"Heroic Past, Proud Future" - a time to look back on all that LGBT communities have accomplished and gird our loins for battles yet to be won. Heroes Sky Gilbert and Michelle Douglas join the parade as Grand Marshals.
"Love" is in the air at Pride 2001.
Our LGBTTIQ community proudly unites to discover, celebrate and express love for our partners, our communities, and ourselves. For the first time, the City's Official Proclamation of Pride Week includes bisexuals, transsexuals, and transgendered persons. Grand Marshal is Mirha Soleil-Ross and Honoured Group is the 519 Community Centre. The Globe and Mail reports that Toronto's Pride parade has become "a Canadian institution."
"Uncensored!" was the theme for the 2002 Pride Toronto celebrations.
J.P. Hornick and Rachel Aitcheson of the Toronto Women's Bathouse Committee are this year's Grand Marshals, while the Glad Day Bookshop is the Honoured Group. Coinciding with Canada Day celebrations, the opening of Dundas Square, and with an extended parade route, this year's Pride Parade is expected to break all records. Come on out, and help us make her/history!
The theme for Pride Week 2003 was: Pride 3D: "Diverse • Defiant • Divine."
The theme for Pride Week 2004 was: "Bursting with Fruit Flavours".
Grand Marshal George Hislop was a long time community activist and hero. He was an integral part of the early beginnings of Toronto’s first gay rights group, the University of Toronto Homophile Association. He also served on the board of Directors of the AIDS Committee of Toronto, the Hassle Free Clinic, and recently won an important court victory for CPP survivors pensions in a national class action.
The Honoured Group for 2004 was The Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal Foundation (LGCA). The LGCA has been a cornerstone of Toronto’s LGBTTIQ community for almost 25 years, raising funds to support more than 767 projects that have benefited countless individuals, groups and organizations. For more information http://www.lgca.ca
Grand Marshal John Fisher, Executive Director of Egale Canada, was recognized for his hard work and dedication to issues of justice and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender people across the country. In his eighth and final year at the helm of Egale, he was also appreciated for his part in building up this, Canada’s first national queer rights organization.
Honoured Group T.E.A.C.H. (Teens Educating And Confronting Homophobia), a program of Planned Parenthood of Toronto, is made up of youth aged 15 to 25. T.E.A.C.H. volunteers provide important anti-homophobia training in high schools across the city of Toronto. Entering it’s 10 th year, T.E.A.C.H. has worked hard to address systemic oppression and eradicate the teasing and violence often experienced by lgbttiq youth.
The theme for Pride Week 2005 was: Pride 25: "25 years and counting".
Grand Marshal Salah Bachir is a generous philanthropist, successful businessman and visionary patron of the arts. Salah Bachir has long been a fervent supporter of the gay and lesbian community. As Chair of The 519 Capital Campaign he has raised more than $5-million for the expansion and renovation of The 519 Community Centre – $750,000 of which was donated by himself. A longtime member of CANFAR’s board of directors, Bachir has organized countless fundraisers for AIDS research and patient care. Somehow, he also manages to fit in a day job as President of Famous Players Media Inc., and Publisher of Famous magazines.
Honoured Group: Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto
MCC Toronto has achieved much in the areas of human rights and social justice over the last 32 years, most recently with the landmark same-sex marriage court case. In an age where the increasing trend in World Religions is towards discriminatory fundamentalism, more and more people reject Religion because they see it as an agent of their oppression. It is crucially important that there be growing, vibrant congregations like MCC Toronto.
The theme for Pride Week 2006 was "Fearless."
Pride Week 2006 saw a return to Pride's political roots. The Parade, lead by Pride Toronto's first International Grand Marshal, highlighted the issues of inequality faced by our brothers and sisters worldwide and honoured the heroes of Toronto's own queer community past and present. The second annual Pride Toronto Gala and Awards grew into a major community event this year, with a diverse group of award winners from all parts of the queer community in attendance.
Grand Marshals Donald Middleton & Clayton Wilson and Robert Berry & Les Sheare are two couples that have been together for a combined 100 years. Donald and Clayton met in London, Ontario in 1956 and "lived without fear in a time when it wasn't acceptable." Robert and Les met on March 17th, 1956. After being together for 47 years they got married on August 9th, 2003.
International Grand Marshal Bill Schiller, Secretary General of the International Lesbian and Gay Cultural Network (ILGCN) Information Secretariat. He embodied this year's fearless theme as co-founder of Tupilak, a Nordic organization of lesbian and gay cultural workers, campaigning tirelessly to shed light and support to our sister queer communities experiencing oppression, neo-Nazi violence, fascism, and state sanctioned violence throughout the world.
