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July 26, 2019 Tim Whitehead0

During this very special week of Happy Valley Pride, we are thrilled to announce Kate O’Donnell has become our new patron.

Kate is an award winning transgender performer, activist, theatre and cabaret maker. She brought her fantastic show “Hayley and Me” to the festival last year and also worked with us when we adopted her #StandByYourTrans campaign to help spread the message of diversity and tolerance throughout Calderdale.

In 2016 Kate she founded Trans Creative, a trans arts company whose aim is to help trans people tell their stories. As Artistic Director, Kate has just completed her second, hugely successful, Trans Vegas festival, the UK’s first Trans Arts Festival.

Her work is autobiographical, entertaining and political showing pride and strength in being transgender and includes; the award-winning Big Girl’s Blouse with its successful twitter campaign #StandByYourTrans ( winning Manchester Pride’s, “Spirit of the Parade” Award, 2018) she has also created several well received cabaret performances; “A Short History of My Tits”, “No Pride” and “Hayley and Me”. With support from Arts Council England, she is currently touring her critically acclaimed one woman show “You’ve Changed” in the UK and across Europe, following its premiere at the Edinburgh Festival.

Happy Valley Pride Chair, Tim Whitehead said

“Having just worked with Kate on Trans Vegas, I know how lucky we are that she has agreed to be our second ever patron along with Peter Tatchell. As one of the most committed and visible Trans people in the country, I hope Kate’s involvement with us sends a positive message to the Trans community in our LGBTQ+ family. Kate will be joining us for the weekend events at Happy Valley Pride.”

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July 20, 2019 Sean Pert0

It’s been a busy year for Happy Valley Pride and local schools. Thanks to a generous grant from the Hebden Bridge Rotary Club we were able to extend our annual Art Competition to four schools, Riverside Junior School, Central Street Infant and Nursery School, Stubbings Infant School, Calder High School and Todmorden High School.

Riverside Junior School held special assemblies as part of their Rainbow Week. The children learn about anti-bullying and the diversity of families in our local community. The message that ‘Everyone Matters!’ is prominently featured on one of the winning Top Hats for Pride featured in the photos, below. Mrs Taylor chose eight winning hats, one from each class. As you can see, the colourful rainbow designs show how creative the pupils are. The school’s excellent engagement with diversity has been recognised by Stonewall.

Ms Tregellas has been busy with the children at Central Street Infant and Nursery School, with a mini parade and more fantastic art. Ms Tregellas is also a volunteer for Happy Valley Pride and uses her creative talents to include local children and families in the festival.

Stubbings Infant School has joined in the fun for the first time this year and we hope to have the children help us to make impressive and colourful artwork for the festival each year from now on.

Todmorden High has formed a group for young people at the school. The group held their own assembly about LGBT+ in the school and hope to inform and educate pupils and staff about issues affecting them. I was fortunate to meet the group and talk about LGBT+ equality over the recent past and how to develop allies amongst their peers. Mr Freeman has facilitated impressive LGBT+ themed artwork with the help of Mrs Greaves.

Calder High has an established Barnardo’s Equality Ambassadors (BEAMS) group. Calder High students have produced impressive art based on the theme of diversity along with bunting. We aim to visit the BEAMS team next autumn and offer ideas and support.

Many thanks to all the staff and pupils who have contributed art work to Happy Valley Pride this year. We are so impressed with the hats, drawings, paintings and awareness of LGBT+. We will be displaying some of the art works as part of our Information Fair on Saturday 27th July 2019 on Bridge Gate, Hebden Bridge near the main stage. So, come along and admire the remarkable artistic talent of our local children and young people.


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March 15, 2019 Nicola Jones0
We are now recruiting for Volunteer Trustees to sit on the board and take part in planning and running the festival.
Applications from all would be very happily received, though we would particularly welcome applications from those who identify as trans, lesbian and members of the BAME community, to ensure our board is as widely representative as possible. Candidates with some daytime availability would be particularly welcome.
We are particularly seeking people with strong skills relating to
  • – project and/or event management experience;
  • – fundraising bid writing;
    – creative and artistic flair;
     – arts management;
    –  education/working with young people
    –  technical IT experience;
     – book keeping and finance skills.
    Please apply by 4pm, Wednesday 17 April 2019.
    We are aiming to appoint by end of April.

    APPLY NOW


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    February 4, 2019 cpark752

    As part of LGBT History month 2019, we’re sharing personal stories of significant, life-changing moments of acceptance or understanding from our local LGBT+ community.

