Minden Pride is a volunteer-driven, non-profit Haliburton County organization operating as a part of the Haliburton County Community Cooperative, and comprised of local business owners and residents. Our mandate is to provide an opportunity for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their allies to celebrate our culture, heritage and diversity, by nurturing a safe community for LGBTQ2+ people of all ages. An annual week-long festival in August celebrates the diversity of Haliburton County’s community, and helps promote the organization’s message of dignity, respect and inclusivity.
Our community came together in 2016, after the tragic nightclub shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, and a senseless act of vandalism in Haliburton Village when a storefront was defaced with homophobic graffiti. These events spurred the community at large (including high school students from the Gay/Straight Alliance) to show tolerance and acceptance, and to take a stand against intimidation by celebrating our presence in the community through a festival of visible, inclusive events. At the suggestion of then Haliburton County Warden, Carol Moffatt, Founder Sinclair Russell, along with Bob Baynton-Smith, went to Minden Hills Council for support in creating Minden Pride.
The first two years featured a community picnic held in the large front yard of the Wild Swan B&B on the Gull River. The picnic included a bbq, children’s games, and live entertainment featuring local talent. Minden Pride has expanded to a week-long celebration with increased attendance and number of events, and continues to be the only pride event in Haliburton County.
These events show the community at large that we are a very strong, proud and diverse community that can have fun.