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No 2020 Calgary Pride Parade on Stephen Avenue due to COVID-19, festival moves online

Click to play video: 'Changes to the 2020 Calgary Pride Festival amid the COVID-19 pandemic' Changes to the 2020 Calgary Pride Festival amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Parker Chapple from Calgary Pride joins Global News Morning Calgary live via Skype to discuss how the Calgary Pride Festival will be celebrated in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. – Apr 30, 2020

Calgary’s annual Pride Parade will not be held in 2020 and the week-long Calgary Pride Festival will instead be held virtually, due to COVID-19.

The move comes after Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi announced last week that due to the pandemic, the city would be extending the cancellation of all public events until Aug. 31.

The 2020 Calgary Pride Festival was scheduled to begin on Aug. 28 and run until Sept. 6.

On Wednesday, Calgary Pride announced the festival would still go ahead on those dates, but said they’ve instead pivoted to an online celebration of the city’s LGBTQ2S+ community.

READ MORE: Thousands hit the streets for 2019 Calgary Pride Parade

“Pride is created through acts of allyship, love and connection,” a news release from Calgary Pride stated. “This movement does not diminish, nor does it rest; it is continuously reinforced by your strength.”

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Now, events will be hosted exclusively through social media platforms YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Twitch, including performances from LGBTQ2S+ artists, workshops and interviews.

Calgary Pride is inviting local businesses to celebrate Pride with safe, smaller events or initiatives, and fundraise through their new festival business initiative.

Though the parade may not be held in the same way it traditionally is with thousands participants flooding the streets of Stephen Avenue to take part, a spokesperson clarified they will celebrate the event in some fashion.

Speaking to Global News Morning Calgary on Thursday, Parker Chapple said they have a “few different creative ideas.”

“We will absolutely have a parade, that much I can tell you, we will absolutely have a parade. But we’re waiting to see how things unfold because we want to ensure the safety of everyone.”

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