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Pride Toronto planning two festivals at once


Pride Toronto planning two festivals at once

Natalie Kouri-Towe stressed how important it is that PT ensure no WorldPride 2014 sponsors are connected to any human rights violations.Ward 27 Toronto councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and Pride Toronto co-chair chat after the presentation of the strategic plan. IMAGE 1 OF 2
Board says excitement building for WorldPride 2014
Pride Toronto (PT) executive director Kevin Beaulieu says the Pride board has its hands full planning two festivals: this summer's Pride Week 2012 and WorldPride in 2014.

“I think we are certainly on track for both festivals,” he says. “It’s challenging, of course, but we put the structures in place to do that and we have people assigned to various tasks. Planning two festivals at once is never easy, but so far so good.”

PT recently wrapped up three consultation sessions aimed at encouraging more community involvement in planning for the international event in two years. Beaulieu says the information collected was “incredibly valuable.”

“There is a real interest in telling our story and making Toronto part of an international dialogue,” he says. “The excellent turnout at these meetings shows people really want to get involved.”

About 70 people took part in the first session on April 18, at the Courtyard Marriott on Yonge St, at which the strategic plan was also unveiled.   

Among them was Natalie Kouri-Towe, who stressed how important it is that PT ensure no WorldPride 2014 sponsors and financial backers are connected to any organizations with human rights violations.

“That kind of contradiction, which has been known to happen, is a dangerous one,” she says. “There’s a lot of risk if Pride doesn’t put a lot of thought into this in these early stages.”

Beaulieu says PT closely scrutinizes all its sponsors and financial backers.

“That’s part of the work we are doing now with existing partners, collaborators and funders, as we will with any potential new partners,” he says. “We want to be sure they are supportive of our community and goals. We do that process on a somewhat smaller scale every year.”

Ward 27 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam applauded Kouri-Towe’s advice and encouraged her to volunteer for a WorldPride committee.

“There is something very exciting about hosting an international event,” Wong-Tam said. “It is often once in a lifetime that we can be part of something like this. The success and failure of WorldPride does not rest on Pride Toronto. It rests with each and every single one of us.”

PT member Ross Chapman asked about the new WorldPride logo, which was unveiled prior to the meeting. “Since Tourism Toronto designed it for free, how much involvement will they have in planning the festival?”

Board co-chair Francisco Alvarez assured Chapman that Tourism Toronto is a partner but “is not taking the lead on festival planning.

"We went with the Toronto Tourism design because we are running out of time. The design had to be quickly undertaken," he said.

Alvarez said Pride has spent no money so far on advertising for WorldPride. “Tourism Toronto spent $100,000 on out-of-town marketing on our behalf.”

This week, the board has been busy finalizing plans for the local contingent that will travel to London for WorldPride 2012, Beaulieu says. Confirmed members of that committee include Beaulieu, board co-chairs Luka Amona and Alvarez, a delegate from Tourism Toronto, and a potential roster of Canadian artists and celebrities, Amona says.

