/ #winterlude 2019 #pride 

The Gay Sweater, drag cabaret and more: Here's 4 fabulous LGBTQ events this weekend for Winterlude

The Gay Sweater will be on display at the Canadian Museum of History this weekend. (Photo via Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity)

One of the things new to Winterlude in 2019 is WinterPride, a new focus on LGBTQ events and culture.

There will be a series of events this week, most of them on the weekend Feb. 8-10.

The Gay Sweater

Head to the Canadian Museum of History on Saturday and Sunday for 100% Gay, a presentation about the evolution of LGBTQ rights and recognition in Canada, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The centrepiece is the Gay Sweater, a creation of the Ottawa-based Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD), as a commentary on the negative impact that calling things “gay” has on LGBTQ youth. The Gay Sweater is made entirely from hair donated by gay people, making it “the world’s first and only gay object”.

Jeremy Dias, founder of the CCGSD, told OttawaStart.com the sweater was borne out people’s tendency to describe things negatively as “gay.”

“I was sitting on a bus and people were like ‘that movie is so gay’… you’re using my sexual identity… as a pejorative.”

“I remember thinking this was a bunch of BS.”

After his partner had a thought (what if it really WAS gay?), Dias came up with the idea to make a sweater out of literally gay materials.

You can join Jeremy during 100% Gay for an engaging conversation about the sweater, its meaning and impact. The event is free, with museum admission.

Drag cabaret

Mado, the famous drag queen of Montreal, drops by Ottawa for Ice Cabaret on Sparks Street, Friday at 6 p.m.

There will be food and drink aplenty as you’re entertained by Mado, alongside Capital Tease Burlesque and DJs on the Capital Pride stage. Find out more…

Come OUT and play!

Bring out the kids Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a variety of fun outdoor activities. The Redblacks will be on hand for photos and autographs and there will be plenty of Beavertails and music, too.

Stop by the Capital Pride Village Legacy Project tent to take part in some discussions with leaders from the LGBTQ community and hear their stories. Here’s the full details…

Yes, there’s a march

Brave the chill on Sunday for the Capital Pride March, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada.

The march departs Parliament Hill around noon and concludes at Bank and Sparks Streets around 1:30 p.m. Read more…


There’s plenty of other events this week for WinterPride – see them all on Canadian Heritage’s Winterlude events calendar, using the LGBTQ2+ filter.


Devyn Barrie

Devyn Barrie is the executive editor and owner of OttawaStart.com. He has a journalism diploma from Algonquin College and has lived in Ottawa most of his life. His blogs on writing and editing can be found on devyn.ca.