Capital Pride’s Board of Directors undergoes changes, recruitment to begin soon

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It is with mixed emotions that Capital Pride’s Board of Directors announces the retirement of its Chairperson, Davy Sabourin (he/him), effective November 10, 2020. Davy recently accepted a new professional role and had to make the difficult decision to step down from his role as Chairperson of Capital Pride. He has graciously agreed to remain on the Board of Directors as the Immediate Past Chair, in an ex officio (non-voting) role, to ensure a smooth transition. Davy’s involvement with Capital Pride throughout the years has been invaluable and his leadership will be greatly missed.

In light of the timing of his retirement and with the full support of the Board of Directors, Capital Pride’s current Vice Chair, Geneviève Colverson (she/her) has assumed the role of interim Chairperson. Francesco MacAllister-Caruso (he/him or they/them) was then elected to the role of interim Vice Chair. Both offices are being filled on an interim basis until Capital Pride’s Annual General Meeting, which is set to be held in January 2021, when the Board of Directors will elect its executive officers for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Capital Pride is confident that Geneviève and Francesco will continue to ensure the progressive development of the organization in a way that encompasses the needs of members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community in the National Capital Region.

Capital Pride is also thrilled to announce the appointment of a new Treasurer, Jonathan Généreux (he/him), to its Board of Directors. Jonathan is a Chartered Professional Accountant whose expertise will be instrumental to the continued strategic financial development of the organization. His full bio is available on our website.

“I have full confidence in Geneviève and Francesco’s leadership, and I am delighted that we have added a strong Treasurer to the Board,” said Davy Sabourin, former Chairperson. “With its dedicated and passionate team, Capital Pride will continue to fulfill its mission of creating opportunities to celebrate, advocate, educate and connect people, respecting the full diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community,” he added.

Capital Pride will also be announcing recruitment efforts in the coming weeks, seeking diverse members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community to join the Board of Directors. Stay tuned for the announcement of that recruitment campaign!

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

Capital Pride in collaboration with Google Canada Presents: 2SLGBTQ+ Small Business Digital Skills Workshops

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Miss Rona got you down this fall, Capital Pride and Google Canada are gathering the small 2SLGBTQ+ business community to talk about operating in a digital-first world helping you gain the knowledge necessary to increase productivity and build your 2SLGBTQ+ small business.

Join us October 27th -November 12th for 2SLGBTQ+ Small Business Digital Skills Workshops hosted by Capital Pride in collaboration with Google Canada. 2SLGBTQ+ Digital Skills Workshops aims to support queer individuals, brands, and small businesses to build the necessary digital skills to succeed an increasingly digital landscape

All workshops are free and can you can register on capitalpride.ca.

Please take a look at our virtual workshops:

Tuesday: October 27
5:00 AM – 6:15 PM

Get Your Business Online: Managing your online presence

Ensure customers can find accurate, updated information about your local business on Google Search and Google Maps, no matter which device they use. This workshop includes hands-on time to build or edit a Google business profile, so you can get real- time feedback and help from Google experts.

Thursday: October 29
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Make Your Website Work for You: Best practices for your website

Learn how to create a search-friendly website that drives user action and supports your goals. Whether you’re launching a new website or sprucing up an old one, this workshop will help.

Tuesday: November 03
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Use YouTube to grow your business

Get best practices for creating a YouTube Channel and compelling video content that promotes your products and services and drives engagement with your brand.

Thursday: November 05
5:00 PM – 6:15 PM

Learn the basics of Google Ads

Discover campaign types offered in Google Ads, including features to help you reach the right audience and potential customers to meet your marketing goals.

Tuesday: November 9
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Optimize your energy for high performance

Learn how to more effectively balance your energy and master your time to enhance overall productivity. You will get practical guidance, resources and exercises to incorporate in work and life.

Thursday: November 12
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Maximize your productivity with GSuite

Make the most of your time by managing your work in Google Sheets and creating a meeting agenda in Google Docs that drives your project forward and keeps you on pace.

Capital Pride’s mission is to create opportunities to celebrate, advocate, educate and connect people, respecting the full diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

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More information

[email protected]
613-680-3033

Board Opportunity: Treasurer

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Do you have about 10 hours a month to offer to be part of the dynamic and passionate team that provides direction and management to the largest Pride festival in the region? Do you have financial skills and expertise to lend to a 2SLGBTQ+ not-for-profit organization with a major impact? Can you help us take our organization to the next level? You may just be the ideal candidate to hold the officer position of Treasurer on the Board of Directors (the Board) of Capital Pride (the Organization)!

Capital Pride brings together a team of dedicated staff and volunteers to make the Capital Pride Summer Festival and WinterPride Festival happen each year, as well as other year-round events. The Board of Directors provides overall direction and management of the organization, including governance, policy, and financial oversight and accountability.

