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Winnipeg Withdraws as Host of 2020 North America Continental OutGames

(Winnipeg, MB; August 10, 2017) – After careful review of the cancellation of the 2017 Miami World OutGames, the 2020 North America OutGames Planning Committee (Planning Committee) has decided to withdraw Winnipeg as host of the 2020 North America OutGames.

“With the incident that happened in Miami this past June and how the athletes were treated, we feel that we are no longer in a positon to deliver an exceptional experience for LGBTTQ* athletes under the OutGames banner ” said Jonathan Niemczak Chair of the 2020 North America OutGames Planning Committee. “The Planning Committee is very disappointed with how the cancellation of the Miami World OutGames unfolded, and as a result, we cannot support going forward with hosting an OutGames event”.

Winnipeg will still be hosting the Fierté Canada | Canada Pride Festival in 2020 and the Planning Committee is redirecting the efforts that went into the 2020 OutGames to produce a new Canadian LGBTTQ* multi-sporting event.

“We had tons of positive feedback and excitement when we announced our winning bid for the 2020 North America OutGames, and we want to carry forward that momentum” said Niemczak. “The Planning Committee is exploring a new national LGBTTQ* multi-sporting event that will form a piece of the 2020 Fierté Canada Pride celebrations. More information on this event will be released in early 2018”.

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Joint Statement by Pride Winnipeg, Queer People of Colour Winnipeg, Two-Spirited People of Manitoba, Like That @ Sunshine House and QueerView Winnipeg

(Winnipeg, MB; May 26, 2017) – Over the past 10 months, Pride Winnipeg has consulted with individuals and stakeholder groups on a broad range of issues of interest to the local lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified, two-spirit and queer (LGBTTQ*) community. Through these consultations, the specific issue of the relationship between the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) and the LGBTTQ* community was brought forward, especially as it relates to participation in the annual Pride Winnipeg Parade.

Today, we are announcing a joint advocacy effort by Pride Winnipeg, Queer People of Colour (QPOC) Winnipeg, Two-Spirited People of Manitoba, Like That @ Sunshine House and QueerView Winnipeg to bring positive change to the police relationship with the community.

Through our review of feedback from community consultations and an online survey we agree that there is a clear desire to improve the relationship between the LGBTTQ* community and the WPS. A number of LGBTTQ* individuals in Winnipeg have reported that they have been subject to negative lived experiences with the local police and that this is a serious issue that must be addressed.

The online survey received over 600 responses which uncovered that nearly one third of respondents either wanted no police involvement in the Pride Winnipeg Parade or requested that police do not participate in uniform. Of these respondents, 45% provided concrete suggestions for positive change. An additional one third of respondents were comfortable with uniformed police officers but wanted firm commitments from the WPS to improve their relationship with the LGBTTQ* community. The last third of the community either had no strong views on the issue or were comfortable with the current state of the police relationship.

Respondents to the online survey also suggested concrete actions that the WPS could take to improve relations with the LGBTTQ* community. These actions include:

  1. Increasing awareness and training amongst WPS officers relating to LGBTTQ* and intersectionality with other oppressed groups.
    • Objective: meaningful action to improve the culture within the WPS leading to more consistent positive officer relations with LGBTTQ* individuals.
  1. Greater, year-round engagement between the WPS and the LGBTTQ* community, especially with groups that are traditionally socially excluded. This includes engaging leaders and groups within the Queer and Trans People of Colour, Indigenous and Two-Sprit, Transgender, Non-Binary, and Queer Youth populations to work toward relationship building so that community members can connect directly where possible with WPS.
    • Objective: building positive, long-term relationships with groups that have indicated having the highest rates of negative lived experience with the WPS.
  1. Taking a more active role in consulting and listening to the views, concerns and suggestions of the LGBTTQ* community on an ongoing basis and taking appropriate action in response.
    • Objective: ongoing, year-round dialogue between the LGBTTQ* community and the WPS in order to uncover further issues, identify concrete actions to address them and update on progress in improving the relationship.

