The Hamilton Pride Festival made an exciting return to Pier 4 Park last Saturday, and the day couldn't have been brighter! As the festival presenter, The Well has many people to thank for making the day a huge success. Our volunteers worked long hours to get everything organized for the march and festival, and volunteers from many organizations -- including the City's LGBTQ Advisory Committee, the Hamilton and District Labour Council, the Women and Liminal Committee, the Hamilton Positive Space Collaborative and others -- joined together to host more than twenty Pride events in the month of June.
Our mandate at The Well is to improve the health and wellness of LGBTQ people, to ensure that Hamilton becomes the best place for LGBTQ people to live, work, play and learn. An inclusive Pride Festival is an essential piece of this work, one that celebrates and values the identities of all members of our communities.
TD Canada Trust, UFCW Locals 173 and 633 and The Imperial Court of Hamilton-Wentworth were the leaders of a group of sponsors that made this festival possible. We also want to thank the Mayor, Councillors and staff of the City of Hamilton, whose Community Partnership Program provided city services and financial support that were critical to a safe, inclusive festival. Other sponsors of this week's event include the Hamilton Wentworth Elementary Teachers' Local (HWETL), Copydog, the City of Hamilton's LGBTQ Advisory Committee, Egale Canada, Mohawk College and Bryan Prince Bookseller. Please take a moment to visit their websites (see below) and let them know you appreciate their generous support.
In addition to these great sponsors, The Ontario Trillium Foundation's ongoing support of The Well's programs played a vital role this year in allowing our Pride volunteer team to bring the festival together. We thank Trillium for its continued support of Pride, diversity and wellness in our community.
Sixty event volunteers, forty community-minded vendors and an afternoon of fantastic local entertainers -- everyone involved with Pride this year contributed to making it a special and festive experience. Pride plays an important role in breaking down the isolation that many members of our community experience. It helps those who are struggling with coming out, or who are experiencing homophobia, transphobia, bullying and discrimination, to know that there is a vibrant and welcoming community waiting to embrace and support them. It's important for us to come together and celebrate our successes and our achievements.
To those who joined in the march, rally and festival on Saturday, thank you for bringing this celebration to life. To those who couldn't join, we look forward to celebrating with you in pride events in the year to come. Nominations for the 2012 Pride Awards are still open, and keep an eye out for news of a fall Hamilton Pride signature event. Let's not limit our pride to one week in June.
Thank you all for showing that Pride is thriving in Hamilton!
The Well's Pride Volunteer Team
· TD CanadaTrust
· UFCW Locals 173 and 633
· Ontario Trillium Foundation
· Hamilton & District Labour council
· City of Hamilton – Community Partnership Program
· The Imperial Court of Hamilton Wentworth
· CUPE 3906
· Hamilton Wentworth Elementary Teachers' Local
· City of Hamilton's LGBTQ Advisory Committee
· Egale Canada
· Mohawk College
· Bryan Prince Bookseller