Beaulieu says any community members who are planning to attend WorldPride this summer are welcome to join the PT contingent to help promote Toronto in 2014.
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Make Church St incredible to lure tourists
Dear Councillor Wong-Tam. Please see below how the Montreal LGBT Village is putting Toronto to shame with their exquisite design and festivities concepts to bring tourists to their Village. The whole main street in the Gay village is pedestrians only. They have streamers of Pink Balls (Les Boules Roses) strung across the road for miles --it is beautiful and festive in an expansive way and most innovative. Toronto LGBT Village is dismal and boring and scattered in comparison. Why would any tourist come to Toronto when they could go to Montreal and have a better time? AND BTW their whole main street (Ste Catherine St.) is blocked off to traffic --pedestrians only, for the whole summer. Can you have any influence over the Church Wellesley BIA to do something as spectactular in Our Toronto LGBT Village? _____________Excellent_Promo_Video http://vimeo.com/27117847 http://www.claudecormier.com/projet/aires-libres-2011/ __________Click_on:_Les_Boules_Roses
It is too easy to throw the word “HATE” around
@ANDREA. It is too easy to throw the word “HATE” around as a blanket for ideas you disagree with --due to ignorance or Pollyanna-ism or... The Koran does wield cruel punishment for Homosexuality. Read it. Islam is the Koran. Islamic countries also devalue and restrict women. Try to disprove this with real-world examples from Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc. While I may feel compassion for the people trapped by the Muslim Clerics' ideologies and laws, nonetheless some of those people follow their faith blindly, and do inflict suffering on others in the practice of their religion. LGBT in Muslim countries do live in fear of losing their jobs and/or being beaten and/or going to jail and/or being executed or murdered by their own family. This is a fact. The Commonwealth Conference brought attention to this idea as well. I really do hate suffering inflicted on others. World Pride has a chance to bring attention to the suffering of LGBT people in Muslim countries --not as an act of HATE but as an act of LOVE.
Other side of freedom of speech
Paul, I think you now see that the freedom-of-speech charter rights fundamentalism that was brought to bear in support of QuAIA's right to march in Pride is fairly broad - and can provide a cover for hatred. Goose, meet gander.
The BIA is not helping
@Ken: “I think most foreign tourists who come to Toronto for World Pride 2014 will wonder why Pride Toronto hyped the gay ghetto on Church Street so much.” I agree with Ken: “It really has declined dramatically in recent years.” Indeed they will have fun during the Parade. But after the Parade we want those tourists coming back, to rebuild the economy of the LGBT Village. If they do come back they will walk up and down the street once and get bored. What will bring back the foreign tourists and the local tourists? The BIA is not helping much by trying to tone down GAY.
Iran executes Gays, YET Goran Miletic is definitely worthy of being Grand Marshal of Pride 2012. Of course Serbia is a pariah state and has no political clout...Unlike Russia. Even Madonna is protesting Russia's criminalizing of LGBT activity. RUSSIAN CRIMINALIZATION OF LGBT EXPRESSION IS MORE CURRENT AND BETTER KNOWN THAN THE SERBS SITUATION. A Russian Gay activist would be more glamourous as Grand Marshal. OF COURSE, African homophobia also lends itself to scrutiny by Pride. BUT THERE IS AN ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM WEARING A BURKA... MUSLIM TREATMENT OF GAYS IS THE MOST ATROCIOUS OF ALL... LGBT in Muslim countries live in fear of losing their job and/or being beaten and/or going to jail and/or being executed or murdered by their own family. Why is no one protesting that !!??? There should be a group at Pride such as QUEERS AGAINST ISLAMIC ATROCITIES (QuAIA). Big hairy bearded guys marching in the parade with nothing on but black boots, pink thongs and pink Niqabs (face veils) --ululating loudly all the way down Yonge Street-- dragging Korans chained to their ankles.
Kyle is a censorious appartchik
Kyle is "disturbed" by anonymous zingers on the internet so she bans people. How Stalinist to kneejerk to legislate and control. Freedom is a myth.
No worries Paul
legislation is coming that bans all anonymous postings on the internet. So that's the good news, we'll all finally be protected from being disturbed. However, I'm not so sure "hate" was the correct term?
Paul is a typical
self-hating homo, who has contempt for dick, ass, sex, men and anything that doesn't breed hetreosexist bile. He's an infection that has infested the entire LGBT community. These pansies would give directions to their own genocidal killers to the gas chambers. In a nutshell they are NOT to be trusted ever. I smell em a mile away and stay away as far as possible.
Paul is a racist
I find the conflation of contempt for Islam with racism. A shoddy queered tactic. Islam like all Abrahamic monotheism is antithetical to homosexuality. All religions hate homosexuals and fighting religion is a major strategy to liberate homosexuals. The new left white-shame of queered ninnies is as tired as equating Islam, a religion of all people, to one race -- reductivism to create colonialism that is not even there. Nice try, Paul, but YOU are the problem.
I find the anti-Muslim comments that have been posted to Xtra lately really disturbing. It creeps me out that racists think of this website as a safe space to share their hate.


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