Capital Pride consists of the Board of Directors, which is responsible for the overall direction of the organization, and the Festival Operations Committee, which is responsible for the on-the-ground execution of the annual festival.
Callie is a PhD Candidate at Carleton University in the Department of English Language and Literature. Her graduate research focuses on queer archival practice in Canada, and she specializes in teaching 20th and 21st century gay and lesbian literatures. As such, she believes that queer activism and advocacy can be fostered through education, and that such an education should be accessible to all.
Having joined the Capital Pride team as the Operations and Logistics Coordinator for the 2022 Festival, and returned this past summer as the Operations Director. Callie has demonstrated incredible leadership and developed a great understanding of the goals and functioning of the organization. Under her oversight, the 2022 and 2023 Street Festivals and Parades were all incredible successes with the largest recorded attendances in the organization’s history.
Board of Directors
He/Him or They/Them
A proud queer and non-binary Franco-Ontarian, Francesco joined Capital Pride’s Board of Directors in 2019 as the Director of Francophone Affairs. Since then, they have sought to expand the organization’s French-language programing while promoting advocacy efforts to improve the lives of gender-diverse people in the National Capital Region, where they have lived since 2014.
As a current PhD student at Concordia University, Francesco studies the citizenship and political representation of trans, non-binary, and Two-Spirit people in Canada at both the federal and provincial levels. Always eager to promote queer and trans civic engagement, Francesco has worked for a number of non-profit organizations, both as a Board member and an employee.
In their day job, Francesco promotes the health and well-being of gender and sexual minorities as the Community-Based Research Centre’s Francophone Content Strategist. They are also involved in multiple research projects that seek to empower marginalized people to facilitate lasting change within their communities.
Board of Directors
Victoria works as a management consultant advising public sector organizations on business, technology, and organizational strategies to improve the lives of Canadian citizens and communities. She looks to leverage her skills and experience to increase the reach and capacity of Capital Pride and partner community organizations to drive positive change for the National Capital Region’s 2SLGBTQ+ community.
An advocate for the improved representation of queer people of colour in all realms of public life, Victoria avidly supports and promotes the sharing of diverse 2SLGBTQ+ experiences through art and storytelling, and is dedicated to amplifying such voices as a member of the Board of Directors.
Board of Directors
Sean brings experience in the education, sports media, youth sports, marketing and sponsorship sectors to the Capital Pride Board of Directors. He also has extensive experience working as a volunteer for community-based initiatives and non-profits. These include championing initiatives such as a local fundraising event to advocate for youth mental health services, being a board member of the pride & remembrance run in Toronto, and co-leading 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion initiatives in university athletics. In addition, Sean has a passion and love for storytelling and brings a personal commitment to lifelong learning.
Sean completed his MBA with a sports business focus and presently works as a Marketing Director for a youth baseball organization. Through his recent education and work, Sean has been dedicated to advocating for increased equity and inclusion education, creating safe spaces, enhancing marginalized voices, and improving mental health awareness. As part of his involvement, Sean is dedicated to fulfilling the mission of Capital Pride to create opportunities to celebrate, advocate, educate and connect people, respecting the full diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Sean passionately supports and advocates for spaces in sports that celebrate all experiences and everyone's voices.
Board of Directors
Jonathan moved to the National Capital Region in 2013 to pursue a business degree at the University of Ottawa. After completion of his degree, Jonathan joined a multinational accounting firm and completed his CPA designation and has since worked in providing external audit and consulting services to a variety of entities. His experience varies from large listed companies to small not-for-profit enterprises and everything in between. Jonathan is known for his technical acumen and his ability to approach problems with a solution mindset.
Jonathan joined the Capital Pride Board of Directors in 2020, stepping into the role of Treasurer to bring a financial and analytical perspective to the organization.
As part of his involvement, Jonathan is dedicated to ensuring the longevity, financial accountability, and prosperity of the organization to allow the organization to actualize its mission for its numerous stakeholders.
