The first part of our Pride activity started with the Newcastle Frontrunners LGBTQ5k Festival of running. One of our staff members is a member of the running group and asked if we could help out with the goody bags the runners receive at the end of the race. Considering the event we thought it would be a nice opportunity to spread a little joy by giving away a free copy of our game Ode to all finishers!
Naturally, we had few runners from the studio in the mix, so a big congratulations to our finishers!
The ride into the city centre on the Metro was a little more colourful than usual but the standard friendly northern chat was on point. Arriving at our destination we were all instantly met with the vibrant atmosphere that was already present. Everyone was buzzing and it didn’t take long to spot the Ubisoft Rainbow flag being waved in all its glory. Slowly familiar faces and new gathered at our rally point, introductions were made & provisions purchased in preparation for a humid and hot march through the city to Nuns Moor where the main Pride Festival was held this year.
Our group included staff from Reflections & the EMEA CRC along with their sons, daughters, mothers, partners, wives & husbands. With around 40 of us showing up to unite in celebration together it would have been impossible not to have felt proud of our #UbiFamily
The time came to take up our places as sponsors at the front of the parade, taking in the overwhelming sight of 20,000 people gathered in one place as we did so! After a short delay, we finally saw the signal we had all been eagerly waiting for. With a surge of excitement and colour supported by the music of the samba band playing loudly behind us, we were off!
Our flag bearer set a fair pace and with the youngest of our group only 5 years old we spread out but managed to come back together as they speed of the parade dipped as we navigated the route. As always it was fantastic to see so many smiling faces watching the parade and showing their support as we passed.
With St James' Park football stadium behind us, we started our final ascent towards our destination. With the heat was also climbing the younger members of the group started to tire, some even managing to have a nap despite the volume of glorious music that accompanied us.
We were met by sirens and emergency service vehicles draped in rainbow colours and being lucky enough to be towards the front of the parade we were soon inside the festival. Once we were all gathered we took a few final group shots before enjoying the rest of Pride
A big thank you to everyone that has helped organise Pride this year from kick off all the way up to the day itself. Thank you to all those who showed up to lend their support during the parade from both Ubisoft Reflections & EMEA CRC.
It was a great experience and hats off to Northern Pride (a charity group made up of volunteers that run Pride and other LGBTQ+ events every year) who while dealing with the increased attendance and a change of location did an amazing job along with the support of their partners, volunteers and the emergency services. Thank you, from both the Newcastle based Ubisoft Studios.
Pride allows us all to reflect on how far we have come, empower members of the LGBTQ+ community and embrace diversity. It’s a celebration which is inclusive of everyone, LGBTQ+ community & allies alike. But it also allows us to give thanks to those who have paved the way and recognise how far we still are from everyone being equal in our own country and around the world.