The organization creates opportunities to celebrate, advocate, educate and connect people, respecting the full diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community in Canada’s capital region – the unceded and unsurrendered traditional land of the Algonquin Anishinaabe people.

Duties

The Treasurer will be the lead in ensuring the Board can exercise its critical financial oversight and governance role, and will mainly be responsible for three broad areas:

  • Budget Development: the Treasurer will coordinate with the Executive Director to develop an annual organizational budget, while ensuring that it reflects the organization’s mission, goals and objectives. The Treasurer will also review the budget and year-to-date records on a regular basis to identify risks and opportunities.
  • Governance: the Treasurer will provide leadership on issues related to financial affairs and ensure compliance with relevant laws, rules and regulations, organizational policies, directives and Board resolutions that relate to the organization’s finances. The Treasurer will also chair the Board’s Finance Committee which meets quarterly, and will be responsible for attending monthly board meetings to provide financial reports clearly stating the financial standing of the organization.
  • Financial Oversight and Management: the Treasurer will act as a signing authority and will be the key contact for the organization’s auditors, bank and bookkeeper. The Treasurer will also collaborate with the Executive Director in monitoring cash flow, revenue and expenses.

Requirements and Desired Skills

The ideal candidate will have financial management experience in a not-for-profit or similarly sized organization and can confidently assume the role of Treasurer, providing the necessary financial leadership. This means that the candidate will likely have:

  • Minimum of 3 years experience in financial management and/or leadership;
  • Strong understanding of nonprofit organizational governance and related laws and regulations;
  • Familiarity with the National Capital Region’s 2SLGBTQ+ community, including community organizations and groups;
  • Experience with non-profit budget development (Capital Pride’s 2019 budget: ~$700,000) and financial reporting to a Board of Directors;
  • Demonstrable experience using Quickbooks or similar accounting software; and
  • Reside in the National Capital Region (Ottawa-Gatineau).
  • Previous experience serving on a board of directors is strongly desired.
  • CPA designation is strongly desired.
  • Ability to communicate in both official languages is desired.

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume that outlines what motivates you to be involved, as well as the experience and skills you will bring to Capital Pride to [email protected]. The position will remain open until an ideal candidate is found.

Capital Pride is committed to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion. Applications from all qualified candidates are welcome and, in particular, applications are encouraged from members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, racialized persons, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, persons living with HIV, newcomers, women and francophones.

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More information

Board Recruitment Committee
[email protected]
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Capital Pride announces the virtual 2020 summer festival programming

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As previously announced, Capital Pride’s 2020 summer festival will take place online under the theme: “Wherever we are”. Capital Pride’s team has been hard at work thinking of various ways for 2SGLBTQ+ communities to be able to show their true colours during these difficult times. Though there may not be opportunities to celebrate in person, 2SLGBTQ+ communities will forever be proud and celebrate, “wherever we are”. Capital Pride’s Virtual Festival takes place August 23 through 30, 2020.

Thanks to the generosity of the festival’s Presenting Sponsor TD Bank, Champion Sponsor Rogers, and many other supporters, Capital Pride will be showcasing a full program of exciting online events and even a drive in drag show! Get ready for the Queer Talent Extravaganza, QTBIPOC DJ FYAH Battle, and our highly anticipated annual Capital Pride Pageant.

Virtual Pride will also feature the National Capital Region’s 2SLGBTQ+ performers and artists and will include some of the biggest names from the hit TV series RuPaul’s Drag Race! This year, viewers will be able to vote for their favourite contestants on capitalpride.ca, with the finalists competing head-to-head for the Capital Pride 2020 titles!

“I am so excited for this year’s virtual Pride festival. We have worked so hard to make sure that we are putting our community first, and showing our true colours, wherever we are.”

Osmel Guerra Maynes, Capital Pride Executive Director

Capital Pride’s 2020 Grand Marshals will be the region’s 2SLGBTQ+ health workers.

“Capital Pride is deeply grateful to all of the healthcare workers who are working tirelessly to help keep our communities safe.”

Davy Sabourin, Capital Pride Chairperson

Capital Pride recognizes that Pride is more than just a festival; it allows individuals in our communities to be proud of living their truth in a world that at times isn’t accepting of who they are. Everyone is welcomed to join the 2020 Capital Pride Summer Festival for virtual celebrations of love and progress.

Visit capitalpride.ca/2020-virtual-capital-pride-festival/ to see what Capital Pride has in store for its 2020 virtual Festival. Stay tuned to the Capital Pride social media channels, as more exciting events and headline entertainers will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

About Capital Pride

Capital Pride creates opportunities to celebrate, advocate, educate and connect people, respecting the full diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community in Canada’s Capital Region. Capital Pride hosts the 2020 Capital Pride Festival from August 23 to 30.