Equity and Inclusion Officer
Board of Directors
Taib is an Ottawa based consultant, facilitator, speaker, and anti-racism educator. An ardent advocate for human rights and social justice, he has 10 years of experience working through a variety of local and international organizations and collectives to advance the rights of Black and LGBT+ minorities and other oppressed communities. He leads his own firm, TKB Consulting, where he provides consulting and training for a wide variety of organizations in the public and private sectors.
Taib draws upon both lived experience and his educational background – he is currently a master’s candidate in sociology with a specialization in feminist and gender studies at the University of Ottawa.
Mj (they/them) is a bisexual genderqueer Filipino from Ottawa. They're currently enrolled at Carleton University with a Minor in Sexuality Studies.
Mj first started volunteering with Capital Pride in the summer of 2018. Since then, they've continued to take part in volunteer positions every festival, culminating in joining the CPYC at the start of 2020, where they currently act as Operations Lead, helping to organize community-focused events and designing graphics used by the committee.
They're constantly exploring new ways to support and advocate for intersectional prejudiced identities - especially relating to sexuality, gender, race, disability, and class.
Notable examples during their time in high school include founding their schools' 2SLGBTQ+ club, and organizing a musical event to raise charity for local youth support organizations.
Their passions lie in queer theory, music production and graphic / interactive media design, but they're constantly exploring new fields. In their free time, they're most often making music and creative content, but that won't stop them from binging McElroy podcasts.
Isabelle Mills (she / her, they / them) is a high school student attending Lisgar Collegiate Institute. They have worked closely with the clubs, Me to We, Leaf, and Rainbow Alliance at their school, which has helped them associate with a variety of causes and different techniques to achieve a collective goal.
Isabelle has always had a strong passion for helping people and fighting for equal rights no matter: race, gender, sexuality, religion, social class, etc.
Their goal with joining the Youth Committee is to help create spaces for all to feel welcomed and included, no matter one’s differences. They also hope to use their experience of being part of the committee to enhance Ottawa’s high school students. By having accessibility to knowledge, and understanding of the 2SLGBTQ+ community for all.
Gillian (jill-e-in) is a proud genderqueer femme lesbian who has lived in Ottawa (the unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people) her entire life. She recently finished her Honours BSocSc in Public Administration with a minor in Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa and will be graduating Magna Cum Laude. She looks forward to soon studying Community and Justice Services at Algonquin College, along with taking FSL courses.
Gillian is always looking to increase their involvement in the local 2SLGBTQ+ community and beyond. Their passions lie especially in: intersectional feminism, body acceptance, sapphic representation, and making pride more accessible for youth with disabilities and mental illnesses. They are a self-described lavender menace with a devotion to social justice.
In her high school years, Gillian helped re-found her school’s GSA and was its co-chair for two years. In university, she was a strong advocate for 2SLGBTQ+ members in her sorority. Gillian currently works as a federal public servant in public opinion research. In their free time they love cuddling with their two cats Milo & Joey (IG: @gillieskitties), reading and talking about sapphic & feminist books (IG: @gillesbianreads).
Board of Directors
Cooper is a proud trans, non-binary, queer professional who is eager to contribute to the Capital Pride community. They have a proven track record of representing their peers and engaging in transparent decision-making while recognizing and respecting diverse needs and perspectives. They began their career working closely with queer and trans youth, evolving into an almost decade of experience in non-profit management. This includes their deep roots in the student movement, having worked at six different university and college campuses across Canada.
Cooper holds degrees from Carleton University and the University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. Throughout their studies and years of community activism, Cooper has developed a deep understanding and respect for the history of Pride and will work tirelessly to ensure their work embodies its roots of resistance and celebrates those in the community who made Pride what it is today.
