/ #Capital Pride #festival 

Ottawa Capital Pride Festival 2016 Programming

_ (Capital Pride) _ Capital Pride’s 2015 Outcomes

Fierté dans la Capital(e)Festival 2015 was a resounding success. With the generous support of over 45 community partners, 150 volunteers, support from the City of Ottawa, the Bank Street BIA, Hot 89.9 and many generous sponsors including TD, Loblaws, and Paul Rushforth Real Estate, we held 14 signature events and ended the 2015-2016 fiscal year financially solvent. The week-long festival saw the inclusion of 60 local performers, 40 organizations in the free and fully accessible Community Fair, 100 parade registrants, and attracted over 100,000 spectators.

Being accountable to the needs of the community

Capital Pride’s Community Advisory Committee and Joanne Hughes, Festival Producer, have been consulting with LGBTTQ community members, especially youth, people of colour, two-spirited, transgender and people in recovery, who have reported that they often do not feel welcome or safe participating in Pride events. Their input has been critical, and we have renewed our efforts to make the Festival more accessible and relevant to a greater number of people.

Additionally, Fierté dans la Capital(e)Festival is increasing the diversity of our events by enhancing our arts, culture and heritage programming, and providing more resources to the community. We encourage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, and 2 Spirited individuals to participate in Fierté dans la Capital(e)Festival 2016, including within the Community Advisory Committee (http://ottawacapitalpride.ca/) and the Operations Committee (http://ottawacapitalpride.ca/about-us/our-team/).

Four new programs for 2016

Two stages featuring Canadian queer performers Fierté dans la Capital(e) is excited to announce that funding from the City of Ottawa Diversity in the Arts program will be used to showcase and nurture Canadian performing LGBTTQ+ artists. Ottawa Capital Pride Festival producer, Joanne Hughes said that “in 2016, we will be offering an artistic showcase on two main stages with performers representing a variety of sexual and gender identities, cultural backgrounds, and artistic genres. The Main Stage returns and we will be adding the Fresh Zone stage, an alcohol-free area for families, people in recovery, and youth, to experience Pride in a safe environment.” As of March, we have agreements in principle with 90 queer performing artists. 65% of these performers are from the Ottawa region, 90% of the performers self-identify as belonging to the queer community, and over 50% of the artists are indigenous, people of colour, and Trans performers. The performer line up will be announced in April.

QueerCon: Friday, August 19

QueerCon is a new Fierté dans la Capital(e)Festival signature event. Queer writers and artists will discuss their particular artistic styles; and the event will promote diverse queer representation in comics, animation, gaming, and other genres. The growth of the graphic novel genre, alternative presses, and the “queering” of mainstream culture has seen a monumental shift in the opportunities for queer creators.  With QueerCon, we seek to engage queer writers and artists with their audience.

In the months leading up to QueerCon, Capital Pride will offer CosPlay Costume and Zine Production workshops that will guide participants through the creation process. A Pride 2016 Zine will be available to the general public online and in print format at the Pride Community Fair.

Parade Make Over Contest

The 2015 parade was colourful, diverse and inclusive, and attracted an audience of over 100,000. We want to make it bigger and better. “We want to provide the opportunity for smaller organizations to participate on a grander scale,” said Tammy Dopson, Capital Pride Chair. A juried competition will award five groups with the use of a flat bed and driver, as well as the resources required to create dynamic large-scale floats. This will assist organizations who might lack financial resources to have top quality parade floats.

The Ottawa Queer History Project

With funding from the City of Ottawa Heritage Funding program, Fierté dans la Capital(e)Festival will sponsor research into the history of the local LGBTTQ+ community as a way of collecting stories about the people, places, and events that have formed the queer community in Ottawa. The community will be invited to contribute their stories, photos, archival items and to participate in a “Speaker’s Corner” at the Community Fair where people can record their individual Pride memories. A project website will be created to illuminate the places and people which have contributed to our past.

More to Come!

Check our website for additional information. More information about performers and programming will be released in the coming weeks.