Pride Toronto – It’s a Wrap!
Toronto’s Pride Month 2018 brought in over 2.6 million people in attendance, and contributed an estimated $681 million to Ontario’s GDP. With over 1.6 Million people taking in Festival Weekend, and another 1 Million attending the rest of our Pride Month events, it is clear that Pride matters!
Throughout Pride weekend, 18 city streets were shut down, and the event hosted over 100 artists on 14 stages in North America’s largest showcase of queer art and culture. With the help of over 2,000 volunteers and over 40 sponsors, Pride Toronto were able to celebrate Toronto’s Gender and Sexual Diverse Community with a month filled with love and support. Despite losing many of their traditional festival spaces to condo development, this year the organization expanded their footprint to allow Pride to take back the streets. Check out our digital Pride Guide here!
The community fair has grown, and, for the first time ever, a wellness area was introduced showcasing artists, vendors, eco-initiatives and community groups. Nine local businesses also partnered for the pilot Drink & Carry program – Toronto’s first licensed street bar which allowed attendees to purchase a drink from a participating bar on Church, walk out on the street while you enjoy the festivities.
This year the theme was 35 Years of AIDS Activism, which is a celebration of the progress we have made against a disease threatening communities around the globe. It acted as a call to action, to reawaken passion in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Thirty years ago, as HIV-AIDS ravaged our communities, our leaders came together and advocated. We were relentless because our survival literally depended on it and we wanted to honour and highlight the urgency of that work. As a community, we cannot lose sight of our responsibility to care for each other and address the pressing issues that we continue to face. Click here to view our booklet.
Pride Toronto also launched – Until We’re Safe – in partnership with 10 community organizations and 24 courageous community members who have shared their experiences of violence, bullying and trauma. These stories highlight the vulnerability of our community and the challenges we continue to face every day to live freely. On Sunday June 24 at 3PM, a moment of silence was held to recognize those that we have lost this year, and in this spirit of remembrance, the ‘Until We’re Safe’ march took place immediately following the annual parade.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.