Okanagan Valley Pagan Pride Review
Article ID: 8730
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,461
Times Read: 5,440
Author: Sable Aradia
Posted: September 24th. 2004
Times Viewed: 5,440
Location: Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Event Date(s): September 2004
Well, I would definitely qualify the 1st Official Annual Okanagan Pagan Pride event as a great success!
The weather was not the greatest (slightly rainy and much too damp, ) but it could have been worse. For the most part, our weather magick was successful and the rain stayed away long enough to enable us to perform our rituals and celebrate our spirituality. Our site was Polson Park in Vernon, BC, by the Wishing Well, which was just large enough to accomodate our numbers. We were sharing the park with Applefest, what is promising to be an annual event that the City of Vernon is putting on, celebrating the harvest. This struck us as appropriate and I know that it encouraged more people to be in the park than otherwise would have, thus encouraging more passers-by to come and take part in our event. The live music from Applefest was at once a curse and a blessing, as it required our speakers and singers to compete with it, yet it put everyone in a more festive mood throughout the day.
The great advertising that we received from Issues Magazine, the local metaphysical newspaper of choice, and from CKOV Radio 63 in Kelowna, who conducted an interview with me on their noon talk show program, "Kelowna Today, " encouraged many local Pagans who were not connected to the local Pagan community at large to come out of the woodwork and find those connections.
The local Pagan community made a great showing. Every one of the major local groups that I am aware of, including the Druid's Hearth (Druidry, ) the Hwt-Netjer Weret Hekau (Ritual Magick, ) the Coven of the Sun, Moon and Star (Wiccan, ) and the Ecclective (eclectic social group and circle) made an appearance and most distributed their literature, connections, and information. There were about 30 "hardcore" Pagans from the local e-groups (the Okanagan Pagans Group and the Ok Pagans Cafe, ) plus a few from the general Pagan community that were not connected to any of the e-groups, who stuck it out from beginning to end. A respected local medicine man and some of the New Age community also chose to put in an appearance, thus linking our communities together. All told, about a hundred and twenty people wandered in and out of the event during the course of the day.
We opened with a Druid harvest rite, which was quite enjoyable, put on by the Druid's Hearth. We continued with a discussion of Ceremonial Magick and its influence on Pagan traditions, and though it went considerably longer than was scheduled, it was quite informative. We followed this with a short discussion on spiritualist shamanism from local shaman Linda Patterson, along with a healing circle, and then an exciting and enjoyable workshop on ritual chanting, presented by Prrrline, one of the organizers in the local Pagan community. We concluded with a Wiccan Mabon rite performed by the Coven of the Sun, Moon and Star.
Throughout the day, we also had local Reiki practitioners and Tarot readers providing their services for donation. There were about 15 Reiki treatments and about 40 Tarot readings that took place. We also made purple ribbons in the spirit of the Fellowship of the Earth's Purple Ribbon Campaign and made them available for a small donation. These activities raised a little more than $20.00, which helped to reimburse event costs.
Our food drive was successful but I imagine it probably should have been more emphasized in our advertisements. Many people had heard about the event but not the food drive; though many local Pagans who lacked the financial means to contribute to the food drive made up for it by freely donating their valuable time and energy in making the event happen. All told, we collected 32.8 lbs of food for the local Salvation Army food bank.
Next year, we hope to make our event even bigger and better, by trying to set up our venue in Kelowna, a more centralized location in the Okanagan Valley, and by acquiring a vending permit to enable local metaphysical and Pagan-friendly businesses to achieve some exposure.
The Okanagan Pagan Pride Group, and I as the Local Coordinator, would like to thank the following people, groups, and businesses for helping to make this great event happen:
I would like to also thank all those who took the time to come out and show their support, even if it was for only a short time. The more people who stand in support of Pagan Pride, the more likely we are to eventually achieve true religious acceptance for our beliefs.
- The Bean Scene
- Bean to Cup
- Jennifer Bonderoff
- CKOV Radio 63 Kelowna
- Coven of the Sun, Moon and Star
- Dragon Cards, Comics and Collectables
- The Druid's Hearth
- Greater Vernon Parks and Recreation
- Issues Magazine
- Erin McRoy
- Nature's Fare
- Linda Patterson
- Dave Pears
- Portillo's Coffee House
- Ok Pagans Cafe (e-group)
- Okanagan Pagan Group (e-group)
- Angela Wheeler (Prrrline)
- Will Spafford
- The Witches' Voice website
Bright blessings to all,
Local Coordinator, Okanagan Pagan Pride
Location: Vernon, British Columbia
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