SOUND OFF :
Kevin Beaulieu on the mammoth task ahead
While World Pride is not scheduled to hit Toronto until 2014, Kevin Beaulieu, executive director of Pride Toronto — which is organizing World Pride — says preparations are well underway. But there’s a lot of work still to be done, especially since organizers still have to put on Toronto’s Pride this summer.
“Things are moving ahead quite well. But we’ve already had people working on this for more than a year, especially in terms of promotion. We were in London for last year’s World Pride letting people know that this is happening. In the next six months, we’re going to start making some announcements. We’ll be sending out invitations across the world.
“There’s still a lot of fundraising to be done. The additional scope comes with extra costs. And we’ll need to be a little ahead of the curve when it comes to programming.”
“We’ll have more partners from the cultural sector than at a Toronto Pride. We want people to be here from all over the world. We’ll be holding a human rights conference in conjunction with the University of Toronto. There’ll be activists who are engaged in the LGBT community world-wide, there’ll be politicians, there’ll be academics. In 2014, there needs to be a dialogue internationally.
“There’s going to be another level of things going on. We have very diverse communities here in Toronto and we want to showcase that. We may lengthen the route, there’ll be a lot more programming. It’s just going to be a large array of options. Some of it will seem very familiar, but there’ll be a lot more people from all around the world.”
WHAT IT MEANS TO TORONTO
“It’s very exciting. We’ve been holding a contest on Facebook to select a theme for World Pride. Right now; ‘Rise Up’ is clearly in the lead. Of course, it’s the name of a song that has been a part of LGBT history in Toronto. And World Pride will be a chance for Toronto to reflect on its own story.
“It’s the first time in North America. So Toronto is going to have an opportunity to define and pass forward what is still a relatively young event. We’ll have the chance to put a little bit of the stamp of our character on it and hand it on to Madrid 2017 as a more developed event.”