Meet the Board Members and staff that makes up Pride Toronto.
Pride Toronto Staff
Pride Toronto Board of Directors
Yuri got their introduction to Pride Toronto in 2018, when they were offered a Volunteer Team Lead Position for the Pride Parade. They began their life in Cuba and immigrated to Canada in their teens. Yuri identifies as Non Binary and is incredibly committed to advocating for any/all marginalized communities. With a background in Community & Corporate Engagement and a diploma in Family and Community Services; What stands out about Yuri, is their process driven nature and ability to lead and engage corporate and community groups.Their spare time is mostly spent outdoors, lots of dog time and anything that involves smashing the patriarchy. Yuri’s goal during their time on the board is to increase the diversity within Pride Toronto by bringing communities together through their lived experience as well as their professional background.
Ande has been on Pride’s Board of Directors since January 2019 and served as Treasurer since March of 2019. As part of his duties as Treasurer, Ande has worked to reduce Pride’s deficit, cut unnecessary costs, and allocate more funding for performers and community groups. Before serving on the Board, Ande was Lead Organizer of the Pride Parade for three years.
Outside of Pride, Ande works as a Communications Manager for a bank and previously worked as a Financial Analyst. He can often be seen running along the Toronto waterfront late at night.
Ande’s goals for Pride are to ensure that it remains financially sustainable and operationally effective as the organization serves its communities and stands as a voice for marginalized and oppressed peoples.
Sheldon Dixon p.k.a D!XON is a Queer multi-racial gender non-conforming recording artist. D!XON has many years of experience in arts, and entertainment as a singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, video producer, and show producer. D!XON was also born and raised in Toronto and has been invested in the Church and Wellesley community for 10+ years.
D!XON has over 10 years of experience in community recreation programming and community development. In 2019 D!XON created the first Drag Masterclass in North America through his position with the City of Toronto which provided free professional training to the LGBTQ2S+ youth with mentors such as Sofonda, Priyanka, and Hollywood Jade. This masterclass provided job opportunities to marginalized professionals from our very own Church and Wellesley area and it also created job opportunities for the participants in the Masterclass. D!XON also sits on the Confronting Anti-Black Racism (CABR) Committee with the City of Toronto and has provided countless training centred around CABR and LGBTQ2S+ rights.
D!XON’s mission with pride is to amplify the voices of our local queer recording artists, implement equitable programming with artists in all artistic disciplines, and also be a voice for the Black and Afro/Indo Caribbean community. D!XON hopes to bring positive changes to Pride Toronto through his experience in the arts, entertainment, community recreation programming, and community development.
Samantha Fraser is a proud Bi+ femme community builder and Realtor, living in Toronto’s Junction Triangle. With 20 years experience working in interactive digital media, membership organizations, and non-profit event planning, her goal at Pride is to work hard to hopefully leave the organization better than she found it. Samantha is the founder and executive producer of Playground, an intersectional sexuality, gender, and wellness focused Toronto conference, founded in 2011 and attracting attendees from across the globe.
Born in England, she loves traveling, antiquing, watching horror movies and Star Trek, and deals with invisible disabilities daily. She lives with her two partners and multiple rescue cats.
When not helping clients fight against crooked landlords, decorating a house for sale, or working on her second book, you can find her dreaming of future projects on the Internet at 2 am when she probably should be sleeping.
Jad Jaber is a Queer Arab Immigrant: Jad has implemented a series of workshops through the 519, ASAAP, and Glad Day Toronto for marginalized immigrants focused on “Sensationalizing Queerness” and “Queer Immigrant Re-Generation”. Jad is the Founder of “Marginalized Majority”, a Non-Profit LGBTQIA2S+ community-led organization that focuses on social research for Marginalized queer people, and creating culturally-nuanced workshops and trainings on equity, diversity and inclusion. Jad is a Post doctorate researcher on Feminist Economics and has Ph. D. in Gender dynamics and queer behavior. Jad’s goals for Pride is to ensure the staffing, selection and equal treatment of BIPOC, Indigenous and Marginalized LGBTQIA2S+ folks on Pride’s Staff, Board, Member and volunteer collectives, and any other relevant stakeholders Pride works with.
I am a world majority, Brown, Trini, Carib, Indo, Chinese, callaloo, differently-abled, queer, DYKE elder/SENIOR, celebrating 45 years of community activism. I live and work from an anti-oppression, anti-racism, anti-colonialism, intergenerational and intersectional perspective. I sit on numerous community and government committees, representing the voices of 2SLGBTQI + SENIORS. I am a workshop facilitator, event organizer and network /community connector. I believe it is essential that queer youth and queer seniors work together to support each other, especially now, during these very challenging times of the Covid pandemic. through collaboration, we can IMPROVE and SAVE our LIVES. my lived experience has shown me the importance of building grassroots community foundations. I enjoy doubles, dancing, dim sum, a cold beverage and a hot lime anytime, as my self-care. my EXISTENCE is my RESISTANCE!
Maher’s priorities are to ensure sustainable equity and inclusion within Pride Toronto through more inclusive outreach, policies, language, & accountability procedures. Maher believes Pride Toronto as an organization needs to revisit its roots of being an advocate for those marginalized among us and provide safer and more intimate spaces for networking and healing.
TiKA is an artist, DJ, model, film composer, actor, creator, cultural producer, TV/Online personality, and activist. TiKA makes an impression on everyone she encounters and her joy is infectious.
Currently excelling in the Canadian Film Centre program for film scoring, TiKA will graduate in Spring 2021 and transition into making musical soundscapes for film.
TiKA’s love and passion for culture and music has led to the release of 2 EP’s, “Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid” + “Carry On.” With features in Complex, Noisey, MILK, Afropunk, Saint Heron, The Fader, CBC, The Source, among others, TiKA is receiving critical acclaim for her voice, her energy, her love. Her music. She has opened for major R&B heavyweights like John Legend + NAO and is listed by Complex Magazine as “One of the most prolific creatives in Toronto.”
TiKA’s debut full album will be released in Spring of 2021. Aptly titled “Anywhere But Here,” it serves as a brilliant indication of her unique voice, as well as her distinctive resonance and personality as a developed artist.
In addition, TiKA was the only Canadian musician to model for Sephora 2 years in a row. Her billboards can be seen all across Canada.
While her vocation as an ambassador and creator of music has been well established, her image and sound as a new artist is being unleashed to make a very durable impression in order to gracefully provide what this generation has been missing musically.
2021 will see the relaunch of the artistic side of TiKA.