Pride Winnipeg, QPOC Winnipeg, Two-Spirited People of Manitoba, Like That @ Sunshine House and QueerView Winnipeg are united in our goal in advocating for the WPS to hold meaningful consultations with the LGBTTQ* community and take steps to operationalize the three aforementioned concrete actions identified by the community over the next year. We will be meeting with the WPS within 60 days of the Pride Winnipeg Parade to discuss immediate next steps.

In the spirit of cooperation and inclusion, WPS officers will be invited to march in the annual Pride Winnipeg Parade, but will not be in uniform. The officers will be free to represent the WPS as an institution through other means such as by wearing WPS branded clothing and/or carrying a banner. Police cruisers will not take part in the parade. It is important to note that this is distinct from the officers who will be on duty providing traffic control and security along the perimeter of the parade. This is a mandatory requirement for all parades utilizing city streets and these officers on duty must be in uniform.

The relationship between the LGBTTQ* community and the WPS will be evaluated on an ongoing basis based on the objectives set in this statement and any additional priorities that emerge through community consultations. A re-assessment of the relationship will take place next year before the annual Pride Parade to determine whether there should be any adjustments to police participation and the ongoing engagement with the community.

We stand together united in our pursuit of positive change and are committed to continuing an open and honest dialogue with the community on this issue.

 

Jonathan Niemczak,

Pride Winnipeg

 

Albert McLeod,

Two-Spirited People of Manitoba

 

Levi Foy,

Like That @ Sunshine House

 

Uzoma Chioma,

Queer People of Colour Winnipeg

 

Jonny Mexico,

QueerView Winnipeg

Bottoms Up, Queer Beer is Here!

Pride Winnipeg and Half Pints Brewing Co. are pleased to announce that Queer Beer is here! What better way to ring in the 30th Anniversary of the Pride Winnipeg Festival than with a refreshing Manitoba made Queer Beer.

The beer is brewed as a Helles, which is a German Pilsner. It has a mild taste, with a slightly fruity aroma derived from the hops. It’s the perfect match for the Pride Winnipeg Festival, but just as fabulous for any other warm sunny day.

Queer Beer can be purchased in participating Liquor Mart locations in Winnipeg with a portion of the proceeds of each sale going to Pride Winnipeg. Queer Beer will also be served right from the keg during the Festival at the Forks for the closing weekend of the Pride Winnipeg Festival June 3rd and 4th.

For more details on the Festival at the Forks please go here.

*Please enjoy responsibility.

Pride Winnipeg’s Environmental Sustainability Plan Announcement

At Pride Winnipeg, we know how important it is to work towards a better world for everyone and that we must keep the future in mind when we are making choices today. In celebration of Earth Day, we are excited to share a few of the steps we have taken to make the 30th Anniversary Pride Winnipeg Festival the greenest ever!

  1. This year, we are switching to compostable cups in the beverage tent. This allows us to dramatically reduce our use of petroleum-based plastic.
  1. All of the golf carts used for transportation around the festival site will be electric, replacing gas or diesel alternatives.
  1. We will be conducting a waste audit after the festival to gather data on recycling diversion so we know how we’re doing. This lets us do even better next year.
  1. For transportation, we have the most fuel-efficient vehicles from our sponsors and will drive them in eco-mode to save as much fuel as possible. Additionally, we will turn off our refrigerated truck several hours before the end of the festival to save on fuel consumption.
  1. We will be implementing sustainability training for all festival volunteers, along with adding new sustainability duties for our environmental volunteer team.

This is just a glimpse of what’s to come, so keep watching for more on our latest environmental initiatives. If you would like to recommend an environmental initiative or have questions with respect to our new Environmental Sustainability Plan, please email us at environment@pridewinnipeg.com

Happy Earth Day!

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Pride Winnipeg 30th Anniversary Theme Revealed

(Winnipeg, MB; April 19, 2017) – Pride Winnipeg is thrilled to announce its theme for the 30th Anniversary Pride Winnipeg Festival: “Resurgence: Taking Back Space”. The theme is a call to action and a reminder for everyone in the community that while the LGBTTQ* community has made great strides over the past 30 years, there is still much more to be done to ensure that we do not stop advocating for those who continue to face discrimination and social exclusion.