Contact:

Osmel B. Guerra Maynes, Executive Director
Tel: 613.680.3033 ext. 100
Email: [email protected]

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

The Capital Pride Youth Committee Presents: #PrideMatters

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The Capital Pride Youth Committee (CPYC) is excited to announce the launch of their social media campaign, #PrideMatters. The initiative will celebrate the importance of the Pride movement and remind our community why it is still essential today. In the weeks leading up to the summer festival, one post will be released every Monday on Capital Pride’s official social media platforms, beginning on June 22, 2020

#PrideMatters is an opportunity for young people to take part in Capital Pride’s mission to celebrate, advocate, educate and connect members of the  2SLGBTQ+ community in its full diversity in the National Capital Region. The campaign will feature passages written by CPYC members to showcase diverse perspectives and emphasize issues that matter most to youth, including visibility and connection within the community.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in our society in terms of equality, but there is still a lot of work to do,” said David Thibodeau, Co-Chair of the CPYC. “Pride is a time for us to celebrate and reflect on those achievements, but also to remind ourselves of the work that still needs to be done. #PrideMatters because it is still as important today as it was 20 years ago; it promotes visibility and I believe that visibility is vital.”

“#PrideMatters because it helps us as 2SLGBTQ+ people connect with one another,” noted Gillian Fenwick, CPYC Liaison to Capital Pride’s Board of Directors. “By doing so, we can support 2SLGBTQ+ people across the globe, listen to the most marginalized voices in our community, and uplift those who feel alone.”

In these unprecedented times, 2SLGBTQ+ online spaces are an indispensable resource to connect our community members who would otherwise be left in the dark. Capital Pride strives to make Pride a source of strength and hope, allowing us to stand united in solidarity even while distancing ourselves physically. Members of the community are encouraged to share their own stories and commentary using the hashtag #PrideMatters. 

Find the campaign on Capital Pride’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

STATEMENT: Capital Pride denounces and strongly condemns anti-Black racism

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Capital Pride stands in solidarity with the courageous black voices and allies denouncing and condemning anti-Black racism in the United States and here in Canada. The recent deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and Regis Korchinski-Paquet, closer to home, in Toronto, have once again shed light on the continued systemic violence and oppression experienced by Black communities.

As an organization representing the 2SLGBTQ+ community in the National Capital Region, and with Pride month beginning today, June 1st, we would like to remind everyone that the queer liberation movement, as with many other human rights movements, was spurred by the activism of Black and Trans women of colour.

While we, as Canadians, take pride in having a multicultural society, we must also acknowledge and condemn the consequences of our colonial history that have created systemic barriers, hostility and violence toward Black Canadians, as well as Indigenous peoples, and people of colour.

The United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent 2016 preliminary report highlights “Canada’s history of enslavement, racial segregation, and marginalization” and its roots into anti-Black racism in Canada, leading to institutional racism, low-unemployment rates, poor health and disproportionally high incarceration rates of Black Canadians.

Let us remember that racism has no borders. It is our collective duty to dismantle racism to keep our hopes and dreams alive. The only way to do so is to ensure that we are treated fairly and equally.

Osmel B. Guerra Maynes, Capital Pride Executive Director

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

STATEMENT: Capital Pride recognizes the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia and Transphobia

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Capital Pride joins the international community in recognizing the 2020 International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

Having its roots in a Canadian organization, Fondation Émergence, the date was officially adopted worldwide to commemorate the decision of the World Health Organization on May 17, 1990, to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. Since its inception, the day aims to raise awareness around the advancement of 2SLGBTQ+ rights worldwide, while also shedding light on the challenges ahead.

“As a Pride organization located in our nation’s capital, we recognize the importance of being agents of change both domestically and internationally. Our advocacy work with embassies and high commissions, political leaders and decision-makers remains an important pillar of our mandate,” said Davy Sabourin, Capital Pride Chairperson. “Today we remember those who fought for our rights, and acknowledge the road ahead for the global 2SLGBTQ+ community,” he added.

The 2020 campaign announced by Fondation Émergence is: Family support is essential. The campaign emphasizes on the importance of having a loving, caring family. Capital Pride encourages everyone, wherever they may be, to reach out to 2SLGBTQ+ members of their family to let them know how much they are loved and appreciated.

Simultaneously, the 2020 international IDAHOBIT theme is: ‘’Breaking the Silence’’. While encouraging everyone to join and support the global Pride movement, Capital Pride recognizes and denounces the fact that 2SLGBTQ+ voices in many parts of the world continue to be silenced by socioeconomic, political, legal, cultural, and institutional oppression – extensively perpetuated by state-sponsored homophobia, biphobia, intersexphobia and transphobia.

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

Capital Pride provides an update on the 2020 Summer Festival – “Wherever We Are!”

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Capital Pride recognizes that the safety and security of everyone living in the National Capital Region is essential. During these difficult times we know many people in our community, and beyond, are looking for support and guidance. Pride celebrations have always been a place of love, allyship and compassion, and we are confident that this year will be no different.

Since the declaration of the pandemic in March, Capital Pride has been hard at work developing a path forward for the annual festival, while adhering to all public health guidelines. 

