Edmonton is one of many cities celebrating Pride during the month of June. If you find yourself downtown, you can participate in a high-tech way right from your cellphone.
A quick scan of a QR code in one of 10 spots around the city’s core will draw you into a unique and vibrate glimpse of how Edmonton celebrates and learns about the LGBTQ2S+ culture.
Each location along the augmented reality Pride tour has meaning for the community.
Joshua Wolchansky, Entertainment Director of Fruit Loop Society of Alberta — a non-profit social enterprise that holds LGBTQ events — says the tour is historical with a bit of attitude.
“It’s really about a walk down memory lane through different generations and through the potential of creating something really beautiful and really magical here in Edmonton.”
The self-guided tour is part of a collaboration with over 50 performers and speakers, which adds to the immersive outdoor tour.
“It was inspired loosely by Pokémon Go,” Wolchansky said.
“You can’t catch a drag queen along this, but you can catch a good time.
“We are so happy with the celebration that has happened.”
One of the drag performers, Gemma Ney, says their final performance was inspired by a viral internet video.
“We chose the song Blinding Lights,” they said of the popular 2020 hit by Canadian artist The Weeknd.
“We kind of wanted to go along the TikTok trends we have seen in the past year, because so many of us have spent so much time on our phones.”
While the tour is inspired by fun times, it’s also a look into the many struggles and backlash the queer community of Edmonton has faced over the years, Wolchansky explained.
“We celebrate Pride in June, we march in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots, but Pride as a larger movement really is about integrating ourselves with the community.”
The best part: this virtual tour is not over at the end of June. You can follow along for as long as the QR codes are available.