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The term Resurgence is defined as: a rising again into life, activity, or prominence. Over the past decades, The Pride movement evolved from one of protest and demonstration, to one of celebration. However, the celebration has mainly been for Lesbian and Gay individuals, while our Bisexual, Trans-Identified, Two-Spirit, Non-Binary, Queer and Queer People of Colour communities have not yet felt the same progress and desire for celebration of equality. Furthermore, they have continued to be subjected to both unintentional and intentional discrimination from society and fellow members of the community.

“I have had trailblazers before me who have made it ok for me to be me and be out at work and in my community but I haven’t taken on the responsibility of being a trailblazer for those in our community who still need it the most.”

 – Feedback from middle-aged Caucasian gay male at a Pride Winnipeg community consultation.

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 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-Identified, Two-Spirit and Queer (LGBTTQ*) community are left behind. Our theme, Resurgence: Taking Back Space is one part of our effort to increase the safety, accessibility, diversity and inclusiveness of Pride Winnipeg’s activities. Other initiatives include:

  • Our Governance Board Member positions have been designated for individuals self-identifying as part of traditionally socially excluded group within the LGBTTQ* community, including but not limited to: Female-Identified, Trans-Identified, Queer and Trans People of Colour, Indigenous or Two-Spirited, 55+, people living with disabilities, Non-Binary, etc.;
  • Our Resurgence Fund, providing financial support to community group events throughout Pride week;
  • Our Parade Grant program providing free entry to a number of groups who demonstrate financial hardship; and
  • We have made space available at no cost at the Festival at the Forks for groups who want to promote diversity and inclusiveness.

Most importantly, we commit to listen and integrate the voices of individuals and groups from all facets of the community, as we strive to make Pride Winnipeg activities a safe and welcoming space for all.

Pride Winnipeg will be formally launching the theme this evening at 7pm at the West End Cultural Centre. The theme launch is a free event that is open to the public and will include pizza and a show from Like That of Sunshine House. Media are welcome to attend.

 The Pride Winnipeg 30th Anniversary Festival runs from May 26th to June 4th with events throughout the community. A two-day Festival at the Forks will take place on June 3rd and 4th from 12pm to 7pm. Our 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.

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.

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Winnipeg to host Fierté Canada | Canada Pride 2020

(Winnipeg, MB; March 1, 2017) – Pride Winnipeg Festival will play hosts to Fierté Canada | Canada Pride 2020. On the heels of its recent win of the 2020 North America OutGames, Pride Winnipeg was selected by the delegation of Canadian Pride organizers at the 2017 Fierté Canada Pride Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia to host the national event. This will be the 2nd edition of Fierté Canada | Canada Pride, with Fierté Montreal Pride hosting the inaugural this year from August 10 to 20.

“With Winnipeg hosting both the 2020 North America OutGames and Fierté Canada | Canada Pride 2020 we will be the central place to advocate and celebrate LGBTTQ* human rights and freedoms in 2020 on the continent” says Jonathan Niemczak, President of Pride Winnipeg Festival and the Chair of the 2020 North America OutGames and Fierté Canada | Canada Pride Organizing Committee.

Fierté Canada | Canada Pride 2020 will run in tandem with the 2020 North America OutGames and 2020 Pride Winnipeg Festival from July 16 to 27, 2020. The Pride Winnipeg Festival, which normally runs the last week of May and first week of June, will move to July for 2020 to coincide with the two major events.

Fierté Canada | Canada Pride is a national festival to highlight the diversity of not only the entire country, but also the city in which the festival is held.  Every three years, a Canadian city will highlight what the pride movement in Canada truly represents.

“The team at Pride Winnipeg is committed to building on what looks to be an amazing event in Montréal August 10-20.  Fierté Canada | Canada Pride 2020 will be a powerful celebration of queer and trans culture as we discover – nous sommes #BrightLights ensemble” said Heather Hay, President of Fierté Canada Pride at the National Conference and AGM in Halifax.

Economic Development Winnipeg once again supported Pride Winnipeg through their Bring It Home program on the bid for Fierté Canada | Canada Pride 2020.