Capital Pride reached a decision to deliver this year’s Pride virtually, under the theme “Wherever We Are!”. This year’s theme highlights the need for everyone to stay colourful and proud regardless of where we are physically. ‘Wherever We Are!’ highlights the reality that we are facing today. Pride isn’t just a time to party – it’s where 2SLGBTQ+ communities and allies can celebrate their true selves. Now more than ever, we must remind ourselves that we are a proud and resilient community.

The festivities will take place from August 21 – 30, and will feature both local and international talent. Festival favourites such as the official Flag Raising, Speaker Series, Capital Pride Pageant and of course the Parade, will be delivered in new and innovative ways.

More details on the timing and programming of the festival will be released in the coming weeks.

“The wellbeing of members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community remains our number one priority. Even though we are unable to celebrate in person this year, we’re looking forward to bringing people together online, through a series of exciting virtual Pride events,” said Osmel Guerra Maynes, Executive Director of Capital Pride. 

Capital Pride would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank 2SLGBTQ+ organizations in the National Capital Region for providing services and support to vulnerable members of our community. While the festival will take on a new format, it will continue to be a platform for our partners. Additionally, Capital Pride urges the public to support, where possible, the many queer-owned businesses, performers, and artists that are facing a challenging time.

Our community is no stranger to adversity, and we are ready to show our pride wherever we are.

Resources:

For more information regarding COVID-19, please access the following resources:

Individuals in distress or experiencing a mental health crisis can get support over the phone by calling:

  • Ottawa Distress Centre 24/7 Crisis Line: 613-722-6914
  • Trans Lifeline (for trans individuals): 1-877-330-6366
  • LGBT Youth Line: 1-800-268-9688
  • If you are in need of an emergency shelter in Ottawa: 311
  • Tel-Aide Outaouais: 819-775-3223
  • Écoute Entraide: 1-855-EN-LIGNE (365-4463)

About Capital Pride

Capital Pride creates opportunities to celebrate, advocate, educate and connect people, respecting the full diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community in Canada’s capital region.

Contacts:

Osmel B. Guerra Maynes, Executive Director

Phone: 613-680-3033 ext. 100

Email: [email protected]

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

Capital Pride provides updates on its Annual General Meeting, upcoming programming and the 2020 Summer Festival

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The continued spread of COVID-19 in Canada and around the world has understandably raised concerns regarding the well-being of members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and beyond. Everyone’s safety remains Capital Pride’s top priority as this situation continues to evolve. Capital Pride will continue to align its risk assessments and practices with the latest guidance from local, provincial and federal health authorities, including the Public Health Agency of Canada.

It is with heavy heart that Capital Pride has made the decision to postpone all upcoming planned community events in order to adhere to the advice of public health authorities. However, planning for the summer festival will continue with the tentative dates of August 23-30, 2020, whether it be physical or virtual programming. Capital Pride is committed to staying in contact with community partners to ensure that everyone receives timely information regarding any changes in programming.

In order to connect members of the community during this difficult time, Capital Pride will be reaching out to local 2SLGBTQ+ performers and artists in the coming weeks to create live streamed programming that maintains social distancing measures. More details will be announced soon. 

“We are facing an unprecedented time with lots of uncertainty and many lost opportunities to socialize in queer spaces, to get together and celebrate our truth. However, our priority at this time is to ensure that we continue to support our 2SLGBTQ+ communities in the National Capital Region.”

OSmel guerra Maynes, capital pride executive director

Capital Pride thanks all 2SLGBTQ+ organizations in the National Capital Region for supporting some of the most vulnerable people in the region during their time of need. Additionally, Capital Pride urges the public to support, where possible, the many queer-owned businesses, performers, and artists that are going through a challenging time.

In these difficult times, Capital Pride calls on everyone to support one another, and to remind ourselves that we are a colourful and resilient community.

Annual General Meeting

Capital Pride’s Annual General Meeting was held virtually on March 21, where former Director of Legal and Policy, Geneviève Colverson, was elected Vice Chair. Geneviève succeeds Tara Paterson who did not stand for re-election.

“I would like to extend a sincere thank you to the Board of Directors for the opportunity to serve as the Vice Chair. I remain committed to advancing Capital Pride’s mission and I look forward to serving our community as a leader within the organization,” said Geneviève Colverson.

The 2020 Executive Officers consist of:

  • Davy Sabourin, Chairperson
  • Geneviève Colverson, Vice Chair
  • Chris Day, Secretary
  • Mandy Wilson, Community Engagement Officer

“Geneviève has done outstanding work as our Director of Legal and Policy, which I know will translate very well into her new role”, said re-elected Chairperson, Davy Sabourin. “Tara contributed significantly to Capital Pride’s advancement in 2019, and I am grateful that she will continue to serve on the Board as director-at-large to further support and contribute to our ambitious goals in the coming year”, he added.