    “Shall not promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.

    Local Government Act, 1988 – Prohibition on promoting homosexuality by teaching or by publishing material.
    Chris Park

     Put yourself in the place of a 13 year old in the Lake District in 1988. The world was in the midst of the AIDS crisis and homophobic articles were common in the national press.

    I was the 13 year old that Mrs Thatcher was trying to “protect”. Sadly for her it had the opposite effect.

     Gay rights didn’t make it to the Lakes, so TV was the only connection to the outside world. Bringing this revolting clause presented a call to arms, organisations like Stonewall appeared and words Gay and Pride were bandied around. I’d always known I was different but now I wasn’t alone.

    It couldn’t have been a better signpost for me, if Margaret T thought homosexuality was wrong, it must be right. 

    That isn’t to say I had an easy time of it. The 80s were dark and by bringing homophobia to the masses, we all copped it one way or another. 

    Section 28 was only repealed 15 years ago. We need to remember that our previous Prime Minister was incredibly vocal in keeping it until he did a U-turn in 2009. Our current “leader” has consistently voted against LGBT rights. 

    As for Section 28, we should never forget or we will allow prejudice like this to thrive again. As for its effectiveness, sorry Mrs T, but this gay wasn’t for turning. 


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    January 25, 2019 Nicola Jones0

    Happy Valley Pride is an eclectic, alternative and inclusive, week-long festival for everyone. Celebrating LGBT+ life in Hebden Bridge and surrounding areas.  This year, it will be taking place earlier than in previous years, during the week of 22 to 28 July 2019.

    Founded in 2015, the festival has rapidly grown in size and stature – last year we attracted over 3,000 attendees across 15 events and 7 days. Set in the stunning location of the Calder Valley (recently recognised in National Geographic’s Cool List 2019) we’ve built an enviable reputation for creating a distinctive, LGBT+ arts-focused programme.

    The decision to move the festival was taken to guarantee the calibre of artists and performers now expected of Happy Valley Pride, as the previous dates were close to other key festivals, notably Edinburgh Festival.

    Our Chair and Festival Programmer, Tim Whitehead:

    “In the last couple of years, we have managed to attract an incredibly diverse and reputable range of artists. Camille O’Sullivan (recently voted in the Top 25 Jools Holland’s performances) headlined last year, due to an unusual change in schedule. In 2016, BBC Radio 4 regular, Zoe Lyons was another coup and a total sell out. We were aware of other artists we’d loved to welcome to Happy Valley Pride, yet missed out simply because they were booked for Edinburgh. We’re now planning a superb week, which we’re excited will offer something special for everyone and offer our best Pride yet.

    At the heart of this, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to to the local community and businesses who have supported us in funding the festival, such as local artist, Kate Lycett, whose unique artwork donation attracted national interest via our art auction.”

    Which brings us on to the first confirmed event for 2019 – the auspicious return of legendary London-club night, Duckie. Having lured them to Yorkshire from their Vauxhall Tavern residency – last year’s inaugural visit to The Trades Club sold out in 48hrs post-announcement. Its cult cabaret line up of renowned performance artists is bound to guarantee Happy Valley Pride will stand above the Pride crowd.

    With a growing Committee of volunteer trustees and loyal festival team, we’ve quickly built a strong reputation and year-round profile via social nights, community involvement and regular Trades’ Club fundraiser nights. Working alongside local schools and other community groups, we seek to raise understanding and acceptance of the LGBT+ community via art projects.

    With plenty still to do, those interested in getting involved please visit the ‘Get Involved‘ page for more info.

    Camille O’Sullivan performed at Hope Baptist Church for Happy Valley Pride 2018

    Kate Lycett’s – Tree of Life which raised funds via our art exhibition and auction in  2018


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

    Tim Whitehead

    July 3, 2018 Tim Whitehead0

     

    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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    June 7, 2018 Darren Spruce7
    Happy Valley Pride are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help with our festival.  The dates for this year’s festival are 22nd to 28th July 2019.
    As a volunteer, you’ll be an important part of the team who will be helping pull together a variety of events happening during the course of the week, with all hands on deck over the main weekend of 27th and 28th July.
    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.
    We can discuss how much or little volunteering your time and energy allows.
    If you are passionate about the LGBT+ community and want to help us make a difference, we would love for you to become part of the team.

    APPLY NOW


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    May 26, 2018 Nicola Jones0

    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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    March 16, 2018 Nicola Jones0

    ** 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:[email protected] 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