Today, Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park) officially proclaimed Pride Month in Toronto and raised the Progress Pride flag at Toronto City Hall for June.
The Deputy Mayor was joined by members of Toronto City Council, Grandmother Dorothy Peters, Jiima’aaganing (Seine River) First Nation, Grant Gonzales, Board Co-Chair, Pride Toronto, and Sherwin Modeste, Executive Director, Pride Toronto.
Also earlier today, the City of Toronto held the first-ever Pride flag-raising ceremonies on Mel Lastman Square at North York Civic Centre led by Councillor Mike Colle (Eglinton-Lawrence), on Albert Campbell Square at Scarborough Civic Centre led by Councillor Paul Ainslie (Scarborough-Guildwood), and at the Etobicoke Civic Centre led by Councillor Amber Morley (Etobicoke-Lakeshore). The Progress Pride flag is being flown at all civic centres today to kick off Pride Month.
The City encourages residents, businesses and visitors to participate in one of the largest Pride festivals in the world. Toronto’s 2023 Pride Festival runs from today until Sunday, June 25, culminating in a Pride Parade honouring Pride’s history, highlighting Toronto talent and fostering community. The annual cultural event is a vibrant celebration of Toronto’s diverse 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
This evening, the Toronto Sign on Nathan Phillips Square will be lit with rainbow colours to mark the beginning of Pride Month.
Additional programming during Pride Month includes:
Artist Mentorship Showcase at Toronto History Museums
Museum visitors are invited to consider self-identity and reclaiming ownership with a showcase of visual artworks at Toronto History Museums that disrupts, discovers and displays narratives of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. The showcase is led by acclaimed curator and creative director Ashley McKenzie-Barnes, who mentored a group of 10 local emerging and mid-career artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of colour in a ground-breaking 12-month mentorship program. The participating artists were given the freedom to create self-directed works, resulting in a collection of unique and diverse pieces. These artists specialize in contemporary art, design and interdisciplinary practices and respond to anti-colonialism, anti-oppression, and anti-racism. Each project highlights the varied perspectives and experiences of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. More information is available on the City’s Artist Mentorship Showcase webpage.
The City is grateful for the support of sponsor TD Bank Group, partner Pride Toronto and media partner 106.5 ELMNT FM Toronto.
Write for Pride at Market Gallery
In this workshop, explore through journaling what it means to embrace who we are, express our hearts’ desires and honour our bodies as whole, loving, and creative beings we truly are. Write for Pride is led by Jenn Forgie (www.jennforgie.com) and pre-registration is required. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-396-2819 to register, and pay what you can at the workshop venue: Market Gallery, 95 Front Street East (St. Lawrence Market), 2nd Floor on June 28 and 29, from 5 to 7 pm.
ஊர் (Oor) exhibit by Queer Tamil Collective at Scarborough Museum
Running from June 11, 2023, to January 31, 2024, this exhibition explores the question of belonging when faced with the fractures of displacement through war, colonialism, caste violence, and queerphobia. Through a carefully curated selection of sculptures, textiles, paintings, portraits and videos, 12 Queer Tamil artists from across the globe remember and revisit their complex histories while reimagining new possibilities of resistance in the face of growing bigotry and intolerance in the hopes of carving out a new place of belonging that transcends binaries, borders, space, and time.
The Deputy Mayor’s proclamation and more information about the City’s Pride Month celebrations are available on the City’s website: www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/flag-raising-half-masting/pride-month/. Details about the Pride Parade and other Pride Month are available online.
“Pride represents the things we hold most dear as residents of Toronto – the right to be treated with respect and dignity, to be accepted and included, to be heard and valued, and to celebrate who we are, regardless of our sexual orientation and gender identity. In raising the Progress Pride flag at City Hall and civic centres across the city, we offer a strong, visible reminder of these fundamental rights and values that make Toronto one of the most livable cities in the world. I look forward to the 2023 Pride Festival, marching in the Pride Parade, and supporting the many businesses, artists and leaders from 2SLGBTQ+ communities taking centre-stage this month.”
– Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park)
“With a 64 per cent increase in hate crimes targeting sexual orientation between 2020 and 2021 and the ongoing vitriolic hatred toward transgender people and drag performers, our work to combat discrimination, hate, and violence against 2SLGBTQI+ people is far from over. Pride Month is such an essential part of 2SLGBTQI+ communities here in Toronto and beyond, as an active symbol of our resilience, determination, and fearlessness against those who would threaten our safety and treat us as less than human. ”
– Grant Gonzales, Board Co-Chair, Pride Toronto
Toronto is home to more than three million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.