More information about Capital Pride’s Board of Directors can be found at capitalpride.ca/about-us/board-of-directors.

Resources:

For more information regarding COVID-19, please access the following resources:

Individuals in distress or experiencing a mental health crisis, can get support over the phone by calling:

  • Ottawa Distress Centre 24/7 Crisis Line: 613-722-6914
  • Trans Lifeline (for trans individuals): 1-877-330-6366
  • LGBT Youth Line: 1-800-268-9688
  • If you are in need of an emergency shelter in Ottawa: 311
  • Tel-Aide Outaouais: 819-775-3223
  • Écoute Entraide: 1-855-EN-LIGNE (365-4463)

About Capital Pride

Capital Pride creates opportunities to celebrate, advocate, educate and connect people, respecting the full diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community in Canada’s capital region.

Contacts:

Osmel B. Guerra Maynes, Executive Director
Phone: 613.680.3033 ext. 100
Email: [email protected]

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications (Board of Directors)
Email: [email protected]

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

The Capital Pride Youth Committee Is Recruiting!

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Calling 2SLGBTQ+ youth based in the National Capital Region: the Capital Pride Youth Committee wants your voice! 

Interested in advocating youth perspectives and organizing youth-focused events in the 2SLGBTQ+ community? The Capital Pride Youth Committee is opening positions to youth aged 13 to 25. Committee members have the opportunity to gain meaningful skills, experience and volunteer hours as well as engage with and impact their community.

The deadline for applications is March 1, 2020, 11:59 PM. Interviews will be held on March 14, 2020. Further information will be sent out to those selected to advance in the interview process.

Apply Here!

We look forward to working with you!

Contact:

David Thibodeau, Co-Chair, CPYC
[email protected]

Alicia Cooke, Outreach Lead, CPYC
[email protected]

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

Capital Pride announces the second annual WinterPride festival

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Capital Pride announced the second annual WinterPride festival today. Taking place February 4-9 during Winterlude, the National Capital Region will be dazzled by festive winter activities, performances, and much more! Building on the success of last years’ inaugural event, this years’ WinterPride aims to provide spaces for all members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and allies to celebrate and advocate.

“We have a great lineup for everyone to enjoy for this year’s WinterPride — with a focus toward family and youth! I am excited and I cannot wait to see everyone enjoying themselves.”

Osmel Guerra Maynes, Capital Pride Executive Director

To kick off the festivities Capital Pride will be welcoming speaker jaye simpson, an Oji-Cree non-binary trans woman writer whose roots hail from Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, Treaty 4. They currently ruminate, reside and resist on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations, colonially known as Vancouver. They have survived institutions such as the Ministry of Child and Family Development and Metis Family Services. jaye will also be joined by other local two spirit writers to share their experiences at the National Arts Centre.

The week will also be full of rhythm thanks to artists like Kimberly Sunstrum, DJ Sandy Duperval, and in partnership with the CAP City Ballroom Alliance — a program lead by the AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO) voguing royalty, Twysted Miyake-Mugler.

Families and local youth can enjoy the Youth Arts Showcase and Reception, featuring art and drag performances from local 2SLGBTQ+ youth, as well as a clothing swap, at the Ottawa Arts Gallery. Capital Pride is also proud to support the Ontario LGBT Youthline’s Community Launch happening during WinterPride, followed by an afternoon of crafting and button-making. Brand new outdoor activities will also take place, including Drag on Ice – a partnered event with the Bank Street BIA. The week will conclude with a march, or a skate, down the Rideau Canal on February 9th.

Stay up-to-date on all the exciting WinterPride programming by visiting the Capital Pride Facebook page or capitalpride.ca. Event details will be announced in the coming days.

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

Capital Pride appoints first-ever Executive Director

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Capital Pride announced the appointment of its first-ever Executive Director today, Osmel Guerra Maynes, marking a major step in the organization’s growth – made possible through the support of federal, provincial and municipal funders, as well as its valued sponsors.

Osmel is an experienced social justice activist, non-profit sector executive and seasoned event planner. He was born in the Dominican Republic and was raised in the twin-island state of Antigua and Barbuda. In 2003, he immigrated to Canada as an international student to pursue a degree in Political Science at Carleton University in Ottawa. He has called Canada home for more than 10 years and identifies as an Afro-Latino cisgender queer man.

Picture of Capital Pride's first-ever Executive Director
Credit: Jesse Winter/Star Vancouver

“As the first Latino Canadian immigrant of African descent to hold this position, I am honoured and excited to have been selected to lead Capital Pride and further its mission, in the first Canadian city I ever called home,” said Guerra Maynes. Osmel is excited and honoured to advance the vision and mission of Capital Pride and strongly believes in the power of inclusion to affect lasting social change. “I look forward to working with the local community to empower all members of the diverse 2SLGBTQ+ communities to live their truth, through the exciting programming we have in store for the National Capital Region. There will be year-round activities to celebrate, educate, advocate and connect people – open to everyone!” he added.

