Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
24 Waterloo

World Pride 2014 Toronto

WorldPride is a celebration that has never been held in North America and World Pride 2014 Toronto is only the fourth such festival in the world. This year Toronto has planned a 10 day festival with hundreds of official, affiliated and labour sponsored events running from June 20- 29, 2014.

A feature event is the WorldPride Human Rights Conference which is being held at the University of Toronto from June 25-27. Activists, artists, educators, journalists, policymakers, students and others engaged in LGBTQ human rights from around the world will be gathering to have a global dialogue on a full range of LGBTQ issues. OSSTF/FEESO has members attending this conference.

WorldPride also features an arts and cultural aspect. Art galleries, museums, film festivals, photography exhibitions, visual and ceramic arts exhibits are happening all over the city. In the heart of the Church-Wellesley Village there will be drag artists, burlesque and dance featured at the Village Stage. Fruit Loopz and Black Queer Youth will run youth programs during the festival as well as the family-friendly zone at The Church Street Public School at Church and Alexander Street. In Paul Kane Parkette you will find singer-songwriters, spoken word, youth showcases, traditional, folk, dance and plenty of other activities. For more specific detail to go to http://worldpridetoronto.com/festival/events-calendar#1

Labour is also planning a number of events for workers to enhance their time at the festival. A committee of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council has been meeting for months to coordinate labour participation throughout the festival. Events include a morning breakfast caucus during the WorldPride Human Rights Conference at the United Steelworkers Hall or a reception after the parade on Sunday. All events be listed on a website the committee has established called www.labourpride.com.

It would not be a pride festival without rallies, marches and parades and WorldPride 2014 has three. On Friday, March 20 at 7:00 pm members of the trans community and their supporters will celebrate with the Trans Pride Rally and March starting with the rally at the North Stage at Church Street and Isabella. Saturday brings the Dyke March Rally at Allan Gardens starting at 1:00 pm.

The WorldPride Parade, the culminating event of the festival, is on Sunday, June 29 starting at 1:00 pm. The parade starts at Church and Bloor and ends at Dundas Square. OSSTF/FEESO has designed and entered a float for the WorldPride Parade. There will be music, synonymous with pride to march to, OSSTF/FEESO Pride T-shirts for marchers and swag to hand out along the parade route. We encourage districts and members from across the province to attend this important festival and end your visit by marching with OSSTF/FEESO in the parade.

The parade schedule and marching order will be released in the middle of June. As soon as the information is available we will share the details via social media and our website.

For more information about the OSSTF/FEESO participation in the 2014 WorldPride Parade, please contact Wayne Milliner, our Equity Officer at the provincial office at wayne.milliner@osstf.ca.