Ottawa Pagan Pride Day 2002 Commentary
(c) Bonnie Moss 2002

The day was specially blessed by Mother Nature- no rain, the sun was just right, a bit breezy at times, nonetheless,it was a beautiful day.

It was an event I did not have any idea what to expect. I know that Cheryl had to put in a lot of time and effort in getting everything organized, time put in towards planning details- from getting the area cleared, grass cut, to allow for parking space, food, Johnny on the Spot( portable toilet), planned activities for children and even the stage for the entertainment, courtesy of Dam Tuesdays, vendors, exhibitors, and do not forget the advertising. These are just some of the physical aspects of the event.

I drove into the driveway and can’t help but appreciate the open space, and thought what luck to find a place like this for an event like the Pagan Pride Day. I have to admire Cheryl for sharing this place, open it to friends and strangers alike. Of course I have no clue what the event had to offer…. who has not heard of the Gay Pride Day- so the Pagans can have their day too. Being a very curious Christian with an open mind, I decided to see for myself. I am a proud member of Tarot Canada, so if Cheryl considered having this event at her place, it must be worth attending.

I was greeted by Nazareen, of Tarot Canada, perhaps I expected someone from the Pagan Pride group to welcome anyone who takes the time to come. A stranger would be glad to hear what the day/event had to offer. I must have missed the table with fliers , brochures and business cards. I love fliers whenever I go to exhibits, I look forward to browsing through fliers when I get home. I had hoped to read and learn something about the Pagan community in person. Sure, the internet is flooded with information , but there is nothing like a first hand information to digest. So I thought.

I am not shy, so I tried to strike a conversation with this man sitting on a chair, hair tied in a pony tail, can’t see his eyes behind those dark glasses, I can’t remember what was printed on his shirt. But I did not think his tone was very welcoming. So much for that. Looked at the few faces in front of me,with their blank stares, so I finally asked where I can find Cheryl-here or there? They had no clue. Well, I know my way around this place, I told myself, so I walked towards the house. Yes, Cheryl was inside, changing the roll of film in her camera, already and I thought the day has just began.

It was good to meet some members of the Tarot Canada, place a face to a name. The rest of my afternoon was very pleasant in the company of Debbie, we’ve never met before, but we had a great chat. To enhance the atmosphere, Debbie's husband , Gerry wore his kilt- sans the bagpipe ( just joking). We were joined by Jennifer and Barb. Mel came with baby Zacharie, husband Roc and her father, Gord.

The craft exhibit of floral arrangements were very appealing to the eye, very catching. Talk of not leaving anyone out- it was entertaining to watch kids do their stuff , with the help of Rachelle and Julie. The canvas was a great idea, where kids can really get at it. Anyone for a chair massage? Outdoors to boot, thanks to Susan. I have to try this next time!

Cheryl , the ever gracious hostess, smiling and chatting , her camera clicking away, you can not detect how frustrating the day was going. Oh yes, she made her way around to talk to everyone.

People were still coming when I left. I missed the entertainment, but I had a great day.It felt good to be a member of Tarot Canada , it was encouraging to meet some of the members.

The day was not a total waste for me. But, if I had hoped to learn something about the Pagan community in this area, no one came forward to even try to shed a flicker of knowledge about their community, their beliefs and practices, if any. What common beliefs and /or practices do they share? How do they spread the word about themselves, or does this matter?

I went home wondering, was this event a waste of time and energy?

Some more ictures from Ottawa Pagan Pride Day are in the Photos Section of our Discussion List.

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This page was created on November 13, 2002 and updated April 15, 2006.