Pride Toronto 2019 Programming
2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the birth of the LGBTQ2+ movement around the world, and Pride Toronto’s 2019 programming will include:
Over 215 LGBTQ2+ artists
26 Party Collectives
26 Pride Month Events
40+ Community Events
200+ Parade Entries
140+ StreetFair Booths and Activations
The launch party for Pride Month takes place on Saturday 1st June 2019, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), a fundraising event in partnership with Rainbow Railroad. Curated by Brandon Hay and Twysted Miyake-Mugler, expect runway shows, several ballroom houses, and a performance by the Toronto KiKi Ballroom Alliance.
The Cabana Pool Party on Thursday June 13 – is always a highlight and a chance to take over a stunning space with breathtaking views. This year RuPaul’s Drag Race All Star Monét X Change performs, along with New York disco and house legend John Jellybean Benitez! Local legends Jada Hudson and Tynomi Banks will also perform.
Til Sunset, The Island Party takes place on Sunday June 16 at Gibraltar Point for a breezy Sunday afternoon of drinks, dancing in the forest, lounging on the beach, with awesome DJs and drag shows. There will also be an all-day BBQ, specialty concoctions from Sauza Tequila.
Opening Ceremony on Tuesday June 4th – This year the City of Toronto will raise the Trans and Rainbow flags, followed by a free lunch time BBQ.
FESTIVAL WEEKEND – MARCHES + PARADE + STREET FAIR
Trans March on Friday June 21 – Gather at the intersection of Church and Hayden streets and make your way along Bloor, south on Yonge, and east on Carlton to Allan Gardens where there will be a fantastic lineup of trans performers for a post-March showcase until 10:00 p.m.
Dyke March on Saturday June 22 – welcomes all self-identified dykes to take over the streets of downtown Toronto and march.
Pride Toronto’s Pride Parade on Sunday June 23 – March loud and proud with more than 200 groups in one of the largest in North America. Bursting with performances, floats and thousands of marchers, join in, celebrate, and remember. The procession starts at 2:00 p.m. at the corner of Church and Bloor and makes its way down Yonge Street to the TD Main Stage located at Yonge-Dundas Square. Leading the parade this year will Grand Marshal GiGi Gorgeous. She is a leading trans activist with millions of followers across her social channels. She is an icon for trans people all over the world for the compelling way she documented her transition.
Pride Street Fair takes place from Friday June 21 at 7.00pm to Sunday June 23 at 11.00pm – The annual community Street Fair aims to give exposure to local organizations, artisans, and businesses. Everything from jewellery, toys, t-shirts and food is sold by local businesses. It runs along Church from Bloor to Gould Street.
FESTIVAL WEEKEND – STAGE PROGRAMMING
Stages are open from Friday June 21 from 7.00pm to Sunday June 23 at 11.00pm.
This year, TD Main Stage will be abuzz with local and international artists. Programming highlights include the Opening Night party on Friday in partnership with Rainbow Railroad. South African queer indie-dance star Nakhane will be headlining bringing you beautiful world sounds. Expect dance music sounds from around the world and explosive party energy. Montreal party collective Moonshine will add a party atmosphere to this year’s
festival with a night of amazing DJs and performers.
Next up, the annual Drag Ball on Saturday will feature a Burlesque Hour, Drag King Hour, and two action-packed hours featuring 40 local drag performers, beginning with the World’s Oldest Performing Drag Queen, Toronto’s Michelle Dubarry. The day is headlined by Canada’s first RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant, the Season 11 showgirl, Brooke Lynn Hytes, with a closing set by DJ Kitty Glitter.
On Sunday its Final Play, a day of high-energy local DJs, along with Pabllo Vittar, a Brazilian drag artist and
international pop superstar. Opening for Pabllo will be a very special performance from Toronto’s Spice Queens troupe. Closing the set will be 90’s R&B royalty, Missy Elliott collaborator and the genius behind “Ooops (Oh
OLG Central Stage will feature Electric Circus, the 20th anniversary of Dirty Disco, LatinX Fiesta (all queer Latin X performers and DJs). Last Dance, is a stage packed with amazing Toronto talent – many of these DJs work tirelessly to fill local clubs and parties with dance music all year long.
New to the festival is the Deloitte Village Stage, home to an endless lineup of local DJ talent, party collectives, Drag shows, East Asian programming (brOWN//out) Middle Eastern programming (Yalla Barra), Indigenous programming (Catalyst) and Scooter McCreight’s Sideshow Supreme with special guests Charlene and Merrie Cherry.
The Bud Light Wellesley Stage is a three-day party you won’t want to miss. The weekend kicks off with DJ Blackcat’s Go Hard party two-hours of black queer greatness. Expect everything from Soca and dancehall to R&B and hip hop. Yes Yes Y’all’s annual Block Party will feature the YYY DJ crew and their friends, dancers and
performers as well as a set from Brooklyn DJ and producer Venus X. Expect some more surprises on this night. Tun Up is a brand new addition to the festival lineup and includes a jaw-dropping lineup of Toronto’s queer firestarters, party makers and button pushers. This day features DJ Vaughan, a great big Rude Collective party, the Ovah ballroom party, a three-hour set from Brooklyn’s Papi Juice and Bambii’s Jerk Party.
The weekend is capped off with Pride’s longest running stage, Blockorama. This year in addition to the always impressive lineup of local DJs, hosts and performers, catch headlining shows from Big Freedia as well as 90’s R&B princess MÝA.
The FIDO South Stage is packed with unique collectives and talent. It’s definitely the spot to check out up-and-coming talent, west-end queerness and what’s hot in Toronto right now. It is featuring shows by artists with the Blue Crane Agency, queer DJs from local ISO Radio streaming radio station, the infamous Alterna-Queer stage hosted by The Diet Ghosts, Cindy Li’s Work in Progress, a mini-rave from Aeryn Pfaff, the New Ho Queen Collective and a DJ set from Toronto/LA dark techno overlord TR/ST. Both days of this stage start with uniquely curated ASL/Deaf programming.
Family Pride is a family-friendly, alcohol-free zone featuring performances from queer Black Youth, a queer family story time moment with Fay and Fluffy and the annual Fruit Loopz programming, focused on queer youth of colour.
Always a refreshing oasis in the shiny, happy madness that can be Festival Weekend the Clean, Sober, and Proud space is a dedicated drug- and alcohol-free zone for everyone to enjoy, featuring all types of great entertainment in a laid-back, family-friendly environment. This year Clean, Sober, and Proud will be moving from Paul Kane Parkette to Norman Jewison Park as part of the 2019 extended Pride Festival footprint. Take in live performances, games, fun, and confidential recovery meetings all weekend long.
On Sunday, there will be an Artists and Crafters Gathering, complete with Indigenous programming all day long at Allan Gardens. All artists, crafters and community members are welcome to participate. We will have dancing, live music, food, community resources, sacred fire pits and storytelling.
For news and programming announcements, visit PrideToronto.com and follow @PrideToronto
on Twitter, Pride Toronto on Facebook and @pridetoronto on Instagram. #PrideTO
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.