Bruce Dionne Leads Pride 2011

Posted on January 7, 2011 by


BRUCE DIONNE    [by Gene Campbell]

Although more than seven months away, plans are already underway to make Fredericton’s Pride 2011 even more of a success than the 2010, week-long, celebrations.  Chaired by popular boom! Nightclub bartender, Bruce Dionne, the committee of 17 meets the first Monday of each month at the Victoria Health Centre.  Dionne succeeds last year’s Chairperson, Debi Skidmore. The Vice-Chair of the 2011 Pride celebrations, is Jon Blanchard.

Dionne fell into the position by acclamation.  “I was interested in the position because I felt that I was good with my organizational skills,” said Dionne.  “I plan on bringing new ideas to the forefront.  I like to talk to people.  I find that when I talk to people, the more they like to talk, and the more they like to talk, the more ideas come out.”

Plans for Pride 2011 are aimed at more community involvement.  “We’re not calling it Gay Pride, rather Fredericton Pride, because Pride doesn’t only envelope gays, but also transgendered, kink and fetish,” the Chairperson said. “The straight people, and cross-dressers aren’t necessarily all gay. We have been trying to figure out how to incorporate the name Gay Pride into it, and not offend anybody.”

He said the new Pride Committee “is not about going back – it’s about moving forward. Years ago, when Pride first started, it was about being accepted for what we were. Now it is for getting the rights – the right to marry – the right to benefits,” Dionne said.  “It’s all about being accepted as normal, because we were born this way.  It’s not something we plan on becoming. I consider myself normal – my family considers me normal.”

The Committee, amongst other things, is looking at the possibility of bringing a headline act to this year’s festivities.  “We are looking at possibly Kate Reid headlining,” Dionne said.  “She’s a very good musician – does original stuff – not covers.  We also want the festival to be longer.  We want more activity, day and night. We have had requests for activity during the day. Last year, practically all events throughout the week, took place at night, at boom! nightclub, Fredericton’s only gay-friendly night-spot.

Dionne said that for the 2011 celebrations, “We are going to try to incorporate ourselves this year, because that opens up more funding options for us.” Plans this year, also include the release of another CD, featuring, once again, local artists. During the 2010 events, JUST LOVE was released, with a great night of contribution performers, putting on a show before a packed house at boom!.

Dionne said the Parade Marshall this year will be James Whitehead, and added, “We hope to have a lot more participation in the Parade this year. We are hoping that the City is actually going to have the trail paved, because it will make it more accessible for people in wheelchairs.”

When not tending bar Friday and Saturday nights at boom!, Dionne can be found at his full-time job at Canadian Tire.  “I am openly gay now, and my boss at Canadian Tire is very accepting.  He speaks openly about his orientation. “I came out when I was 41;  I told my X-wife.”  She was very accepting.  I told my oldest son, but I held off telling my youngest son, but I recently told him. Then I told my brothers. l and I thought that was going to be a hard thing, but it wasn’t.  All three of them said, Yeah!  We knew!

2011 Pride Celebrations are scheduled to run in Fredericton from August 7 to 14.

Posted in: Pride