“Teaming up with Jonathan again through Economic Development Winnipeg’s Bring It Home program has resulted in another wonderful opportunity to shine a light on our city as we showcase the LGBTTQ* community at the local and national levels in July 2020,” said Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. “Adding Fierté Canada | Canada Pride 2020 to an already ambitious schedule of events that includes the OutGames, the Pride Winnipeg Festival and a human rights conference, making it the year’s biggest combined celebration of its kind in North America, gives everyone involved the chance to experience Winnipeg’s renowned hospitality as they explore our city and engage in the full slate of complementary festivities.”

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. We invite everyone from far and wide to join our welcoming city and celebrate Pride in Winnipeg – the heart of the continent.

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

Fierté Canada Pride (FCP) – is a non-profit national association of Canadian Pride organizations that was founded in 2004. Powered by volunteers from across the country, Fierté Canada Pride’s membership is made up of Pride organizations from almost every region of Canada. Fierté Canada Pride’s mission is to help build vibrant and strong Canadian Pride organizations through collaborating, offering support, networking, helping to develop a national identity of Pride, and offering resources and advocacy for its members. FCP is an advocate for over 1.2 million Canadians who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ). Fierté Canada Pride is also a proud member of InterPride, the international association of Pride organizations.

For more information about FCP please visit www.fiertecanadapride.org.

Canada Pride Montréal 2017 – is the first edition of Canada Pride being hosted Montréal Pride from August 11 to 20, 2017, as a nation-wide celebration of Canada’s LGBT movement, reaffirming the position of Montréal and of Canada as leaders in LGBT rights. Montréal Pride, the largest Pride festival in the Francophone world, will host the festive and inspiring ten-day event to welcome Canada and the world to Montréal as it marks the 375th anniversary of the city’s founding and the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.

For more information about Canada Pride Montréal 2017 please visit www.fiertemontrealpride.com.

Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW) Bring It Home program – is a program that encourages local business and community leaders to advocate Winnipeg as the city of choice for national and international meetings and conventions. Since its inception in 2012, Bring It Home has helped facilitate 106 meetings, bringing more than 41,000 delegates to Winnipeg and generating estimated direct spending of $44 million.

For more information about EDW’s Bring It Home program please visit www.economicdevelopmentwinnipeg.com/why-winnipeg/bring-it-home-program.

 

Statement Reaffirming Pride Winnipeg as a Non-Partisan Organization

Pride Winnipeg Festival Inc. is a voluntary, not-for-profit Community Organization incorporated under the Laws of Manitoba whose purpose is to provide an opportunity for LGBTTQ* persons and their allies to celebrate their culture, heritage and diversity. We achieve this through the coordination and facilitation of an annual Festival to celebrate and showcase the diversity of the LGBTTQ* community in and around Winnipeg.

Pride Winnipeg is a non-partisan organization that works with all government officials and parties at all levels in an effort to fulfill our purpose and mandate. Pride Winnipeg does not endorse any candidate for any office; local, provincial or federal nor any political party they may represent or be affiliated to. The political views, actions or affiliations of individual members of Pride Winnipeg do not represent the views of the organization. In the past, Pride Winnipeg has prepared scorecards objectively presenting the public views of different candidates and their associated political parties during election periods and intends to continue doing so for future provincial and federal elections.

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. We invite everyone from far and wide to join our welcoming city and celebrate Pride in Winnipeg – the heart of the continent.

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Statement Concerning the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando

(Winnipeg, MB; June 12, 2016) – On the heels of a successful Pride celebration, Pride Winnipeg is shocked and saddened by this morning’s killing and wounding of over 100 individuals attending the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, many of whom are part of the LGBTTQ* community. While Orlando is over 3,000 kilometres away, the collective heart of Winnipeg’s LGBTTQ* community dropped as news broke of this senseless act of violence.

While mass shootings against the LGBTTQ* community is rare in North America, it serves as a sobering reminder for the need for advocacy, education and celebration in communities locally and around the World. In Florida, the unconstitutionality of the ban on same-sex marriage was reaffirmed by a judge only a few months ago on March 31, 2016 after the State Government’s reluctance to take action in supporting equal rights for same-sex couples.

