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Opening Ceremonies Today @ Nathan Phillips Square

June 20, 2014 Opening Ceremonies Today @ Nathan Phillips Square

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Opening Ceremonies June 20 – Nathan Philips Square – 7pm

Energy, pride, anticipation… you can feel it all over the city, from the waterfront to the 401 – the world is coming to Toronto for WorldPride 2014 and Toronto is ready.

The village intersections are painted the proud colors of the rainbow, entertainers are getting ready to rock, excitement levels are sky high and on June 20 we’re going to show the world that this town can throw one wicked party.

Toronto is a world class city with many of the world’s best restaurants, hotels, museums, parks and unique urban spaces.  For the people who live here it’s a chance to show off, for visitors it’s a chance to discover what everyone has been talking about when they come to this great city. 

OK - What to expect at the Opening Ceremonies

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The Opening Ceremonies lineup includes Grammy® Award winner Melissa Etheridge who, through her music, will set the tone by calling for unity, peace, love and celebration.  The event also features multi-platinum, multi-talented star Deborah Cox, “All American Boy” Steve Grand and Tom Robinson will be here “Glad to be Gay”. 

The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto Choir featuring soloist Gavin Hope will present a very special performance for the raising of the rainbow flag. The Official Proclamation of Pride Week by the City of Toronto and the raising of the rainbow flag at City Hall.  

And during the Festival Many Stars will Shine.  To name just a few…

Estelle will be on hand with her original blend of sounds including African, gospel as well as reggae and dub.  For her fans this all came together in her Grammy Award winning hit single “American Boy”. 

Crystal Waters has been a star for over 20 years, and it is impossible to sit and just listen when she takes to the stage with her hit “Oh Mama Hey” and her signature smash “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)”.

Berlin for fans of electronic music Berlin vocalist Terri Nunn is an icon. Terri is the charismatic vocalist for a band that virtually launched electronic music.

Amanda Rheaume has a powerful voice that she uses to maximum effect in her story songs about her Metis ancestors. 

Wheel Chair Sports Camp will be featured at a very special Pride edition of the Tangled Festival event “Krip Hop”

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Love Pride! Hate lines?

The WorldPride Easy Access Pass will let you bypass entry lines for 3 WorldPride stages and beverage gardens, OLG Central Stage, Bud Light South Stage, and TD Wellesley Stage, from Friday June 27th to Sunday June 29th. These stages will be home to artists such as Chely Wright, Carly Rae Jepson, Dragonette, Carol Pope, David Morales and so much more! Pride Toronto membership is included in the price if you choose to opt in!

The Easy Access Pass is valid only at these three venues and only until the venue reaches capacity. Once capacity is reached, priority entry will be granted to the Easy Access Pass holders lineup.

Be sure to check out worldpridetoronto.com for full artist listings and festival details - you won't believe what WorldPride 2014 has in store! And with the Easy Access Pass, you can walk right in the front door.

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Human Rights Conference and International Grand Marshal

WorldPride 2014Toronto  (WP14TO), in partnership with the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies (University of Toronto), is excited and honoured to present the WorldPride Human Rights Conference 2014. The HRC is an incredible opportunity to bring together a truly diverse community of artists, activists, journalists and educators to discuss global LGBT rights.

The Conference will take place from June 25 - 27 in downtown Toronto and represents an exciting gathering of activists, artists, educators, journalists, policymakers, students, and others engaged in LGBTTIQQ2SA human rights from over 50 countries around the world.   A wide range of diverse topics will be discussed by LGBTQ rights leaders from around the world

WorldPride is pleased to welcome Georgian human rights activist Anna Rekhviashvili as the WP14TO International Grand Marshal (IGM), who will oversee HRC proceedings as part of her duties. In an unprecedented show of support for international human rights, all past IGM will participate in the 2014 HRC.

For more information and updates: http://www.wphrc14.com/program/ http://www.worldpride.com

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Volunteer and Make Pride Happen! If you have not signed up to volunteer at WorldPride 2014 Toronto then Rise Up!

It’s easy and a great way to build organizational skills, meet people and get involved in the community.

We have many volunteer opportunities at World Pride as we welcome the world to Toronto. We’re currently recruiting for 3,000 shifts and as a result we have many different positions available in a variety of roles. 

