contort to COVID's inconsistent rhythm while keeping the beat at all feels like a feat. Juggling public expectations and COVID regulations isn't easy, nor is navigating the financial realities of a pandemic. But even with the deck stacked against it, Halifax Pride knows how badly we need its annual dose of joy and community. Here, in the run-up to Pride's 2021 event this August, its organizers are giving a glimpse behind the curtain of how the summer staple is overcoming everything to bring Halifax the rainbow with this, a diary series. Below is the fourth entry, and you can read past ones here.

July 30, 2021

Fiona Kerr, Operations & Communications Manager


Today was (kind of) a big day. I finally confirmed our festival insurance, which means a lot of loose ends can finally be tied up to prepare for the festival. It’s taken months to confirm our insurance, as anyone who has tried to get any kind of new insurance policy this year probably understands. Festivals carry some of the biggest risks for insurance companies, so finding one that will insure our site, parade, stage, and liquor can be tricky. After finally getting that confirmed, I sent off insurance certificates to a number of our suppliers who were waiting on them, and now it really feels like all the checkboxes are getting ticked off.


This week also included me acting as a (mediocre) photographer, and some of the other Pride staff and committee members acting as models. For the first time, people can view our merchandise selection online prior to the festival. I know the next step will be offering an online store post-festival, but that’s a thought for another day.


Next week we move into the final stages of planning, with all the last-minute business and chores getting done. Festival Site load in will start a week from Monday, and from then on, I basically live and work on the Festival Site.


I’m excited to see the community gather again, and for all of this work to pay off. Last year, we pulled a festival together in about six weeks, and it was a bit disheartening to hear people say they didn’t know Pride had even happened. With months of prep this time around, I hope we do the (COVID reimagined) festival justice.


About The Author

Morgan Mullin

Morgan is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Coast, where she writes about everything from what to see and do around Halifax to profiles of the city’s creative class to larger cultural pieces. She’s been with The Coast since 2016.

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