Cooper believes strongly in the power of collective action and is committed to investing in initiatives that are anti-racist, anti-colonial and inclusive of all marginalized identities in all their complexities. Deeply invested in the growth and improvement of Capital Pride as a Board member, Cooper will be focused on increasing the accessibility of Pride and supporting the most marginalized in our community.
Board of Directors
Hallie is a communications and issues management professional with over 5 years of experience working in federal politics. Raised in rural Quebec, she came to Ottawa a decade ago to study at the University of Ottawa. She holds a Joint Honours and Masters in Political Science and Gender Studies. Since moving to Ottawa, she has been active in the community, supporting a number of local feminist causes and not-for-profits. Hallie is passionate about the empowerment of young women and girls, particularly through peer-to-peer mentorship and skills building. She also serves on the board of the Empow(Her) Network.
A proud queer intersectional feminist, Hallie is eager to leverage her skills and network to support Capital Pride’s growth while engaging further with the local 2SLGBTQ+ community and finding her place within it.
Hi! My name is Ava, I’m a high school student here in Ottawa. I hold a lot of passion for learning about, and destigmatizing discussions of menstrual, sexual and mental health, particularly when it comes to queer sex ed. Subjects such as 2SLGBTQIA+ relationships and the effects growing up queer and surrounded by heternormative culture can have on your mental health ones that are so often overlooked in health curriculums. I equally love studying history, languages and politics and do my best to express messages of acceptance and the beauty of diversity through my writing.
Eliza Aguhar (she/her) is queer Filipino whos passionate about science, writing, music, and creating POC/BIPOC representation within the 2SLGBTQ+ community. She is currently studying Biochemistry at the University of Ottawa, but she loves to explore creative passions on the side.Eliza’s life goal is to provide equitable resources, information, and support to those of oppressed and marginalized communities (whether that be race, class, sexuality, etc.), which is why she joined CPYC.In her free time, Eliza loves writing about science and social commentary, musical theatre, and making music/music content!
Hello! My name is Anika (she/they) and I'm a high school student at Colonel by Secondary School. I love being outside, if I'm not studying you can probably find me camping or on a run-in nature! I'm a junior executive at my school's Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) where I've worked closely with the Feminism Club and Black Excellence Club to bring intersectionality to 2SGBTQ+ representation. I love to bake, dance, act, draw and do anything in nature and I can’t wait to be a part of the CPYC!
Teia Maracle or "Tay", is a high school graduate who has a passion for civil rights, sexual health and education. They are apart of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and identify as two-spirited. They are proud to say they are a femme non-binary lesbian!
They joined CPYC in hopes of broadening their knowledge on different topics in their 2SLGBTQ+ community. They hope to be able to not only educate themselves but others around them. Their goal is to become more active and present in their 2SLGBTQ+ community. They will be attending Carleton’s Indigenous Enriched Support Program in the fall to eventually pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Women and Gender studies. Teia currently works in the service industry as bartender and manager. In their spare time you can catch them at their local art museum or nose-deep in their favourite book.
Cameron Jette is a proud disabled butch lesbian, born and raised on unceeded Algonquin territory in Orleans. As a Carleton University Alumni, who is currently studying at Algonquin College in Child and Youth Care he focuses on the intersections of 2SLGBTQ+ youth and other marginalizations, including BIPOC, and disabled youth. They have previously been involved with Capital Pride as the Volunteer and Youth Events Coordinator during the 2019 Summer Festival and 2020 WinterPride and are excited to start this new journey withthe Capital Pride Youth Committee.
Hi!! I’m Gaby, I use she/her pronouns and I’m a high school student at Nepean. I was born and raised here in Ottawa. I’m super passionate about the environment, educating others about queer mental health and promoting the use of an intersectional lens in all settings. I love to make and observe art; I’m all about incorporating creative approaches to my activism and uplifting other queer artists. I am a person with a disability and I am excited to bring my unique perspective in order to make pride events and initiatives as accessible as possible. I’m honestly so happy that I get to contribute and make a difference in the community.