Government and lawmaker actions provide a framework for LGBTTQ* rights, however, true social change comes from the ground-up with individuals standing up for equality and inclusiveness. For example, today, the Ukrainian LGBTTQ* community bravely came together to hold its first ever Pride march in Kiev, which took place without violence. Closer to home, local community members took the initiative to create Steinbach Pride and will be hosting their first-ever Pride March on July 9th. Following this weekend’s violence, it is our hope that the Florida community remains strong by banding together to create a groundswell for true social change as a follow-up to the ruling on same-sex marriage.

vigil

Pride Winnipeg will be holding a vigil on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature on Monday, June 13th at 8:30 pm as an act of solidarity and tribute to the Orlando LGBTTQ* community. We invite all Manitobans who believe in equality to join us.

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. We invite everyone from far and wide to join our welcoming city and celebrate Pride in Winnipeg – the heart of the continent.

Gilbert Baker – International Marshal of the 2016 Winnipeg Pride Parade!

We’re so excited to announce Gilbert Baker as the Inaugural International Marshal of the 2016 Pride Parade!

A little about Gilbert:

Gilbert Baker created the Rainbow Flag, symbol of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender movement, in June 1978. His work as a vexillographer (flag maker) spans 30 years and includes two world records. The Rainbow Flag is an international phenomenon, with millions of people everywhere embracing it as a visibility action.

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Statement Concerning the Hanover School Division and LGBTTQ* Information in Classrooms

(Winnipeg, MB; April 18, 2016) – In response to the recent presentation to the Hanover School Division’s (HSD) board of trustees regarding the teaching of LGBTTQ* information in classrooms, Pride Winnipeg would like to officially state its support for the implementation of a policy similar to the Winnipeg School Division’s diversity and equity education policy within the HSD.

It is important to clarify that although Michelle McHale is a member of the Pride Winnipeg Board of Directors, she brought forward these concerns to the HSD on her own accord in a personal capacity. However, given the public engagement surrounding this initiative, we feel that it is important for Pride Winnipeg to speak out on this matter and support Michelle’s efforts.

Children who are raised or educated in an environment that is unsupportive or silent on LGBTTQ* issues are being sheltered from how the world has evolved to become more open and accepting. These children could end up being a bully or they could end up being an LGBTTQ* child who is bullied or too afraid to be themselves. What’s worse is that espousing intolerant views around LGBTTQ* children or those with LGBTTQ* parents can lead to trauma, mental health issues or in some cases suicide:

· A 2009 study indicated that “lesbian, gay and bisexual young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs…compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection”.[1]

· A 2011 study of grade 11 youth revealed: “Among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, the risk of attempting suicide was 20% greater in unsupportive environments compared to supportive environments. A more supportive social environment was significantly associated with fewer suicide attempts…”[2]

As adults we have an obligation to put the safety and wellbeing of children above all else, including when the protection of a child is at odds with one’s own personal beliefs. Selflessly setting aside personal views for the greater good of protecting children can have powerful and positive consequences:

· “Family acceptance in adolescence is associated with young adult positive health outcomes (self-esteem, social support, and general health) and is protective for negative health outcomes (depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation and attempts).[3]
· “Providing education about gender expression and LGBT issues to students, administrators, staff, and teachers is another key strategy for increasing safety in schools.”[4]

Pride Winnipeg calls on the HSD board of trustees to demonstrate leadership, set aside any conflicting personal beliefs, and put the best interests of our children first by instituting a more proactive, open, and accepting environment in relation to educating children about LGBTTQ* issues. It is up to us as parents, caregivers, aunts, uncles, educators, mentors and role models to do the right thing. Our children should expect nothing less from each of us.

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. We invite everyone from far and wide to join our welcoming city and celebrate Pride in Winnipeg – the heart of the continent.


 

[1] Ryan, Caitlin et. al. “Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and Latino Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young Adults”. Pediatrics. Volume 123. Issue 1. January 2009.

2 Hatzenbuehler, Mark L. “The Social Environment and Suicide Attempts in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth”. Pediatrics. Volume 127. Issue 5. May 2011.

3 Ryan, Caitlin et. al. “Family Acceptance in Adolescence and the Health of LGBT Young Adults”. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. Volume 23. Number 4. November 2010.

4 Toomey, Russell et. al. “Gender-Nonconforming Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth: School Victimization and Young Adult Psychosocial Adjustment”. Developmental Psychology. Vol. 46. No.6. 2010.