2017 Honoured Positions

The National Grand Marshal, Youth Ambassador and Honoured Group are positions we select with great care and consultation. These positions are in recognition of their leadership and achievements in human rights issues. We selected these individuals and groups based on their contribution to fighting discrimination and equality; violence, torture and abuse; and criminalization of LGBTQ+ people, identities, and activities on a national and/or international level.

The National Grand Marshal and National Honoured Group lead the Pride Parade with distinction and act as an ambassador to represent their communities throughout the Pride festival.

2017 National Grand Marshal: Kent Monkman

Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who works with a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance, and installation. He has had solo exhibitions at numerous Canadian museums including the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Hamilton. He has participated in various international group exhibitions including: The American West, at Compton Verney, in Warwickshire, England, Remember Humanity at Witte de With, Rotterdam, the 2010 Sydney Biennale, My Winnipeg at Maison Rouge, Paris, and Oh Canada!, MASS MOCA. Monkman has created site specific performances at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, The Royal Ontario Museum, and at Compton Verney, he has also made Super 8 versions of these performances which he calls “Colonial Art Space Interventions.” His award-winning short film and video works have been screened at various national and international festivals, including the 2007 and 2008 Berlinale, and the 2007 and 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. His work is represented in numerous public and private collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Denver Art Museum, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Museum London, the Glenbow Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the Mackenzie Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Vancouver Art Gallery. He is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain in Montreal and Toronto, Trepanier Baer Gallery in Calgary and Peters Projects in Santa Fe.

(Source: KentMonkman.com)
(Photo: Chris Chapman)

2017 Honoured Group: Rainbow Railroad

Toronto-based Rainbow Railroad provides legal aid, transport, visas and other necessary supports to at-risk LGBTQ people throughout the world. They receive hundreds of requests for help every year from countries where LGBTQ individuals are open targets of violence, and focus efforts on helping those who have faced physical violence or face an imminent threat of violence, imprisonment, or death.

Since 2006, Rainbow Railroad has helped more than 300 LGBTQ people reach safety from the Caribbean, Africa and Middle East.  Most recently, the organization has led the charge to rescue LGBTQ individuals who are facing persecution in Chechnya.

(Source: RainbowRailroad.ca)

2017 Youth Ambassador: Kiley May

Kiley May is a Hotinonshón:ni Mohawk and Cayuga storyteller, actor and artist from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory (aka “the rez”), and is now settled in the gathering place called Tkaronto, or “Toronto.” Kiley is a two spirit person, who also identifies as trans, queer and genderqueer. Her pronouns are they/their/them and also she/her. They do education and facilitation about and with two spirit, LGBTQI and Indigenous communities. Kiley is currently a student at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, training in acting, singing and dancing. They also enjoy creative arty things like writing, fashion, film and photography. And transitioning, which is an art form; their greatest art work to date.

2017 Honoured Guest: AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde

Perry Bellegarde was named AFN National Chief on December 10, 2014. He has spent his entire adult life putting into practice his strong beliefs in the laws and traditions instilled in him by the many Chiefs and Elders he has known over the years. Passionate about making measureable progress on the issues that matter most to First Nations people, National Chief Bellegarde is a strong advocate for the implementation of Inherent Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. Widely known as a consensus builder with a track record of accomplishment, he brings community people, leaders, Chiefs and Elders together to focus on working cooperatively to move issues forward.

National Chief Bellegarde is from the Little Black Bear First Nation, Treaty 4 Territory. He served as Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and Saskatchewan Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations. He has also served as the Tribal Chair of the Touchwood-File Hills-Qu’Appelle Tribal Council, Councillor for the Little Black Bear First Nation and Chief of Little Black Bear First Nation.

(Source: afn.ca)