The Nelson United Church will be hosting a bigger and better Drag Storytime next month with a focus on providing an environment of inclusiveness, kindness and acceptance while promoting a love of reading.
This is the second attempt at Drag Storytime after the first event was postponed by the Nelson Public Library last month after undisclosed online threats were protesting the event.
Close to 100 people attended a rally at city hall in support of having drag storytime in March.
Organizer Nicole Purvis says community support was pivotal to bringing it back and she is grateful for the sponsors who are helping facilitate the event.
“There was such a strong response from the community when we held the event at city hall, and when it was canceled a month ago,” she says. “Out of that event sprung a group of non-profit organizations, and individuals, to see how it could be done.
“These groups wanted it to come to fruition, and bring people together.”
She says holding the event at the church offers them the chance to project to a larger crowd and reach a more diverse audience.
“There is a lot of room for people in this venue for people to bring their families,” she says. “We are going to be set up to show the stories on projectors allowing everyone to see what is going on.”
Purvis said they are not concerned about security because of the amount of support from the community, but she is taking some precautions.
“We have partnered with a lot of organizations which are used to putting on larger festivals and gatherings, so we are working together to be more prepared,” she says. “We know there will be folks on both sides of the issue.
“I am certain it can remain friendly.”
Purvis stated there will potentially be three performers reading books to children from stories chosen by the Nelson library.
“The librarians will be choosing stories which are age appropriate to families and children,” she says. “We will see books which are colorful and innovative.”
Performer Birkley Valks says he is excited to come help bring this event to life and is not expecting any issues to come forward.
“I really think the overwhelming support at the city hall event showed there is strength in numbers,” he says. “I don’t foresee a problem, and I am just looking forward to sharing stories.”
The event “Unshushable” will be held at 10:30 a.m. on May 6. Tickets are free but they will be accepting donations which will go towards ANKORS Trans Connect.
Sponsors for the event include the Capitol Theatre, Intercultural Kootenays Society, Kootenay Kids Society, Nelson Pride, Nelson and District Arts Council, Nelson Civic Theatre, Nelson Museum and Arts Gallery, Nelson Public Library and the Nelson United Church.