Pride Toronto, a not-for-profit organisation which celebrates Pride Toronto Parade (PTP), a ten-day event during the end of June each year to celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQ community in the Greater Toronto Area, will continue to receive full funding of the government.
PTP has become the largest Pride celebration in North America. So what is the latest news about the Pride March?
Well, Toronto Mayor John Troy has endorsed the celebration saying, "Pride is hugely an important event for our city, and one that is supposed to send a message of inclusion and equality to the world."
“I will support maintaining our full funding for Pride 2017. Pride is an important city event, and one that must reflect the diversity and vibrancy of our city,” Mayor Tory said in a statement.
Tory in his official statement continued saying that, both Olivia Nuamah ,executive director of Pride Toronto and Police Chief Saunders informed him about constructive discussions being taken place between them to address this matter and the underlying issues which gave rise to it.
They also indicated to the Mayor that withdrawal of City funding for Pride 2017 won't be helpful in finding a resolution.
According to Olivia Nuamah's statement, she said, “Police are not banned from the event," adding that LGBTQ+ officers and their allies can participate provided they don’t bring their “uniform, weapons or vehicles.”
The incidence of exclusion of Toronto Police taking participation in Pride Parade started last year when Toronto was influenced by Black Lives Matter, had halted the event for nearly 30 minutes until organizers signed off on a list of nine demands, which included a ban on police floats and booths in future parades.
Meanwhile, City councilor John Campbell and about half a dozen other councilors said Pride’s annual grant request should be curtailed in the event of banning the Toronto police to participate in the pride parade.
"They (police) are part of the fabric of Toronto. They are effectively City of Toronto employees. Why should city funding go toward an organization that is telling our police force that they are not welcome and that is exactly what they are doing? So instead of bringing people together, they are pushing people apart," Campbell, who did not sit on the Economic Development Committee, told the reporters.
Since then, Toronto’s LGBTQ officers had been asking the city to withhold a $260,000 grant to fund the parade.
But amidst debates among Pride Toronto officials, members of Black Lives Matter, the Toronto Police union, and other Pride participants, and Toronto Mayor John Tory decided to favour continued funding for Pride Toronto.
Pride Toronto’s executive director Olivia Nuamah told reporters on Monday she was delighted to hear about Tory’s support in funding to Pride and at Monday’s economic development committee meeting, she welcomed the committee’s vote to renew funding for her organisation.
The Economic development committee chair Michael Thompson (Ward 37) in his statement said, “We celebrate Pride, we appreciate Pride, we love Pride in this city. It has great benefits to our city: economic, otherwise and social…Let’s take the adult position and sit down and dialogue.”
Today’s decision came in less than 24 hours after Pride organisers said they would welcome police participation in the event as long as uniforms, weapons and cruisers are left at the police station.
The decision to approve the grant will be subject to final vote by full council later this month.
TORONTO PRIDE: ULTIMATE RESTAURANT, BAR & NIGHTLIFE GUIDE
Toronto Pride means days of food, fun and fab. The heart of the celebration is in Toronto’s gay village but opportunities for entertainment can be found in LGBTQ-friendly bars, restaurants and nightlife spots across the entire city.
All that celebrating can work up an appetite (and a thirst). Check out our ultimate guide for where to eat, drink and party during Toronto Pride 2016. Info for 2017 coming soon!
IN THE GAY VILLAGE
During the final weekend of Pride, Church Street in Toronto’s Gay Village shuts down to become a pedestrian-only party zone.
Where to eat: Grab a bite to eat at any of the numerous street food vendors lining the street. For pub grub, get a seat and a plate of nachos on the patio at O’Grady’s (518 Church Street) or The Churchmouse & Firkin (475 Church Street). More upscale dining can be found at Church Bistro (555 Church Street), Lola’s Kitchen (634 Church Street), or Sambucas on Church (489 Church Street).
Where to drink: There’s no shortage of places to drink in The Village, and even more so during Pride when beverage gardens spring up all along Church Street. Head to The Green Space on Church beside The 519 Community Centre, where the beer tents and outdoor dance floor always draw a big crowd. Drop in at Crews & Tangos (508 Church Street) to enjoy live drag entertainment, or chill out with a pint on the patio. Across the street, Woody’s (467 Church Street) is a local institution with hot bartenders serving up cold drinks.
Where to party: The parties during Toronto Pride are legendary. At The Green Space on Church, there’s a different party happening every day from July 1 to the July 3, including Lipstick Jungle after the Dyke March and Disco, Disco after the parade. If you feel like a change of scenery, simply walk down Church Street where you can always find live music and DJ’s stirring up fun. And make sure to check out Fly 2.0 nightclub (6 Gloucester Street), whose go-go dancers, strobe lights and fist-pumping music have earned it a legendary reputation and numerous Best Dance Club in Toronto awards.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR LIVE MUSIC
Toronto Pride always boasts an impressive roster of musical artists, and this year is no exception.
Watch Forte – Toronto Gay Men’s Chorus, Christian Jeffries and Backburner and many others perform live amongst mummies and marble at Friday Night Live: Colour ROM Proud, a one-night dance party at the Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queen’s Park, June 24, 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.).
Boundary-pushing and in your face, the Alternaqueer dance party is a chance to let your hair down and rock out, with live performances by Toronto feminist art rockers Vag Halen and JD Samson of Le Tigre (Bud Light South Stage, 423-425 Church Street, July 1, 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.).
With live grafitti by Lauren Hortie, back-to-back DJs Denise Benson and Cozmic Cat, live music by Witch Prophet, and much more, Lez Get it On! is the official after party of this year’s Dyke March. (Bud Light South Stage, 423-425 Church Street, July 2, 2:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.).
End your Pride celebration the right way with the star-studded stud lineup of The Final Play, featuring Joe Jonas and his pop band DNCE (Molson Canadian Stage – Yonge-Dundas Square, July 3, 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.).
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