As Pride Toronto prepares to host the first World Pride event ever held in North America (June 20-29/14), and the largest international LGBTQ Festival, I would like to say how incredibly angry, disappointed and heartbroken that our city has the Brothers Ford as spokespersons for our wonderful city.
Like most Torontonians (and Canadians, and Americans and, the world) I have followed the Brothers Ford nonsense for over a year now, not paying much attention to them before that. Rob Ford recently admitted that he skips Pride events because "it's the way I am", rather than the guise over the last few years that he makes an annual trip to his family's cottage. This, coupled with his objection to the rainbow flag being raised at City Hall in support of gay athletes competing at the Sochi Olympics, have left me speechless and heartbroken. The Pride Flag was actually installed on the "courtesy" flagpole, which otherwise flies the City of Toronto Flag. This flagpole features other flags shown at different times, in support of various causes (autism, olympics, to name a few). It does not detract from our Canadian Flag which is proudly displayed strategically in various areas of City Hall.
Toronto Prides' 10 day festival, brought in revenue of approximately 286 million in 2013, an increase of 9 million, year over year.
World Pride will position Toronto on the world stage and have tremendous economic, social and attendance implications for our city and province.
As you may know, I am deeply passionate about visual arts, music and theatre. The past year has, for me, been dedicated to courses, concerts and art events to fuel this passion. I registered a company Art Project Canada (coming soon: www.artprojectCanada.com/.ca) so I can feed this passion and help elevate recognition of Canadian Artists, by promoting shows, curating and generally emersing myself in what I love. I have a venue secured at Artscape Youngplace (180 Shaw Street) from June 23-July 6 to showcase Canadian Artists and Artisans. In reverance of World Pride, I intend to label the show Pride in Canada, which can incorporate gay rights, diversity, multi-culturalism, pride in our rural and urban landscapes and in general, a deep pride for my country and city. More details will follow once they have been ironed out, but I want to say I am extremely proud of my city and country. Toronto is a multi-cultural, liberal and accepting place to live, despite a mayor who does not feel the same way.
I am ashamed he represents us and that his antics, statements and buffoonery has painted Toronto as a joke. We are so much more than the brothers Ford.