We’ve come such a long way, but equality is still somewhere over the rainbow.

Tim Whitehead

July 3, 2018 0

 

Gay couples hold hands too – join the revolution

Our programme cover was well timed. Conceived before today’s headline news – reminding the world that holding hands in public is still not accepted for gay people.  This year’s theme – Revolution – is all about how attitudes towards the LGBT+ community have undergone a revolution of their own in the past five decades, but there is still work to be done.

Our newly appointed patron, Peter Tatchell, was recently detained at the Kremlin, for protesting persecution against gay people in Russia and only last year Stonewall announced that hate crime against the LGBT+ community has risen 80% in the UK since 2013.

Very recently I was sat outside a pub in Hebden Bridge with friends and some passers-by made casual homophobic comments. We’ve come such a long way, but equality is still somewhere over the rainbow.

So, holding hands – the cover of this year’s programme brochure – represents something that is still a revolutionary act for many LGBT+ people — simply holding hands in public.

I’d like to ask as many of you as possible, however you identify, to hold hands during Pride, whether it’s with your best friend, your partner, your child or your parent.

Let’s hold hands and spread a revolution of love throughout Hebden Bridge and the surrounding areas.

Be here, be you, be proud!

Tim

Full programme and tickets will be available weekend of 7/8 July


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August 20, 2018 0

So, when I arrived in Hebden Bridge back in 2003, if you mentioned ducks, it was in the context of the quaint tradition of the busiest day of the year, where a river of yellow plastic ducks are chucked into the river and encouraged to compete with the real ones, on a short journey down river, every Easter Bank Holiday. Let’s not knock it, it draws crowds annually. But this year, we re-defined Duckie in Hebden Bridge.

The anticipation was palpable.  As soon as it was announced, tickets sold out in just 48 hours. The Trades already having a reputation for hosting some of the best nights this side of the Pennines, joining forces with a club night that has successfully ran for over two decades. It was the perfect combination of people, place and undoubtedly, occasion.

Happy Valley Pride’s loyal contingent is a true mixed tribe. Often commented on is the fact that so many have ‘escaped’ the city to move here, renounced by many locals as ‘oftcummers’ – it’s always a balancing act.  Being part of the community, whilst nostalgically reflecting on a misspent youth in the UK’s cities.  And for the LGBT+ community in particular, that obviously comes with a doubtless, crumpled ticket to the clubs of the 90’s and 00’s.

So, did it live it to expectations.  As they say in Yorkshire, “By gum”, it did.  Outfits were planned, yet discarded on arrival due to the first big downpour in weeks, coinciding with a crammed and sauna-like dance floor.  Monster Munch hanging from the ceiling and Readers Wifes playing long-forgotten tunes.  It was reminiscent of Narnia meets Nightmare on Elm Street.  Dark, sexy, tribal.

Interspersed with brilliantly original cabaret performances from Bourgeois & Maurice (last year’s sell out), new friends, Barbara Brownskirt – (“Judy, Judy, Judy …. Dench” is STILL being repeated as a highlight), Victoria Sin – who knew sandwich-making could be an art form and finally the vision of Ursula Martinez streaking down Holme Street will live on as legendary.

We didn’t want it to end, but of course it had to and it all felt like a dream. There’s talk of turning the tables, with rumours of a road trip – Happy Valley Pride Goes to Duckie.  We’re already clicking those red heels and channeling Dorothy ‘There’s no place like Duckie’.


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July 6, 2018 0

Welcome to this first blog from the Happy Valley Pride Youth Engagement Committee!

David Kennedy and Sean Pert look back at the last few weeks, getting local children and young people involved in the festival through art.

David and I have been busy talking to local schools about Happy Valley Pride and this year’s theme of ‘Revolution!’

Video

We developed a presentation telling everyone about our theme and what the competition involves.
Watch the video here: Video about Happy Valley Pride’s Art Competition 2018

Riverside Junior School

Our first stop on Monday 18th June was Riverside Junior School, Hebden Bridge. Mrs Taylor introduced us to the children and we talked about how to get over the message of LGBT+ people being part of the community and everyone living in harmony. Some comments from the children were “Art is a language” and “Revolution is a big change”. Several children were able to tell us about LGBT+ people they were related to, and knew, and they wanted us to know that Mrs Taylor was “Good at helping with Art”.
We can’t wait to present the winners with their certificates on Thursday 19th July!

Art is a language

Todmorden High School

Next stop was Todmorden High School on Wednesday 27th June. We were lucky enough to view some of the pupils’ work in the gallery before meeting one of the classes. Mr Freeman, Head of Art led a fascinating discussion of art and how this might be used to convey equality. Some of the young people were shocked to hear that LGBT+ people might still encounter prejudice and discrimination. A spray painting display of revolutionary themed flags is to be expected!

Have you ever experienced discrimination because you’re gay?

Central Street Infant and Nursery School

It’s never too early to think about equality and that we are all different in some ways and the same in many others. At Central Street Infant and Nursery School our very own much loved volunteer Ms Tregellas is one of the school’s teachers and the children will be making colourful and attractive designs and pictures as part of the competition.

