An open letter to the Otafest community:
Otafest is proud and humbled to once again march alongside members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community.

Pride was born out of the need to shine light into darkness – a protest of oppression and prejudice. We do not take these brave origins lightly and are extremely honoured to be participants in Pride Calgary’s parade. Pride has evolved to encompass the joyful celebration of people coming together to live their truths – we do not take for granted that the freedom of expression for the queer community has been a hard-won battle, fought by fearless leaders and activists who put everything on the line to make our current reality possible. We know the fight isn’t over. We stand with you.

For over two decades, Otafest has represented a safe community where everyone is welcome – regardless of any personal circumstance, sexual orientation, gender identity or self-expression. You, our community, embrace one another with limitless acceptance, understanding and love. You inspire us to be better allies and friends.

Otafest values diversity, acceptance and inclusion. These are not empty buzzwords to us. We demonstrate our commitment to the LGBTQIA2S+ community in our values, our programming and, most importantly, in our actions as an organization. We will continue to stand up for vulnerable and oppressed groups in our practices and actions every day. No political environment or popular opinion will shake our steadfast belief in acceptance and equality for everyone.

Thank you to Calgary Pride for allowing us to once again join in the celebrations. Thank you to the Otafest community for joining us in such an important movement. Thank you also for always guiding us and helping us be better allies.

Thank you to the brave protestors and activists who never rest while injustice and prejudice still exist in our world.

Happy Pride, everyone.

With love,

Stephanie Mok
She/Her
President & Chairperson

Special thanks to Trailer Wizards for their incredibly generous donation of a trailer rental for the our Pride float in 2018 and 2019, allowing Otafest and the Calgary Cosplay Community to participate in Calgary’s Pride Parade in fun and impactful way.

Photo: Paul Kiemele – Plutopia Productions