Not any more

Low donations won’t stop Montreal Pride

In Canada on August 5, 2010 at 08:43

MONTREAL – Although about 10 per cent of its $725,000 budget has not come through as expected, the six-day Montreal Pride celebrations will go ahead as planned starting Tuesday.

"We’re in the hole today, looking at a deficit of about $75,000," said Eric Pineault, president of Celebration de la fierte Montreal, the not-for-profit group that organizes the annual event for the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender community.

Pineault’s group learned Tuesday that Quebec government departments would kick in $55,000 for this year’s festivities, although the group had asked for $214,000 and had hoped for $100,000, Pineault said.

Still, that amount is $11,000 more than the $44,000 the province granted last year.

Montreal’s Ville Marie borough has contributed $30,000. The central city chipped in $20,000, which is $30,000 less than the group had anticipated. The $50,000 total from municipal coffers is the same as last year.

While expressing the hope that the province will boost its grants, organizers plan to increase revenue during the festivities by selling $5 bracelets and passing the hat.

Private supporters, led by main presenter TD Bank, have all increased their support this year and account for 70 per cent of Pride Week’s budget.

"Last year the (organizing group’s) president and vice-president were not paid for half their work. Must we continue to do this? Everyone should be paid for the work they do," Pineault said.

This year’s celebrations will feature parties, exhibitions and shows -including drag entertainers, selection of Queer of the Year and a pride parade on Aug. 15, starting at 1 p.m. at Rene Levesque Blvd. and Guy St. It will move east to Sanguinet St., and end at Place Emilie Gamelin.

This year’s "Share the Pride" theme is designed to create awareness that the fundamental rights of many lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender community members around the world are being violated.

To stress that, this year’s Grand Marshals are Latvian activists Kaspars Zalitis and Kristine Garina, flown in for the event. Both are part of the Mozaika alliance, a gay and lesbian advocacy group, and are involved in Baltic Pride in Riga.

At their news conference yesterday, organizers put up "wanted" photos of leaders in seven countries where the death penalty is on the books for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders: Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria (where 12 states in the north apply Muslim sharia law) and Somalia.

In many other states where there is no death penalty, homosexuals are persecuted through brutality, intimidation and repression, Pride officials noted in their documentation.

On the Web: www.fiertemontrealpride.com

iblock@thegazette.canwest.com

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

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