Some of the other areas in need of your skills include:

  • The Public Safety Team – help keep the festival safe by being our eyes and ears throughout the festival and responding to situations that require a presence from our team
  • The Pride Parade – be part of the parade that started it all! In these roles, you’ll get a chance to see all of the behind the scenes work for the parade as well as walk the parade route
  • The Site Team – help set up everything necessary for the festival! Get a behind the scenes look into the entire festival as you help with the set-up of everything from stages to vendor booths

Without the strong support of our volunteers we would not have been able to bring together a dynamite program that includes internationally known artists and entertainers.  From the Opening Ceremony on June 20 to the Closing Ceremony of the festival on June 29, Toronto will be transformed as our streets turn into parades, parks into parties and strangers into friends. But as the countdown begins we need your help, so sign up and help Make Pride Happen!

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2014 AUDIO PRIDE GUIDE

WORLDPRIDE 2014 TORONTO PRIDE GUIDE 

Copies of the Audio Pride Guide will also be available on CD at the Accessibility Services Hub during the festival.

ACCESSIBILITY SERVICES

Accessibility planning takes place throughout the year and works to ensure that the activities of Pride Toronto do not exclude any person due to unnecessary barriers. We work to facilitate the participation of persons who: use a wheelchair, scooter, and/or other assistive devices; are blind or partially sighted; are deaf or hard of hearing; use the assistance of working animals and people with other visible or invisible disabilities.

ACCESSIBILITY SERVICES HUB

The Accessibility Services Hub will be located at the northeast corner of Maitland and Church, Friday, June 27 (open 6PM to 10PM), Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29 (open from 10AM to 10PM). Our hub is a social and information centre equipped with water, a shaded seating area and an accessible washroom. Visit our hub to access our: wheelchair and walker lending service; American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting service; festival information in alternative formats for those who are blind, partially sighted or print restricted and mobility assistants and/or shade & water for service animals. 

ACCESSIBLE VIEWING AREAS AND ENTERTAINMENT STANDS

During the Trans and Dyke Marches as well as the WorldPride Parade, raised wheelchair and scooter-accessible viewing stands will be available along the parade route. A street level seating area will also be available for those who are blind or partially sighted at Wood St.

Viewing stands are offered during the marches and parade at the following locations:

TRANS MARCH – Friday, June 27

  • Isabella St., east side of Yonge.
  • Wood St. (street level seating), east side of Yonge.

DYKE MARCH – Saturday, June 28

  • St. Mary St., west side of Yonge
  • Isabella St., east side of Yonge
  • Maitland St., east side of Yonge
  • Wood St. (street level seating), east side of Yonge

WORLDPRIDE PARADE – Sunday, June 29

  • St. Mary St., west side of Yonge
  • Isabella St., east side of Yonge
  • Gloucester St., east side of Yonge
  • St. Joseph St., west side of Yonge
  • Maitland St., east side of Yonge
  • Wood St. (street level seating), east side of Yonge
  • Elm St., west side of Yonge
  • Edward St., west side of Yonge.

At our largest entertainment stages, wheelchair and scooter-accessible viewing stands and areas will be available.

Each of these areas will be shaded from the sun, will have chairs, viewing area/stand hosts as well as water and an accessible washroom. They will be available for those who cannot stand for the duration and a partner or companion. The stands and viewing areas will be non-smoking and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

It is recommended that people arrive early for performances and/or to watch the Trans March, Dyke March and/or Parade, as seating and access is limited. Additionally, our seating area located on Wood St. will offer live audio description during the Pride Parade for those who are blind or partially sighted.

SERVICES FOR BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED VISITORS

An audio version of the 2014 Pride Guide will be available online and on CD leading up to the festival in June 2014. The Audio Pride Guide will also be available at the Accessibility Services Hub during the festival weekend. Here, you'll also find:

  • Braille companion to the Pride Guide available at the Accessibility Services Hub and every Welcome Centre
  • Tactile maps available at the Accessibility Services Hub and every Welcome Centre
  • Shade and water for working animals

For more information, please contact the Accessibility Team at accessibility@pridetoronto.com.

LIVE AUDIO DESCRIPTION

Live Audio Description of the WorldPride Parade will be available at the viewing area located on Wood St. during the parade.

SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETING SERVICES 

ASL interpretation will be available at the Accessibility Services Hub during regular hours of operation, roaming throughout the festival site, and during certain events. Please visit the Accessibility Services Hub for a complete list of ASL-English interpreted events.