Working with 2SLGBTQ+ organizations in both Toronto and Vancouver, Osmel narrowed his focus on advancing grassroots and province-wide social programming, enhancing the inclusion of marginalized voices, and overseeing effective strategic planning in the non-profit and charitable sectors.

“We are proud and honoured to have someone as special as Osmel accept Capital Pride’s Executive Director position,” said Davy Sabourin, Capital Pride Chairperson. “It was a very competitive and laborious selection process, and Osmel exceeded our expectations,” he added.

“As you know, the organization, festival and programming have been growing and seeing a record number of participants and attendees. Additionally, we continue to dedicate much of our attention and efforts toward elevating Capital Pride’s mission of celebration, education, advocacy and connection. We are confident that Osmel has the right skills and experience to help move our ambitious goals forward” said Tara Paterson, Capital Pride Vice Chair.

The appointment is effective today, January 6, 2020. Capital Pride will be hosting a community reception in the weeks to come where members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and organizations, stakeholders, sponsors and partners, allies and friends will be able to meet Capital Pride’s new Executive Director.

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

Capital Pride Statement on Transgender Day of Remembrance 2019

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On November 20th every year communities across the globe memorialize those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-trans violence.

In 1999, a vigil was held to remember the murder of Rita Hester, a black trans woman. This moment in 2SLGBTQ+ history started an important tradition that has become the annual Trans Day of Remembrance.

Members of the trans community continue to face violence and discrimination. Today 20% of all trans Ontarians “had been physically or sexually assaulted for being trans, and another 34% had been verbally threatened or harassed but not assaulted” (Trans PULSE Project).

Capital Pride stands firmly against all forms of violence and discrimination, understanding that there is more work to be done to protect vulnerable members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Ottawa’s Trans Day of Remembrance Vigil will take place on Nov 20th at the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights. For more information please visit the Facebook event page.

Capital Pride Board of Directors

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

Capital Pride advocates for 2SLGBTQ+ communities in Canada, year-round

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Capital Pride’s 2019 summer festival may be over, but our advocacy efforts continue apace. As a Pride organization based in a G-7 capital and mandated to advocate for 2SLGBTQ+ communities, Capital Pride is highlighting issues of local, national and international concern while working constructively to break down remaining barriers to true inclusion and equality.

Capital Pride’s 2019 summer festival’s theme was In the Spotlight. It reflected our commitment as an organization to showcase individuals and organizations that work year-round to build a more inclusive community, country, and world. It also called us to shine light on remaining barriers on the road toward true equality.

“Two of the four pillars of our mission are advocacy and education” said Davy Sabourin, Capital Pride Chairperson. “Pride is political and we do have a responsibility to advocate on behalf of 2SLGBTQ+ communities, and educate the public about ongoing issues that need to be addressed”, he added.

As such, on August 15, 2019, Capital Pride sent letters to the leaders of the major federal political parties calling on them to publicly commit to the following:

  1. Ending, once and for all, the discriminatory and irrational blood donation deferral for many queer and trans members of the community. Capital Pride is of the view that this policy, targeting men of have sex with men and trans women, is not based on science; it is grounded in ignorance. Capital Pride stresses that Canada should immediately follow the lead of countries like Chile, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Poland, all of which have completely repealed discriminatory blood bans;
  2. Ensuring unrestricted and equal access across the country to gender-affirming surgeries for trans people nationwide. Access to such procedures varies widely across the country. Capital Pride believes that it should be universal. Yet in some provinces, no practitioner is available to perform such surgeries safely;
  3. Banning, by force of law if necessary, gay and trans ‘conversion therapy.’ Capital Pride is of the view that this vile pseudo-science, whose practitioners attempt to suppress or change a person’s sexuality or gender identity, has no place in Canada or anywhere else; and
  4. Committing to include two-spirit and queer indigenous voices in reconciliation conversations. Capital Pride believes that these perspectives are vitally important in addressing past wrongs and in moving forward together toward full and meaningful reconciliation for all.

Capital Pride also called on the federal Minister of Health, the Hon. Ginette Petitpas-Taylor, to take real action to improve access and eliminate patient costs for transition-related care. Capital Pride deplores that in Canada, far too many trans people are still unable to access gender-affirming surgeries due to travel, cost, and/or delays. Quebec, British Columbia, and Ontario, are the only provinces where there are surgeons available to perform most gender-affirming procedures. Almost all trans people who live outside of Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto are required to travel to access care.

In a correspondence addressed to the Hon. Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education, Capital Pride reiterated the views it had previously expressed directly to the government for a curriculum that teaches young people about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, online safety, and consent. Following the release of the revised elementary Health and Physical Education curriculum on August 21, 2019, Capital Pride sent a follow-up letter to Minister Lecce dated August 22 commending him for taking on board many of our suggestions,  while also expressing lingering concerns. Specifically, Capital Pride expressed concerns regarding the so-called opt out clause for parents, and high school is too late to be teaching the facts about sexual orientation as well as gender identity and expression. Capital Pride continues to call on governments to empower all students with the facts on these matters in earlier grades.