There were two Honoured Groups this year, Primetimers Toronto and SOY (Supporting Our Youth). Both of these groups represent a range of people, from youth to those in their "prime," reflecting what makes the Pride Parade so special -- diversity. Primetimers is a social group of gay men over the age of 40 who meet monthly to discuss and ensure the value of diversity. SOY caters to youth of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, experiences and passions. They assist in improving the lives of queer youth through arts, culture and recreational programs.
Honoured Dyke Zahra Dhanani. "Women hold some of the world's most sacred truths and are vessels of unimaginable power. As we move into an era where women will be ascending to the greatest heights imaginable, we need more than ever to be FEARLESS - in our love of self, our love of each other and our willingness to be who we are against all odds." -- Zahra Dhanani.
Honoured Dyke Group is WRIB (Women in Recreation and Business). WRIB is a networking organization for lesbians and bisexual women in the Greater Toronto Area. The organization has been providing a safe environment for its members since 1991 where they can share and learn from each others' experience. They foster fearlessness in the community with their wide range of programs such as dinners, dances, and seminars.
Pride Week this year was “Unstoppable!” The International Grand Marshal was Rosanne Flamer-Caldera, founding member and Executive Director of EQUAL GROUND, the only mixed LGBTIQ organization striving for equality for all orientations and gender identities in Sri Lanka. Parade Grand Marshal was Russell Alldread (aka Michelle DuBarry), a drag performer for the past 50 years and member of the Imperial Court of Toronto since its inception 20 years ago. Honoured Group was PFLAG Toronto, one of over 60 chapters nationally aiming to end discrimination and secure equal rights. Honoured Dyke was Rachel Epstein, who developed Dykes Planning Tykes (with local midwife, Kathie Duncan) as part of the LGBT Parenting Network at the Sherbourne Health Centre. This group also led the Dyke March as Honoured Group.
The theme this year was “Unified!” and this was put into play with the addition of a new stage in George Hislop Park, which featured performances by trans artists from across North America. The third-ever International Grand Marshal was Gareth Henry, former Co-chair and Program Manager of JFLAG (the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays) and Co-founder of the Sunshine Cathedral in Jamaica. He was also the recipient of the 2006 Human Rights Watch Award and the Canadian HIV Legal Network Award. The Parade Grand Marshal was Enza “Supermodel” Anderson, a trans woman who challenged what it means to be “queer” in mainstream society through her trailblazing and high-profile work as a columnist for Metro, her candidacy for Mayor of Toronto, and her years of tireless efforts raising funds on behalf of a variety of LGBT organizations. Honoured Group was Friends for Life Bike Rally, the second-largest fundraiser benefiting HIV/AIDS in Canada. Honoured Dyke was Anna Willats, an instructor at George Brown College and a member of the boards of the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre and the Mayworks Festival of Working People in the Arts. She was an activist with a long and successful history of supporting queer and trans rights in the community. Honoured Group at the Dyke March was the Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club (TNG), whose mission is to provide a safe and positive space for all women to explore the sport of boxing. They developed outreach programs, including free classes for youth in the Children’s Aid Society, pursued funding for programs for at-risk youth, and also set for full inclusion of trans women in their activities. Pride Week in 2008 also saw some major celebrity action: Cyndi Lauper’s True Colours tour (featuring the B-52s, Rosie O'Donnell, Indigo Girls, and The Cliks) came to Toronto as part of our Pride Week Events, former Spice Girl Melanie C performed on our main stage, and comedian/singer Sandra Bernhardt hosted our annual Pride Toronto Gala and Awards, as well as performing at Massey Hall during Pride Week.
This year was our chance to show the world who we are and what we’re about with the theme of“Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop.” International Grand Marshal, Victor Juliet Mukasa, Parade Grand Marshal, El Farouk Khaki, and Honoured Group, AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) guided the community through amazing stories of equality, human rights, respect, diversity, honour, love, and acceptance at several human rights rallies and events. This year brought about the debut of “Project Parade,” which partnered art students and creative individuals with community groups in the artistic direction of parade entries. This offered a platform for their creative talents, while fostering ties with community and supporting a worthwhile cause. Honoured Dyke this year was Faith Nolan, a community builder, queer feminist, and musician who dedicated herself to social activism for more then three decades. Honoured Dyke Group was the Toronto Roller Derby League (ToRD), an entirely female organization and the largest flat-track derby league in North America. Part of their mission is to include women of all shapes, sizes, and colours, whether they sit in the stands or join on the track. All of their bouts are wheelchair accessible, queer positive, and kid friendly. Major performers this year included Deborah Cox and Kelly Rowland (formerly of Destiny’s Child).