A drag story time will be held next month in Nelson after a similar event planned for the library in March was postponed due to online backlash.
The new story time announced Monday will be titled Unshushable and will run on May 6 at 10:30 a.m. at the Nelson United Church.
Nicole Purvis, one of the event’s organizers, said it was important that a drag story time be held so the city’s diverse community can be introduced to local children.
“We want our children to be able to see themselves reflected out there in the world,” said Purvis. “Story telling and story times are such an amazing way to do that. We want to also be promoting reading to our young people, reading with them and helping them to find reading themselves. So let’s make it colourful and fun.”
The previous drag story time was to be held on March 4, but was cancelled after online backlash, misinformation and threats were made against the Nelson Public Library. The Nelson Police Department later said it was investigating “suspected hate-motivated incidents” related to the event but have not announced any recommended charges.
A week after that reading was cancelled, an impromptu one was held in front of Nelson City Hall that drew a crowd of hundreds of supporters.
The Nelson Public Library is again an organizer of the new event, but this time is joined by the Capitol Theatre, Intercultural Kootenays Society, Kootenay Kids Society, Nelson Pride, Nelson and District Arts Council, Nelson Civic Theatre Society, Nelson Museum Archives and Gallery, and the Nelson United Church.
Purvis said the event will be age appropriate for children ages zero to eight, with books selected by librarians.
“The scheduled guest storytellers are parents with experience working with children, and the stories chosen for the event are vetted by a professional librarian with many years of experience delivering age-appropriate programming to children.”
Purvis declined to comment on security but said work is being done to ensure the event is a safe setting. Nelson United Church was picked as the venue, she said, so its projector can be used and families with young children can sit where they like.
Tickets are free but donations will be collected with proceeds going to ANKORS Trans Connect, which is a program that supports transgender, two spirit, intersex and gender diverse people in the Kootenays.
Tickets can be found at the Capitol Theatre’s box office in-person or by phone at 250-352-6363 with priority given to families and adults accompanying children.