Locally, Capital Pride is committed to working with the Chair of Ottawa’s Police Services Board and our recently named Police Chief Peter Sloly to improve relations between the Ottawa Police Service and the 2SLGBTQ+ community. 

Taking full advantage of our location in a world capital that is home to more than 125 diplomatic missions, Capital Pride also reached out to a number of embassies and high commissions expressing our appreciation and solidarity to countries that have constitutionally enshrined protections for sexual and gender-diverse communities. Capital Pride also communicated with the missions of countries that are recognized by the International Lesbian and Gay Association as state-sponsors of homophobia and transphobia, denouncing their stances and calling for the respect and upholding of full dignity for 2SLGBTQ+ communities.

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

Capital Pride receives funding through the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy

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Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, announced up to $200,000 in FedDev Ontario funding for Capital Pride through the Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF).

See full official Government of Canada release here.

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

Capital Pride statement on violence and hate at local community event

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Capital Pride issued the following statement in response to a hateful incident yesterday:

The violent and hateful incidents that occurred at a community organized family drag storytime have no place in our community.

That children and their families were targeted specifically is deeply troubling but we recognize that members of the the 2SLGBTQ+ community have long been victims of hateful violence as have Indigenous communities, racialized communities, immigrants, religious groups and many others. These acts are aimed only at silencing and dividing our communities.

We will not be silenced. We will unite and will not stop our efforts to build a more inclusive community.

Capital Pride is reviewing its safety and security plans for its events this week and will continue to work with its partners at the City of Ottawa and in the community to monitor and respond to incidents.

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

Capital Pride Publishes 2019 Community Consultation Report

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Following the Capital region’s first ever WinterPride in 2019 and feedback from the community, the Capital Pride Board of Directors committed to initiating a community consultation process to gather input from 2SLGBTQ+ community members and organizations. The consultations took place in May 2019.

The mission of Capital Pride / Fierté dans la Capitale is to create opportunities to celebrate, advocate, educate and connect people, respecting the full diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community in Canada’s capital region, on the unceded and unsurrendered land of the Algonquin Anishinaabe people. Capital Pride is committed to reflecting the perspectives of the communities we serve.

The Consultation Report summarizes the input gathered throughout the process and outlines the steps that Capital Pride will be taking to incorporate, with its finite resources, the feedback and ideas from the community and local 2SLGBTQ+ organizations.

Download the report here: Capital Pride 2019 Community Consultation Report.

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

Capital Pride announces recipients of 2019 Community Project Fund

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Capital Pride’s Community Project Fund supports local community groups and individuals who organize events and activities that further one (or more) of Capital Pride’s objectives: education, advocacy, connection or celebration. The Fund provides grants of up to $1000 allowing groups to enhance or develop events taking place during the Festival.

Applicants organizing events or programming that serves marginalized and/or traditionally underrepresented communities within the LGBTQ2+ community were encouraged and prioritized. These include events or programming for trans people, non-binary people, racialized people, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS, migrants, and people from other marginalized communities.

We are pleased to recognize the following groups who have received support from Capital Pride’s 2019 Community Project Fund.

Chalk Rainbow – Craie-en-ciel

Presented by: Chalk Rainbow – Craie-en-ciel
Saturday, August 24
11am – 3pm
Parc Commémoratif (Gatineau)

About the Project:
Chalk Rainbow is a bilingual community event that celebrates the Gatineau LGBTQ2+ community, and welcomes the participation of families, friends and neighbors! Our volunteer committee invites people from the local community to join in the celebrations to break bread with members of the LGBTQ2+ community, and enjoy free refreshments and food. Several community-based groups and organizations will be participating in the community fair to engage participants in their services.

More info


The Women’s Dance

Presented by The Amazon Collective
Saturday, August 24
8pm – 12:00am
Ron Kolbus Community Centre

About the Project:
The tradition of the Women’s Pride dance, always taking place the night before the Pride Festival parade, started by the now disbanded organization “LIXCHIX”. Since then it has been organized by LOG (Lesbian Outdoor Group). This year, The Amazon Collective has teamed up with LOG to revitalize the event with new artists and DJs and improved sound and lighting.

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Re Building Community Panel

Presented by: Just/Act Committee, Ottawa Senior Pride Network
Thursday, August 22
7pm – 9pm
Keefer Room, Ottawa City Hall

About the Project:

In recognition of 50 years since the decriminalization of some same sex activity in Canada, the Just/Act Committee is organizing a panel discussion on what the work ‘community’ means in the future of Ottawa’s LGBT movement. The panel will facilitate a discussion on what issues of current and future importance our community faces, and what we can learn from the advocacy work of past activists.

