Check out our event calendar for our festival schedule, and read below to learn about the wonderful folks putting on Valley Pride.

Who we are

Lilly Ashdown (she/they) Board Member

Lilly Ashdown (she/they) is a former teacher-turned-local-government-worker who has always had a passion for sharing knowledge and creating space for everyone at the table. Having moved away for work after uni, she returned in the early 2010’s to find a welcoming community in local theatre and board gaming groups. When she isn’t giving being on a board for the first time a go, Lilly enjoys directing plays, chatting about obscure horror films, and thinking about what tattoo she’ll get next. 

Kiran Awrey (they/them) Board Member, Events

A person with short hair and glasses is speaking into a microphone in front of a crowd of people.

Kiran Awrey is a Non-Binary Trans artist, activist, and mental health professional. They grew up in the greater Toronto area, but transplanted over a decade ago as an Acadia student, turned staff, turned proud south mountain dweller. They work primarily in the field of trauma and advocacy for acceptance and understanding of gender diversity as well as, queer safety and visibility in the Annapolis Valley.

Imriel Bissnette (xe/xem or they/them) Board Member, Co-Chair

A person with short blue and black hair is looking at the camera. They are wearing a black shirt and chandelier earrings.

Imriel Bissnette is a queer, non-binary, Black and Mi’kmaw individual who relocated to the Annapolis Valley in 2014 for school. Xer theses focused on 2SLGBTQ+ connections to art production, and non-binary experiences in the Nova Scotia medical system. They have previously volunteered for Saint John Pride as well as the Wolfville Farmers Market’s Pride dinners in previous years. Xe live with xer husband and animals, as well as a small jungle. They can often be found with a tea latte working on a fiber art project.

Mike Butler (he/him) Board Member

A person with glasses, short hair, and facial hair, wearing a button down shirt is posing with a rainbow bench in front of a wooden fence.

Mike Butler wears many hats but never actually wears hats! Mike works full-time at the constituency office Kings-Hants MP Kody Blois and in Fall 2020, was elected to Wolfville Town Council.

Mike has been, and always will be, a positive advocate for the 2SLGBTQA+ Community. Growing up in Kentville was not the easiest but with a supporting family and a stellar batch of friends, Mike stuck to the Valley and has been involved in as many events as he can be to help promote safe spaces, inclusivity and equality for all. Mike is pretty much a Unicorn disguised as a local politician and community member. His drag persona, SHARON DALOVE, has performed in the valley many times. He lives and works in Wolfville and shares his life with the community at large, as well as  his #1 one supporter: his husband Ian! 

Melanie Clouthier (she/her) Board Member

Melanie has lived in the Annapolis Valley her entire life. She is passionate about mental health and advocacy for trans youth, especially in rural communities.

Her own journey has been full of belated “ah-ha” moments (not finding the proper labels until her late 20s/early 30s) and she wants to make the Valley a safe and welcoming space for others to discover their own identities.

She loves volunteering with local theatres and performing on stage. When she’s home, Melanie enjoys writing, drawing, or playing video games with an animal in her lap.

Ashley Cyr (they/she) Board Member, Co-Chair

A person with brown hair is smiling at the camera. They are wearing a tshirt, ball cap, and fanny pack.

Ashley Cyr is a marketing mogul, deeply obsessed dog parent, and proud Kentvillian. They grew up in the prairies, then bounced around Canada for a few years before finally achieving their life goal of moving to Nova Scotia. Before moving to Kentville, they were a board member of the Wellington-Waterloo Queer Chorus, where they first experienced the positive impact of having a large and accepting queer chosen community.

Ashley lives and works in the Valley, where they have created a home with their partner, Tyler, their dog, Finnegan, and an unwieldy garden full of tasty treats. 

Holly Stewart (she/her) Board Member

Holly is a nature and music enthusiast, and a dedicated home educating parent with a background in life sciences. Her passion for lifelong learning fuels her drive to creating a nurturing environment for her family and community. She believes in the power of collectivity and strength in numbers, with a vision to include all ages and stages, to foster a sense of belonging, celebration, and support within the pride community.

Chris Toplack (she/her/they) Board Member

Chris is a trauma-informed physician with a mental health practice in Wolfville.  For several years, she worked developing widely available, inclusive, sensitive and person-centered sexual health care.  She has been involved in organizing Pride events in the Valley for several years and is passionate about social justice, advocacy, building community, singing and high tide swimming in the glorious Bay of Fundy.  She is grateful to live in Mtaban with her beautiful partner and cats.