The festival display

The flags decorated by local children and young people will form part of the display at the Expo on Saturday 11th August 2018. The flags and banners can also be seen at the Picnic in the Park on Sunday 12th August 2018. See the programme for details.

Join in the fun

Are you a school in the Calder Valley keen to get your pupils’ artistic skills shine? We are keen to involve children and young people in Happy Valley Pride to show what a vibrant, welcoming and fun place the valley is to live. We run an annual art competition as part of the festival and our in-house artist David Kennedy is available to come along and talk about how art transformed homophobic graffiti into a work of art spreading love and acceptance.

We have an Enhanced DBS and can help your school with thinking about preventing bullying and promoting the acceptance and understanding of diversity.

Get in touch!


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June 7, 2018 6
Happy Valley Pride are looking for enthusiastic volunteers for this year’s festival, taking place from 6th – 12 August 2018.
The festival is set to be the most eclectic yet, featuring iconic London club superstars Duckie and internationally acclaimed singer, Camille O’Sullivan. As a volunteer, you’ll be an important part of the team who will be giving these  fantastic performers a great, big Happy Valley Pride welcome to Hebden Bridge in the run up and during this exciting week.
If you feel you’d enjoy making a difference and have skills you think we’d welcome to help us pull this thing off or the enthusiasm to want to learn and get stuck in, get in touch.  You can volunteer as much or as little as your time allows.
If you are passionate about the LGBT+ community we would love for you to become part of the team.

APPLY NOW


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Bourgeois & Maurice
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May 26, 2018 0

Now in its third year, the festival will be united by a Revolution theme with performances, art and outdoor entertainment.

A strong theme, with their best headliners yet, who have eagerly signed up to participate in the revolution, recognising the unique flavour of Happy Valley Pride’s tone in a town that does things differently.  The festival will provide world-class entertainment throughout the week bringing class acts and clubbing together. Headliners already booked to appear are:

Duckie – Legendary London Club Night @ The Trades Club, Saturday 11th August

Whilst most club nights last a few years, Duckie has happened every week for 23 years. For the first time EVER, the original Vauxhall veterans bring their rock’n’roll performance disco-bar to Yorkshire on Saturday 11 August to The Trades Club.  Legendary DJ’s, The London Reader’s Wifes will be joined on stage by Happy Valley Pride favourites’ Bourgeois & Maurice, drag artist Victoria Sin and comedian Barbara Brownskirt.

Camille O’Sullivan @ Hope Baptist Church, Friday 10th August

Irish/French Camille O’Sullivan is now an internationally-renowned singer with a formidable reputation for her interpretations of the songs of Cave, Brel, Waits, Bowie, Cohen, Radiohead and more. She has stunned audiences around the world, including a ten-night, award-winning run of shows at Sydney Opera House; London’s Royal Festival Hall; The Roundhouse. The Telegraph recently named Camille one of the top 25 performances of all time on the BBC’s Later with Jools Holland BBC.

Ursula Martinez – Comedy and Performance Artist @ Hebden Bridge Little Theatre, Thursday 9th August

An established international artist, regularly supported by the British Council, Ursula Martinez produces live performance, both solo and collaborative, for theatre, cabaret, site-specific, installation and nightclub. She will present her critically acclaimed show Free Admission which celebrates the inconsistencies and contradictions that make us human, whilst having a dig at some of the mess that is of our own making.

Newly-appointed Chair, Tim Whitehead said “We believe Revolution gives a soul-stirring theme, which will fire up our festival visually, artistically and create comradery amongst our festival performers and supporters.”

Tickets and full programme details to be announced in June 2018


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April 29, 2018 0

In this, our third year, we are delighted to announce, our annual art exhibition, which will continue to be a key part of the festival, running throughout August.  We are now welcoming local artists to help support our organisation, with donations of artwork, working on personal interpretations to align with this year’s theme – REVOLUTION.

Held at Nelsons Wine Bar, we have grown year on year, with last year’s exhibits, supporting our LGBT+ Heroes theme. Submissions raised the bar, both in quality and also gained significant, further publicity and funds.

The Revolution ‘theme’, will continue to coordinate our involvement with other local organisations across Hebden Bridge, building up to the festival, which last year included being part of the Arts Festival ‘tree trail’ and creating a competition to reward local primary school children for their creations.  

We believe, Revolution offers an equally, soul-stirring and strong theme, which will galvanise those artistic souls amongst you, to help make 2018’s exhibition another thought-provoking and visually inspiring talking point throughout the festival and beyond.

All forms of artwork will be considered, whether it be sculpture (not too big please), ceramic, 3D, Textile, Acrylic, oil, pencil and ink. However, we would ask that artists who kindly donate their work, are willing to donate all proceeds generated by the sale to our not-for-profit organisation.

Our Exhibition Opening Event will take place at Nelson’s Wine Bar in Hebden Bridge on There will be live music from local performer Magdalen.

