PrideHouse Toronto have announced their art and culture programme due to take place throughout the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games and is aimed to give lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people the opportunity to celebrate during the multi-sport event.
The programme, announced aheadof the final weekend of Toronto Pride, has received the support of Toronto 2015 and their lead partner, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.
A pavilion will be available every day at 519 Church Street during the Games, due to be held from July 10 until 26, and will offer live viewings of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies in addition to the daily competitions taking place throughout the city.
Additionally, there will be outdoor celebration events held on weekends, including Friday Jazz in the Park featuring Molly Johnson and Joey Aria on July 17 and 24 respectively, as well as weekly Sunday afternoon dance events with international DJs from Canada and Latin America.
Live performances from LGBTQ celebrity icons, including Ultra Naté and Adore Delano, will also take place alongside curated art installations including large-scale art, audio installations, dance and musical performances which have been commissioned to reflect LGBTQ experiences in the Americas and in sport.
PrideHouse Toronto have been aided by putting the events on in partnership with Green Space Festival, one of the most popular festivals held during Toronto’s LGBTQ Pride celebrations.
The live events continue PrideHouse Toronto’s aim of ensuring the Pan American Games are the most inclusive Games in history for LGBTQ athletes, coaches, trainers, spectators and visitors, it is claimed.
PrideHouse Toronto believe there has been a strong response from the local community, who viewed the addition of the Torch Relay to the Toronto Pride parade as another sign of the Games commitment to inclusion.
Among the athletes who took part in the march were a series of Olympians, including Beijing 2008 fencer Olya Ovtchinnikova, Vancouver 2010 ski jumper Eric Mitchell, Sochi 2014 luger John Fennel and Lindsay Alcock, who competed at both the Salt Lake City 2002 and Turin 2006 Winter Olympics in skeleton.
Rosie Cossar, a member of Canada's rhythmic gymnastics team at London 2012, who came out as a lesbian in last December and who has been a strong advocate of achieving greater inclusion ahead of the Pan American and Parapan Games also participated.
Among others who marched under the flag were members of the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, Toronto FC, the Toronto Maple Leafs and several major business such as Panasonic and Air Canada.
A flyer detailing PrideHouse Toronto's programme of events can be found here Flyer_PrideHouseInThePark_150625.pdf
June 2015: Canadian Olympic Committee release video in support of LGBTQ initiative
April 2015: PrideHouse Toronto launch education programme aimed at promoting inclusion in sport
March 2014: PrideHouse Toronto to discuss how Pan and Parapan American Games will impact "marginalised communities"
December 2014: Canadian Olympic Committee releases plans to create more inclusive LGBTQ community in sport
December 2014: PrideHouse Toronto aims to make Toronto 2015 most inclusive Pan Am Games ever for LGBTQ community