Mathieu Chantelois has been a passionate advocate for Toronto’s LGBTTIQQ2SA* community for over 15 years. Having served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of The 519 Church Street Community Centre, he was involved in raising $6 million for the 519’s capital campaign. Mathieu was also Co-Chair and Spokesperson for “Spring for Life”, a fundraiser for the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR), has sat on the Board of Montreal’s Divers/Cité for 10 years, and was the Honorary Chair of the Green Space Festival.
A Montreal native, Mathieu moved to Toronto in the year 2000 as a cast member on U8TV: The Lofters. Broadcasted online and on Life Network, The Lofters was the longest-running reality TV show in history. He also created, hosted, and co-produced SoGay TV, the first original series aired on PrideVision TV, and hosted ReadOut and COVERguy on OUTtv. He frequently appears on CBC’s Francophone radio broadcaster, Radio-Canada, covering a wide range of social, cultural and political affairs. Mathieu has published over a thousand stories in French and English entertainment magazines. With a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Carleton University, he has also completed two years of his PhD in Sociology of Communications from l’UQÀM in Montreal.
Previously the National Director of Marketing and Communications for the Boys and Girl Clubs of Canada, and Editor-in-Chief of Le magazine Cineplex, Mathieu has a breadth of experience and expertise that will help continue to shape a successful future for Pride Toronto.
"Good Day, this is Pride, Pam speaking - how can I help you?"
Perhaps she is the first voice you hear or the first face you see when you contact Pride - she is known as the 'gatekeeper' - a job she enjoys and does very well. Pam also brings with her a wealth of knowledge, over 20 years of senior corporate management experience - Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Operations, Training, Performance Engineering and Finance - to mention just a few skill sets. Pam also attended Trent University - many moons ago!
When asked about how she felt about her role at the festival, Pam remarked, "I have held many complex, challenging and rewarding positions throughout my career - this position however, ranks near the top - and I am very grateful for the opportunity to contribute to Pride's future growth." So next time you call or visit, remember Pam is more than 'just the old lady behind the desk' - she is the 'gatekeeper' - ready to assist you. Happy Pride and Many Rainbows!
Director of Development
Ben Freeman has been working on special events for more than a decade, specializing in community based festivals and concerts around Ontario. Some of the most notable are the Mix 99.9 Birthday Beachfest, 95.3 Country Canada Day Jam, The Y108 Rockfest and the Beaches International Jazz Festival, to name but a few. Ben has worked in all aspects of events, including sponsorship, marketing, advertising and logistics and has been successful on all fronts. Ben holds an Honors BA degree in Criminology with a concentration in Law and a minor in Psychology. He has also attained the professional designation of "Certified Meeting Planner", which has international recognition.
Director of Operations
Jaime has years of experience in the arts and social-profit sectors. Her previous roles include Production Manager for the Dunedin Fringe Festival (NZ), Regional Coordinator for the South Island Dance Network, Organizer for Moving Planet Day Dunedin, and Project Coordinator for Dancing Like the Stars, a program developed for at-risk youth. She was a founding member and choreographer for the Aha Dance Collective, which examines the spectrum of gender performance and expression through contemporary dance. She holds a BA in English from University of Ottawa and a Master’s degree from the University of Otago in New Zealand.
Taylor K. gesner (TK)
Arts & Culture Manager
Equipped with an extensive knowledge of arts and music, and a two decade-plus award-winning career as a well-respected international DJ/Producer and events producer, in addition to a solid background in arts administration and project management, TK has been applying his broad range of artistic sensibilities to his role of Arts & Culture Program Manager of Pride Toronto since 2010. As one of the largest events of its type in the world--WorldPride 2014 Toronto marked the largest international festival to be held in the city to-date--TK directs the programming team in curating the annual festival in addition to overseeing both the Trans* Pride March and Dyke March (both key cultural components to the festival). TK's happy to offer fresh perspectives on how artists, be they part of the queer spectrum or allies, can develop a healthy relationship with a broad range of presenting communities. TK also works in Artistic Operations for Nuit Blanche, consults annually for several festivals and books artists for numerous one-off events throughout each year. A community arts advocate with a keen interest in community cultural planning, he firmly believes that the key to understanding ourselves and one another is through storytelling, whatever artful shapes those stories may take.
Victoria received her Masters of Fine Arts in Performing Arts Management in New York City, where she studied and worked under leading Broadway producers and managers. Victoria has also overseen the planning, management and successful execution of public relations, corporate sponsorship, promotions and advertising campaigns, as well as social media channels and special events (including red carpet openings, awards shows and a live-performance flashmob) in her past roles at Dancap Productions and the Luminato Festival. Victoria also volunteers her time managing communications as the Associate Producer with Show Choir Canada. This fall, Victoria will be saying “I do” and marrying her beautiful bride after seven years together, in Muskoka, Ontario where she is originally from.
Community Outreach Coordinator
Sachil is a recent graduate of the RTA School of Media program at Ryerson University. For his final thesis project, Sachil was the Executive Producer of “Snow Queen”, Toronto’s first holiday drag special at the Winter Garden Theatre in support of The 519 Church Street Community Centre. Sachil has been an active member of the media industry for the past six years; his experience includes working on set for various television productions, assisting producers at major media outlets including The Score, CTV and Cineplex Entertainment’s Content and Creative Group. Sachil is currently the secretary of the Community Police Liaison Committee for Toronto’s 42 Division Police Station and is the coordinator of the division’s youth outreach committee.
Volunteer Program Manager
First and foremost, Matthew loves to volunteer. Before becoming the Volunteer Program Manager, Matthew was a volunteer on the Research Team, where he helped collect data for Pride Toronto’s economic impact study. He also volunteers at the AIDS Committee of Toronto doing club outreach and fundraising.
Matthew is about to defend his doctorate in queer and political theory at Western University, where he also teaches in the Sexualities stream in the Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research. He has previous led the human resources expansion of a leading retailer as they entered the Quebec market, managing large-scale recruitment and training drives.
Matthew is an unabashed bookworm, theatre lover, and political geek. He is happy to chat with potential volunteers about joining our diverse team, and encourages hardworking, dynamic individuals to say hello!
*LGBTTIQQ2SA is an acronym used to represent a broad array of identities such as, but not limited to, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, two-spirited, and allies...