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Pride Month

Pride Month 2016

©  2016 Photos, Article & Layout Torontoartsandevents!  All Rights Reserved

Pride Toronto held its first Pride Month from May 31 to July 3rd: a “celebration of the strength and beauty of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.”  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became Canada’s first sitting Prime Minister to participate in the annual Pride Parade along with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor John Tory – see photograph- and a large crowd of participants. 

A moment of silence took place during the Pride Parade throughout the entire Pride Toronto festival site and stages, to commemorate the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, June 12. This year’s Parade was dedicated to the lives lost too soon, with the victims being honoured through a float in their dedication leading the Parade.  The Prancing Elites (International Honoured Guests), Jordyn Samuels (Youth Ambassador) and Black Lives Matter – Toronto Coalition (Honoured Group) also lead the Parade, alongside members of the Trans community, the black queer community and newly arrived refugees from Syria. “Pride Month was a testament to the diversity and power of our community,” said Aaron GlynWilliams, Co-Chair of Pride Toronto’s Board of Directors. “This safe, inclusive and welcoming celebration has empowered us and strengthened our unity, resilience and resolve to fight discrimination, hatred and violence.”

Pride Month showcased human rights, artistic creativity and rich cultural partnerships with community partners, universities and major institutions. Curators created diverse, dynamic and provocative programs promoted under the theme, “YOU CAN SIT WITH US,” encouraging meaningful conversations with new audiences across the city.
Pride Month featured the world’s largest Trans Pride Rally and March, where an estimated 11,000 marchers participated in the largest, most inclusive Trans Pride experience in Pride Toronto’s 35-year history. The final weekend also marked the 20th anniversary of the Dyke March, where community members participated in the thousands. 
Pride Month set records with 73 drag queens, kings and performance artists officially securing the Guinness World Record for “Largest Drag Artist Stage Show” at Pride Toronto’s DRAG ON! stage showcase, on July 2.
Pride Month launched on May 31 by city leaders, officials and Mayor Tory holding a flag raising ceremony that paired the raising of both the Trans pride and rainbow Pride flags for the first time at City Hall.  Pride Toronto Board Secretary Rachel Lauren Clark became the first openly trans person to throw a ceremonial first pitch, ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays’ June 9 game at the Rogers Centre. 
Throughout June, Pride Month conversations explored many issues that still require change and commitment such as a month-long series of human rights panels and a focus on blackness and queerness, Trans youth and women’s activism.  Toronto based institutions like the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum, TIFF, Harbourfront Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, greatly enriched the expanded Pride Month celebration, offering collaboration and quality programming.  “Pride Month created a lot of new, inclusive spaces in order to broaden the celebration of the history, diversity and courage of our community,” said Alica Hall, Co-Chair of Pride Toronto’s Board of Directors. “I’m looking forward to expanding on this next year and, with all our wonderful partners, volunteers and artists, making North America’s largest Pride celebration more vibrant and relevant than ever.”

About Pride Toronto:

Pride Toronto is a non-profit entity which produces Toronto Pride Month, “an annual mosaic of cultural events in Toronto that celebrates, empowers and supports the diverse and delightful community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex and queer people.” [www.pridetoronto.com] Pride   Full Pride Month details can be accessed at:
http://www.PrideToronto.com/pride-month/

Toronto’s one million dollar budget is paid by “aggressive fund raising” such as the toonie drive, individual & corporate donations.  According to Pride Toronto, Pride Week contributes about $ 80 million to the local economy.

Pride Month Toronto was a great party and event.  Stay tuned here for next year’s Pride Month.

©  2016 Photos, Article & Layout Torontoartsandevents!  All Rights Reserved

Category: Festivals
Start Date: 2016-06-01
End Date: 2016-07-03
Venue: Toronto, Ontario Canada

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