The countdown is on! With only five months until the kick-off of Pride Toronto, the city’s most vibrant and inclusive arts and cultural festival and North America’s largest Pride celebration, preparations are well underway to deliver the most dynamic, inclusive and expansive programming ever.
Canada’s first-ever Pride Month will launch on June 1, 2016, featuring extended programming and provocative events throughout the city, culminating with the 10-day Pride Toronto festival, June 24 – July 3. Pride Month will begin with its inaugural city proclamation and the raising of the Rainbow flag at Toronto City Hall, set to occur for the first-time at the beginning of June.
Pride Toronto’s major cultural partners will offer expanded installations, festivals and programs. Signature events delivered by prominent institutions like the Art Gallery of Ontario, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, Inside Out, the Royal Ontario Museum, OCAD University, Ryerson University and the University of Toronto will spark meaningful conversations with new audiences across the city. Leading community partners include The 519 Community Centre and PFLAG Canada.
On July 3, 2016, Pride Toronto will make Canadian history with the first time a sitting Prime Minister participates in the annual Pride Parade. Come and join the leaders of the municipal, provincial and federal government who have the Parade in their calendars already — Toronto Mayor John Tory, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
On the 35th anniversary of the infamous Bathhouse Raids that incited mass protests and spurred the development of Pride in Toronto, Pride Month and the Pride Toronto festival will reflect on the community’s victories since 1981 and explore the issues that still require change, commitment and focus.
Pride Toronto is on track to make the 2016 Guinness Book of World Records and claim the title of the World’s Largest Drag Queen Stage Show from the Gay Softball World Series in Columbus, Ohio, which set the record in 2014 with 55 participants. Don’t miss DRAG ON! — the marathon extravaganza at Yonge-Dundas Square on July 2.
The final weekend of the 2016 Pride Toronto festival will vaunt exquisite beauty and art with an immersive Middle Eastern cultural performance on Pride Toronto’s stage. For the Canada Day festivities, extend a warm, patriotic welcome to newly arrived queer Syrian refugees.
Pride Toronto’s 2016 festival will run Friday, June 24 – Sunday, July 3, 2016. Pride’s 2016 festival theme, honourees, artists and additional signature events will be announced shortly.
In a year of progress and transformation with Executive Director Mathieu Chantelois, Pride Toronto released its 2016-2021 strategic plan, Beyond 20/20, and currently boasts its largest-ever Trans representation on the Board of Directors.
Download the strategic plan and annual report and learn more at www.PrideToronto.com.