Pride Toronto unveils 40th Anniversary Programming Lineup and Digital Pride Guide
The line up for the 40th anniversary edition of Pride Toronto has been announced, and includes over 70 events showcasing more than 130 2SLGBTQ+ artists, 14 party collectives, and seven community committee programs. The full month of programming begins on June 1, concluding with two Festival Weekends on June 18-20 and June 25-27, 2021, with the highlight being the Pride Parade on June 27!
Pride Parade – Sun June 27 – 2:00pm – 3:00pm
It’s been 40 years of Pride in Toronto! The digital parade will be a one-hour production honouring LGBTQ+ history, and highlighting key Toronto talent and fostering community.
Participating artists include…..
iskwē | ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ (short for waseskwan iskwew, meaning “blue sky woman”), JUNO-nominated for Indigenous Music Album of the Year (2018) and garnered her a spot on the Polaris Long List. She has performed hundreds of shows in Canada and internationally.
Allie X (Presented by OLG),
With over a quarter billion streams globally, Allie X has amassed a cult following for her signature goth-pop style. Her newest critically-acclaimed album, “Cape God,” is continuing to soar with hit tracks like “Love Me Wrong (feat. Troye Sivan)” and “Susie Save Your Love” (feat. Mitski).
…along with Nathan Nicholas, Gary Beals, DJ Kow, and Dance Group CFlava, and hosted by Priyanka, Winner of Canada’s Drag Race
Pride 2021 Festival Weekends
Yalla Barra – June 18 // Words that for many middle easterners mean two things. “Get Out”. These words speak true to the lived experiences of many Middle Eastern folks and also for living your best life.
Burlesque Hour – June 18 //Toronto’s burlesque community is a shimmering and tassel twirling world of talented performers. Tune in to watch this vibrant lineup of entertainers show us what the burlesque scene is all about.
Bitch Craft – June 18 // Bitchcraft is a party series for the bad bitches and brujas, the witchy and unholy. Featuring DJs, burlesque, and drag performers.
Opening Weekend Ceremony: Back To The ‘80s – June 18 // Presented by Fido / Celebrating the 80’s with DJ Donovan taking us on a musical journey. A host of A-list 2SLGBTQ+ performers ready to entertain and take us BACK TO THE ’80s for our festival weekend kick-off. With TRP.P
Pride Live – June 19 & 26 // Presented by Fido/ Toronto has an incredible scene of 2SLGBT2Q+ vocalists, musicians and performers. In this one-hour much music video-style production we showcase some of Toronto’s top live talent.
Lavender – June 19 // Presented by Fido / Lavender is a staple party in Toronto’s village for LGBTQ+ women and people of all marginalized genders, voted Silver in NOW’S 2020 Readers Choice Awards for “Best Online Party Series”.
Strapped – June 19 // Presented by Bud Light Seltzer / Strapped is Toronto’s sexiest queer party. To celebrate pride this year we are going back to reminisce on the good times and everything that has carried us through 2020. Strapped Presents “Flashback”.
New Ho Queen Presents: NHTV Pride – June 19 // NHTV contains premium Asian material, strong language and sex-positive content which may be suitable if you aren’t queerphobic or a racist. We are here to spread Queer Asian Love!
ASL Youth – June 20 // A showcase of d/Deaf youth ASL artists and performers.
Bloom – June 20 // Presented by CHFI / The 6ix is home to migrating and transient 2SLGBTQIA+ artists flourishing, elevating, and rising in their creative practice through performance storytelling. Bloom Stage is a space for youth, emerging, and new artists craving a space to bloom into the abundant Queer community of Toronto and share themselves in a creative prideful way!
BQC Toronto Presents: My Black Is Essential – June 20 // A showcase celebrating some Black Queer and Trans Youth in our community.
F*ck Shit Up! A Trans and Non- Binary Cabaret – June 25 // Drag, burlesque, music and more, produced and hosted by Babia Majora and Fluffy Soufflé.
brOWN//out – June 25 // A mixtape of adventures. brOWN//out is a community space for south Asian queer and trans artists.
Catalyst – June 25 // Catalyst is a Virtual Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Variety Show showcasing contemporary Indigenous storytelling, art and performance.
