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Celebrating Canada's 2SLGBTQI+ Communities

(Photo: Alex McAvoy)

Ready, Set, Remember! 

This year’s Pride & Remembrance Run challenges participants and supporters to “remember your why”…

By Emma Bell-Scollan

The 2023 Pride & Remembrance Run returns to Toronto’s Church-Wellesley village on the morning of Saturday, June 24. Each year, the Run draws thousands of walkers, runners, cheerers, and volunteers for a uniquely inclusive and all-ages event that has become a staple of the city’s iconic Pride Month. 

Now in its 27th year, the inaugural Pride & Remembrance Run was held in June 1996 in remembrance of founder Alan Belaiche’s friend, Richard Robert Leroux, who died of AIDS earlier that year. 

In this spirit, the 2023 “remember your why” theme places equal importance on pride and remembrance. It’s an invitation to all those participating in the Run to celebrate the progress of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and to reflect on the path forward. Because everyone runs for a reason.

“As a community, we’re so proud of everything we’ve been able to accomplish for 2SLGBTQ+ people since the first Run took place almost thirty years ago,” said Gabriel Jarquin, Co-President of the Pride and Remembrance Association, which organizes and executes the annual Run. “But when it comes to the remembrance aspect of the Run, we’re constantly reminded there is still work to be done.” 

Since 1996, the Pride & Remembrance run has raised over $2.7 million for beneficiary organizations doing high impact work for the 2SLGBTQ+ community in the GTA and across Canada. The 2023 beneficiaries stand out for their efforts to support members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community who continue to face intersectional forms of marginalization. They include: 

  • Asian Community AIDS Services 
  • Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention
  • Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
  • The 519
  • The Pride and Remembrance Foundation 

With an ambitious fundraising goal of $300,000, the Run’s participants and supporters have already begun their fundraising efforts. The money they raise will support projects being implemented by the outstanding 2023 beneficiary organizations. 

In addition, the Run is made possible by the generous support of many sponsors, including BMO, who returns as its lead sponsor this year.

(Photo: Koray Salih)

Remembering your why also celebrates the diverse community of 2SLGBTQ+ folks and allies that come together for the Run each year. “What sets our event apart is its genuine inclusivity: we welcome people of all ages, athletic abilities, sexual orientations, and gender identities” said Julia Trench, Co-President of the Pride and Remembrance Association. 

At the heart of the Pride & Remembrance Run community are the 2023 Ambassadors. The Ambassador family is made up of volunteers who connect, inspire, and promote our message of inclusion and giving back to the community. They are experienced runners, new runners, 2SLGBTQ+ identifying community members, and allies.  

In-person registration for the 2023 Pride and Remembrance Run has already sold out. But there are still plenty of ways to get involved. Follow the Run on social media, participate in the virtual run, volunteer, come out and cheer on race day, and of course, remember your why!

Keep watching the Pride & Remembrance Run website and social media for details on how to volunteer with the 2023 Run.

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