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Toronto to host Canada's first-ever Pride Month in 2016

North America’s largest Pride festival unveils Canada’s first-ever Pride Month

Pride Toronto, the city’s most vibrant and inclusive arts and cultural festival and North America’s largest Pride celebration, has unveiled its 2016 Pride Month theme, announcing to the world that this June, “YOU CAN SIT WITH US.” The campaign for Canada’s first-ever Pride Month, features Canada’s top political leaders: noted “sexiest man alive” and “politician dreamboat” (Vogue) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, openly out Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and partner Jane Rounthewaite and Toronto Mayor John Tory who will all participate in this year’s festivities in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Pride Toronto’s 2016 Parade will make Canadian history, with Justin Trudeau participating as Canada’s first ever sitting Prime Minister to march, alongside leadership from both Toronto’s municipal and Ontario’s provincial governments.

To celebrate the power and beauty of its diverse community, Pride Toronto held an open photo shoot for community members, artists and city leaders to show their Pride. The event was met with an overwhelming response, enabling the campaign to showcase over 300 community members of all ages, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and ethnicities.

“If a picture is worth 1,000 words, maybe 1,000 pictures has the potential to give a true face to our community. And what a truly diverse and beautiful community we have,’” said Mathieu Chantelois, Pride Toronto Executive Director. “By striking a pose for our camera crew, hundreds took a stand for Pride Toronto, they are telling the world that it’s ok to sit with us, but also to rally, march, celebrate, love and change the world with us.”

Noted personalities in the campaign also include: Ministers of Canadian parliament, Toronto City Councillors, Trans activists, the Toronto Police Service Chief of Police, the Guinness World Record Holder for Oldest Performing Drag Queen, DJs, artists and performers, along with Pride Toronto’s recently announced 2016 Honoured Group, Black Lives Matter – Toronto.

This year’s theme is a play on, and response to, the infamous line from the 2004 cult-classic film Mean Girls. ‘YOU CAN SIT WITH US’ conveys a strong message of belonging and inclusion - a sentiment that was heard in consultations with community members.

Canada’s first-ever Pride Month will launch on 1 June, featuring extended programming and provocative events throughout the city, culminating the much-anticipated Pride Parade on 3 July.

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