Yes Yes Y’all – June 25 // One of Toronto’s most inclusive Queer bashment parties around, a solidified Toronto institution, with a heavy emphasis on Hip Hop, R&B, Dancehall and Soca.
ASL Programming – June 26 // A celebration of our Queer d/Deaf ASL artists.
Alternaqueer: Bathhouse and Body Works – June 26 // Come jump in our dirty pool full of alternative drag and queer performers.
Drag Ball – June 26 // Presented by TD Ready Commitment / Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the most ferocious of them all? Tune and decide for yourself!
Yohomo – June 26 //Presented by OLG / Yohomo celebrates 40 years of Pride with music, dancing, performance, projections and … just being queer.
Closing Ceremony: Revolution – June 27 // Presented by OLG / The Revolution has not been streamed. Looking back at the ’90s through music, poetry and dance. Using what we have learned to move up into the future and to bring us one step closer to ending the BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ struggles we all faced. With Tynomi Banks and Shi Wisdom
Blockorama 23: Black is Love – June 27 // Presented by Bud Light Seltzer / Blackness Yes! has a 23-year history organizing Blockorama, the largest and longest-running stage at Pride Toronto’s annual festival. Blockorama has a vibrant history that celebrates local Black performers and spotlights a focus on Black Love, self-care, harm reduction, and community.
Pride 2021 Headliners Include
Storry Juno nominated artist for R&B album of the year, Storry is a seasoned artist trained in classical music who performs Mozart arias with as much confidence as hip hop, R&B, and gospel.
TRP.P (pronounced “trippy”) is an R&B duo hailing from Toronto, Canada. Comprised of Truss (producer, singer/songwriter) and Phoenix Pagliacci (singer/ songwriter), the two had already begun their solo careers when they met in the Fall of 2015. Two years later, they had released their self-titled debut EP.
Tynomi Banks of Canada’s Drag Race
With over a decade of experience, Tynomi Banks is a world-class Drag Entertainer. Recognized best for her full production performances, Banks dominates a stage while radiating a powerful, but playful energy.
Shi Wisdom is a Black, Bi-sexual, singer-songwriter, musician, vocal coach & music mentor hailing from Toronto’s west end. Her music, a fusion of R&B, Soul & Hip Hop, with hints of Folk & a Caribbean flare, is unique to her sound.
Special Events throughout June on digital platforms
Flag Raising – June 1 // Hosted by The City of Toronto, Followed by a celebration Presented By OLG. / Pride Month will begin with Mayor John Tory proclaiming June as Pride Month and the virtual raising of the Trans and Rainbow Flags.
Timeless: Fundraising Dinner – June 2 // Presented by Bud Light /
A truly phygital fundraising kick-off event for Pride Month festivities! Join us at Cabana Pool Bar (pending City lockdown regulations being lifted) for a seated dinner and screening of Timeless: our Pride Month Kick-off event. Come with your bubble, complete COVID protocols will be in effect. Tickets available now. Hosted by Damnit Maurie from The Roz & Mocha Show on KiSS 92.5 With Storry
Timeless: Pride Month Kickoff – June 2 // Presented by Bud Light /
Watch online! The kick-off for Pride Month festivities! Pride Toronto is celebrating its 40th year serving the 2SLGBTQ+ community. We’re calling on our community of the past 40 years to come party with us at this Studio 54 inspired virtual showcase.
Anti-Oppression Trainings – June 4 // Anti-Asian racism and oppression workshop hosted by Alliance for South Asian Aids Prevention (ASAAP).
BIPOC Healing Circle – June 8 // A contained and safer space for BIPOC 2SLGBTQ+ community members to share, heal and expand with one another.
Challenging Fatphobia // June 11 – Workshop Hosted by Pride Toronto with guests from Body Confidence Canada
Courageous Conversations: Youth Conference – June 13 // Presented by Maple Leaf Foods/
An opportunity for 2SLGBTQ+ youth to gather, and be equipped with the knowledge and actionables that they can take back to their schools to create change. Focuses at this conference will be on self-care in leadership, imagining a Queer future and building an anti-Racist society. Hosted by the LGBT YouthLine.
