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Security in place for Grande Prairie Pride events

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Paying tribute to the victims of the shooting massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando will undoubtedly become a part of the upcoming pride events in Grande Prairie. Pride Society Treasurer Todd Russell says the best way to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community is to show them they’re not alone.

“We really want to try and make our event about hope and about love, so we want to try and focus on the positive. We absolutely will be marking this tragedy; I mean, there’s no way we couldn’t, but we want to try and focus on the good and I know that the victims would have wanted us to have a celebration and not a memorial so we’re going to try and focus on that.”

The festivities will start with a guest speaker on LGBTQ rights on June 24th followed by a carnival and an party in white the next day. When it comes to safety concerns here in the Swan City, Russell says they’ve had plans for security since the beginning.

“And of course, the RCMP are aware and I think we’re in a very fortunate place in Grande Prairie and a lot of people are supportive. There’s always been an under current of worry there could be something like this, but I don’t think we’re any more concerned than we were before.”

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49 people were killed and 53 injured when Omar Mateen opened fire in the crowded club early Sunday morning. He was killed in a shootout with police.

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