***STOP PRESS*** We are proud to feature an original piece by renowned local artist Kate Lycett, specifically created for Happy Valley Pride. This wonderful artwork will be auctioned alongside other items and winning bids will be revealed at the Pink Picnic on Sunday. Further announcements will be made on social media.

Closing Date Extended to Friday 13th July

David Anthony Kennedy

david@happyvalleypride.com

 


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March 16, 2018 0

** UPDATE** Due to a great response – we will be bringing the closing date for applications forward to Friday 27th April. Please get in touch ASAP, if you are considering applying.


Happy Valley Pride is Calderdale’s annual LGBT+ festival, promoting inclusivity and diversity for and amongst, the LGBT+ community.

We are now recruiting for two Trustees to sit on the board and take part in planning and running the festival.

Applications from all would be happily received, though we would particularly welcome applications from those who identify as trans or lesbian and from members of the BAME community, to ensure our board is as widely representative as possible.

Skills that we are particularly seeking include:

  • project and/or event management experience;
  • fundraising bid writing;
  • technical IT experience;
  • book keeping and finance skills.

As with all trustee roles within the organisation, this is a voluntary position. The commitment is generally two evening meetings, per month though this increases around the festival itself (6th to 12th August 2018).

To apply, please email mailto:tim@happyvalleypride.com outlining your suitability, along with a CV (if possible).

Further information is also available upon request – we look forward to hearing from you. Deadline for applications is 30th April 2018.

Photo Credit: Joan Heath


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Marsha P Johnson

August 20, 2017 0

When the team first suggested the ‘Heroes’ theme, it instantly triggered a positive reaction.

We couldn’t shut up for the sheer joy of explaining who we admired and why. Heroes inspire you to follow your dreams, embody your beliefs and give you extra fire in your belly when you need that inner strength. We all agreed this summed up perfectly the positivity and passion we want this festival to be about.

We’ve emblazoned our LGBTQ Heroes everywhere this year and been touched by hearing about everyone else’s choices – either personal or public-facing figures who have made a difference by inspiring people to make a difference.


Leigh Bowery by Paul Macdonald
Metamorphosis by Moira Blackburn
Tall Show Girl by Paul Omerod
Peter Tatchell by M A King
Rainbow Bird - Linda Spiteri
Boy George - John Klerk
Francis Bacon by Christopher Furminger
Dusty Springfield by M A King

August 20, 2017 0

The Happy Valley Pride Art Exhibition presents contributions from local and national artists’ interpretations of the LGBTQ heroes that have inspired them for their contribution to LGBTQ/civil rights and causes.

Artwork is on display at Nelsons Wine Bar in Hebden Bridge until 6 September and all artists have generously donated a percentage of the sale price to the Happy Valley Pride fund.

The exhibition also includes all 9 of our LGBT Festival Heroes designed and signed by Emma Charleston as  A4 sized giclee printed and framed at just £40.

Please do visit to see the full range of fabulous works ranging from £40 to £300

Full Price List


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August 19, 2017 0

‘Salon’ is the perfect word to describe our ‘Lesbian Writers Read’ event –a reminder of an earlier era when like-minded people would gather in drawing rooms to discuss books, art, politics or simply to enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed atmosphere.

Our local haberdashery, Ribbon Circus in Hebden Bridge provided a delightfully intimate setting, surrounded by displays of coloured wools and ribbons displayed around the walls and filled with whatever the collective noun is for a group of lesbians (All places were soon snapped up and so the venue was fully booked).

Four published authors from across the UK, joined local author and organiser, Jen Silver and despite, Robyn Nyx and Brey Williams being led astray by their sat-nav, ending up behind a herd of cows – all managed to arrive in time.

It was Lise Gold’s first public appearance and if she was nervous reading from her second, recently released romance, Beyond the Skyline – it didn’t show.

Cari Hunter was planning on editing out the swearing in her selected excerpt from the third in her Dark Peak series, A Quiet Death – but after Helen’s robust introduction to the evening, she muttered, “I’m leaving the ‘f*cks’ in.”

Brey Willows read from, Fury’s Bridge, the first in a series and left us wanting more by ending on a cliffhanger.

Robyn Nyx’s reading from the first book in her Extractor Series, Escape in Time, took on an even darker hue, leading us into the past in Nazi Germany during World War II.

Jen Silver read from her most recently published book, Running From Love. Beforehand, Jen’s wife asked her which bit she’d selected and when told said, “Oh yes, the fridge and the cat!” Not quite how I would summarise that part, but if you want to make your own mind up here’s a link to the podcast

A massive thank you to everyone who came, including the authors who did a fantastic job, both reading and answering questions afterwards.

Special thanks to Ribbon Circus owner, Happy Valley Pride Trustee and host, Helen Baron who ensured glasses were topped up and the donation bucket was jingling.

With thanks also to Affinity Rainbow Publications for their event sponsorship.

Jen Silver, local author signing books
The wonderfully unusual Ribbon Circus provided a great venue for a relaxed evening of literary entertainment.

Article adapted with thanks to Jen Silver