Toronto, Ontario, Canada will play host to the 2015 TORONTO Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in July and August of 2015, the largest multi-sport games ever hosted in Canada. Toronto City Council approved a package of initiatives today to highlight Toronto and engage its diverse communities in the Games, including Pride House Toronto. The investment follows the Government of Ontario’s commitment in November of $587,400 CAD (€415,000/$495,000/£325,000) via the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
The investment of $291,000 CAD (€210,000/$250,000/£160,000) is detailed in a report to Toronto City Council from Deputy City Manager Brenda Patterson:
The PrideHouseTO initiative is a comprehensive engagement and activation strategy for the lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer (LGBTQ) communities during and leading up to the 2015 Pan / Para-Pan Am Games. The initiative is supported by a collaboration between more than 12 organizations representing social services, government, labour, business and the sport and recreation sectors, with the support and leadership of The 519. Through arts, cultural programming, capacity building, training, education, celebrations and educational events and through strategic advocacy PrideHouseTO will leverage the Games to build capacity in Toronto’s LGBTQ communities, engage LGBTQ people in sport, parasport and recreation, and challenge and address homophobia and transphobia that prevents LGBTQ people from living active, healthy lives in our city, province and across the pan-american region.
The Deputy City Manager’s Report continues to detail the rationale for the investment:
Toronto’s commitment to diversity and vibrant cultural communities are hallmarks of the city’s brand internationally. With mounting attention to the exclusion of LGBTQ people from the XXII Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, the success of PrideHouseTO will serve as a beacon of inclusion in sport. Following on this year’s World Pride events, the PrideHouseTO program plan will engage its local community in the Games, provide secondary cultural programming to draw and engage tourists to the Games and will build community infrastructure within the neighbourhood and LGBTQ communities. As a result of PrideHouseTO, TO2015 and in turn the City of Toronto will be recognized as leaders in the inclusion of LGBTQ communities in sport generally and, more particularly, in multi-sport games.