Pride Winnipeg Festival Date Change Meeting Notes

Date: November 22, 2018

Location: UofW Room 1L13

Meeting Start: 6:03pm. Presentation done at 6:15.  Question period started thereafter.

Summary of feeback from the community:

  • Have we explored other venues?
    • Yes, however other venues are less ideally suited for Festivals compared to the Forks and may come at additional costs. Additionally, other venues are not as central as The Forks.
  • Was there communication with other folks prior to the decision being made?
    • No, the Pride Winnipeg Board of Directors erred in their decision making process and did not consult the community prior to the decision being made. For that, we apologize.
  • 4 groups responded back to the community emails, which had been forwarded up the chain, with some not receiving responses.
    • This is something Pride Winnipeg will look into to determine why these messages fell through the cracks.
  • Why do we need to grow? This should be the communities’ choice, not Pride Winnipeg’s.
    • The demand for space and programming from Pride Winnipeg continues to grow each year. In addition, the volume of work for a fully volunteer Board of Directors is not sustainable. At some point in the future, the organization may need to contract out some work in order to reduce the burden on volunteers and with that comes the need to fundraise in new ways.
  • Could we instead wait a year to allow more discussion?
    • Pride Winnipeg is open to this suggestion and will be considering further feedback received from the community and make a decision on the 2018 Pride Festival dates as soon as possible
  • Our social media has been too blunt and aggressive as of late. Overall feel of Pride Winnipeg’s social media being poorly run and managed.
    • Pride Winnipeg apologizes for the tone and messaging on social media and commits to being more respectful going forward.
  • Concern this will make the parade smaller.
    • Pride Winnipeg acknowledges the risk that some groups may not be able to participate in a parade in July.
  • The question isn’t intent, its impact. Also the issue isn’t purely date, but more how the whole thing was handled.
    • Pride Winnipeg apologizes for how the date change decision was communicated and handled.
  • Past boards did changes with up to 7 town halls before making decisions.
    • Pride Winnipeg will develop a transparent community consultation process for any future date changes.
  • Concern that a number of student and student organizations will no longer be able to participate. Would like youth consultation as well since they are rarely involved.
    • Pride Winnipeg acknowledges the oversight in not realizing the deep impact the date change would have on students and youth. It is a major consideration that will impact the way forward in setting the 2018 date and future Pride Festival dates.
  • Augustine Church would no longer be able to do their current program with the change to a weekend with Fringe.
    • Pride Winnipeg acknowledges the oversight in not realizing the impact the date change would have on the Augustine Church and for those who are involved in the Fringe Festival
  • Tourism Winnipeg dates still incorrect. This negatively impacts travel and misinforms peoples planning.
    • This is an oversight on Pride Winnipeg’s part and for that we apologize.
  • Concern for too many events on that weekend between other conferences and festivals and that folks would not be able to do them all, and untimely something will suffer.
    • This is an important consideration that could have a negative impact on Pride Winnipeg attendance.
  • Some of the group feel Pride Winnipeg no longer makes decisions with the community in mind, and they its now done to serve themselves. This shift mirrors the end of Gios.
    • Pride Winnipeg’s volunteer Board of Directors does have good intentions, but sometimes we get things wrong. We will work harder to involve the community in major decisions such as the Pride Festival date going forward.
  • SOMS has logistics issues. Furthermore this could hurt their future revenue goals and limit how they can contribute to the community.
    • Pride Winnipeg apologizes for not realizing the full impact the date change would have on SOMS.
  • Some community events may have already booked their venues and made plans based on the old dates.
    • Pride Winnipeg apologizes for any inconveniences or negative impacts the date change would have on groups who organize events in advance. We will continue to collect feedback and make a decision on the 2018 Pride Festival date as soon as possible.
  • Concern with so few good weather weekends in a limited summer season, people would have to decide between beaches/cottages or pride.
    • This is an important consideration that could have a negative impact on Pride Winnipeg attendance.
  • This is about feeling seen and heard. We have lost their trust 2 times in 2 years now.