Board of Directors
Toby Whitfield brings over a decade of experience in managing and working in progressive non-profit organizations of various sizes, in both Toronto and Ottawa. He has extensive experience leading teams; providing strong representation and advocacy; and managing events, programs and services. He continues to support leaders of non-profit organizations with matters involving board governance, human resources, and financial management.
Toby has been involved in Capital Pride in various roles since 2016, when he first joined the Board of Directors. Since then, he has served as Treasurer (2017), Chairperson (2018), and Festival Director (2019). In these roles, he led the organization through significant growth, including expanding summer festival programming, introducing new signature events, and developing new community and corporate partnerships.
Toby is committed to continuing to deliver on Capital Pride’s mission with a focus on continuing the organization’s work to create spaces for marginalized voices within our community.
Originally from Toronto, Massimo is a student at the University of Ottawa studying world cultures and languages. He specializes in the histories of Spain, Italy, and Latin America, in addition to the language varieties spoken in each region. Although Massimo is an anglophone, he is proud to speak Italian, Spanish and French, with aspirations to learn Portuguese shortly. In the scope of his studies, he puts particular focus on the language varieties spoken by queer communities around the globe, with special interest in how to make gendered languages more inclusive in spite of their binary grammars; Massimo is incredibly proud to have translated the content for both the 2023 Pride Guide and the Capital Pride website in gender-inclusive French.
The 2023 Capital Pride Festival will be Massimo's second festival on the team. He is elated to help give back to the community which he cherishes here in Ottawa.
Board of Directors
Jean-Philippe moved to the National Capital Region in 2009 to start his career within federal public service as a trained translator. He has always been involved in the community, whether it is within his students’ association, his professional network, his community association or his department’s 2SLGBTQIA+ advisory group. Until very recently, Jean-Philippe was promoting queer events in Ottawa West showcasing diverse local drag talent. These activities helped raise thousands of dollars for local charities.
Jean-Philippe is passionate about words and languages. Over the years, he developed an expertise in inclusive writing. He is aware of the power of language and its impacts. He personally believes the language we choose is the first step towards full inclusion for our 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. Jean-Philippe is looking forward to contributing to Capital Pride’s operational and strategic growth by bringing his expertise and experience from past projects. He is particularly eager to get involved with governance, communication and French programming.
When he is not working or involved within his community, Jean-Philippe attends local drag shows, plays video games, tries to reduce his pile of books to read, and spends quality time with his partner and their husky Charlotte.
Eric Vande Velde
Board of Directors
Eric Vande Velde is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) with a focus on talent acquisition, total rewards, and people analytics. He graduated from the University of Ottawa (Psychology & Public Administration) and Algonquin College (Human Resources Management). Eric is passionate about building and mentoring high-performing teams. He is a proud mental health advocate within the LGBTQ2S+ community. Eric has been a Board member with several organizations and is an avid traveller.
Board of Directors
Tony Bui is a proud queer Asian person, residing in Ottawa since 2012. Tony is originally from Hamilton, Ontario and is the second son of Vietnamese boat people.
Tony currently works in the public service as a communications, outreach, and engagement specialist, and had a prior extensive career in federal and provincial politics, and in union lobbying. He is a published columnist and writer, and has appeared in both the Ottawa Citizen and CBC News. Throughout his experiences, he has built a large network of community partners, activists, and stakeholders who he regularly engages to support 2SLGBTQIA+ initiatives.
Tony joined Capital Pride’s Board of Directors in 2023 after having participated in Capital Pride festivities for several years. He is dedicated to creating more inclusive spaces for all 2SLGBTQIA+ peoples, and in particular, is focused on building space for Asian queer and trans people to find community and belonging. He also brings an inclusive sports connection to Capital Pride, as he currently serves as Partnerships Coordinator with Gay Ottawa Volleyball.
In his off-time, you will find him partaking in social activities with friends, skating the Rideau Canal in the winter, or preparing his next written piece.