MOBILITY DEVICE LOANS 

Wheelchairs and walkers will be available for loan on Saturday and Sunday from 10AM – 10PM. To sign out a wheelchair or walker, please bring a piece of photo I.D. such as an LCBO card, Driver's License or Passport. During peak hours, wheelchair and walker loans will be limited to 2 hours at a time. Please visit the Accessibility Services Hub for more information.

TTC WHEELTRANS

Pride Toronto has worked with WheelTrans to designate specific drop off locations for WorldPride 2014 Toronto. You can book WheelTrans to drop you off at the festival site at the following locations:

  • Charles West (30 CHARLES ST WEST)
  • Charles East (90 CHARLES ST EAST)
  • Breadalbane (7 BREADALBANE ST)
  • Maitland (near the Accessibility Services Hub at 100 MAITLAND ST)
  • Allan Garden (CARLTON WEST OF SHERBOURNE)

Please Call WheelTrans (416) 393-4111 for more information.

COMING FROM OUT OF TOWN? 

Tourists with disabilities who visit Toronto may use WheelTrans service for a two-week period per year. Tourists registered with the specialized transit where they live (ie. wheelchair and scooter users) may access WheelTrans services through their existing registration. However, tourists who are not registered with the specialized transit where they live must register in advance with WheelTrans.

Tourists attending WorldPride should confirm with WheelTrans their eligibility for the service in advance. Please call WheelTrans after 12:00PM at (416) 393-4111 with any questions.

You can find more information and post questions through our Facebook Page, Emailing and calling. All links are embedded below. You can also call Pride Toronto at(416) 927-7433. For TTY users, please use Bell Relay Service (BRS). accessibility@pridetoronto.com

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GOING GREEN AT WP14TO!

Water stations

Pride Toronto is encouraging all Festival goers to enjoy free drinking water and reduce waste from bottled water.

Water trucks will be conveniently located around the Festival grounds so that you can stay refreshed all weekend long.

Waste stations

At Pride Toronto, we want to make sure that the Festival is celebrated in a clean and healthy environment and we’re asking you to please use the waste stations that have been setup around the Festival when disposing of your trash.

Each waste station will have three separate bins with coloured and labelled signs clearly identified:

The green sign is for compost –

Most of us are familiar with composting as an excellent way to recycle organic waste back as fertilizer.  This is mainly just leftover food, tissues, napkins and chemical free paper towels.

The blue sign is for recycling

This bin holds clean paper, plastic, glass, cans.

In Toronto, this includes:

  • beverage and food containers (clear plastic and foam)
  • personal product containers
  • plastic retail shopping bags
  • newspapers, flyers, magazines

The black sign is for landfill – This is essentially garbage, material that will never or takes a very long time to decompose.  This includes foil food wrap, potato chips bags and plastic over-wrap. We encourage festival goers to use this bin the least. We want to reduce the use of landfill through recycling and composting.  Go for the Green and Blue bins before the Black bin!

Public transit and biking

The summer accessing WorldPride by public transit or bicycle is your best transportation. The Toronto Transit Commission provides public transit across the city as well as Wheel Trans for those in need of assistance in travelling around the city. Please visit their website for more information.

Pride Toronto is also offering a bike valet service this year at the Festival. If you bike to our designated valet location, volunteers will be on site during the Festival and will lock-up your bike free of charge. 

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SONGZA HEATS UP AT WORLDPRIDE 2014

Pride jams can be heard on the official World Pride Toronto Songza playlist

Toronto will have plenty of chances to dance when WorldPride descends on Toronto from June 20-29. A series of parties will take over the city in addition to the launch of the official WorldPride 2014 Toronto Songza playlist for the world’s biggest Pride festival. Songza, a free streaming music service with an expert-made playlists for every occasion, is a proud Partner of WorldPride 2014 Toronto.

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A Shout Out To Sponsors and Partners

From the moment Toronto was awarded WorldPride, it was understood that the success of this event would depend on the cooperation and support of the community, through sponsorships and partnerships.  An impressive range of programming partnerships have been forged for WP14TO with organizations from across the arts and culture sector. The partnership program is a cornerstone of WP14TO and a model of collaboration among Toronto organizations. 

The WorldPride Major Partners are:

A big thank you to the WorldPride 2014 sponsorsCheck out who they are here

Trevor Hampden
Head of Marketing Communications | Pride Toronto
Proud to present WorldPride 2014 | June 20-29, 2014

 

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