AUSTRALIA’S fourth-largest city is gearing up for PrideFEST 2014, a celebration of Perth’s LGBTI community between November 14-22 that boosts over 60 cultural events covering dance, music, theatre, comedy and the arts.

While the Perth-based organisation has been in existence in one form or another since 1989, its 25th year will celebrate the origins of Pride WA and its place in Western Australia’s community, with the theme “Reflect, Rejoice, Renew”.

Pride WA grew out of a community movement protesting laws that discriminated against members of the state’s LGBTI community and evolved to incorporate a festival and events calendar.

Although great strides for equality have been made since Pride WA was established, organisers have acknowledged the work left to do in Australia, particularly around issues like marriage equality and discrimination within the general community. They have also drawn attention to the discrimination and persecution faced by LGBTI people around the world, for example in countries where homosexuality is punishable by death.

For that reason, this year’s theme will bring together the need to look back on the origins of the state’s pride movement, celebrate the achievements for LGBTI equality and commit to continuing to fight for change.

The festival’s Pride Parade will be a centrepiece of PrideFEST, a massive parade through the Northbridge neighbourhood on November 22 featuring performances, and the prizes for participants who creatively represent their group or message, in particular those who channel the 2014 theme.

The official after party of the Parade is the Garden Party at the Urban Orchard, which includes DJs and live performers throughout the night.

Perth institution Connections nightclub will also host its own Pride Parade party, as well as several other events throughout the festival.

Another key event is Brookfield Sensations on November 16, which will see Brookfield Place transform into an exclusive pop-up gallery space showcasing visual art, live entertainment and culinary delights by neighbouring venues and bars.

To view the full program for PrideFEST, click here

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