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.
Toby Whitfield (he/him) 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.
Board of Directors
Geneviève is a proud queer and bilingual social justice lawyer from Ottawa. She is dedicated to promoting access to justice and continues to fight for social change through her advocacy and volunteer work. Her commitment to community growth has led to many leadership and mentorship roles, especially among young feminists and queer women.
Geneviève believes in education and advocacy through collaborative community-based action. She continues to use the skills she has acquired to amplify the voices of others and ensure a diverse and authentic representation of the National Capital Region’s 2SLGBTQ+ community within Capital Pride.
Geneviève undertakes her role with the Board of Directors with the goal of making Capital Pride an accessible and representative organization for every member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. She is dedicated to ensuring that Capital Pride remains an organization for and by the community.
My name is Mj Lezada, I use both he/him and they/them pronouns, and I'm unapologetically queer! I was born and raised here in Ottawa, and come from a Filipino family. I'm known for my fashion, namely overdressing to any event and being as androgynous as possible. I love to break cisheteronormative ideals. My favourite topics to talk about and research are queer rights, mental health, sexism, ableism, and racism.
I have a serious passion for sociology, queer theory, and activism. I do my best to serve as a beacon of support and acceptance to everyone and anyone around me, and I joined the CPYC so I could expand even further than my peers.
I've volunteered for Capital Pride every year since 2018. I am the president and founder of my high school's 2SLGBTQ+ club, and I have organized my own charity event raising money for local queer youth support organizations. Online, I do my best to reach out to queer youth and give them the help they need.
I make my own music and videos, under the alias Adazel, where my main goal is to make content that breaks all conventions with gender-neutral love songs and queer-friendly entertainment.
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.
Emma Grenier (they/them) is young queer proud individual. Growing up in Orleans they’ve always tried to attend as many 2SLGBTQ+ events as possible in the Ottawa region. As a person with autism they are excited to contribute their own experience in the planning of future pride events. Emma hopes to meet many different members of the community with different identities and life experiences to learn from them, and to be more intersectional in their activism.
While still in high school, Emma is passionate about law, activism, and politics, and hopes to continue those passions post secondary education.
Gillian is a proud nonbinary femme lesbian who has lived in Ottawa their entire life. They are in their last semester at the University of Ottawa studying Public Administration and Feminist & Gender Studies. She is always looking to increase her involvement in the local 2SLGBTQ+ community and beyond.
Gillian’s passions lie especially in: intersectional feminism, body acceptance, sapphic (women/nonbinary-loving-women) representation, and making pride more accessible for youth with disabilities and mental illnesses.
In their high school years, Gillian helped re-found their school’s GSA, and was its co-chair for two years. Throughout university, she has been a strong advocate for 2SLGBTQ+ members in her sorority Kappa Beta Gamma. Gillian currently works as a federal public servant, and in their free time they love reading and reviewing sapphic books on Instagram: @gillesbianreads.
Board of Directors
Jonathan (he/him) 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.
Board of Directors
Chris (he, him) is a public affairs and communications professional who has worked in the private, not-for-profit, and public sectors over the course of his career. He also owns his own company. Chris has participated in Prides on four continents and believes deeply in the power and responsibility of serving the Pride movement from a G7 capital. Chris serves on the Board of Directors, the Operations Committee, and is leading a long-term, strategic planning exercise to take Capital Pride into the future.
Board of Directors
Victoria (she, her) 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.
Director of Francophone Affairs
Board of Directors
Director of Francophone Affairs
Board of Directors
A queer and non-binary Franco-Ontarian, Francesco is a proud advocate of Canada’s official languages. Having moved to the capital in 2014, Francesco lived on both sides of the Ottawa River during their studies at the University of Ottawa, where they completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences, Joint Honours in Communication and Political Science. Throughout their undergrad, Francesco was also involved in multiple student movements at the local, provincial and national levels, having notably co-founded the new University of Ottawa Students’ Union.
Experienced in non-profit management, Francesco melds their passion for advocacy with their skills in strategic communications. During their day job as Communications Manager of the Community-Based Research Centre, Francesco works to promote the health and wellbeing of cis and trans men who are gay, bisexual, or queer, as well as non-binary and Two-Spirit people.
Having a long history of deep involvement with francophone community organisations, Francesco seeks to bring attention to the challenges facing official language minority communities in Canada, emphasizing the intersections of linguistic, sexual, and gender identities.
In their mandate, Francesco works to broaden the perspective of Capital Pride to build an organisation that truly reflects the beauty and diversity of our official language communities.
Board of Directors
Sarah Cooper, known by most as “Cooper”, is a proud trans, non-binary, queer young professional currently working at Global Affairs Canada. Having grown up in Ottawa and recently returned to the city, they are eager to contribute to the Capital Pride community.
Cooper has a proven track record of representing their peers and engaging in transparent decision-making while recognizing and respecting diverse needs and perspectives. Professionally, they began their career working closely with queer and trans youth which has evolved into almost a 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 a BA in Human Rights and Political Science from Carleton University and a Master of Global Affairs degree from 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 they work to embody its roots of resistance and celebrate 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 (she/her) 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 boards of Planned Parenthood Ottawa and 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.
Hello! My name is Lea I’m a young queer girl born in Ottawa from a Mauritian household. I will be beginning my freshman year in September 2021. I’ve always been the loud girl in the back blabbering about equality, and while my views have changed & evolved since then, my heart has always been devoted to learning about the world and how we can improve it and mold it with the knowledge and history we have now for the next generation. When I’m not reading content on the female gaze, I’m probably scrapbooking, watering plants, or playing Mario Kart!
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.
Communications & Administrative Coordinator
Valerie (she/her) is an upper-year journalism student at Carleton University. In parallel to her studies, she has worked with public sector and non-profit organizations in creating content for a variety of channels including web content, social media and stakeholder communications materials. She is a natural storyteller who loves to create compelling content that both engages and inspires audiences to take action.
Valerie is particularly drawn to helping marginalized communities, both local and international, through her storytelling capabilities. She joins Capital Pride as an avid live event and festival-goer herself in hopes of increasing the community’s awareness of the amazing work the organization does every year.