Pride Winnipeg 30th Anniversary Parade Marshals Announced

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(Winnipeg, MB; April 11, 2017) – Pride Winnipeg is pleased to announce the 30th Anniversary Pride Parade Marshals. This year’s marshals were nominated by the community and embody the spirit of the Pride Festival as well as our focus in advancing diversity and inclusiveness of the Pride movement in Winnipeg.

“As we reflect on the 30th anniversary of the first Pride March in Winnipeg, it is important that we refocus our efforts to ensure that no members of the LGBTTQ* community are left behind,” said Jonathan Niemczak, President of Pride Winnipeg. “Our 2017 marshals bring together the leaders of advocacy efforts of the past 30 years with a new generation of leaders for the continued advocacy efforts needed in the future.”

Grand Marshal – Kelly Houle

Kelly Houle was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She’s the 18th International Two Spirit Princess. She is a member of Like That @ Sunshine House and Sage House, a peer at 595 Prevention Team, and Co-Director of Two-Spirited People of Manitoba.

Youth Marshal – Mason Godwalt

Mason Godwalt is an 18-year-old transgender youth with a passion for advocacy. At 17, Mason came out as transgender which was the hardest but most rewarding thing of their life.  A few shorts month after coming out, Mason got in touch with a local publisher, and produced a book “We Are Valid” which is 30+ transgender youths’ stories from all around the world. Mason also sits on the Board of Steinbach Pride and ran the SRSS Gay Straight Alliance to continue to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community

30th Anniversary Marshals – Albert McLeod and Joel Sarbit

Albert McLeod is a Status Indian with ancestry from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and the Metis community of Norway House in northern Manitoba. He has over twenty years of experience as a human rights activist and is one of the directors of the Two-Spirited People of Manitoba. In the summer of 1987, community activists were in Manitoba’s Legislative Building advocating for the inclusion of “sexual orientation” in the Manitoba Human Rights Code. When the amendment passed, the 1st Annual Lesbian and Gay Pride Day march, was organized by Gerry Brydon and others as a celebration of this important legislation. Albert, as a member of the LGBT New Freedom AA Group (the Sobriety Group) marched that day, August 2nd, 1987. Albert lives in Winnipeg, where he works as a consultant specializing in HIV/AIDS and Aboriginal peoples, Aboriginal cultural reclamation, and cross-cultural training. www.albertmcleod.com

Joel Sarbit was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End. He was Vice President of St. John’s High School in his senior year, 1970.  He came out at 16 years old to become an active member of Winnipeg’s growing out LGBT community. He was a founding member of the gay and lesbian club, Happenings, and also sat on the Board of Directors for a couple years in the mid 1980’s. He has attended every Pride celebration in Winnipeg from the very first one in 1987.  Joel purchased Club 200 in 1992, and along with his partner Allen Morrison, they will be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Club 200 next spring.  Through his role as a member of Happenings and owning Club 200, Joel has and continues to support many charities and organizations vital to the Winnipeg LGBT community.

The 30th Anniversary Pride Parade will take place on June 4th, 2017 in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. The parade route starts on Memorial Avenue and York Avenue and will proceed to Portage Avenue and run through the city’s most important intersection, Portage & Main, for this historic milestone in our community. The 30th Anniversary Parade route will follow in the footsteps of the original Pride March that took place in 1987. A rally at the Manitoba Legislature will begin at 10am immediately followed by the parade at 11am.

 Pride Winnipeg – The Pride of the Prairies – is one of the largest celebrations between Toronto and Vancouver of LGBTTQ* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, and pansexual) people and their allies, supporters and friends. Our mission is to affirm the lives of everyone by generating and participating in events that celebrate the history, culture, spirit and pride of people within the Winnipeg community.

For more information about the Pride Winnipeg please visit www.pridewinnipeg.com.