    • Pride Winnipeg apologizes for breaking trust and for not doing as good a job as we need to in consulting the community. It is certainly not our intent and we will do better going forward.
  • Point raised about how the community needs to actively engage and also hold themselves accountable, but agrees things could have been handled differently.
    • In addition to this, Pride Winnipeg needs to provide platforms for engaging the community, such as surveys, social media questions, community meetings, email consultations, etc.
  • Suggestion of free or penny memberships.
    • This is a suggestion that will be considered by the organization.
  • Point raised about seeing us at more year round programming.
    • Pride Winnipeg must balance its volunteer capacity with a desire to do more in the community. More community member and group involvement would help a lot in being able to deliver more programming.
  • Questioned regarding how long the governance roles have been there and why Pride Winnipeg hasn’t advertised them better. Feelings of “If we truly value it, why aren’t we working harder?” and that this should be a priority.
    • This is a point well taken and Pride Winnipeg needs to do a better job in how we communicate the vacant Governance Board Member positions.
  • Questioned if Pride Winnipeg has a plan for youth who are being alienated and cannot go because of the cover a school event provides, or gives them a group to go and feel safe with.
    • Pride Winnipeg apologizes the oversight the date change would have on the participation of youth in the Pride Festival. We will consult further with those affected to better understand this issue.
  • Suggestion made to talk to/work with other summer prides and see how they overcome all the issues being raised.
    • This is a point well taken that Pride Winnipeg will follow-up on.
  • Family is very important, need to cater to those. Resources are already being used at fringe, need to be cognizant of that.
    • An expansion of family programming is part of the plan for an expanded Festival at the Forks site. The stretching of resources for children across multiple Festivals is a point well taken.
  • Questioned if there is opportunity to partner with Fringe.
    • Pride Winnipeg has reached out to the Fringe team to discuss the date change and potential avenues for partnership.
  • Questioned if we can, or are able to work with Goldeye’s for the June dates.
    • Pride Winnipeg can reach out to the Goldeyes, should we move forward with the June dates.
  • With a limited number of volunteers, the competition will be worse between the other conference and festivals.
    • This is a point well taken that Pride Winnipeg that could negatively impact the Festival if it took place in July.
  • General feeling that Pride Winnipeg lacks transparency. That the website is too complex.  That contacting PW is too complex.
    • Pride Winnipeg apologizes for the lack of transparency and for not doing as good a job as we need to in being transparent with the community. It is certainly not our intent and we will do better going forward.
  • Pride Winnipeg should post all vacant positions on the website, not just the ones they are focusing on.Pride Winnipeg is missing out on tons of people who want to participate, contribute and work on the board. Be more transparent with the recruitment process and more accessible in how one can apply.
  • Our website isn’t intuitive. Make the recruitment page VERY simple to navigate.  Maybe we explore co-chairs.  Dividing roles.  Maybe post job descriptions. Explore succession planning.
    • These are points well taken and Pride Winnipeg needs to do a better job in how we communicate and present vacant volunteer positions.
  • Publicize the minutes for those whom couldn’t or didn’t feel safe attending and for transparency. Use social media, website, FB etc.Post online ASAP with what we have discussed.
    • Pride Winnipeg is committed to posting the notes from this meeting as soon as possible.

Overall Pride Winnipeg committed to:

  • Quickly considering the feedback received to date and gathering any further information needed to re-consider the decision to move the 2018 Pride Festival dates.
  • Being more respectful on social media.
  • In the future, consulting widely with the community on major issues, including Pride Festival date changes.
  • Being more open, transparent and better communicate vacant volunteer positions.

The meeting wrapped up at 8:09pm followed by some light conversations.

**There were many talking points and conversations, and things were brought up multiple times by multiple peoples with varying degrees of passion.  We recorded each point once, and expanded on it if it was touched on again with more/different information.

If you feel anything is missing, or have something to add and were not in attendance at the meeting, please feel free to contact us at