The Power of Pride

I happened to be driving down Bloor St this morning and stopped to take a photo of Rogers Head office. It was great to see the art created by this corporate sponsor.

After two years of virtual events, Pride Toronto is looking forward to bringing back the live parties and today marked the first day of Pride month. The Pride Flag was raised high above Nathan Phillips Square to symbolize the commitment that Toronto has made to host this great festival.

The parade will look a little different this year as organizers are excited to be taking a more sustainable approach to the annual Parade with the goal to eventually host a zero-waste Pride festival in the future. In order to do their part in reducing the carbon footprint of the festival weekend, they are strongly encouraging Parade contingents, sponsors, partners and community members to consider marching in the annual Parade over the use of registering vehicles and floats. This eco-friendly approach is not only better for the environment but also allows participants to celebrate the origins of Pride Toronto which started as a protest. Costumes, themed collectives and creativity is highly encouraged. Should registering a vehicle or float still be preferred, the organizing committee has introduced new requirements and regulations that must be abided by in order to participate in the Parade.

Details include:
Vehicles must either be:
A certified hybrid vehicle.
A certified e-powered vehicle.
A vehicle with a diesel engine that will exclusively use biodiesel for the duration of the Parade (this includes arrival and departure).
Trailers must be a maximum length of 14 feet, and you must ensure that your vehicle hitch ball is the correct weight and size to pull the respected trailer.
Proof of compliance with the new regulations must be provided to Pride Toronto no later than June 10, 2022.

This is a big change and it makes acquiring a vehicle more challenging. With that in mind, the organizers have created a list of resources to help make the transition as simple as possible. They are encouraging participants to work with eco-friendly trucking companies or companies already utilizing biodiesel in their transport fleet as well as referencing the Government of Canada’s SmartWay Partner Profiles program.

Toronto Pride, and Prides in other global cities, have long been criticized for drifting away from the original movement’s activist roots. The event now heavily relies on government funding and corporate sponsorship, and Pride Month brings with it a barrage of advertising as Fortune 500 brands and Bay Street financial institutions position themselves as community allies.

No matter what the changes are, the festival is full of celebrities, shows galore and events throughout the month that are created for your visual pleasure.

Will you be going to any?

Author: Janice Cardinale has been named a Woman to Watch, a Top 100 Entrepreneur by Smart Meetings magazine and a powerful woman by Reimagine in 2022. She is a heart-centric leader, visionary, mentor, and change maker. As an editor, facilitator, and speaker, she talks about mental health and is leading the newly formed EVENT MINDS matter, a community for event professionals, building brave spaces to amplify the industry’s conversation on mental health.  She is the board chair for Seneca College’s event management and creative design program and has opened up her own charity under the name of “Giving Butterflies.”  Janice is passionate about global trends, human connection, and the future of events and people.