More Information


Village Legacy Project Documentary

Presented by: The Village Legacy Project

About the Project:
As part of an expansion of the docu-series of local LGBT history, the Village Legacy Project is developed a new documentary on the history of Pride celebrations in Ottawa. Featuring interviews from Yvon Vaillant, Marion Steel and Gabriella Goliger and archival photos and video footage, the video covers the very first Pride Picnic in Strathcona Park in 1986 to the first parade three years later to what is has grown into today.

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Two Spirit Extravaganza

Presented by: Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Heatlh
Friday, August 23
8pm – 12midnight
299 Montreal Road

About the Project:
The Two Spirit Extravaganza is a night to remember! Everyone in the community is invited to celebrate pride. Event includes live music, entertainment, food and mocktails, games and prizes. Free admission.

More information


Workshop and Performance with Witch Prophet

Presented by: Girls + Rock Ottawa
Sunday, August 18, 2019
Club SAW (67 Nicholas Street)

About the Project:
Girls+ Rock Ottawa will present two events featuring Toronto-based artist Witch Prophet, a queer Ethiopian-Eritrean woman and mother, self-managed singer/songwriter, and CEO and founder of Heart Lake Records (FKA 88 Days of Fortune). Witch Prophet will present a workshop focused on self-managing creative projects as an independent artist, which will cover topics such as negotiation and asserting your artistic value, securing bookings, and marketing yourself.

The day-time workshop will be followed by an evening concert featuring Witch Prophet as the headliner, as well as local queer artists and alumni of the Ottawa Rock Camp for Girls+.

More information


Sweet Tooth: Rainbow Brick Road Fundraising Event

Presented by: Rainbow Brick Road & Capital Rainbow Refuge
Friday, August 23
8pm – 2am
Babylon Nightclub

About the Project:
Sweet Tooth is a fundraiser dance party event featuring local DJs, themed décor, food vendors, and burlesque performers. The event seeks to create a safe(r) space for people to connect, let loose, and play together, as well as to raise funds to support Rainbow Brick Road.

>More information

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

Capital Pride Reports on Record-Breaking Year

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Capital Pride today published its annual report for 2017-18 which saw the largest Pride Festival yet in the National Capital Region – traditional territory of the Algonquin people.

“Our 2017-2018 annual report is a testament to the power of community” says Capital Pride Chairperson Davy Sabourin. “The report not only highlights last year’s tremendous successes: it’s also a way to demonstrate how we – a mostly volunteer-run organization with finite resources – work to deliver on our mission in concert with community partners, members and allies.”

As highlighted in the report, Capital Pride grew significantly in 2017-18:

  • We expanded the Summer Festival to two days
  • We added new youth events attendance to which doubled
  • We launched the Community Fund project
  • More than 150 groups marched in the parade
  • Our community organized more than 65 events
  • We expanded the street festival to include Somerset Street between Bank Street and O’Connor Street
  • Our 2018 Pride Pageant attracted record turnout with a sell-out attendance of more than 600
  • We booked our largest headline acts yet, including: Bif Naked, Brooke Candy, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, and RuPaul’s Drag Race Superstars Aja, and The Vixen

“Capital Pride wouldn’t be what it is without the dedication and passion of our volunteers and staff on the Operations Committee, and our volunteer Board of Directors. We are also grateful for community members and allies, stakeholders, different levels of government, sponsors and donors for supporting us in our common goal of creating opportunities to educate, advocate, celebrate and connect people”, says Capital Pride Community Engagement Officer Mandy Wilson.

The full report is available here.

Preparations for Capital Pride’s 2019 summer festival are well underway and registration is in full swing for the parade and community fair. The public is invited to visit www.ottawacapitalpride.ca or follow Capital Pride on social media for more details.

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033

Statement: Blood donation deferral period drops to three months: a step in the right direction, falls short on achieving equality

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Capital Pride welcomes the announcement made by Minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, wherein she informed Canadians of Health Canada’s decision to require men who have sex with men to abstain for three months before they can be eligible to donate blood, rather than one year.

The Canadian Red Cross Society introduced a donor eligibility criterion that excluded all men who have had sex with a man even once since 1977. This criterion was embedded into Health Canada regulations in 1992.

Capital Pride is of the view that although the blood donation deferral drop from one year to three months is a step in the right direction, it remains a discriminatory policy that targets two-spirit, gay, bisexual and queer men, trans women and men who have sex with men (“2SGBTQ/MSM”). Therefore, it falls short on achieving equality.

In recent months, Capital Pride has engaged with members of parliament to advocate for the removal of the restrictions against 2SGBTQ/MSM wishing to donate blood. Capital Pride continues to call on the federal government to follow countries like Chile, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland and others, who have completely repealed discriminatory blood donation bans for 2SGBTQ/MSM.

Capital Pride Board of Directors

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More information

Riyadh Nazerally, Director of Communications
[email protected]
613-680-3033