Live Podcast Recording – June 15 // Presented by Deloitte /
Pride Toronto’s Black Queer and Trans Excellence podcast is a space to honour and celebrate the Black experience through the lens of Toronto’s LGBT2Q+ Black community with honest conversations and embracing Black joy.
Indigenous People’s Day Showcase – June 21// The Indigenous People’s Day showcase will feature a circle discussion led by Elder Blu Waters with 2S & Indigiqueer leaders from 2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations Leadership Building Initiative – Kiley May, and Shane Lyon. As well as traditional Anishinaabe singing from Kiyana Johnston and Anishinaabe dancing from Nenookaasi.
Weekly Programming on Community Engagement
Queer Shopping Channel // Presented by TSC /
An unboxing of various items available in our online vendor market. Watch Mango D’Licious reveal products and support our local 2SLGBTQ+ makers!
Beauty In Our History // Presented by TD Ready Commitment / A celebration of the history of our diverse communities. Learn about American Sign Language, Indigenous traditions, Black and POC cultures in this four-part IGTV series.
Wellness Wednesdays // Presented by Sportsnet / Metrolinx / City TV / Bromwich & Smith /
Let’s take a few minutes to check in! Have you been moving your body? Do you know how to meditate and get centred? Join us on wellness Wednesday for your weekly self-care checkpoint
Weekly Activities // Presented by CPA / Deloitte / Manulife /
Pride Toronto invites you to attend an engaging activity night to connect with fellow community members and have some virtual fun. With new activities happening each week there is fun for everyone!
Human Rights Panels // Presented by 680 News / YouTube
The Human Rights Panels are a crucial part of Pride Toronto’s annual programming allowing participants the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue. Join us this year for a series of conversations.
Talk and Play! In Studio With // Presented by Kiss FM /
Your host Sydanie steps into the studio with some of Toronto’s hottest collectives. Learn their back story in an interview-style show followed by a performance where they show you what they do best.
Sex Talks // Presented by Trojan /
Your weekly dose of sexual health info sessions from an intersectional lens, where 2SLGBT2Q+ sex and relationship therapists from varying communities dive into all things sex.
Sipz & Snax // Presented by Smirnoff /
Feeling thirsty? Well, get your cocktail (or mocktail) kit ready! Each week a new 2SLGBTQ+ mixologist or chef will walk you through a delicious drink and snack pairing.
2Spirt Pride – June 18 // A celebration of 2Spirit peoples and their incredible contributions to the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Join us for a celebration by and for 2Spirit community members.
Sober Pride – June 19 // Join us as we celebrate milestones in sobriety, honour our community and create a safer space for sober 2SLGBTQ+ community members. There is beauty in sobriety!
Bi+ Pride – June 19 // Biphoria! A Celebration of Beautiful Attractions” is an hour-long virtual event in celebration of our beautiful Bi+ community. Join us for an eclectic mix of performances as we toast to everyone who “likes the wine, not the label”. (Bi+ encompasses all non-monosexual identities, including bisexual, biromantic, pansexual, panromantic, omnisexual, polysexual, fluid and queer)
Senior Pride – June 20 // A chance to celebrate all self-identified Seniors, in a virtual setting where we can pay homage to the many years of commemorating the 2SLGBTQ+ Community and provide a space to reflect on the specific concerns, victories, and characteristics of 2SLGBTQ+ Seniors in Toronto.
Family Pride – June 20 // Presented by Maple Leaf Foods / Celebrate the strength and uniqueness of 2SLGBTQ+ families and children. We are honoured to be bringing our community families together for 21 years! Although we cannot gather like we are used to in the school playground, join us online for a fun-packed hour of online entertainment.
Trans Pride – June 25 // Toronto’s Trans Rally and March are officially one of the largest, most exciting Pride events in the world, centred around trans and non-binary folks. We are celebrating in a virtual space for an hour of speakers and performers and community engagement.
Dyke March – June 26 // Join us virtually and hosts an online grassroots political demonstration with critical mass. The Toronto Dyke March has been a landmark of Pride Month for many years and will remain as resilient as ever with a host of performers, speakers, and community activists.
Centred around community, education, and of course, celebration; Scroll through the full Festival lineup online at PrideToronto.com/PrideGuide to find events important to you.
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.